Let me share a scenario, which as a counselor I was privy to.
Erica: “I am speaking the truth ma’am! The aliens ate my homework! I had done it! Promise”
Teacher: “Exactly what kind of an excuse is that? Yesterday it was the zombies, and today, the aliens? Just complete your homework and get it!”
Well, you may be thinking that it is just a little child who was trying to come up with some unique excuses to prevent the teacher from punishing her. Could be true for sure! But what if it is more than that? Before you start off thinking in another direction, here the concept is that of mental disorders that a child may be facing.
It is not just Erica, but multiple other students who put forth excuses of this kind, and they are negated to such an extent that most of these abnormalities in children go unnoticed. We all know that children for not doing their homework could even come up with excuses as dogs eating up their homework. In such a scenario, excuses as aliens and zombies would sound quite innovative. Beware! Rather than merely innovative, this could be a start of a completely different world in your child’s mind! (Read: schizophrenia/ anxiety disorders/ autism spectrum disorder)
A mental disorder? Seriously?
The answer is a big YES! In your childhood, you must have read those science fiction stories, where little aliens come visiting the children and take them up to space for a ride. At a childish level, featuring of these stories in mind can be good enough, but when a student in his or her developing years, these can be quite detrimental.
As per counseling sessions, it has been found that such excuses as aliens ate my homework could lead to a number of mental and habitual disorders. Time to give it a deeper look!
Most prevalent disorders that start off from small signs!
The most probable mental and habitual issues that students face, deterring them from completing their homework include:
This is a disorder where a child loses touch with reality, and for a greater part of their time, mentally resides in a different zone. An excuse as aliens ate my homework is a naturally occurring instance for them as they visualize such an occurrence.
- Anxiety disorders:
In this case, children tend to develop a certain level of social phobia and compulsive disorder whereby they have varied experiences through their developmental stages. Hence, they wish to avoid conversations with people, and coming up with such weird excuses is not a big deal for them.
- Hyperactivity Disorder/Anxiety issues:
The impulsive behavior of a child coupled with hyperactivity and lack of attention is something that is misinterpreted as naughtiness of a child. But, this could lead to a number of other issues, and therefore your child could be a victim of certain major habitual disorders.
- Autism spectrum disorder:
This is a disorder that specifically affects a child’s ability to communicate with others and therefore on the hindsight makes a child under-confident and paves the way for putting forth such weird excuses.
Now, do you understand how that simple excuse of aliens ate my homework could actually generate such multiple disorders in your little angel!
What’s the next step?
As a parent or a teacher, the onus is definitely on you to decide on the course that is to be followed in dealing with a child with such disorders. Be it homework or class assignments; a child surely needs special care in such cases.
Being a counselor and actively participating in educating children for close to a decade now, here are some suggestions that on a personal note have benefited a number of students. Why don’t you take a glimpse of them? Maybe, it could be of help to you!
- Set a specific time limit:
The mental condition of a child is determined by the way it is guided. In case your child has any behavioral or mental disorders, make sure that you fix time limits for him or her. Since homework is the most affected area in case of any such disorder; you could set aside time on a regular basis when you will accompany your child in completing his or her work.
- Have an interactive and playful session with your child/children:
Whether you are a teacher or a parent, getting stressed with your child not responding to general queries is a natural issue. Ah! You cannot reallyscold them hard, but they are always lagging behind.
If you cannot be tough, be gentle and caring!
Sit down with your students or your kid and interact about the topics that are given as part of the homework. As the workload increases, you can ensure that they get a chance to enjoy this process rather than feel the boredom of it. This will naturally stop them from giving excuses as aliens ate my homework, with their mental faculties increasing.
- Use colors and blocks to help them understand concepts:
For children suffering from Autism spectrum disorder or mental anxieties, usage of colors or blocks for learning is a great way to start with. Since most of these disabilities cause reading disorders, it is imperative that visual learning is used for them to garner interest in studies.
- Use rewards for your child:
A great morale booster! Every child wants to get rewards (some goodies, chocolates, chips) and that could be a great way to ensure that your dear one completes his or her work on time. Since you have already detected that your child has problems, it becomes much easier for you to deal with this issue, as these little bribes can ensure completion of work on time.
- Make use of technology:
With the technology being developed in every way to ensure that you have the best of facilities, it is imperative that you make correct usage of it. This is to ensure that your child has the best of opportunities for getting a healthy format of education that is in tune with other children.
So, next time you see your little one giving excuses as aliens ate my homework, you do know what do to? Don’t you?
Happy guiding students!