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Has to have an adult standing over him to get him to do his school work:



This can be a sign of several problems. The most
likely is your child has gotten used to only doing his work if an adult is
standing over him. He has learned a very bad habit. Self-discipline,
self-direction, responsibility, and the ability to work independently are
learned. Your task is to teach him skills and habits he should already have but
does not.



Another possibility is a need for structure,
support, and help. The adult standing over your child is likely to offer
suggestions, help keep him on task, and help him organize his work. It seems
like your child needs constant supervision but the real need is for help.



Perhaps because of hyperactivity, attention
deficits, or other learning problems, your youngster just cannot settle down
and do the work. If these causes are there, he will have other problems you
will notice.



Whatever the cause, your child’s need for adult
supervision is real. If you watch, here is what you will notice. He can work
alone for short periods. Maybe he can work alone only for ten minutes. Maybe he
can only handle three minutes to begin with.



Keep shortening the time until you find an
amount of time he can work without you watching him. It will take a lot of
patience but is nothing to get upset about or frustrated over. If you do, quit
for a few minutes. Say, “I need a break. How about you?”



If you want to teach your child to work
independently, positive rewards work best. Start with an amount of time short
enough to be sure he succeeds easily. If there are not other serious problems,
ten minutes usually works to start.



Say, “If you stay with it for ten minutes
right now, you can quit whenever you want after that.” The positive reward
is getting to quit whenever he wants.



You worry he will not get his work done. He
probably will not. It likely will be some time before he finishes an
assignment. Learning to do it himself is the first order of business, though,
unless you want to stand over him for the next ten or twenty years.





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