How can you teach your children to be more careful?

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  1. Or is it in your genes?

    We are so completely frustrated at home. As you can see by my avatar. I have two boys - one is 12 and the other is 3.

    Our 12 year old has always had a lot of spunk and has been a handful. We finally had him thoroughly tested about 2 years ago for ADHD (and other related disorders) and with the dozen or so measures, he's like off the charts AD and HD. Medication (along with the other behavior things we had already employed) has worked great for his concentration, but the kid just can't seem to CARE. He's always been that way.

    He has always left things around, never checks his work and just wants to do things in a hurry to be done with it. We have harped and harped. We have made him redo things to show him how doing it right the first time would have saved him a lot of aggravation, but he just doesn't seem to get it.

    Right now in the 7th grade he is taking Algebra I. This will be on his HS transcript, so we are trying for him to get a decent grade, but he keeps making all these easy to catch mistakes on his tests. He could easily have a straight A in the class as he understands it completely, but he has a solid B (A is above 94 percent, lowest B is an 84 percent - weird system, I know).

    When he's at home we can make him check his work and be sure he's careful, but even though we insist he check his work and make sure it makes sense, he just doesn't as soon as he's out of our sight.

    With English and History, he never reads what he writes to check for errors, for math he never checks for mistakes and so on. He doesn't carefully read directions for assignments or tests and so on.

    We have been on him about this since like FOREVER, but he just doesn't get it. I try to tell him how EVERYONE has to - like would you want the airplanes we use to not be checked thoroughly? Or the skyscraper's math to be off so it topples and so on. He says he 'gets it' but he doesn't.

    Is it just born into him to be that way? (His great uncle was a lot like this - a very sloppy doctor).

    To compare, my 3 year old is much more cautious and meticulous.... I have a feeling this won't be a battle we have with him (I'm sure i will be some other battle as there always is).

    It's just so frustrating to watch my son who is so bright, sabotage his studies because of carelessness. His best friend is a girl and she is soooooo meticulous, straight A student... I wish some of her habits would wear off on him, but her mom says (we're good friends) she has the same problem with her middle child as I do with my oldest. She said she has NEVER had to tell her older daughter to check or be mor careful - that's just the way she is....

    Anyone else with thoughts on this?
  2. Yup. He's just born that way. I am. I STILL (despite being in an area where work HAS to be checked and rechecked, articles to be written, proofread, edited and rewritten) have a massive reluctance to redo or re check.

    I'm actually the opposite of a procrastinator - I am very quick to get things done and out of the way. My parents tried, my teachers tried, I check now because I KNOW I have to but I HATE doing it. It's a lesson that life has to teach your son, carping on it won't help - it just made me irritated, and possibly secretive because I then didn't want to show my parents what I had to do.
  3. Sounds like my son...AND sounds like the complaint of almost every Mom I know who has a son this age! I think puberty has thrown our boys into a constant head-up the a$$ state of mind, in which they will exist possibly from here on out!!!!
  4. It is the most frustrating thing in the world. He's always been this way though. Everything is done with a hurry - playing chess, cooking or baking with me, helping with chores. If it's not done in like 10 minutes, then "it's wasting his time" and yes, he says this (or used to before he learned that was not cool with mom).

    I think it frustrates my husband the most because in almost EVERYTHING else they are identical - same intesterts, same aptittudes, same looks, but... my husband could sit for hours playing chess and is meticulous (too much so) and then our son is like "I'm done!"

    Now that I think about it - Dh's mother is like this and so is his paternal uncle.

    And they both somehow succeeded in life with higher education and career so I guess I shouldn't worry so much, but sometimes I just want to pull my hair out!