Do you agree with taking away video games and computer for not turning in homework assignments for 14 year old boy? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 42 Old 10-05-2013, 08:02 PM
 
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Thank you and you're welcome. (I think your last post was supposed to be in there, and it didn't format properly.) I agree that being respectful nearly always leads to more productive discussions. :) I also agree that there is more than one way to raise children. As long as it's working for everybody, and people are getting their needs met, not being hurt and are learning, it usually works out.


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#32 of 42 Old 10-05-2013, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post

 

 

 I'm going to admit to laughing out loud at this.

 

 My son is 10 so still a bit more controllable than a 14 year old and this plan wouldn't even work with him. What we would end up with is:

 

1. Lies about what's done and not done and where it is.

2. Neither of us doing anything but homework from the time he got home until such time as we both were tired and fed up and I sent him to bed.

3. If work actually got accomplished (Ha ha ha) it would be the bare minimum of quality that he thought was possible.

4. My particular child would probably spiral out of control and stop turning in any work at all. He's stubborn like that. Plus have lost all his other activities such as Chinese lessons, baseball, scouts, and FLL. Because we'd still be sitting at that GD table when it was time to leave for said activity without a single bit of work complete.

5. We'd both be mad and fed up and have dug in our heals so nothing changes and nothing gets done and now his homework isn't getting done and the household is a mess while we both stew in resentment and anger. 

6. This would go on for months.

 

Yes we've actually been there and done that. 

 

 

Did taking away the video games (or the equivalent) work for you? It would be a disaster for us and end up with my child distraught and in tears, resentful and hurt and would harm the trust between us. Authoritarian measures like that do not work for us nearly as well as helping my kids figure out how to navigate school and homework and time management. You don't say in your post what does work for you, maybe you have some tips to add to the discussion?

 

My child is 13 in Feb and in a middle/high school, so much closer to 14 than a 10 yr old, and I imagine has much more homework than most 10 yr olds (she certainly has tons more than she did when she was 10) and this works for us. Neither punishments nor rewards work for my kid. The punishments feel mean and so do the rewards. Alfie Kohn has some insightful commentary on both. I don't try to "control" my kid. I help her stay on track and help her make good choices about what she does with her time.

 

My child (well both my kids, but my 4th grader has minimal homework and usu does it first thing or on the way home) would not be able to lie (and get away with it) because I check up on what she says and ask to see the work. If she did not write down the assignments correctly I have her email her teachers or a classmate. I would have her get her planner signed daily from each of her teachers if I needed to. (A classmate does this very successfully). We don't accept bare minimum quality work. My child would not be allowed to fail to complete or fail to turn in any work. If it meant staying up past bedtime to get it done, so be it. The homework gets done and that's it. If it meant giving up outside activities we'd do that. While I definitely am not a fan of burdensome homework loads I certainly don't value baseball or scouts over schoolwork. There are many evenings and afternoons when it seems like all we do is homework (and I do think it's too much on those nights, but I don't think it's okay to just not do it) and yes sometimes the house does look like a wreck, but our priority is helping our children learn how to manage their time and helping them understand the material. Most of the stuff she's got down pretty well and doesn't need much input from me or her dad at this point, but math can trip her up sometimes (she's a B student in math, all As in the rest) and she works extra hard on it.

 

I just think that learning to manage a workload is a skill that needs to be taught and learned — few kids are born knowing how to do it — and I'm not comfortable just turning her loose to sink or swim on her own. If she shows me that she can swim the length of the pool then I'm fine with letting her go on her own and I'm just cheering at the finish line, but if she is not showing me that she can do it w/o some coaching then I'm there coaching her along the way.


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#33 of 42 Old 10-05-2013, 09:55 PM
 
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I have a 14 year old and a 10 year old. I don't have to take away computer games from my 14 year old because she seems to barely uses the computer since she has an iPhone which she does use quite a lot to read fanfic.  Oh wait, I just realized that lately she's been using her computer to watch movies on Netflix, but that's only been in the last month or so.  She is very diligent about the stuff she has to do unless the circumstances are extreme.

