Sunday, January 21, 2007

Having trouble focusing

Our son has a big problem focusing on doing his school work, but not as much of a problem focusing on his Nintendo DS. Hmmm.

He has been working on the hypothesis and purpose of his science fair project and has been banished to his room to work on it. So far, he has thoughts, but not put into sentences.

Both Heather and I just got this email from him:

Can you please help me. You guys are smart. Can you please spend five min with me?? PPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLeeeeaaassssee!! :'( :'( right know i am sad those faces are crying!!!!

Love your unhappy son


My response:
I'm sorry, you need to work on this on your own. You need to give it some thought, but it has to be your thought.
Tough love is hard.


Unknown said...

You softie! I didn't even respond to the email. I guess I'm getting hard after he told me I never helped him after spending 1 hour last night and threee hours today helping him edit book reports, research ideas for science projects, putting holds on books for his explorer project, etc. When it turned into me writing his hypothesis while he played with his light saber...welll...we know why he was banished. Arrgh! The pre-teen years suck sweaty goat balls! I wonder what joy the teenage years will hold for us!

Anonymous said...

it's Roger...which games does A like to play on his DS? I had no idea he had one.

Anonymous said...

You're nicer than we are. We make stuff up so outrageous, we usually just get fired. He doesn't want our kinda help. lol.

Mark said...

I think I had a similar email exchange with my dissertation adviser a few years ago ;-)

werewolf29 said...

Hmm.. Interesting. I find myself having trouble focusing on such tasks as writing reports and the like, yet, stopping and communicating with friends and colleagues seems to come naturally. My thought is this: Homework, reports, etc. tend to be either nuetral stimuli paired the negative stimulus of school, perhaps this stems from bad experiences at school, a bad teacher, etc. and hads been paired with the stimulus of having to write a report, and as with any negative stimulus, an organism, i.e. monkey, dog, cat, human, etc. will do anything in it's power to avoid it. Thus, coupled with the continuous biological and psychological changes in your son's body and brain can lead to things such as procrastination, trouble focusing, etc. However, the report itself, as with many younger people is seen as a negative stimulus in and of itself, and naturally, your son probably doesn't want to do it. Take for instance, as you stated, the Nintendo DS, this is a positive stimulus and thus is pleasing to your son and your son will have no trouble focusing on it. With this said, the next question is-how do we change a nuetral paired with a negative, or simply a negative stimulus, into a purely nuetral or even a positive stimulus? Simple, since the report may be a negative stimulus, it elicits a conditioned response-which would be procrastination, or simply a negative response, this can be the answer to both the negative with the nuetral, or just the negative stimulus. To change this, you must change the stimulus by pairing it with something that could be pleasing to your son. Thus a negative paired with a positive, or a nuetral paired with a positive stimulus. Perhaps if he does his report ot homework in the future in a timely manner, he may be able to stay up later, watch more tv, play outside, etc. This would eventually lead to a conditioned positive reaction, which, in the long run may lead to better study habits, better grades, etc. Don't expect this to happen overnight however, and expect plenty of bumps along the way. Keep working at it, and you may be happy with the results, and so will your son in the long run.