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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-19-2013 10:10 AM
pek64 Since we have been discussing time management, I thought you all might find this as humorous as I did.

I just heard on the radio the following (quoted as accurately as I can) -- If you are always late, it may not be your fault. A new study has shown that 17% of the population is "ungifted" for time management.


And here I thought it was a tendency to procrastinate!
02-18-2013 08:45 PM
Cassidy68
Quote:

Being a parent is hard. I should have had more kids, I bet by the 15th or so, I might actually be good at this. whistling.gif

 

Ha. Indeed. Our poor practice kids, huh? Ah well. Hopefully they'll learn that we aren't perfect and they don't have to be either. 

02-18-2013 06:23 PM
kathymuggle

Voted!

 

I will post tomorrow, though. 

02-18-2013 05:20 PM
SweetSilver

Oh, lordy, I went and did it.....

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1374868/poll-child-family-or-parent-centered-households

 

Brilliant?  Or crazy?  

 

Ah, well it'll probably fizzle anyway.  I just couldn't help myself.

 

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled posting.........

 

I *don't* consider myself Radical, BTW.  However, I read an essay by Sandra Dodd, and it did make me feel a little radical under the collar..... OK, maybe I'm not entirely UnRadical either.

02-18-2013 11:04 AM
SweetSilver

Sheepish.gif Oh yes.  I think I might read that more closely to see if I've skimmed over stuff.  Wouldn't be the first time.  I would be interested to see a thread on the regular parenting forum worded just the way you have and see what comes up.  Mmmmmaybe.....maybe that would be a bad idea!

02-18-2013 10:06 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

kathy, is that on MDC?  I haven't seen it and I am interested in the conversation.  Could you link it for me?

Sure - but you are on it orngbiggrin.gif

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1373785/radical-unschooler

 

The Op in the above thread was somewhat about whether people were family or child centric, but did move rather quickly into a discussion on unparenting.

02-18-2013 09:57 AM
SweetSilver

kathy, is that on MDC?  I haven't seen it and I am interested in the conversation.  Could you link it for me?

02-18-2013 09:53 AM
onatightrope

I've never thought of us as child-centric, but we've had a lot going on in our lives lately, and I have perhaps let some things slide that I shouldn't have. I know I tend to be self-absorbed, and have needed to be overtly taught to consider other people's perspectives, so it's not surprising to me that someone related to me might not be naturally perfectly empathetic.

 

A problem I see with being child-centric is that at some point kids need to transition to being adults and need to understand what adult expectations of behavior are. I knew a family growing up that was very gentle and child-centric until the kids were 12 or 13 and then WHAM the hammer came down and they were expected to KNOW to do everything they hadn't been expected to do up till then. It was weird to see, and seemed a lot harder on the kids then a gentle ramp up of expectations might have been. Although, maybe those parents went through the same panic I am? 

 

Being a parent is hard. I should have had more kids, I bet by the 15th or so, I might actually be good at this. whistling.gif

02-18-2013 07:51 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

 

 

I've been having a little unschool freak-out lately, and part of it has been because I'm frustrated that my kids have been kind of snotty and entitled-- at some point a person should be able to politely eat food that isn't their favorite, or do things they said they'd do because they said they'd do them, even if in the moment when they ought to be done there is something else that would be more fun, or to consider their own commitment to seeing something through before they ask other people to go out of their way to make a project possible. I'm tired of driving across town to buy supplies for a project that's never started, or paying for classes the kids decide they'd rather not leave the house for. I'm tired of hearing about how the chicken at dinner wasn't cooked perfectly. I'm tired of empty promises about things getting done, followed by complaints about my nagging. Other people matter (including me!)

 

 

 

I sympathise.

 

There is another thread going on where people are talking about if their homes are child centric or family centric.  

 

I am not a fan of child-centric houses, as I think it can lead to feeling of entitlement and, yeah, snotty behaviour.  Maybe child centric does not always lead to this behaviour, but I have seen it happen a bit too often for my comfort.

 

A few year ago on this forum there were people who were vocal about cleaning up after your child, leaving a room if the kids were being difficult as it was bugging you, essentially re-arranging what you were doing to put them first even when it was not necessary and what you were doing was more important.  Thankfully, much of that has died out, but it did seem to me that if people followed all of this we would be raising entitled people.  I wonder if it was/is an extreme position, perhaps born out of the other side of the penduluum - which tends to dismiss kids concerns?

