It’s never fun for any kid when the school holidays end, but for mine it seems to be extra difficult. We have both been sick with a cold this last two weeks, and so I only asked him to do a tiny bit of work in bed. One or two pages from the really easy books. Well, his reaction was a bit over the top.
Naturally, he said “no” multiple times, but I expected that. I ignored his protestations and brought the workbook into the bedroom. He flew into a strange kind of controlled rage. He tried to hit at me with whirlwind arms although, he definitely didn’t seem to want to inflict damage as it was quite easy for me to block and ignore. He kept repeating that he would not be doing schoolwork, he was sick of school work and he never wanted to do it ever again. I patiently explained that if he didn’t do it, he would not know all the stuff he wanted to know and that if he didn’t get moving on the basic stuff we would take forever to get to the interesting stuff. He insisted that he didn’t need to do it, and it basically took us all day, with him running away twice!
Eventually around 4pm after much verbal abuse from him and much patient ignoring (with a few useless lectures thrown in when I got frustrated!) He realised I wasn’t going to give up and he started doing his work.
After he did his work, I decided that he needed something a little more memorable to get him to realise that I was serious about him not arguing with me every day about doing the smallest amount of book work. Bracing myself for the next round of arguing and refusal from him I told him,
“I’m glad you finally decided to do your work. Now because you argued with me and tried to destroy things and hit me, you can write out ‘I will not fight with Mummy’ five times and then ‘I will do my work’ five times.
Suffice it to say he was NOT happy with me! In fact he said he was running away for good this time! I turned to wash the dishes and let him run away. It was freezing outside and he was in his pyjamas with nothing on his feet (another thing I had been telling him to do all day!). I was fairly confident he wouldn’t go too far.
He returned about three minutes later and sat down to write his lines. Then I said, “OK, thank you. Now because you argued about doing that, and disrespected me by saying you hated this family and wanted to leave, you can write each one three more times.”
Guess what? He didn’t argue! He wrote his lines, hugged me and asked what was for dinner!
The next day, he didn’t argue at all, but then on Friday, he started again with the refusing and the threatening to run away. I made him write some more lines. He did them, and his work, although he grumbled and complained the whole time. He’s also not allowed to use the iPad until he can get through an entire week without arguing about doing work. Fingers crossed for next week!