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Topic : 03/23 Homework Hell

Number of Replies: 241
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Created on : Friday, December 01, 2006, 03:23:49 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/07/06) When it comes to helping kids with school assignments, some parents just don’t make the grade. Angela says her 12-year-old son, Masen, takes up to six hours to finish his homework, and she says she can’t stop nitpicking. Her mother, Gayle, says Angela acts like a drill sergeant, and has called Masen "lazy and useless." What’s behind Angela’s frustration? Then, tempers rise as Angela feels her parenting skills are being criticized. Find out the conversation Dr. Phil has with her during the break. Plus, Dr. Phil gives Angela a test of his own, and Dr. Frank Lawlis, author of The IQ Answer, weighs in. Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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December 7, 2006, 1:57 pm CST

12/07 Homework Hell

I have to agree with one parent regarding too much homework and adopting Japan's practices, however, I'm not sure if they are aware, but Japan students go to school year round.  They do, however, get more breaks, but schooling is a constant.  They don't get three months off each year as US students do.  I believe we should definitely adopt Japan's schooling practices.  It does not leave much room for failure due to the fact that information is not being lost over the summer breaks.  Also, due to summer breaks, our school systems spend at least two weeks to one month at minimum to review the prior year's teachings to "refresh" our students for the current year's teachings.  My nine year old is ADHD and my 17 year old was diagnosed ADD.  My 17 year old out-grew his disability with the help of the schools and physicians working with me to get him on the right track.  My nine year old could not speak until he was 4 due to his ADHD, but now excels in school with help.  He is a year ahead academically but maturity wise, still behind.  I was also a "drill Sargent" with my 17 year old.  With the help of others, I've backed off and he's gotten help from more patient people, he's doing better.  It is down to him now being lazy, but I don't throw that at him.  I try to find incentives to encourage him to want to do better.  It's not easy, and parenting does not come with a handbook.  Ask for help.  The only failure is the one who will not acknowledge extra help is needed.  That's where we fail.  And that's where our children fail, because we aren't big enough to admit we can't handle it.
December 7, 2006, 2:00 pm CST

I feel bad for this mom

I can only judge this mother based on my own experiences. I always thought of myself as a v ery patient understanding person. Until I had my son. We struggled through every school year with things that sounds just like what this mother is experiencing. I also had family that judged my actions and reactions to the way I handled my son. At least they did until the day I told my sister to handle him with his homework if she thought she could do so much better. Within 5 minutes she was so frustrated I thought she was going to pull her hair out. Long story short, I begged for  help from my sons school teachers, doctors and anyone else that I thought might be able to help us. I was basically told that my son was lazy and unmotivated. I always agreed he was very intelligent but didnt complete homework and took hours to do what he did get done. He is very disorganized and easily distracted. I worried about him learning to drive with this problem. I finally found a child psychiatrist who diagnosed him with ADD and within one month my son who was barely passing 9th grade was on honor roll and stayed on it through high school. No more problems. He is now in College and doing great. I cant say this mother acted correctly handling her child. I have no idea. I can say that in my circumstance I did everything i could. I saw how frustrated Dr Phil got with the mother and I love Dr Phil and almost always agree with him but I would like to say  Dr Phil how frustrated and how much patience would you have if you had to work with this woman every day for 4 hours on the same problem with her never getting better or changing. That is how it felt to me. Good luck to the mom. I hope the tests find something. It sounds like a medical problem. I think Mom is adding to the problem not causing it.

December 7, 2006, 2:00 pm CST

Help this mom!!! NOT

Having been a mom of a child who, thankfully, had a teacher bring to everyone's attention that there was a problem, I can't believe the mom thought she had nothing to own up to.  She indicated she wasn't the smartest person, so why should she feel that she was the one to help her child.   I was thankful to have a great teacher who brought out my childs best features.  Maybe her child can't study.  Has she ever had his ability to study and TEST brought forward.  It sometimes takes until junior high or even high school for these children to hit a brick wall to, thank heaven, have another teacher catch that they are struggling to become successful. Has she ever heard of an IEP.   My childs standards of success were then measured based upon many other activities in the school other than the parents harping and making them study 5-6 plus hours (crazy) in a day.  I hope and pray this child has a successful life as I think the mom sat and listened but did not absorb anything in this whole experience.  Too bad she had family with her who enabled her instead of stuck to their guns and made a difference.
December 7, 2006, 2:06 pm CST

Homework HELL

I am sorry to say that this woman is ME :(  I remember doing the same things that she was accused of doing, being just as defensive, etc. Unfortunately,  no one was able to call me on it. Now, my daughter is 20 and our relationship is not what I would like it to be. Do I blame her? Absolutely not. Do I blame the schools?  No, of course not. It's not them, it was me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Angela is right, but I wouldn't have known I did that, had I not seen this show. I feel sorry for all of them. But most of my sympathy is for the children, hers and mine.
December 7, 2006, 2:10 pm CST

that poor boy

id just like to say i feel bad for mason. i can see how his mother could b very controlling and always "at him" when hes tryin to do his homework. she argued and argued and argued with dr phil and her family about petty little details of the situation, like what she said and what she does. like get over yourself and trying to be the "perfect mom" (if theres such a thing) and care about whats going on with your son. i think she tried to hard to be perfect on the show. she wanted to agree with what dr. phil was saying about her approach but she didnt want to appear like a terrible person. I think she was too concerned about how she appeared to the public and she wasnt concerned enough about what could be done to help her son. I hope Dr. Phil and his team find out what is causing Mason's school troubles and can help solve them, and I hope they help Mason's mother calm down and be more productive in her interaction with her son.
December 7, 2006, 2:12 pm CST