 

One of my pet peeves (and I still see it a fair bit IRL, although more among Waldorfy types than USers, per se) is people who will halt any conversation they are in because their child (often an older child) asks them a question.  Um, hello, you were talking…they can wait.  I can see it is not urgent.  

 

Oh well, vent over.  

 

I think reflecting on whether or not you want to be family or child centric is a really good idea for most people.  

02-18-2013 07:01 AM
onatightrope
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.

Me, too.  I am not 100% convinced that is a bad thing - none of us live forever.  I don't think we should always live in the now, but always living in the future seems wasteful of the present.  It is a balance thing.

 

I agree that there's no point in always deferring gratification, but it's good to be able to defer gratification when it benefits you.

 

My kids have a kids book by Dave Ramsey they got from Chikfila years ago that talks about savings, and recommends that kids start saving for their first car at age 10 or so. That book drives me nuts because a 10 year old is a lot more limited in their sources of money than a 15 year old, and so a 10 year old could easily spend a year carefully saving and sacrificing things they'd really enjoy in the moment in order to save what would be a weekend's wages when they're 15 or 16. 

 

There needs to be a balance of immediate and long term costs and benefits. All one way or all the other is no good. 

 

I really appreciated what Moominmama wrote here-- she did a much better job than I did of getting to the heart of this. I want my kids to learn how to push through an uncomfortable task, and also to feel obligated to do what they say they will do, or at least to talk to the person in question about why they're not going to do it. 

 

I've been having a little unschool freak-out lately, and part of it has been because I'm frustrated that my kids have been kind of snotty and entitled-- at some point a person should be able to politely eat food that isn't their favorite, or do things they said they'd do because they said they'd do them, even if in the moment when they ought to be done there is something else that would be more fun, or to consider their own commitment to seeing something through before they ask other people to go out of their way to make a project possible. I'm tired of driving across town to buy supplies for a project that's never started, or paying for classes the kids decide they'd rather not leave the house for. I'm tired of hearing about how the chicken at dinner wasn't cooked perfectly. I'm tired of empty promises about things getting done, followed by complaints about my nagging. Other people matter (including me!)

 

We are talking about these things and I am optimistic that things will improve. But for a little while there I was feeling like I had ruined my kids.

02-18-2013 06:48 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I agree that parents refusing to help is not specific to unschoolers! Sorry if I left that impression.

You didn't.  I said it for any lurkers/newbies.  I know I quoted you (I probably should not have - sorry) but I was really just using your statement as a jumping off point for a discussion.  Some people do believe "not helping your children" is a problem that is more prevalent in USers, and I simply wanted to point out that I do not think that is the case.  

02-18-2013 06:26 AM
pek64 I agree that parents refusing to help is not specific to unschoolers! Sorry if I left that impression. I am the only homeschooler among my relatives, and too many of those relatives are the not helping kind.
02-18-2013 06:14 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.

Me, too.  I am not 100% convinced that is a bad thing - none of us live forever.  I don't think we should always live in the now, but always living in the future seems wasteful of the present.  It is a balance thing.

02-18-2013 06:11 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


Refusing to give help is an action.

Some parents are fretting, don't get me wrong. It's just the rather vocal ones that seem proud to declare they refuse to help their children that bother me. And I seem to have an overabundance of that type of parent in my family tree.

Every couple of months we will have a parent come on this forum that is fretting over their 6 yr olds lack of reading.  They are torn on what to do - offer assistance, check for learning disabilities, etc.

 

Without doubt, someone will come on and say that many 6 year olds do not read, and that what their child might need is time - and that they will learn easier once their internal motivation kicks in. 

 

The mother may ponder this point, do a little further reading on the topic - and decide to wait.  So - she is not acting on the issue (at least not with the child) but she still fretted and may well be fretting.  

 

There have been many times in life where I fretted over something my kids were doing or not doing without acting on it.  Sometimes we have been working on other things.  sometimes I did some reading and decided my expectations were not developmentally appropriate.  I have on occasion decided it was their issue and not mine  (I am not sure we need to take on all problems our kids might have - it can be a little micromanage-y and give them the idea they cannot take care of themselves).

 

Without knowing any of the backstory of this thread, if my son had said to me "why don't you make me do math?" I would have taken that as a  request for help and I would have honoured it (honestly, I would have done back flips - a kid wanting to do math is darn cool!  I struggle with kids wanting to Spongebob when I want them to do math….)

