End of half term: the tipping point

Mammouth Rice Krispie birthday cake – 1.5kg of chocolate!!

So half term has been and gone. In truth, we were a bit relaxed about the amount of work that Em was doing. Her school have two weeks off. We decided that she would be as well to relax that week. Not least of all because it was her 16th birthday on the Saturday. We’d planned a few days in Devon that week and Alton Towers for the weekend (side note: I am definitely too old for that now!)

The other thing of course is that they have had half of the term and after the summer holidays that can be a bit of a shock to the system. So you think that they sort of deserve a bit of time to themselves. Recharge their batteries.

The thinking was, after a week doing nothing, that Em would spend some quality time in the second week. Although she did do a bit, there was certainly no awards about to be won. And we started to see some of the same patterns of behaviour that we saw with Jake.


The big one was “I need new notepads to work in”. And then of course she couldn’t start until Amazon had delivered. Hmmm. But it’s not even Christmas yet, so you don’t want to be a nag just yet.

So, I tried reasoning with her. Mostly pointing out that this was a delaying tactic – conscious or otherwise. What was really clear is that she doesn’t have the right mindset. Now after all of the fabulous podcast guests I did my best to explain motivation, goals and the importance of a work ethic. I think that started to get through. That said, I appreciate that I am quite easily manipulated by my daughter!

In an attempt to help her focus we agreed that if she has a specific working space that would be better (certainly better than being in the kitchen or her bedroom). We’re lucky enough to have a little box room that we were using as a spare room (not that we’ve had anyone stay for ages). That meant I was lucky enough to then spend a couple of days painting!

Now, a small desk and futon later, she’s all set up in a dedicated space. Study Buddy Board pride of place, naturally!!

I think it’s really important that we found a way together to break through the cycle of delay and putting off. It would have been easy to react and shout but that’s not really the way to get a lasting change. And it’s going to be a bloody hard slog if we can’t find common ground.

So, not that the blockers have been removed, we’re ready to plan!

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