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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:35 pm 
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This is something I've struggled with throughout my children's life, but now it matters more. When I think I'm being supportive and motivating them, they think I'm hassling or overdoing it. But if I tone it down, nothing happens.
Is there a book, an expert or just a wise parent on this site that is full of useful tips on how to motivate your children without making them tear their hair out?
Recently whilst reading, I've been building up comprehension by asking "Why do you think he did that?" or, "Can you guess who's behind the door?" and they reply in exhausted voices and say, "Can we get on with the story?" I only stop occasionally, when I think the plot is challenging, so it doesn't feel like overdoing it. It's the same when helping with difficult homework or music practise. they get tears in their eyes which make me feel lousy, but if I keep it light and sweet or more relaxed, the work doesn't move on. I really want to help them feel enthusiastic about working towards exams. They are both very keen to try for the 11+ but seem to resent any encouragement to make an effort to extend their abilities.
Any advice?
Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:22 pm 
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I think you are probably describing most children as there can't be many who would be too enthusiastic when it comes to extra learning !.Mine will also get rather huffy, but I just put that down to pure laziness ( on my DC part...not implying yours are ! ) and carry on.Re the reading , I find talking about the story works best if you read to more than one and then they seem to want to have a chat rather than on their own when they might want to just get it over and done with. Sometimes I think they might be like this if they are chomping at the bit to watch tv or do something more fun so I find it's best to allocate a time for working, tell them that's what is happening and if it's done properly without any moaning then they can do whatever they want afterwards.This is just taken as a given now and all mine will sit down and do a page from a workbook.....but keep it little and often ...if they are tearful, perhaps they are doing too much ? Could you have days off when they do absolutely nothing ? Sometimes if DS2 ( who's in yr 4 ) doesn't do very well in his maths for example, I have a real urge to get out another book and keep going until he does...but of course that would be a disastrous thing to do and he would probably leave home. I do buy mine little ditties every so often to tell them how proud and pleased I am with them.Sometimes you do just have to get a bit fierce and tell them they need to do this and then lie and say every child in the country is currently sitting down working .....( whilst you try and shield the view from the window where there will often be a load of children having fun on their bikes......)


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:57 pm 
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LOL Scarlett - I like your advice. Thanks for the reply.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:14 pm 
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.


Last edited by Belinda on Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:46 pm 
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I'm suffering this with DC3. I had to sit him down the other day and explain that a quick 10 question VR test wasn't going to ruin his day and that he had spent about 10 minutes moaning about it compared the the 5 minutes it would take him to do! I also told him that I didn't really want him to have to do it either, but that if he wanted to go the the same school as his siblings he would just have to do it and that was that! I really don't know the answer. DC1 is doing some GCSE modules this year and I have the same problem with her. She says that when I nag her it makes her feel less like doing any revision, but I point out that if I don't nag her she watches endless American trash TV, is on Facebook constantly and any other displacement activities she can think of. Mind you she hasnt sunk to tidying her room which is what I used to do :oops:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:31 pm 
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Well, I do know a foolproof way of getting the children talking about a book you're reading out loud - read it at bedtime - when they're actually in bed but before they're really tired.

When I was married, my husband used to complain that my head would hit the pillow and straight away my brain would start buzzing with things we have to discuss now. My children are exactly the same.

The key, I've found, with getting work done thoroughly is making sure there isn't something more interesting they can do straight away afterwards. I know a lot of people get good results by saying - no tv/computer/whatever until after the work is done but I find that, with my two, that leads to a lot of skimping and blank looks and 'ok' work - with a fair amount of clock watching thrown in.

If one has to tidy the bedroom while the other does mental maths .... :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:05 pm 
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I agree PP mum - it's a problem we ave had too. Now I (mostly) tell them they can watch TV/play on the DS/ see the boyfriend until x o'clock and then do their work. It seems o work better.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Thanks everyone.

Good points about timing and routines. Some days are just too busy to try and fit extras in, so maybe just two or three times a week for now is enough, on the quieter nights after school. Next year I'm going to ask them to drop a couple of clubs which will be tough because they love all the clubs they do, but it's too much.

Usually I let them come in, have a snack and watch TV for half an hour, as a sort of decompression zone between school and the rest of the evening. Then get them to do some study, test papers or homework, by which time they come without much of a grumble. Then tea, and into bath and story routines. Their numerous clubs fit in straight after school or after tea. Some nights we go swimming for fun too.

Ah, push-pull mum that is genius and I'm going to adopt it immediately. Because they can go off and play on the computer afterwards, they become like pieces of elastic, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g off the chair towards the door, with barely their hand left gripping the pen. I'm being unfair actually. They worked really hard today, and one of them even enjoyed it a bit.

I suppose what concerns me most is my accidentally bullish attitude. I think maybe I come over as too strong, too forceful when I mean to just be enthusiastic. Must try and soften my voice more and smile. And make it more fun.

I've just ordered two books from Amazon about motivating your child in a way that makes them motivate themselves and want to ace their exams. If there's gold in there I'll pass it on.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:42 pm 
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menagerie wrote:
Because they can go off and play on the computer afterwards, they become like pieces of elastic, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g off the chair towards the door, with barely their hand left gripping the pen. .


Yes, I find that too...recently DS2 was trying to finish some work whereas DS1 had finished and he actually wheeled his bike into the kitchen to chivvy him along and so of course that was it , the door banging behind him whilst his work was all knocked onto the floor..the only thing with doing it later I feel they will be too tired and gone off the boil....me as well !


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:23 am 
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I know exactly what you mean Menagerie I annoy myself with the sound of my own voice most days!
I'm a big fan of lists - if I didn't write myself a list of things to do nothing would get done - either because I would forget or just find other more 'fun' things to do!
I recently wrote a checklist for my DD2 who is in year 4 as she seemed to have lots of homework over the half term, music practice and of course 11+ work. I worked out what she would do each day over the week and under Sunday I wrote 'Day Off' - next to which she wrote 'Yah'! She took great pleasure ticking each thing off as she did them, knowing that once she did do them she was free to do what ever she chose for the rest of the day and because everything was done she had her 'Day Off' on Sunday. The best thing was I didn't nag her all week (well not about those things anyway!!)


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