 

I have seen Parents who do not help their kids - who seem to not parent, to not care.   I don't think that is a problem specific to USers at all.

02-17-2013 07:44 PM
pek64 Perhaps it *is* more of a delayed gratification issue. Personally, if I have no alternative gratification, I might take a negative consequence later to ensure some positive now.
02-17-2013 07:40 PM
pek64
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I disagree.  People can fret without doing anything about it.  Whether or not acting on ones fretting is a good idea or not depends on the circumstances.

Refusing to give help is an action.

Some parents are fretting, don't get me wrong. It's just the rather vocal ones that seem proud to declare they refuse to help their children that bother me. And I seem to have an overabundance of that type of parent in my family tree.
02-16-2013 10:58 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

. Refusing to provide instructions or assistance does not, in my opinion, qualify as fretting.

 

I disagree.  People can fret without doing anything about it.  Whether or not acting on ones fretting is a good idea or not depends on the circumstances.

02-16-2013 09:14 AM
moominmamma

I agree with both pek64 and SweetSilver. I think time management skills cannot necessarily be expected to simply arise in good time -- not in all children, not even with good modelling by parents. Sometimes a more active approach is needed, and sometimes a child's aspirations to learn or do something will exceed their current time-management skills in which case parental help is appropriate if the child wants it.

 

But I also think that the scenarios in this thread are not primarily about time management. They're not about the child forgetting to do the work, or leaving it too close to a deadline, or having trouble fitting the work into his busy life. They're about the child avoiding the work which would get them closer to his goal because the work itself is not intrinsically enjoyable. So to me this is more an issue of deferring gratification and doing grunt-work that is unengaging in order to reap the benefits of having done the work later. Like practicing scales to get better at playing Mozart, or doing abdominal crunches to get better at swimming. Or learning division of fractions to get closer to your goal of studying architecture at college. 

 

To me deferment of gratification is to a large extent a maturity-based task. It requires a fair degree of abstraction to choose your future happiness over your present comfort. School provides the structure that removes a lot of that choice, so school children tend to have less trouble working through relatively unenjoyable basic learning tasks in the early years. However, because they lack the opportunity to grow through making such choices I think they tend to struggle when the structure of attendance checks and homework-grading falls away in high school and college. Maturity is required, but it is also developed through experience. 

 

I think in order to learn how deferring gratification can be helpful in some situations, one has to experience in meaningful ways both the drawbacks of not doing so and the benefits of doing so. After experiencing both those outcomes in a variety of circumstances one can appreciate why sometimes it is good to defer gratification. When it's all just hypothetical, when you haven't experienced one or the other scenario, it's hard to make a mature informed choice. And with my ds and his intense perfectionism, I felt like he hadn't ever had the experience continuing to work diligently through the really uncomfortable (for him) place of not being able to do something easily yet, and realize the benefit that comes at the end. Once he had that one guided experience, he was able to assess his subsequent issues in light of his past experiences and make reasonable choices. 

 

I'm also a big believer in awaiting readiness and meaningfulness, and I think that's the scenario school children often don't get enough of. They don't get to put grunt work off until they find their own reasons for doing it, and so they don't learn how satisfying it can be to learn things quickly and to completion when the task is intrinsically motivating. Unschoolers though can suffer the opposite fate: they sometimes don't get the experience of taking on tasks that aren't intrinsically enjoyable in order to open doors, build confidence and bring forth opportunities down the road. Not unless their parents help them find and work through those experiences. 

 

Miranda

02-16-2013 08:37 AM
SweetSilver

I don't fret about time management skills.  It starts quite basically-- getting ready to get out the door in time for gymnastics, etc.  It can be learned by more involvement in making meals, both in getting it started and making it to all come together.  I'm glad my girls have opportunities like 4-H to experiment with time management in small ways.  

 

I think that it's not the best idea to stress learning a skill like time management alongside a skill in which someone is struggling, just like I think in the early years learning math should be separate from writing until that is no longer a struggle.

 

Having said all that, I don't think getting motivated to sit and do something that is difficult and requires applying oneself despite the frustration is really about time management.  It is about control over willpower.  I can have excellent time management skills, it is getting myself set to the task in the first place that I struggle with, and sometimes my attention drifts because my heart is not in it.  Perhaps it's a semantics argument, but I'm not thinking this is about time management.

