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My son always rushes through his school work, how do I handle this?

Q: My son is 8 years old and is very lazy. He likes playing and refuses to study. He always rushes through schoolwork. He has no sense of urgency in anything he does. He rushes to go to school and likes to do things at the last minute like packing his school bag, bathing etc. He talks very rudely to me, if I rush him or ask him to study. He always thinks about playing. He did not do well in his school exams and doesn't seem to bother about it. I am tired of nagging at him, which is making our relationship sour. He disobeys whatever I say and talks back. What can I do to help him?

A:From the letter it appears as if the mother is single handedly bringing up the child. First of all, the mother must stop nagging the child. The very word has a sound of hopelessness. We use it when there is no effect. If there are no family members to help, the mother will have to get the help of the teachers to make a strategy to get the child to take responsibility for his own work But someone must give the child affection and time and assure him that he is a valued person. He has to care about himself and develop self esteem. The letter does not say anything about the circumstances in the home setting and I can only guess that they are unfavourable for the child's happiness and development. Play is a good thing, but not if it is only play with computer games and so on. Get the child into active sports if possible and that will bring its own discipline. Consult some expert, face to face. E mail is only a beginning.

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