My 10 year old is the one who loses her electronics because she doesn't care if she does her assignments.  When we take away her iPod or computer or whatever, it's supposed to be a consequence based on the fact that the electronics are distracting her and she needs to take a break.  But I admit that her desire to be able to use them, and having this as a reward generally is the motivator.  So if I took away her stuff for a semester and she still didn't do her homework, then I'd have to find something else to work this way.

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#34 of 42 Old 10-05-2013, 09:58 PM
 
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Did taking away the video games (or the equivalent) work for you? It would be a disaster for us and end up with my child distraught and in tears, resentful and hurt and would harm the trust between us. Authoritarian measures like that do not work for us nearly as well as helping my kids figure out how to navigate school and homework and time management. You don't say in your post what does work for you, maybe you have some tips to add to the discussion?

 

I actually responded to the question about video game removal early in the thread. No, video game removal would not work with my child any more than "just ride him until he turns in his homework" would. Plus I don't consider "riding him" and supervising every moment of homework to be "helping my kids figure out how to navigate school and homework and time management." That would be me managing his time for him and to my mind, and my son's, be very little different from the loss of privileges for homework not being completed. These simply are not consequences that work for him. 

 

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Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post
 

My son simply doesn't respond well to the loss of privileges for late or missing homework. It doesn't change a thing. But if it actually works for your son I don't see how it would be a problem. It sounds like a logical consequence. If games get in the way of school work completion then games have to go. However, I wouldn't ban them all semester. Now he has already lost the privilege so has no reason to keep working on getting his homework in. I'd give him a way to earn game time back. Personally I'd do a set number of days or weeks with all work turned in on time with an average grade of a B on all work during that time frame. That way earning game time continues to be an incentive. It also re-frames the issue. You didn't punish him by taking away game time. He earned game time by proving himself responsible enough to handle it.

 

Right now my son rarely has homework as he went from a rather intense full time gifted program to a middle school with advanced options that don't quite compare to what he's used to. I don't recommend the complete and utter lack of challenge as a solution, but for now we aren't having much for homework struggles because there is no homework. However, the elementary he left is rather well know for the large homework load.

 

My son has poor executive management skills. So working specifically on the development of those skills makes somewhat of a difference.  When I went back to school myself and spent time explaining the modeling I was doing it really seemed to impact his study skills and habits. I'd discuss how the reading I had to do was really boring and what strategies I was using to get through it and stuff like that. Counseling helped some when we did that. On the rare occasion that he does have homework he's alot more diligent about it now because he enjoys his classes and his teachers more than he did in elementary. But there really hasn't been one magic bullet that has fixed it. We still have issues though they are reducing with increased maturity.

 

I didn't expand on what has worked for us in my original post because, frankly, the OP has found something that works. I'd tweak the implementation if I were her so that her son can earn back privileges. But it seems to me that she has a tool and a solution that works for her son.


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#35 of 42 Old 10-06-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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I don't think the OP did find something that worked. She asked if she was doing the right thing and said her son seemed miserable.

 

Maybe my use of the word "ride" was a less-than-great choice — I didn't mean nagging, but instead meant checking up on and more closely supervising. I thought I further explained in my reply that I meant the 14 yr old needed more supervision, or oversight, and less punishment and I stand by that. If homework is important, (and the OP said he was failing a class last year as a result of not doing his homework) and school work is important to this family (and it's not important to all families, some families unschool or have other priorities) then as a parent you need to follow up on your priorities and physically check up on the student to make sure the homework gets done — ask to see the assignment and the completed work. Most of our school assignments are posted online, so it's easy to check if the kids forget exactly what the homework was. If the student can't manage his time on his own to get homework done you show him how to do so. If he begins to show you that he can manage his time you give him more responsibility for doing it on his own, but still check and make sure it's done. If he backslides on getting it done you reiterate the lessons on time management. 