 

So, what is it about, if not that?  It is learning to focus.  It is learning about acting when the task is not the immediate motivation but a means to an end which is the true goal.  These are both helpful in time management, but not the thing itself, which requires an idea as to how long each task will take so that when put all together the task finishes at a prescribed time.  With math or learning there is no prescribed time, not in homeschooling.  But kids do have goals that cannot be immediately acquired without effort.

02-16-2013 08:16 AM
pek64 I don't know how to say this without possibly offending someone, but I feel it's an important point. I'll start by saying I'm not judging anyone. I've just noticed a trend, recently, that leads me to believe that some are not fretting about their child's time or project management skills, but rather are expecting skills to be in place without any effort from the parents or teachers. Refusing to provide instructions or assistance does not, in my opinion, qualify as fretting.

Looking more closely at my own project management skills, I doubt I can teach those skills well. I'd need to look to someone else to do that job. I work on an intutive level for that.
02-16-2013 06:50 AM
kathymuggle
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

There has been a lot of reference to time management skills, on this thread and others. I've spent some time the last couple days thinking about the importance of time management skills. What kinds of jobs really require them?
This is a good question.  High school, college and university require time management - and many USer do end up in school at some point.  It is natural for parents to fret, I think, and wonder what their part is in helping them acquire the time management skills that will help them get through the classes they want to take.
Work is a different thing.  Upon, reflection, I do not think most jobs require great time-management.  Neither my husband nor my job involve huge amounts of time management.  They involve multi-tasking, flexibility, a certain amount of being able to prioritise - but time management? - not so much.  I do occasionally run into bumps with time management at work.  I become involved in other issues and don't make time for more mundane daily tasks.  It is not a huge issue - I often fix it by staying a bit late.  I do know some jobs do have concrete deadlines for thing, but I do think it is possible we over-emphasize this skill as parents.  

And just as a person with a tin ear cannot hope to hear a song and duplicate it, so to some folks lack something that makes time management work for them.
 
I agree with this.  Some people really do struggle with certain things, and may struggle with them their whole life (it might just be how they are built). Repeatedly trying to make a square peg into a round one is an exercise in frustration for everyone - and may give off the idea that they are not good enough the way they are.  It can be tricky as a parent to know if a child is really built one way  or simply lacks skills in that area.  



 
02-16-2013 06:48 AM
pek64 I think there are various forms of time management. And at some age levels certain ones are unlikely. What we are discussing is learning math. It can be looked at as time management, or project management. Most workers are not expected to have project management skills.

In the example of the coworker is it really poor time management, or something else? There's not enough info to determine.
02-16-2013 02:32 AM
Fillyjonk

pek, not sure why you'd be worried about getting flak for that remark, its a valid opinion. Here's my niggle. You say, 

 

Most jobs I considered would benefit more from flexibility, adaptability, and stress management than from time management. Rarely does a person work in a vacuum, alone. Most of the time, we work with others, and the best laid plans of mice and men can be shredded by weather or someone else's poor management. Thus, insistence on a child having the best time management skills may not be serving him or her well. And just as a person with a tin ear cannot hope to hear a song and duplicate it, so to some folks lack something that makes time management work for them.

 

Not sure why these are mutually exclusive. To an extent, I feel my kids need to learn good time management so that they can work well with others. It is pretty frustrating when you are working on a project with someone with lousy time management skills. Its also frustrating when you are working on a project with someone with nonexistent people skills. But what is most amazingly frustrating of all is to work on a project with lousy <insert choice of skill> but who does not at least realise that they are poor at this and that its their issue, that everyone else cannot be reasonably expected to accomodate, say, their desire to roll into work at half eleven (I had a colleague like this once who expected me to stay late to compensate for her inability to get out of bed. I had a one year old at home. Uh, no way).

 

The issue here for me was not even so much her utterly lousy time management (at forty three she was living at home with her parents, and still being treated like a teenager despite holding advanced degrees and earning a good income). The issue was that she expected me to compensate for her lousy time management and was surprised that I woudln't because I wanted to see my kid. She didn't see it as her problem. To me that's a real issue: poor time management can be a comment on the value you place on other people's time, or if its not, if its a real inability to get yourself sorted, it will, I promise, be perceived in that way by others throughout life.

02-15-2013 10:48 PM
pek64 There has been a lot of reference to time management skills, on this thread and others. I've spent some time the last couple days thinking about the importance of time management skills. What kinds of jobs really require them?