kids are not perfect

Many years ago a kindergarten teacher told my husband and I  that our daughter would get frustrated trying to do all her work perfectly. The teacher said "kids are not perfect so make sure she knows this, when she does not do well she will not get stressed out and go down hill". That was our daughters  personality so We constantly  made sure to let her know she did not have to be perfect in her school work. The next year the same kindergarten teacher wanted to hold our son back He was 3 months into school, he was just starting to read but she wanted him to be reading at a 100% level. I asked him why he did not like reading and he said it was boring where as my daughter was reading anything she could get her hands on at the age of 4.Our son loved kids games on the computer so we got the program reader rabbit he spent 1 hr on the computer,  and a half hour in the late afternoon reading from the books to me and a half hour in the evening reading to his dad in 3 weeks he read better then the entire class. Every kid is different and we as parents have to remember it is about the kids not about perfect grades if they are enjoying the learning process the rest will come naturally. Sometimes we have to figure out what works best and teachers are a great resource as they can sometimes see issues we dont.  As for the mom  she she doesn't seem to get it or take constructive criticism well so how in the world does she expect to help her son. She was constantly criticising him and he looks miserable. 

December 7, 2006, 2:15 pm CST

That was me. . . and it's still a problem

I was adopted at age 5 by an aunt and uncle who were like this.  I'm 51 now, and the biggest question is what adults who were parented this way can do for themselves now? Aside from

the fact that I still have "test terror" because my folks thought tests were the "end all be all" of homework effectiveness, it also affected many other areas of my life,  I can remember being yelled at until 2 a.m. over homework, because my mind would go blank when I heard the tenseness in my parents' voices.  I heard "you're stupid, you're slow, you aren't trying, what's wrong with you, you're stupid like your mother" and on and on for 10 years. I actually got married at 16 to make the  criticism stop. My folks signed me over  to a man 10 years my Senior because they thought I was "lucky to get a husband" since I wasn't their idea of college material   Years later, I got into community college, and, while homework and testing are always a challenge,  I became an A student.   Of course, I have great concern for any child being put through this, but unfortunately, we learn to parent from our parents, to there's a cycle to be stopped here, isn't there?




December 7, 2006, 2:29 pm CST


December 7, 2006, 2:29 pm CST

Boy I hope this mom has a chance to watch to show on tape

This lady says she has worked I think with special need children, I am not sure the show is still on where I am, but I couldn't wait long enough to get on line and voice my opinion but this is strictly for her.  Lady, you really need to put yourself in CHECK and CHECKMATE.  NO Lie, there is an old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me" Well I am living proof that when those names come from your own mother they haunt you the rest of your life.  I am 48 years old and I can still remember my mother comparing me to my brother.....I never did measure up.   Never did and never will and guess what lady..........I have not spoken to my mother in over 15 years, if you are willing to take that chance with your son you keep on pushing him, you keep on calling him out of his name.  God forbid that should happen to you.  I am not proud that I do not speak to my mom, but it is a choice I was forced to make in order to make a life for myself.   Lady you picked the wrong man to try to pick a fight with in Dr. Phil.  You make no sense on the show, you double talk, it is obvious you are so worried about how you look to everyone else when the truth is you look like a fool, a complete fool.  Wake up you are lucky enough to have beautiful children, treat them like the gifts that they are, precious gifts.  SO WHAT IF IT TAKES 6 HOURS TO DO HOMEWORK!!!!! BIG FRIPPIN DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Your son's education is worth the time, your son's education is worth 60 hours.  I am so glad I am not in there in person, I just know they would be carring me out of there screaming, I just know it.  It just chapps my butt to see someone like you frontin' on TV trying to act innocent and lying all the way and it is so obvious.  Don't compare one child to another that is so unfair, they are individual, each his own, each different and each so very very very special and important and precious, and at this point from what I can see not so lucky to have you as a mother.
December 7, 2006, 2:46 pm CST

12/07 Homework Hell

Quote From: flmom38

I have to reply to those saying the child has too much homework.  I doubt that.  From what I have seen with my kids they do not get as much homework as when we were growing up.  It is just that with both parents working now and getting home later that it seems like there is no time for homework.  You also cannot judge the amount of homework as too much or too little base dupon one child.  For instance, my son never seemed to have elementary homework.  However, my niece, who was in the same classes, seemed to have too much.  Mind you, they actually had the exact same amount.  My son was always able to complete his homework in school when there was extra time.  My niece, on the other hand needed more time to complete hers than many other kids.  So, while one child may take 20 minutes to do work, another may take 40 minutes while another may take 3 hours.  As a parent I like some homework because I am given the ability to be invoved in their education and can monitor more closely how they are really doing and where they may need extra help.  Just my 2 cents!
I think you're right about that.  You can't overlook that the kid may have just hit the wall academically.  Maybe what used to be no homework and easy for him now requires study and he's not used to it.  I say this because it happened to me.  I was straight A's up to 8th grade.  I had had very little homework in grade school and sometimes did my math or whatever on the bus ride home.  Then in 8th grade, I began getting subjects that I had NO familiarity with, such as Civics, which is sort of like Humanities.  It was all foreign to me.  My parents didn't stay up on current affairs or talk much about things happening around the world.  I made my first C, because it was all foreign to me.  Also, because it had been so easy for me in grade school, I was not in the study habit and didn't like it (still don't!).  I didn't like having to "waste time" doing homework when I was not used to having to do it and had a full after school life of horse riding to attend to.  So sometimes a kid just hits a wall academically.  Tutoring is by far the best thing.  It can make learning fun and not such a chore again if done correctly.  Compared to the real life of a teenager, academics can seem pretty dry!!
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