 

My kid has 3 major projects currently due next week and you can bet I know what they are and when they're due and I will keep an eye on what she's up to this weekend and when she's working on them. She's already asked me if she works on her Social Studies project can she go to the Halloween store later today? This is w/o prompting from me at this point because she has learned that you need to get some work done before you can do the fun stuff and she knows what she has due. She also knows that if she has any question about her homework I will help her figure it out. We don't do our kids' homework for them, but we do re-teach the material if they didn't learn it from the teacher in class, or help them find the resources to teach themselves.


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#36 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 02:22 PM
 
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Did taking away the video games (or the equivalent) work for you?

 

YES! Our DD became lost at the end of last year as a result of abusing her electronics as well as other things. We had a sign in system for the laptop and her tablet. She had to sign in when using it, (for schoolwork and only play after ALL school work was finished) and sign out when she was done. She had access for a given hour a day, and then longer if she needed it for more homework. We found out she was then using her iPod (when we weren't looking) to access the same sites she had been on her computer and still behind in some of her subjects. I then took the iPod for the remainder of the semester, which was about a month. Her grades were dropping precipitously and it was a direct result of her abuse of the electronics. She even said she felt relieved at the absence of the electronics, as she could tell pp she was "grounded" from the computer and couldn't respond, leaving her time for her Accelerated classes. YES, It worked! This new semester she is managing her time well, using her computer, her iPod and her new Smart Phone responsibly and at the Quarter report was getting a 3.7 GPA. MUCH better than last year. A 3.0 to 4.0 is what she is capable of, and last semester of last year she was nearly failing THREE classes. We caught it in time. Yes. It worked.

 

It would be a disaster for us and end up with my child distraught and in tears, resentful and hurt and would harm the trust between us. Authoritarian measures like that do not work for us nearly as well as helping my kids figure out how to navigate school and homework and time management. I agree every child is different. My children KNOW I am there to help them regulate themselves (I believe it's one of the reasons children have parents, if they were capable of complete self regulation... they wouldn't be children anymore) Far from being "resentful" or "in tears" she realized what was happening and admitted she had been not using her time wisely and was abusing the electronics. In fact, by "grounding" her from the electronics worked as a good "excuse" to NOT have to engage in Social Media for a while, decompress and concentrate on her school work (not completely, because she had an hour a day, but homework came first and she was behind, so she also had to make up some work as well as do the recently assigned work.) There is a huge difference between "Authoritarian" and "Authoritative" parenting. Some children ARE stubborn or cut corners or don't have as much self regulation as we would wish, and being an "authority" whom your children trust to do what is best is one of the reasons we are our children's parents and not their friends. When someone sees you as a benevolent "Authority" they TRUST you, and I know that with at least two of my children (and in some cases all of them) this is the type of parenting that has to be put in play, especially as they enter their teens.

 

My kids don't cry because they can't check their Facebook status or play LEGO Harry Potter or whatever, maybe teens some actually would.  Just because your kids don't "like" an Executive Decision you have made doesn't mean that that decision is bad for them or will hurt them. Part of being a balanced parent requires sometimes being the authority when things get rough and the child is clearly showing signs of not handling their time properly or well. Not ALL decisions can be made by committee. I've been a parent for 27 years, I know this for sure.

 

I never had to "take things away" when this particular child was 3 or 7 or 10 or 12, but 13 came and that is what had to be done.

 

PLUS I NEVER "ride" my kids. I think, and I've seen (being a victim of it) that nagging is very damaging. I vowed when I got married I would NEVER nag my husband or my children, and I don't. I saw my own mother destroy her relationship with my father and distance me as a daughter by "riding" us about things. You start to block people out who do this.  People become VERY resentful about being "ridden" in many cases more than the temporary loss of a few electronic toys.

 

I don't "ride" people and I never will. One reminder should be all. Seeing as my marriage has already lasted more than twice as long as my mother's did, I think it at least works for us.
 

 

And no one is talking about "turning a child loose to sink or swim" that's fairly disrespectful to other parents to assume any of us would do that to our children. The limited time (or complete taking away) of toys is coupled with many different strategies to help a child learn. NO ONE said anything about taking away the iPod and leaving the child on her own.


