big_papa asks:

Why does my son not have the drive to get his class work done?

My son is in 3rd grade and has been a fairly good student. Report cards are at or above average. He understands and knows the curricula but does not get his assignments done. It's really frustrates him. And because of his incomplete assignments, he misses out on recess and outside playtime at home. He feels like the dumb kid in class. I do not understand why he shuts down and does not get it done. Sometimes he flys through his work. Anyone else experience this?
In Topics: My Relationship with my child's school, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



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Nov 11, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It must be very difficult for you to watch your very capable son not do well in school.  If your son has the mentally capability to do the work, but just chooses not to, it sounds like it may be a matter of motivation.  It's not uncommon for a child to be more interested in doing other things besides homework, or to get easily distracted while doing homework.

A few suggestions:  First, sit down with your son and his teachers and explain the importance of doing his work on time.  Remind him that if he gets his work done when he's suppose to, he'll have more time to go do the things he wants, such as play with friends, go outside, and play games on the computer.  Give him a chance to talk about anything else that may be stopping him from getting it done, such as not understanding the material, or bullying by other students.  Make sure your son truly does understand the material before going any further.  

If your son's difficulty is completing his homework in the evening while at home, try to minimize his distractions such as television, cell phone, and outside noise (siblings, family pets).  Next, give him lots of positive praise for actually sitting down and spending time working on his homework.  You may also want to consider setting up a reward system for your son.  Consider giving him a reward at the end of the week (ex. going out for ice cream) if he completes his homework everyday of that school week.  Make the reward even bigger if he does it for a whole month.  Also, be prepared to give consequences if he doesn't complete his work. The consequences should also increase if the negative behavior continues.  If he turns things around give him the chance to earn back a reward by continuing to do his homework.  Be consistent and stay on top of things.  This may mean you have to be in constant contact with his teachers.  

If you are consistent with your expectations and follow through with rewards and consequences, over time, you will begin to see a change in his behavior.

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Additional Answers (1)

ashita21 , Student writes:
i was totallyyy like that as a child. now since im in this field i know y...
1 is there could be something bothering him, so he is unable to work and just needs to vent out his feelings.
2 is he could actually be having trouble with school work this time. in this case u need to see whether he has understood wat has been taught in school. if not, he definately is having some trouble.
if he has understood, but is still not able to complete his homework --- u need to check the level of difficulty of the homework, how interesting/boring it is, etc.
u can also ask him wat he thinks about school, school work, the teacher and so on.
3 is he may need motivation. at this age motivation is highly external especially for school related things.

motivate him, reinforce him for even sitting down to do homework (not only for completing it), help him out as much as u can with his studies, but dont overhelp.

hope this helps... :)
> 60 days ago

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