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Calling steps/Bios/ teachers ANYONE with school age kids

Bettylou78's picture

SS13 Among other things is horrible with his school work! I will say he has ADHD and a IEP plan at school. SS has always needed extra help/time since the beginning but this last year he’s been REALLY bad. 

First he LIES to DH and the teachers about Homework. He will tell teachers he “forgot” it at home when it’s time to hand it in or tell DH/BM he “forgot” it in his locker so he does not have to do it. When in Reality he just never did it or does not want to do it. If DH/BM know SS has the HW SS will tell DH/BM that he does not know what to do and plays dumb. This will either get SS out from doing it if DH can’t figure it out OR DH will sit with SS and walk him through everything. Basically making it easy for SS. 

At school teachers have said SS “will act busy” but really not doing the work. Teachers have said he needs ALOT of one on one help with the teachers sitting with him. 

The school Recommended SS stay after school in like a HW lab. SS HATED this and would refuse to do any work and just sat there for two hours. 

DH sees NOTHING wrong with him sitting with SS and helping him with his HW. I think he’s Being an enabler. 

So I guess I’m Curious how Independent your kids either bios or steps are regarding homework Especially middle school age kids? Do you have to sit with them when they do their HW? Do you have to read the questions with them and help them find the answers? 


Rumplestiltskin's picture

I stopped supervising homework once they got to middle school (6th grade/age 11.) Part of it was that they had multiple teachers and their stuff was in a lot of different folders. But also they had to learn to be independent. If they saved an assignment for the last minute they had to do the best they could and face the bad grade. 

If this kid truly doesn't care and refuses to do his work, you could try counseling. The after school homework helpers thing is a great resource for a kid who needs constant redirection, but if he is refusing that help, idk what you could do. Plan for him to have a job out of high school that doesn't involve college or classroom training and pray he at least finishes high school. 

Bettylou78's picture

Since SS refused to do any work in HW lab after school instead of Punishing him DH gave in and allowed SS to stop going. When SS tells DH the teachers never explained the HW the teachers have told DH that’s not true that they did explain the HW but SS is just refusing to do it. When SS lies and says he did his HW but forgot it There is never any Consequences. 

I really was just interested in hearing how other handle HW 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Your husband should not be doing the work for SS. What he could do is check the booksack and folders daily (or the online pages where the work is given if it's homeschool due to covid.) Then, if necessary, he will have to make sure SS does the assignments, helping only if it's something SS doesn't understand. He could quiz him afterward on anything he is studying to make sure he's not just staring at the paper. And electronics or other activities he enjoys can only be earned by doing his schoolwork. 

strugglingSM's picture

One of my SSs is okay about it. The other is like yours, he doesn't do it and then lies about it. BM is an enabler because she tells him that his teachers shouldn't expect him to do all that work, because he has an IEP for "learning disorder - not otherwise specified", I've worked with him on school work and think he's just lazy. The only time he ever handed in his homework consistently was when DH and I called him every day after school to work on it, but both he and BM pitched a fit about DH calling daily. 

I don't get involved in schoolwork aymore because I'm always accused of "making him feel bad" by expecting him to do work. My only hope is that he graduates from high school on time, so DH can stop paying CS. I will discourage him from going to college, because it would be a waste of time for all involved, even though I know BM will push it to keep the money flowing. 

Some kids need more "guidance" from parents to get their homework done. If parents are providing structure and building executive function in their children, so they can take over, then it's not enabling. If parents are doing the work for the children, then it's enabling. 

justmakingthebest's picture

I have 2 middle schoolers. I check that their weekly assignments are turned in on Thursday (due on Friday) via the online portals. If they missed something I remind and go back and make sure it was in but other than that they handle it themselves. Thankfully I don't have to do much. 

SteppingOut_2020's picture

My ex's kid still needed help with his homework at 15 years old!  Not that he couldnt do it or isnt "smart" like his father claims, its just that he's too lazy to figure it out himself so he wanted his father to sit with him and guide him through his work instead of having to use his brain or even look up online for assistance of which he is on the computer nearly every waking hour when he isnt in school anyway!  For the ~10 years that we were together, I remember MAYBE 1 or 2 years the kid didnt have to go to summer school because of it.  But "not my monkeys, not my circus" particularly anymore.  With his father's head stuck in the sand, he isnt going to do any better and I can only imagine what its like now that he's home all day every day with this "distance learning" they are doing.

