Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Standoff

It's time to read. Go get your book.

It shouldn't be a big deal. It shouldn't, but it is. My boy dislikes doing homework. I know, pretty much all kids hate doing homework and most adults do too. He balks at the mere mention of future homework.

He's only in first grade. He has very little homework, truth be told.

I should have known he would resist homework. He resisted "have-tos" in preschool. He feels strongly that no one should tell him he has to do anything. (Honestly, I feel my feet digging in at similar things.) Last quarter, the homework battles got so bad that I met with his teachers to find out if there was something more going on. No, he's perfectly behaved for them. Works hard. Polite. No, he reserves these delightful battles for me. (and occasionally his dad)

This night? He's tired. Just his third day back at school after the Christmas break and after having a Cub Scout meeting the night before, he's beyond tired. He was unable to hold himself together at his scout meeting. It's hard for a young boy (especially such a spirited boy) to sit still and listen for so many hours in a day.

The simple command to get his book to read started it all.

First, he flat-out refused. We were forced to remove the "kids'" laptop computer (my old one) from his room, because it was a privilege to use it in his room but when you're irresponsible you lose privileges. The sight of the computer sent him in a deeper spiral.

He retreated to the corner of our dining room. He could still see me and hear both his dad and I. He was angry. Oh, the temper of that boy. (Quicker than his mother's but just as intense.)

His protests started about the injustice of having the computer removed from his room. He gave us his terms, mistakenly believing that he was in a position to negotiate. We calmly refused all demands and reminded him who makes the rules in the house. (Not the little boy.)

He escalated to informing us that he was leaving "in ten minutes!" and that we were going to be sorry when we saw that happen "in ten minutes." I was told I was to drive him to his Aunt and Uncle's house. I had to refuse.

You can have my chair, Mom.

What chair?

My new desk chair. You can have it when I'm gone.

Oh, that would make me too sad too see it. It would remind me of you.

That's why you can have it.

Oh, that would make me way too sad to see it and remember you left me because you didn't want to do your homework.



You can come and visit me at Jason and Kristi's house if you want to.

I'm afraid I don't make it over to their house very often. I guess I'd see you once or twice a year. Or I suppose you could stay here and I could see you every day.

More silence.

Would it be better if we walked to the chair together to read or would you like to walk by yourself?

He chose to crawl, like a dog, because he was wearing his Scooby Doo pajamas.

He climbed into my lap, read his two (6-page) books with very few problems and it was over.

The first homework standoff of 2011.

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slow panic said...

I'm sitting here doing sixth grade math with my oldest -- I have to say homework has gotten a lot easier as the years have gone by. He and I really used to battle it out when he was in 1st and 2nd grade. It will get better.

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