Most jobs I considered would benefit more from flexibility, adaptability, and stress management than from time management. Rarely does a person work in a vacuum, alone. Most of the time, we work with others, and the best laid plans of mice and men can be shredded by weather or someone else's poor management. Thus, insistence on a child having the best time management skills may not be serving him or her well. And just as a person with a tin ear cannot hope to hear a song and duplicate it, so to some folks lack something that makes time management work for them.

I expect to get flack for that remark, but it's what I believe, so I'm going out on a limb and stating it.

Getting back to the original example, and looking at it both hypothetically and really, the dad should help his son with math.
02-15-2013 04:06 PM
moominmamma

Okay, here's a story about my ds, now 16 and planning to take Calculus next fall, scoring A's in preCalc, and thinking about a career in engineering, design, computers or digital media, planning to attend college in that vein. He's been an incredible math thinker since a young age: when he was 3 he told me that 4, 9 and 16 were square numbers. But while he had some interest in math games that I offered him, and the math 'discovery lab activities' that I occasionally introduced him to via Miquon Math, he wasn't interested in any systematic learning of math. He's super bright, but has a fierce streak of perfectionism. So much so that he easily becomes paralyzed, afraid to try things that he might not be able to do instantly and well. I was cool with his unschooled math learning. He seemed cool with it too.

 

Then at age 7.5 or so he asked for a math workbook because he wanted to improve his computational skills. He wanted something more systematic and book-work focused than Miquon. We purchased Singapore Primary Math at the appropriate level. He tried it a few times and it was okay, but somehow he didn't ever really dive in. He seemed discouraged that he didn't necessarily always know for sure what the correct answer was, that he would occasionally make an error, or have to puzzle away at something. He'd cry and quit. It was enough to reduce his motivation to negligible levels.

 

A couple of months before his 10th birthday he realized that his "level" in Singapore (where he had left off) was below his grade-for-age, meaning that according to him he was now 'behind.' And at the same time his younger sister began moving towards the same level in the curriculum that he had given up on. He started loudly voicing negative feelings about math: I hate it, I suck at it, math is stupid, that sort of thing. When this happened he hadn't really worked away at math in either a happy or an unhappy way in over a year, so it seemed to me that this was his lack of confidence speaking, and a way of trying to diminish his sister's success and enthusiasm which he felt threatened by. It created a fair bit of stress for his sister as well. 

 

He and I talked a lot about the issues. We talked about his perfectionism, his learning style, his clear mathematical aptitude, his discouragement, his lashing out at "math" and how that was affecting his sister, and so on. He said that he was really mad at himself for not consistently using the Singapore workbooks we'd got a couple of years ago. He said he wished he was still 'advanced' in math. He wanted me to help him progress. I pointed out all the ways that his conceptual understanding of math was advanced, but that wasn't enough for him. We talked about numerous ways to help him master the arithmetical stuff, but it kept coming back to him wanting help sticking to Singapore. He asked me for that help. We talked about exactly what that would look like. I knew he was prone to perfectionistic meltdowns every time he made a mistake or got stuck in something. If he was miserable, if he was crying, should we give up for the day, or for a few days? No, he said. Make me do it, three to five days a week. For how long? I asked. This whole year, he said. I suggested we commit to a month, and reassess at the end of that time to decide whether to carry on. 

 

And for that first month I think he cried almost every time -- more than half the time anyway. It was fear that he wasn't smart enough, and it would shut him down almost before he tried anything. I'd let him sit there sniffing and keep helping him. I always asked him to give "three good tries" before we set something aside for another day. So if he said "I don't get it!" or "This is too hard!" I'd say "Okay, that's your first try. Let me show you a different way, and then you can give it your second try." Or I'd say "Remember the steps we talked about ... " and guide him through it, and count that as the first try. I was trying to help him understand at a visceral level that you can't always do everything right the first time, and trying something difficult three times and then taking a break is reasonable. He knew this intellectually, but when it came time to grapple with something difficult, his anxiety would well up and he'd give up. So I redirected him a lot ("let's do something from the geometry section!" or "Let's do a puzzle!"), and we kept the kleenex nearby.

 

At the end of a month we talked things over. He had progressed, but he had experienced a lot of misery. I had supported him creatively and consistently, but I felt awful about it. I asked him if this was really how he wanted to be doing things. I really expected him to quit. But incredibly he said that he wanted to keep going.