My daugther was very independent and thats how I raised her.  I might be able to offer a little help here or there if needed but she was expected to do her homework on her own when she got home from school, learn it on her own or know how to get help if needed.  How are these kids going to function in society or with a job if they cant figure out anything on their own?  I'm happy to say that my daughter is now 26years old, graduated high school without any summer school requirements, graduated college and has a good job and career ahead of her in the legal field!  

So I guess what Im getting at is that no its not normal for a parent to have to sit with their kids to do their homework with them once they reach a certain age, unless they have severe learning disabilities in which they should be in programs with professional assistance at that point.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This is tricky. I don't agree with the school that SS should stay for another 2 hours after school to do HW help because, to SS, that likely feels like punishment for a learning disorder that he has no control over. I understand that he needs a lot of 1-on-1 help, but that's why he has an IEP. I'm not blaming his individual teachers for not having time, but there does need to be a better solution for a kid who already has trouble sitting and focusing for hours than more sitting and focusing for hours.

I also don't think it's wrong for your DH to sit down with him to help him with his school work. Does DH have any flexibility in his work schedule to sit with SS at school and help 1-on-1, or the funds to hire a tutor, or to transfer SS to a school with smaller class sizes, more teachers aides, etc? Those would be longer-term, tangible solutions.

Also, it might benefit SS to meet with a therapist or behavioral health provider who specializes in ADHD and school performance to help SS come up with ways to work more efficiently with his brain.

Could it also be possible to give SS an extra week to complete assignments (or even just the weekend) so he can spread out his work more? Or give him "bathroom breaks" or other tasks in the classroom to break up the monotony? Or even restructure his schedule so he does an academic class followed by an enrichment class like gym, art, music, etc?

BUT, none of that addresses the lying. Is it that he just doesn't want to do it so he doesn't, or does he lie out of embarrassment of not knowing how to do it? Lying out of embarrassment can be mitigated with some of the above suggestions. If he just isn't interested, then I do think it's okay to let teenagers fail and understand that actions have consequences. BUT, I do think for your SS that giving up isn't an option until every other avenue is exhausted and his response is still lying.

Bettylou78's picture

To answer your questions...SS sees a psychologist outside of school and meets with the school Social worker once a week. Part of SS’s IEP is Reduced homework, longer time to complete tests and class work. So he already gets some of the things you mentioned. 

Now the lying...No SS is NOT lying because he’s Embarrassed. SS is lying because he does not want to do the work. 

Now yes SS has a learning Disability BUT so did my Nephew. My Nephew would spend HOURS Struggling trying to do work that would take most kids 20 minutes. This is NOT SS. SS will spend HOURS procrastinating, Arguing, Lying whatever with DH trying to get out of doing the HW. The problem starts before SS even pulls out his Chrome book. The amount of time SS wastes refusing to even start the HW he could have been done. 

BethAnne's picture

It is all common adhd behavior.

Difficulty starting tasks is a comon symptom of adhd. The procrastinating is part of him trying to start doing his work. Look up "he "wall of awful" on youtube to try to understand what is going on with your ss. He probably doesn't even realize it himself.

The lying is also common adhd behavior. Often it is to try to stop people telling them that they are lazy or other negative things. Being called lazy is what people with adhd hear A LOT (especially children) and it becomes a negative influence on your self worth when you are repeatedly called something negative. So, subconciously, to avoid those acusations (and to try not to feel like they are a failure and a bad person) lies are used to cover the so-called-lazy behavior that others critisize (that is really just them coping with their adhd traits in ways that are less than optimal). I am not saying that lying is a good thing, but once the reason for the lies is understood then work can be made towards creating an environment where ss feels comfortable just saying that he didn't do something because he forgot about it, lost track of time or just struggled to focus without fearing he will be critized - which are probably the real reasons most of the time. 

You cannot compare two people who have different health conditions and expect them to behave the same. You also cannot expect two people with the same condition to behave the same, our bodies are all different. When mental illnesses are at play our past and current environments also have a big factor to play in how the illnesses manifest. Comparing your ss to your nephew is not useful for anyone.

I would suggest your husband look into contacting an adhd coach if the current suite of professionals do not seem to be helping your ss and your husband has not learnt from them effective ways to assist your ss at home and set up the home environment optimally for his son.

