"I hate school…"
He says he hates school - in so many subtle - and not so subtle - ways.
When you ask about his day, he says, "Fine." And that's it.When you get him up for school, he has a headache...or a stomach ache...or he just drags his feet and takes forever to get ready.When you ask about homework, he says he doesn't have any.His teacher says he doesn't turn in his work.
Are you ready to tear your hair out? (as one mom recently told me)...
Many parents worry about their sons - from preschool to high school - and their seeming dis-interest in and even hatred of school.But no wonder…SCHOOL JUST DOESN'T FIT MANY BOYS…As Dr. John Medina, of Brain Rules, explains, "Our ancient ancestors were not sitting in a classroom for eight hours at a stretch...If we sat around the Serengeti for eight hours - heck, for eight minutes - we were usually somebody's lunch."We are not adapted to a sedentary lifestyle. As Dr. Medina says, "Physical activity is cognitive candy."And boys LOVE that cognitive candy!Boys, especially, need to MOVE to process their learning. Our ancestors traveled about 12 miles each and every day:+They learned while they were moving.+They made decisions and solved problems while they were moving.+They created new tools and weapons to suit their purpose while they were moving.Then, only about 250 years ago, we decided that the BEST way for all children to learn was to be inside, preferably sitting still.This does not compute for many boys (and some girls, too).And, indeed, we'd all be better off with some exercise each day!
1. Get him MOVING -Before and during school advocate for more recess (in any weather). Make sure his teacher knows about brain breaks and boy-friendly strategies. Advocate for movement programs such as BOKS Kids. Their tag line is "active kids = active minds" - and who can't use more of that?2. CHOOSE your moment -Asking that all-too-familiar question, "How was school today?" the minute he gets home or in the car is sure to elicit a mumbled, "Fine." Instead, WAIT. Give him a protein snack and some water, let him have some physical activity, some quiet time, and then he'll likely be ready to talk.3. What have YOU been doing? If you're the parent that has made a well-worn path between home and school, delivering forgotten papers, lunches, and musical instruments, STOP. Yep, just stop. Give him a heads-up that you will no longer be delivering ANYTHING to school and you may just see him become more responsible.Many boys see mom (and it is usually mom) as hyper-organized and figure they don't have to be because Mom will take care of it. As I said, just STOP. He must experience cause and effect. He must navigate the social implications of forgetting homework or instrument - with his teachers and peers.Trust him, he'll figure it out…but he won't if you do it for him.He won't have ownership of his school life until it is truly his to own!
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