Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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grrr's picture grrr

I don't have any children, but I think it is reasonable to expect an 11 year old to get up, dress, and eat breakfast without prompting. As I said, I don't have children, but I don't remember any of this kind of struggle in my family (three siblings)as we grew up. Somehow, my parents created an expectation that we would do what needed doing and we didn't question it (perhaps we were just a docile lot!). A big part of it was probably that my mother was totally inflexible-if she said no, it stayed no.

I think he needs to be called only once to be woken up and then face the consequences if he doesn't get ready on his own (making the change cold turkey, but with prior warning). Finding consequences you can live with is the tricky part, I guess. Suggesting he go to school in his pajamas if he's not ready by leaving time, perhaps.


Hetha's picture Hetha

I'm sorry that mom had to rub it in your face like that! Would it hurt people to be empathetic once in awhile? Jeez.

I think that what she described is extremely rare. As you know, E-boy isn't a tween yet, but I taught tweens for several years and this is not what I would ever describe as a self-motivated age. Quite the opposite. Is L. a schedule oriented guy? If so, could you tweak the schedule by putting motivators in the morning routine? I'm sure you've tried everything in your toolbox, you're such a thoughtful and insightful person, but that's all I can think of!

Hang in there!


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thanks for both comments (FE won't let me reply to each comment separately). I think a large part of the self-motivation piece comes from the child's personality, too. One of L.'s big challenges is with skills involving executive function, so for him, all the daily task are just so difficult, and it's such a challenge to help him understand what he has to do, when he has to do, and how it needs to be done. We present him with consequences, but he seems unable (unwilling?) to think ahead to those.