Homework and Video Games

With the fundraiser over and only the distant cleanup of the PTA room remaining, I thought I had put the majority of my go-go-go fatigue behind me. This seemed validated by my burst of energy yesterday. Today, after school, I decided this may not be the case.
At school today, one of T’s friends (let’s call him G) asked if he could come over this afternoon. My answer was yes. We had no real plans until L’s soccer practice tonight at seven, so it was a perfect day to throw one more into the mix.
Before today, G has never actually been to our house. I talk regularly with his mother. Her and I trade kids on the playground. We all spend time together at races. T and G are great friends, yet this kid has never visited before.
As children do, as soon as G came in, he wanted to see T’s room (after an enthusiastic thank you for letting him visit). We led the way and he made the appropriate comments and noises to show his appreciation of the play space and toys before him. The next thing to catch G’s attention was, of course, the video game system.
Sighting the system and games, his reaction and next words were 100% as expected. “Ooohh! Can I play the game?” The answer was not given by me but by T himself. “No.” That was it, plain and simple, not said rudely or in a mean way, just a conversational answer of no.
G wasn’t sure what had just happened though. T didn’t think to offer an explanation or elaboration on his answer. I honestly did give him a chance to fill G in as to why he couldn’t play the game, but T had already mentally moved on from the conversation.
I let G know the rules of our home regarding homework and video games. Unlike most children presented with this situation, G accepted this as the way it is without question. The only part of the rule that really disappointed G was that he had sent his backpack home with his mom after school. This meant he had no French books with him to read. Luckily for him, my boys are in French immersion too and the no book issue is something I have seen before. I have a small library of French readers in my home for kids that come over and “forget” (some justifiably, some not so much) their homework.
I showed G my “homework books” and he was the first (of 5) to settle down to do his reading homework. I insist on homework being done in the same room I am so that I can observe habits, time and attention for each book. It quickly became apparent that G was not reading, but skimming the pages. I called him out on this by quizzing him on the book he had just put down. He failed. I had G sit on my lap and read aloud to me as I have my own boys do on their distracted days. This worked great, and he was still the first to complete his homework.
Later on, after G had gone home, T (who had not completed his homework yet) asked if he could have his turn on the game. My answer? “Since when have I let you play homework when you haven’t done your video games?” Guess I still need a little extra rest… 😀

No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!


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