Catch up with part one here
Yesterday I explained how we are trying to deal with the attitude problems that were brought to light after our parents evening last week. This post will be for how we are dealing with the following problems:
- ‘Forgetting’ school books
- ‘Forgetting’ to do/hand in homework
- Very poor handwriting and presentation
- General misbehaving
One of major changes we have made to our lives is one that most people seem to think is a punishment for us rather than them. They have been grounded. But instead of being locked away in their room to mope around, they have been grounded OUT of their bedroom. They have to spend their time in the living room with us as a family and the only internet use they have is while they are doing homework. One of the benefits of having them with us all the time is that I can show them things that I took for granted that they knew. Like how to use your ruler to mark dots on your page so you know your lines will be straight.
Mostly though it has allowed us to talk more. I thought that they talked a lot before, come on they are teenage girls they really don’t stop talking! But I am now learning new things about them all the time. I feel a little sad that we didn’t try this before. Instead of everyone disappearing off it has brought us closer together as a family. Maybe this shock to the system is exactly what we needed!
I have also allowed them outside. Now I know that this may seem totally against what being grounded is about, but everyone needs fresh air and some space, our living room really isn’t huge after all. There are conditions to this freedom mind. They are not allowed off the street and are not allowed to hang round with their friends, luckily our street is up a hill so none of their friends will ever be ‘just passing’. If, in a few weeks they have started showing improvements I will allow them away from the street to go for a run, instead of going through the lanes around our house.
I thought I was doing a good thing by reminding the girls every day to do their school bags, plus getting them to sit at the dining table for roughly an hour every day after school to do their homework. Since they were coping so well in year 7 I stopped checking what they were actually doing. I thought by giving them independence and showing that we trusted them we were giving them what they needed.
This has stopped. I will now be checking everything, every day, and giving them something to do if they have no homework. One of the tasks I’ve set is copying out poems or pages of books to try and get them to write neatly. And you know what? They actually have really lovely writing! It mostly just seems down to how they hold their pens. Who’d have thought?
The only thing I’m not sure how to deal with is getting them to take pride in their work. They will happily hand in work that is full of errors and scribbles or rubbings out. I’m hoping once they see how neat their work can look this will make them want to make it look its best.
Please keep your fingers crossed that our plans work. I’ll let you know in a few weeks how we are getting on. In the mean time, it’s always good to get other’s perspective on things so let me know if you would approach this matter differently. Or if you have any suggestions on getting them to take pride in their work.