How do I……
help my 11 year old boy keep himself organised? Is it even possible because I’m starting to wonder?
It’s only his second week of secondary school and already he has a big black stamp in his organiser saying ‘Homework not done’. Ok, so it’s not that big but I was so disappointed to see it and so soon after starting a new school.
I worked so hard all last week to help him get his head around the fact that homework has to be done on the day he gets it. His very first day, he got given his house badge to sew onto his collar as his firsts nights homework. He was told it had to be done by Friday. He sat watching tv all night, (after first having a discussion about homework and the merits of doing it the night you get it) and answered, when asked why he wasn’t getting his homework done, that he was going to do it the next day because it didn’t have to be in till Friday. Obviously, we made him do it there and then and spoke to him again about the importance of doing it straight away and he was not a happy bunny. I mean, you have to wonder if he’s actually listening when you’re talking to him or if he’s playing one of his computer games in his head and nodding along in all the right places!
The thing is though, his homework was done, I checked it and signed the book but even after being told, more than once to make sure that he had everything ready on Sunday night for school on Monday morning, he didn’t put his homework in his bag.
What makes it worse is that I cleaned his room (another source of annoyance at the moment) on Friday for him and got it organised to make doing homework easier. I knew he’d have homework Friday night and would only just have time to do it, eat his dinner and get ready to go to his Dad’s so I organised his desk, papers, stationery etc and put all his pieces of homework in a folder so they were in one place and he could keep the folder in his bag, meaning he’d have everything he needed while at school.
His folder stayed on the desk and his teacher now has his first impression of Aiden and homework.
I know he can turn it around if he just concentrated more and did everything when it needed doing instead of being a ‘later on lad’ but I’m starting to feel like a nag and I don’t like it.
Just this morning Ant was pointing out small things in his room that he needed to do to keep it tidier, like folding his clothes instead of dumping them on the chair, hanging up his towel etc.
Instead of taking 2 minutes to tidy his room, he ignored everything he’d been told and went off to school. Now, because he didn’t tidy his room, he’s lost his computer privileges for today and I’m the one that has to tell him.
It may sound harsh, losing his pc time and I’d probably be inclined to agree, if it was the first time he’d been told about it, but it’s not. We’ve been on and on at him to keep his room tidy for months, if not years and if he didn’t, there would be consequences.
I feel like all I do is get at him just lately though and it’s pretty upsetting. I know Ant feels the same and hates it also. It’s horrible and I can only hope we get through to him soon because I don’t want to carry on like this.
I know I’ve been too soft on him and it’s probably all my fault for not being stricter about keeping his room tidy and putting his clothes away properly etc when he was younger but I’m paying for it now. I hate nagging him and I hate making him do his homework when he gives me that ‘wounded dog’ look. I also know that I did terribly at school because I couldn’t be bothered to do homework, make sure I had what I needed for that day and generally not caring whether I did well or not.
From my experience, I know that if he can get into a routine early enough, his school life will be a lot easier and more pleasant than if he’s constantly worrying about finding excuses for not having his homework done, getting told off for not having his books, equipment etc and getting nagged at at home for his room looking like he’s been doing experiments with bomb making in there!
The thing is, apart from his disorganisation and his unwillingness to do things straight away, (as much to stop them being forgotten as anything else) he’s an absolutely wonderful son. He’s loving and kind and gentle and Ant’s called him his robot since we moved here because he’s always so well behaved; he reckons he must be a robot from another planet!
He does loads of chores to help me and hardly ever never moans about it. I adore him, I think he’s brilliant and that’s why I’m not going to enjoy seeing the look of disappointment on his face when I tell him he can’t have his computer time tonight.
I hope cracking down now will help him realise that he has to take responsibility for his actions, or lack thereof and I also hope that it helps him get the best experience he can out of school. He’s a smart lad; he got all level 5s in SATS result and I know if he puts in some effort, he’ll do brilliantly at his new school.
Now, if I can only find a way of making him organise himself better, without nagging and taking away computer time, I’ll be a much happier and less stressed mum!