Support Call 4-15-16 | Teaching Self-Government

Support Call 4-15-16

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Attitude Adjustment Towards No Answers


Our 9 year old (almost 10 year old) is having trouble accepting "no" answers and being ok. How do I help her with her attitude about accepting a no answer? How and when is it appropriate to talk about the feelings behind the attitude? Help!


  • How often does it happen?
  • What does she do when she isn’t accepting a no?
  • What do you do when she doesn’t accept the no answers? 
  • This is the perfect situation for when a parent counseling session is a great option. 
  • Does she know the five keys of self-government? That is a class in the Implementation Course you may want to share with her.

Struggles With Homework


Homework!! I have a 6th grader that really struggles with homework. He is very intelligent and knows how to do his work, but I suspect that there is difficulty for him in keeping his attention in class and getting easily distracted. Even at home, simple chores take him way longer than they need to and he ends up crying or thinking his life if so unfair and harder than everyone else's. When he comes home from school, I give him about 20 minutes to have a snack and relax before I ask him to start on his homework. Almost immediately at the mention of homework he becomes anxious and starts to cry; saying that it's hard, or too much, or that he never gets to have any fun (although he does a lot of fun things: scouts, parent dates, etc.). It doesn't matter if I sit with him and help him, or give him an instruction to finish it; he ends up crying and complaining so much that it takes the whole night for him to finish. It is a huge drain on me, him, and our whole family, as we hear him crying or getting himself worked up over it day after day. I've tried everything: giving him a snack break every so often, having him go to a quiet place in the house to work, or I've sat with him until it's done. Nothing has worked. I feel like his homework burden is my burden. He has always been this way about homework, since about 4th grade, but the homework levels are getting harder and harder and I can't even begin to think what 7th grade will be like. A few months into 6th grade we backed off on a lot of extra things to help ease his anxiety, for example; he use to be in a higher math level, and we backed him down a level, he use to go to Kumon-tutoring, and we took him out of that. He gets worked up over having to go to piano lessons, or even having to go to scouts, again saying it's too hard, or that he doesn't want to go...but for now I just need advice on how to get through the homework!!! 

Some things I have noticed about him:
Complains a lot
Entitled/thinks only of self (life is so hard only for him & not other siblings, or other 6th graders, or anyone, just him)
Doesn't like to work (anything that takes a while he doesn't want to start or even to try)
Could there be some type of ADD or anxiety issues?


  •  Some of the symptoms you are talking about like the distractedness and the feeling of overwhelm when a change happens or something undesirable occurs, etc. 
  • I cannot diagnose him since I am not a therapist, but I can tell you it does sound like behaviors I have seen.  You will be the one to know. But, at the end of the day the treatment is likely the same. He needs to learn to self-assess and learn how to keep himself calm and on task.
  • Children who are like what you describe are not as good with long lists and are often times not good at adapting to new things on the schedule. They want predictability. They actually NEED "me time" to re-boot themselves. 
  • He could be using all the self-control he’s got just to get through the school day.  I bet he looks forward to coming home and living a new life. The school life follows him around with the homework so that he never gets to have his life. That’s really hard for someone who might need a regular recharge.
  • The home time is the family time and the relationship building time. If the school is taking your home life away you have to do something else. 
  • It sounds like the homework could be putting a strain on your relationship. 
  • Be prayerful.
  • He needs lots of pre-teaching and possibly even positive motivation so that he can make himself keep going.
  • Have a block of time and a stop time. 
  • If he wasn’t doing his homework what would he be doing? Playing outside with friends? 
  • Computer?

Energetic 10-Month-Old Troubles


My daughter has a 10 month old son that is very energetic. He crawls and also walks around the furniture. He is curious and getting into everything. He has a very happy nature and is simply an active and curious boy. Her struggle is that he is starting to hit and bite. He doesn't seem to be angry when he is doing this. He also has the personality of doing the opposite of what you ask him to do. When you tell him no, he goes and does it anyway. He will look at you and head straight for something that he knows he is not supposed to get into. He seems to have such a one track mind and once he locks in on doing something (I.e. Take all the books off the shelf, unload the dishwasher as fast as it is getting loaded, play with an electrical cord that can't be hidden), he won't be distracted to do anything else. I am watching her begin to get more and more frustrated and she is worried that she is not staying as calm as she needs to. How can I be the best help to her? How do you work with a child that is so extremely active like this and rough and also seems to be already testing limits? She is pregnant with her 2nd child and wants to make sure that she steers her first child in the right direction so that he is a good example to younger siblings.


  • It sounds like he is a strong willed little boy and that is good, but can take some time and effort to steer in the right direction.
  • At 10 months what are his verbal skills like? 
  • His biting could be teething still. They teeth until after age two sometimes. So, he is oral. 
  • Is he biting as part of a power struggle? 
  • When does he hit?
  • Use key words and you might have to start having a calm down with him. It would be more like a soft hold on mom’s lap at this age because he is not really able to reason as well.
  • But, after he is calm be sure to practice it the right way and praise it.  He NEEDS to see himself liking doing things the right way. 
  • This will help him self assess.  
  • Above all, Mom must remember that he is still a baby and that he has a long way to go. No future behaviors are set in stone at this point. When they are young you have to pre-teach every step of a skill and practice, practice, practice knowing the child will take time. 
  • He won’t do 4 year old behavior until he is 4.  So, right now he will do 10 month behavior and will just keep improving. He will learn.  They all do. 
  • Keep calm Mom. Your peace stops more power struggles than anything else.