The Loop of Anxiety

One family I worked with was Juanita and Lupe who were struggling with their daughter, Izzy. She was struggling with writing book summaries and with vocabulary lessons. What was supposed to take thirty minutes a night took Izzy well over an hour to complete. When this work was finished, she exclaimed, “I’m NOT turning this in, my teacher will just tell me to redo my work, ‘more neatly’!” Izzy used these air quotes for extra emphasis and, of course, both moms saw how much work and effort Izzy put into her work, so they could not ask her to do more. Plus, they wanted to enjoy some quality time with their daughter!

This is a scenario I hear repeatedly. Parents want a nice evening with their children, but, if a student has learning challenges, school nights are ripe with anxiety.

Has this scenario ever happened in your household? I have a hunch you have walked this path. Many parents work outside of the home, and, in the evenings and weekends, when everyone is together, the last thing we want to do is to face challenges about getting homework done.

It is hard enough to help kids get homework done when there aren’t any learning issues, but when kids with learning issues need to get homework done the stress is multiplied three to four times. In these cases, procrastination sets in and, after that, comes anxiety, and, after anxiety, comes fear and, after fear, comes your typical tantrum. Once you are in this cycle, it is extremely hard to actually get homework done.