 

Somewhere around months 2 and 3 he got over the hump. I suddenly realized that there hadn't been tears in weeks. The "three good tries" thing had become automatic for him. He was progressing -- quickly now! -- and the anxiety was so much less. He could see that he was good at math. That confidence spurred him forward. And then there was a huge breakthrough: after five months he had finished three years' worth of the Singapore program and was now a year or more "ahead" of his age grade. I asked if that was enough, but he decided to keep working and finish out the 6th grade books in the program. 

 

Never again has he suffered math anxiety or lack of confidence. His interest in systematic study of math has waxed and waned, but never due to fear or lack of confidence, and he has always returned to it with enthusiasm when it suited him. He's also proved himself very capable of self-structuring as he's gained a bit of maturity and applied what he learned through his experience with Primary Math to other areas of his life.

 

So I don't know, it seemed to work. Before I structured that "math recovery" year for him, he seemed to be in a downward spiral of anxiety and loss of confidence, and it was spilling over into the rest of his life and into his relationship with his sister. After I structured that year, those problems were essentially solved. Could I have structured things in a gentler way that would have been as effective? Maybe; I'm not sure. Could I have left it and simply continued to express confidence that he would figure out how to self-motivate and self-structure, modelling my own self-structuring? Yes, and who's to know whether he might have accomplished what he needed in order to recover his confidence. We can't live life over again trying a different approach. But I suppose that's why the scenario I mentioned at the top of this thread piqued my interest so much: I was willing to play the math heavy with a kid who asked me to do so, and the outcome had seemed pretty positive. 

 

Miranda

02-15-2013 01:45 PM
pek64
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

My point is that if you refuse to help with time management, and time management is required for the task your child wants to complete, aren't you deciding for them that they MUST learn time management before they' can complete their project? 

If a task required reading,writing, or math skills the child wasn't interested in pursuing at the moment, everyone would agree that a parent ought to help with the skills the child lacks in order to support their endeavor. Why is time management different? 

I'm sure that I'm bungling things as I try to figure this out, but I don't understand the reluctance to help a struggling kid or the certainty that they have all the time in the world. I know I felt like my kids had lots of time when they were little, but now that we are approaching the high school years, it feels important to me for them to be working on a high school level for the most part during the high school years, because I want them to have the option of attending selective colleges or receiving scholarships. If they are working on a remedial level in high school, that will limit their choices in post-secondary education. So continuing to push things off to "later" carries a cost, IMO. It may be worth it to some kids, but mine don't want to pay it.

Also, I think that learning to knock-out unloved tasks when necessary is a good life skill. I'm never going to love folding laundry, but I know how to power through it, and so we don't (always) live with tons of baskets of unfolded clothes. And I would argue that doing something you don't want to do, even if it is at the last minute, still requires self-discipline. We've played around with trying to make all important tasks desirable, and it's like hiding medicine in apple sauce- it mainly ruins the applesauce. Sometimes you can make something a little more palatable (like playing music while I fold clothes), but pretending it's really what you want to do is a lie that makes the whole task worse, IMO. 

Yes to the first part! Why should time management skills already be learned *before* the child learns something else, like math?? That's the parent driving the learning sequence, instead of it being child-led.
02-15-2013 12:41 PM
SweetSilver
Quote:
Originally Posted by onatightrope View Post

 Giving up on something you love because you don't know how to cope with something you're bad at *is* kind of dire, IMO. 

But is not creating a structure to resolve it "giving up"?  Is it the only option?

 

Even assuming it is the only option, if a parent encounters significant amounts of resistance, so much so that it affects other areas outside of the skill in question, how much of the parents efforts are worth that?  Are they worth it?

02-15-2013 12:20 PM
onatightrope

I have seen bright kids avoid whole subject areas because they know they're behind and don't have faith in themselves that they can catch up. it doesn't ruin their lives, but it does limit them in ways I find unfortunate.

 

Frankly,  my child in question is struggling largely with having very poor handwriting, due to poor fine motor skills, perfectionism that makes her reluctant to work on it, and the fact that I haven't pushed. Her expectations for her handwriting are that it should be like her age-mates, but they've been writing for years and she's been avoiding writing for years.  Now that handwriting reluctance is spilling over into not wanting to do math (a subject she likes) because it now requires writing (she's been able to work around most of the writing up till now). Giving up on something you love because you don't know how to cope with something you're bad at *is* kind of dire, IMO. 

