About a week ago I was helping my six year old daughter do her homework. The topic was all about measuring things, first pictures on her homework card and then some objects around the house. I am sure that many parents will be aware of the situation in which a child decides that they can't do something before they have even begun, and this was one of those occasions. Judging from my daughter's demeanour before we even looked at the first question, I could tell it was going to be a struggle that day.
As we worked through the 4 questions on her card, I did my best to reassure her that I didn't mind if she didn't get everything right as long as she gave it a try. It was a little like pulling teeth that day, but we gradually got some answers written down in her work book and came to the final question.
"I'm not doing that one, it's too hard!" She insisted.
"How do you know? We haven't even read the question yet?" I asked her.
"It's stupid. I'm not reading it. I hate homework and I hate you!" She said with no little vehemence.
I kept quiet for a moment and then said, "OK, Erin. I love you." She breathed in sharply and looked up.
"I hate homework and I hate you," Erin said again. This time her voice was quiet and tailed off until the last word was barely audible.
"OK. I love you, Erin." I said again in a calm and certain tone. She immediately began to cry and I went over to her, holding her tightly until the tears subsided.
Question 4 was quite a breeze after that.
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