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#37 of 42 Old 10-18-2013, 09:14 PM
 
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Whatever works for you, but taking something away and keeping it from my kids wouldn't work well for us and feels very icky to me as a parent (and for whatever the heck it's worth, I've been one for 13 years, and have been married for 20). 

 

I don't really believe in punishment for kids. 

 

I do believe in helping my kids learn exactly how to get it all done. I have very capable, creative, thoughtful, insightful, occasionally skeptical kids, who are willing to be involved and take responsibility even if not always eagerly. I can't take much of the credit for how great they are because I think they just are who they are, but what we do and how we do it works for them. Although my dd1 has been evaluated and found to qualify for a Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, she has never come close to failing a class even though she struggles on w/o an IEP (her choice). 

 

We don't ground them, we don't punish them, we don't take things away for periods of time. We do sometimes tell them they need to put something away and do their homework now because it's getting late and they'll run out of time. We do stay involved in what their assignments are. We do check to see that they have done them. We do offer assistance.

 

FWIW, I don't like just "one reminder" for myself or my kids. I like to be reminded more than once about upcoming events. I don't expect to get one notice of a PTA meeting and never hear any more about it. I expect to hear about it several times. (And I will tell you from experience it works much better. I've been at schools with an "it's on the calendar, so we don't need to send reminders" policy and schools that send an initial announcement and several follow-ups, and the schools with more communication involvement had much better participation rates and much higher parent satisfaction.) To me, it's the same way with homework and many other situations. A few friendly check-ins throughout the afternoon and evening really keep us on track: "What kind of homework do you have tonight?" and "What do you want to start on first?" and "How's that homework going? Anything I can do to help?" and "Sounds like you're almost done. Just your English vocab left!" I can't say that our way would work for every kid, but my kids don't lie, they don't sneak (my dd1 is horrible at sneaking, even for things like April Fool's Day) and they want to do well in school and they are doing well in school. If this kind of helping didn't work to keep them on track then I would try helping more, not punishing. 

 

Different things work for different families. I see the OP hasn't come back to post again on this thread, but she specifically said, "I do see how he's miserable everyday after school for not being able to play his games. After reading articles about not punishing your kids, it's made me wonder if i'm doing the right thing here." For our family the take it away strategy wouldn't work very well and it doesn't sound like it's working particularly well for the OP's family either if she's left wondering if she's doing the right thing and her child is miserable. For another family where the child is grateful to not have the distraction and the parent feels comfortable with the decision this strategy might work well.

 

To me, having a mutually agreeable solution between the parent and child is an important goal. I got some good bits out of Ross Greene's collaborative problem solving approach in "The Explosive Child" and his other works. If it works for both parent and child to take away the electronics, that's great. My kids like to know why they're being asked to do something. If they understand that they need to put away their iPods because they'll run out of time to do their math, they put away the iPod. They won't sneak or lie about it. If I just say "put that away" and don't give an explanation I get much less cooperation. 

 

If something is working well for a family, no need to fix what ain't broke, but I don't think offering up a helping, non-punitive strategy to someone who questioned whether punishment is the way to go is laughable. If it doesn't work for you then skip it, but no need to denigrate. Like they say in LLL, take what works and leave the rest. 

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#38 of 42 Old 10-24-2013, 06:56 PM
 
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I'm going to admit to laughing out loud at this. My son is 10 so still a bit more controllable than a 14 year old and this plan wouldn't even work with him. What we would end up with is:

 

1. Lies about what's done and not done and where it is.

2. Neither of us doing anything but homework from the time he got home until such time as we both were tired and fed up and I sent him to bed.

3. If work actually got accomplished (Ha ha ha) it would be the bare minimum of quality that he thought was possible.

4. My particular child would probably spiral out of control and stop turning in any work at all. He's stubborn like that. Plus he'd have lost all his other activities such as Chinese lessons, baseball, scouts, and FLL. Because we'd still be sitting at that GD table when it was time to leave for said activity without a single bit of work complete.