02-15-2013 11:20 AM
SweetSilver

Take what I say here with a grain or a pound of salt.  My kids are still young, and any reluctance to "catch up" with grade-level skills has been minor and easily surmounted.  I have no difficulties with getting my girls interested in academics, they are articulate and highly motivated and work well both in spontaneous, stereotypical unschool-y settings and more organized, structured activities like gymnastics and 4-H and soon, Girl Scouts.  They work well with and understand the expectations involved with these activities, so I have seen they are quite flexible in the settings that they work with.  I also personally know no aimless and frustrated high-schoolers, and ones that might have been close to that description have found their way s adults, either in college or in a trade (my 29yo nephew is completing is electrician courses).

 

So, that said..... what the heck was I going to say?..... Oh yes.  I think that stating in a general way the situation of an older child who is struggling with basic skills they need, a parent needing to make the decision to impose structure in order for them to learn these important skills-- well, it all sounds quite dire.  And I imagine sometimes it can be.  But taken case-by-case, seen in the whole picture rather than focussed on one specific set of skills that need attending to in the face of a kid who probably is not languishing as an entire being, I think that it starts to become less serious.  Is this *specific* situation one that be surmounted and worked around or, yes, plowed straight into when the motivation arises?  

 

The last few years have shown people who are coming around to their life-path well into their 20's, for whatever reason.  My electrician nephew, my niece who, at 26, began a career in the Navy, of all places, my other nephew, now 27, who is discovering his proficiency as a lawyer's assistant (brain cramp--what is the name of that?)  I am watching my sister's kids getting their wings.  3 out of 9 followed the "expected" path of college and then career right after high school.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

ETA:  My 8yo wants to do yoga with me, however her reason for not joining is that all our yoga mats are the wrong color!  Do I let this go until she is old enough to base her decision on something adults value more?  Or do I buy her the yoga mat?  I've already told her how much it costs, and she gets enough allowance and works often enough to be able to save up for one.....

 

Anyway, I though it was relevant to add this.

02-15-2013 10:55 AM
onatightrope
Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

I don't know about the rest of you, but sometimes I procrastinate without an external deadline. Even if it's something I want to be done. Sometimes it just takes the adrenaline rush of an immovable deadline to get the juices flowing.

Now, I'm off to make dinner, then I have a book to finish.

 

I agree, but for me, this is a problem.  I don't want to only rush around cleaning when people are coming over or, as I did in college, knock out some giant paper in the wee hours of the morning.  Because you know, that wasn't my best work.  It was plenty "good enough" where grades were concerned, but I didn't put my heart and soul and time and energy into it.  I think that, yes, deadlines can be effective for knocking things out, but not effective at all in terms of teaching time management or self-discipline.  Because I won't be proactive - I won't say "this is happening in a week, so let's break it down into pieces and plan out the effort" - I will wait until the last minute and zoom through it.

 

So, I think that's one point on this thread - yes, things may be accomplished that way, but at what price?  What opportunities for learning were lost along the way?

 

 

My point is that if you refuse to help with time management, and time management is required for the task your child wants to complete, aren't you deciding for them that they MUST learn time management before they' can complete their project? 

 

If a task required reading,writing, or math skills the child wasn't interested in pursuing at the moment, everyone would agree that a parent ought to help with the skills the child lacks in order to support their endeavor. Why is time management different? 

 

I'm sure that I'm bungling things as I try to figure this out, but I don't understand the reluctance to help a struggling kid or the certainty that they have all the time in the world. I know I felt like my kids had lots of time when they were little, but now that we are approaching the high school years, it feels important to me for them to be working on a high school level for the most part during the high school years, because I want them to have the option of attending selective colleges or receiving scholarships. If they are working on a remedial level in high school, that will limit their choices in post-secondary education. So continuing to push things off to "later" carries a cost, IMO. It may be worth it to some kids, but mine don't want to pay it.

 

Also, I think that learning to knock-out unloved tasks when necessary is a good life skill. I'm never going to love folding laundry, but I know how to power through it, and so we don't (always) live with tons of baskets of unfolded clothes. And I would argue that doing something you don't want to do, even if it is at the last minute, still requires self-discipline. We've played around with trying to make all important tasks desirable, and it's like hiding medicine in apple sauce- it mainly ruins the applesauce. Sometimes you can make something a little more palatable (like playing music while I fold clothes), but pretending it's really what you want to do is a lie that makes the whole task worse, IMO. 

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