We have set aside the appropriate amount of time for school-type work every evening. Dad’s RAD homework is always harder than school homework!
Those of us who are About to Enforce Homework Salute You!
As a caregiver or parent of a child who suffers from Reactive Attachment Disorder, do you ever feel like a gladiator in the coliseum, entering a conflict that is critical to all who participate, but a cruel spectator sport for those watching from their stone seats? Never do I feel more that way than when it comes to enforcing RAD homework.
We all know that because of traumatic conditions in the early lives of children who suffer from Reactive Attachment Disorder, that certain parts of their brains did not develop the way that brains do in most humans. That leaves them in a position where they are often much more concerned with survival and immediate gratification than they are with giving up something now, to get something better, later. Hence, the conflict: RAD homework versus Reactive Attachment Disorder!
We usually get a reminder that we are woefully losing the RAD homework conflict at parent teacher conferences or when midterm grade notifications come out.
Almost every evening, the RAD homework conflict will start with a very predictable request from the parent for the child to do their homework. The child’s weapon will be equally predictable but how she uses it will vary. Of course the weapon of choice will be a lie. But that quiver is overstuffed with arrows. Favorite choices are: “There was an assembly during math, today, so I don’t have math homework.” “We watched a movie in Social Studies so there wasn’t time for the teacher to assign homework.” And here’s my favorite… “There was extra time when the teacher was finished and I got all of my homework done in class.” We usually get a reminder that we are woefully losing the RAD homework conflict at parent teacher conferences or when midterm grade notifications come out.
The reason that children who suffer from RAD use these lies is that they seem plausible (at least if they weren’t so over-used) and that at least sometimes, they work. Oh, lies used in the battle of RAD homework don’t need to work often to be used. They just need to work some of the time. The child loses little if the lie doesn’t work but gains a win in her own mind, and an evening with reduced (or no) homework if it does. We have only found one way to consistently excel in the RAD homework battle. (Note that I didn’t use the word: “win.” We rarely win.)
Dad’s RAD homework is always harder that school homework.
We have set aside the appropriate amount of time each evening for doing homework and that time is only used for school-type work, whether or not the child has “homework.” Oh, you should have heard the sheiks and cries when we figured that one out! It got worse. Dad’s RAD homework is always harder that school homework.
Our RAD homework program has provided me with some very interesting trivia answers when it comes to math… I have known that fingernails grow about an eighth of an inch a month. Thanks to an evening when my daughter claimed that she didn’t have math homework, I now know how fast fingernails grow in miles per hour! My daughter even knows the next RAD math assignment she will have when she claims she doesn’t have math homework. You see, when the pilot tells you that the airplane you are on is traveling at 300 miles per hour, they are talking about miles on the ground, not in the air. But the plane is actually thirty-thousand feet above sea level, which means that the distance in the air is further than the distance on the ground (based on arc segments and Pi). I am fairly confident that I will soon learn the almost inconsequential difference between those two speeds due to our RAD homework program and the tendency that some of my children have to spare almost nothing to get out of school homework.
Our RAD homework program has been extremely effective in our home because our children would rather do their school homework than Dad’s extra-hard RAD homework.
RAD homework to replace English homework at our house involves reading and writing reports on War and Peace (Thank you Tolstoy!). Some of my children come from Russia, so that might make a little bit more sense for our family than it does for yours. Here’s the point, though. Having my children study a little more than the school requires never hurts them. It only helps them. I am not damaging my children by requiring them to spend a set amount of time doing school-type work every evening. But, if they don’t do at least as much homework as school is requiring, they are being hurt. Our RAD homework program has been extremely effective in our home because our children would rather do their school homework than Dad’s extra-hard RAD homework.
On one occasion my wife received an interesting call from one of our daughters’ teachers. He told us that our child had begged him for homework in his class when he told them they could have the night off. I don’t think he appreciated the importance of consistency when it comes to Reactive Attachment Disorder. He wasn’t amused when my daughter gained a little more knowledge that evening and I learned what happened next in Tolstoy’s soap-opera-like telling of the war between Russia and France.
Often, readers receive as much help from other readers in the comments section as they do from the blog article, itself. Please be generous with your thoughts and experiences in the comments section. There are lots of people who need what you have to share. This is your chance to help them.
Read more blog articles by John M. Simmons about Disorders/Mental Illness
Return to John M. Simmons’ Blog
Ensure you don’t miss anything when you sign up for notifications