Like pulling teeth


Getting Tommy to do his homework this week has been like pulling teeth. By the time I pick him up from daycare, he is just completely spent. He is typically very wound up and has a real hard time focusing on the work and following through with it. Most nights, it is even more difficult to get him to put the homework in the folder, put the folder in the backpack, zip the backpack and put it back in the laundry room. I’ve been looking for him to show some independence on this sequence of tasks this week, and I’m not getting it…at all.

The other night I made a backpack checklist for Tommy. It shows the things that he needs to have in his backpack every night to be ready for school the next day. They are his folder, his water bottle and his snack. I am starting to think that perhaps I should’ve made one illustrating the steps of taking his folder out, emptying it, doing homework, etc. I don’t have a problem with reminding him along the way, but lately I’ve been having to babysit the whole process. If I’m not standing there watching his every move and catching every time that he strays from the routine, he doesn’t catch himself. I’ll tell him to go get his backpack and he’ll take a wrong turn at the playroom and come back with Legos in his hand. Eventually he’ll get his backpack. Then, when I tell him we’re going to do his homework, he appears by my side with the homework and the Legos again. I tell him to go put the Legos down and come back with the homework and a pencil. Last night, he came back with the pencil, but had misplaced the worksheet. Sometimes I remind him of what is next, and I feel like he’s not even hearing me.

Last week at OT, he did an obstacle course. It was a sequence of 4-5 tasks, each which had rules, and he had to complete the sequence 5 times. He didn’t do too bad. This week, he even asked his OT if they could do another obstacle course. (It always helps when he enjoys the “work” she wants to do with him.) This week’s course was totally different, but again a sequence of 4 tasks, each with their own rules. This week…he didn’t do as well. I vote for more obstacle courses.

On the plus side…he’s had a great week at school so far this week.

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