It might also help you to accept things as they are if you were to spend some time learning about adhd. I'm not saying that you need to take on any responsibilies for ss, but it might give you some insight and help you understand why your ss behaves the way he does and prevent you from getting so upset when he acts in a way that is perfectly understandable for someone with adhd. Your ss can be helped to function better in this world, but the kind of help he needs and the way that he gets to the end result will make much more sense to you once you can understand how adhd influeces his behaviors. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

SD 11 and BS both have LD and IEPs. Schools are quick to provide the least amount of assistance because it costs them money. You can push to have whatever is needed added to thier IEP and if the school he is in cannot provide it they are required to pay for him to go to a school that can. He should not need to stay after 2 hours, nor have that much homework.  He made need a smaller class size with more teachers so he can get extra help during the school day.

fourbrats's picture

when DD moved from her small ALE to a high school in 9th grade with an IEP who would have thought I was asking for a million dollars and a mansion...when all I asked for was the app for spelling and for her teachers to follow the IEP. The schools first ask was if she should be moved to all SPED classes. She tests at or above grade level. She just needs some extra time and a couple of apps. That never happened. 

She is now happily homeschooled and we use an online program. 

And the after school homework sessions were a joke. One teacher for 50 plus kids. The teacher would wander around and wait for people to ask for help while the majority of the students sat there waiting or daydreaming. I sent my kid once. 

Rewtkii's picture

I am familiar with childhood ADHD and lying.  In my experience it was refusal to do work, i didn’t know it was hw, or usually someone else’s fault whatever it was.  iEP as well. But I always felt an underlying learning disability was the root of it.  Anxiety also didn’t help.  Is your son on medication for his ADHD?  I’ve read that ADHD gets more complex as you age. Does your SS live in 2 homes? 

Bettylou78's picture

And he lives in two homes. Part of the problem is BM...well and DH. One would think with the new Concept of distance learning kids are doing now because of Covid19 SS would really be Struggling. Nope he’s doing “wonderful” why is that one may ask. Well BM was laid off so she can devote 100 percent of her time to “helping” SS with his school work. Honestly not sure how much of the work SS is Actually doing. I do know right before schools shut down SS was failing three classes but now when other kids are having a hard time with distance learning SS is Thriving??? Hmm something tells me when they go back to school in the fall SS will be having a REALLY hard time

fourbrats's picture

multiple learning disabilities and I work at a school.....For my kiddo we changed learning environments completely. The standard public school did not work for her despite an IEP from 1st grade on. We switched her in fifth grade to an ALE blended learning environment. Within a year she was at grade level or above in all subjects except spelling. Then in 9th grade she switched to high school and that lasted a year. Even with an IEP she was falling behind again. Too many deadlines, not enough assistance. She is now homeschooled and thriving. Learning environment, class size, teaching styles, teaching attitude, etc...those all play a part. 

And with your comment about distance learning...that is what my child did at the ALE school and does now and it is 100% the right environment for her until she gets into college and can make her own schedule and choices. I now work at the school she used to attend and I see kids thriving in the different environment. 

Rags's picture

Lol.  I am so glad that we are long past this stage. My SS was one who would do his homework, then just not turn it in.  We battled this for a few years then we just let him fail.  If he was so stupid as to do his work then not turn it in... that was on him.  Until... we said enough is enough and shipped him off to Military school.


He was shocked into reality over that.  They mached his ass into a 40+Lb weight loss in a few weeks and onto the Dean's list for his Jr. year of HS.

We ran out of patience with SS and just outsourced the solution. And it was a great solution.  Though we did have some issues with the Spermidiot sabotaging SS's success at Military school, he has chosen the USAF as his career and recently reached his 9yr service anniversary.

There is hope.  At least there was my my Skid.  He turned out great.

Dogmom1321's picture

SD10 is not independent. She also has ADD and a 504 plans at school. She isn't on medication. Teachers have said she is not independent at school either. 

SD pretends to also "forget" her math pages at school, leaves her agenda, etc. I am a teacher and SD comes to my room when school is dismissed. When it got really bad, I would check her backpack at school and make her go back to her classroom and get it before we left for home. Only took once for her to realize that wasn't going to work anymore. 

So we finally had all of her matierals at home (first battle). She would "read" an article, but then make total guesses on the questions to be done bubbling in answers. She had to start reading it out loud to me so that she wasn't rushing through homework. 

Math is a total different story. She lacks a lot of foundational skills. Kids are working on fractions and SD10 still doesn't have multiplication facts memorized and counts on her fingers. She missed the basics, so she is always playing catch up. She has really low self esteem about school, but just like your SS, she doesn't try to "get started" on her own. Teachers have said it is really hard for her to reason and use critical thinking skills. I think a lot of it has to do with her ADD and just can't focus. But also, she knows if she says she "can't do this" she immediately gets one on one help.

As far as homework goes, I ask SD10, can you try your best first with the math sheet and then we will go over it together? That way we are not spoon feeding her all of the answers. It seems to help.