I can’t tell you how many times a week I have a young parent in my office (usually a Mom in tears) pulling their hair out, because they can’t get their child to sit and do their homework.
When this happens, I always relate the story of Matthew.
You see, Matt is my boy and he was a handful when he was little. Getting him to sit and do homework was almost impossible at first.
Here’s a little background on Matt…we suspected he might have ADD or ADHD. I mean this kid had more “juice” than my other five kids combined!
Here’s an example…
He would be sitting at the table “trying” to do his homework and he would start shaking his leg. This would progress to wiggling, then dancing in his chair until he literally fell onto the floor!
I would ask what happened and he would reply, “I don’t know? Needless to say, Matt’s grades were all over the place. One day he would get a 100% and the next he would get a 50%!
My wife and I were very concerned to say the least.
I would celebrate his good grades and try to re-align his poor ones. This didn’t seem to help much. He was happy when I was and understood when I wasn’t and why.
His performance just didn’t improve. We had him tested for ADD/ADHD, but the tests came back inconclusive.
As I said Matt, had a lot of energy and we were struggling with his assignments. One day my wife, Ana, called me at the dojo (Karate school) frustrated that she couldn’t get Matt to sit and do his homework, and then it dawned on me that we didn’t have that problem after he had taken Karate class.
He would usually get home eat a snack and then do his work.
So I suggested she take him out with the dog and run up and down the block for a while under the pretense that Elvis (my Bulldog) needed the exercise.
She immediately called me and said that he settled down and was doing his work!
After that, we all always made sure that Matt did some sort of physical activity before doing his homework or studying.
Did it always work? No, but it did more times than not.
And one more thing…we gave up on the whole “sitting” thing! We didn’t care if he was standing on his head, so long as he did his work. Over the years, his workspace of preference became under the dining table!
How did Matt turn out?
Today Matt is 20, a Black Belt, a sophomore in college, and an aspiring Electrical Engineer and aspiring Karate Master.
So when your kid has “ants in their pants,” have them do some exercise and see
If that helps them settle down.
What do you have to lose? Exercise NOT your thing?
Try something formal like Dance, Gymnastics or Karate.
The main thing is to get them to use all that crazy energy.
Do this and I’ll see your kid at the Top!