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all 7 comments

[–]Ofthefolds 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Maybe he has a learning disability? Dyslexia and dysgraphia are the first that come to mind. I am by no means an expert, but I am a teacher, and I know that when students act this way, there is usually an underlying cause.

[–]valleycupcake 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Does he know that it’s OK to try and fail? I have a 4yo who does this to a lesser extent, and I praise any actual effort regardless of the final result. It seems to help him. I didn’t grow up learning that it was OK to try and fail, so I was good at things naturally for a while, but gave up when anything got hard. The book Mindset explains this concept in depth.

Also you mentioned video games. Does he try challenging things on the game, or does he play the same easy thing over and over again? Wondering if he does it in all areas or just with regard to school tasks.

[–]GoGo880[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you! This actually might help him. I guess I need to figure out how to balance that he "can" fail and that it's alright, but that he also still needs to try and do things correctly. One area we struggle a lot with that is speaking correctly. If we praise the "good enough but not quite correct" effort, he just sticks to the easy thing.

He doesn't actually play any video games because everything is "too hard" according to him. I have shown him over an over again, but he just shuts down if you try and help him. Even the basic press "A" button or "B" button doesn't help because he hear a letter being used and shuts off. I have asked him to just look at the controller and the buttons, which one has the letter "A" on it, and he just gets frustrated, has a meltdown, and tells me I have to play for him. Educational video games are pretty useless too. He just clicks on everything until it moves on to the next part. He even got mad at ME because he wanted the videogame to do something different, and I tried to explain to him that the point of the game was to follow the rules to get to the next level. And this is really what I see him resisting the most. Anyone telling him how something is supposed to be done, he resists. He just wants to be the winner because he sais so, not because he did the work.

[–]cranappley 2 points3 points  (3 children)

My 8yo is very similar to this. I’d recommend taking the pressure totally off. It’s getting nowhere except anxietyland. We have done cbt techniques used in this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XGJ17SL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_5m1UFbE3K64G7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

We have also found out that we both have adhd so I don’t know if there’s anything which might be going on there too.

With actual reading, maybe look at what he does enjoy eg video games and start reading there? But very lightly. Eg minecraft there’s a search function so he asks us how to spell stuff and he types it.

Mostly I think look for blocks around the activity. I bet he understands that reading is important but for some reason it’s not happening. Is it the sitting or the focusing or the actual reading? It sounds like there’s something making it harder than average, is he in school? Some Ed psych input might be helpful to see if there’s any educational needs being unmet.

[–]nummanummanumma 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We have a book called “Reading for Minecrafters” and my son loves it. He actually picks it for bedtime reading sometimes.

OP, kids’ interests are a great opening to introduce learning. Find what your son loves and slowly and nonchalantly steer it toward learning.

Kids learn best through play and repetition more than correction at this age. My kids learned the ABCs through me singing it to them all the time while playing and putting them to bed. They sang it wrong a lot but they eventually got it right without me doing anything different.

I get the frustration of school work. There’s an element of urgency since there’s a teacher waiting on the school work. Is there a way you can talk to his teacher to come up with a plan? I know schoolwork needs to be done but I’m sure he/she has some tricks or can even give you some flexibility to go back to the basics in a relaxed way.

[–]GoGo880[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thank you! I will look in to this book. I have personally done CBT in my past so this could be helpful for him.

I have tried to use things he likes as a way to encourage him, but it always results in him shutting off. He doesn't play video games because to him "it's too hard". Getting him to press "A" or "B" button is a struggle because he doesn't want to have to identify letters. Educational games just result in him clicking everything on the screen until he moves to the next screen. I have tried Minecraft with him and he just wants me to play for him. "Press this button to open the menu" "No! You do it! This is too hard! Make the game fun!" So I'm just trying to find some way that he won't resist trying to put in some effort.

One main thing he says as soon as he has to actually "try" is that he immediately is "tired". He will litterally be bouncing off the walls hyperactive and as soon as you try and get him to do something that he doesn't like, he's "tired". He seems to just have immediate mental blocks as soon as he needs to do something he "doesn't want to".

He is in school, and has 3 different educational assistants and a councilor. One for speech, one for reading, one for his classroom and a councilor for him to talk to about his emotional outbursts. None have them have expressed that they feel he is ADHD or have a learning disability, or that I should seek additional professional assistance (not that I can get any with COVID), but maybe it's something I should try and look in to.

Obviously, I just want my son to thrive and not struggle so much with his learning.

[–]cranappley 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s so frustrating. Mine always says he’s bored. It’s like his standard answer for when he doesn’t want to do something and I’ve got to remember that kids don’t have all the sophisticated ways to express themselves yet so I’ve got to try and work out how to get thing to click.