5. We'd both be mad and fed up and have dug in our heals so nothing changes and nothing gets done and now his homework isn't getting done and the household is a mess while we both stew in resentment and anger. 

6. This would go on for months.

 

Yes we've actually been there and done that. 

Wow!  Is my 12 yr old and your 10 yr old talking and planning these things out?  LOL!  It is exhausting at times.  That's for sure.  One thing that has really helped is that my son stays after school on the days that the teachers stay after for extra support.  That way he gets the help he needs in a more structured environment and it takes our power struggles out of the mix.  This doesn't work all the time, but it takes some of the pressure off.  The other thing that cut down on the lying about school work was when he told us that he eventually wants to attend the Coast Guard Academy.  Well, they've got some great core values, starting with integrity that I showed him.  He asked me to print them out for him.  I went a step beyond that and made a page with the core values, a picture of one of their boats and helicopters, and the definition of integrity at the bottom.  Then...I laminated it.  He reads it every single day before homework.  I know it won't work always, but it was a way to get through to him and make him see how those qualities are qualities that he really respects in others and wants to develop himself.  All that being said, there is no minecraft until homework is finished!

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#39 of 42 Old 10-28-2013, 10:09 AM
 
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I'd have no problems taking away electronics in that situation.  I'd let the kid earn them back if they started regularly turning the assignments in, and I'd make the initial suspension much shorter than the semester.  We make it clear that electronics aren't a right, they  are a privilege, and school comes first.

 

I don't have a problem with punishment, either, but I think "consequences" or "punishment"  is semantics.

 

I have two very different teens and what works with one does not work with the other.  My older is an attorney in training, and discussing issues beyond a certain point is counterproductive.  She needs "consequences," not hours of arguing about everything under the sun. The other one would simply need to be reminded and it would all be good.

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#40 of 42 Old 11-03-2013, 01:52 AM
 
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My 21-year-old only really learned to do this himself when he was around 17-18. If we hadn't done what you did, he wouldn't be at College now, doing the course he always wanted to do and thoroughly enjoying himself. 

 

We had to check his school stuff daily, really learn some stuff with him to help him understand (especially advanced maths) and not allow electronics before it was all done. Easy in our house though, because we just changed the password daily and he was only allowed it when everything was finished. 

 

Ideally, at 14, a boy should be responsible enough to not need so much help and to organise his day himself, but that just doesn't work out for everyone. 

 

Anyway, our actions didn't take away his ability to learn to do this himself, he is very good at this now. Even though I disagree with the fact that a paper for College needs to be written at 4am, but that is his business now. 

 

And don't we all need a little force from outside to get our backside moving sometimes? I do. 

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#41 of 42 Old 11-03-2013, 05:04 PM
 
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Most of this has been said, but FWIW I think he needed the structure removing the x-box provided because the OP's son wasn't showing he was ready to self regulate.  As has also been said, what might be better is a shorter period of restriction. Personally, when I've taken electronic privileges from my children over longer periods, they have behaved and spoken as if there wasn't much use in trying to improve school, work or social habits (fighting over media use has also led to its restriction in our house) as they couldn't picture a point that far in the future when they could regain privileges. Usually, we deal with week or so chunks at a time, now, for serious matters and for more minor issues we just have conditions for the media usage (as in after homework, chores and time outside has happened).


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#42 of 42 Old 11-04-2013, 03:57 PM
 
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I would try to reframe the whole thing.

 

me:  do you want to do well in school?

him:  yes (hopefully he says this!)

 

me:  do you think the amount of time you spend on screens is interfering in this

him:  maybe...

me:  what do you say we try to limit times to 2 hours a day plus whatever you have time for on the weekend (or whatever scenario works for your family) and then we can re-assess in one month?

 

or 

 

me:  do you think the amount of time you spend on screens is interfering with your work?

him :  no

me:  I am a little worried about it.  You re not getting your work done.  What needs to change so you can get your work done?

him:  blah, blah, blah...

 

In any event, I would try and get buy in from him and come at this in a problem solving kind of way as opposed to a top down thing.  He is 14, after all, and it is his grades.  

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