My 11-year-old son is an intelligent and extroverted boy. He wants to neither study nor take care of his belongings. I have to continuously tell him to do his routine work like bathing, brushing teeth etc. When I sit with him for studies and he doesn't show an inclination to complete his work, I get irritated.

First, I try to explain him the reasons why he should be doing all this work. Then afterwards, I beat him. That makes matters worse. He starts destroying the things at home. Unless I say sorry to him or allow him to hit me in the same manner I hit him, the atmosphere remains tense at home.

My husband is posted out of the city and comes home only at weekends. He blames me for my way of upbringing.

Kindly help me to deal with this issue.

  • 12
    Clearly the physical punishment does not work. Stop that immediately. I also added some tags to help others find your question. Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 9:24
  • I want to welcome you to Parenting I look forward to hearing your stories and reading your contributions cheers Yvette aka
    – user21179
    Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 11:07
  • Here is a related question that might help once you get the physical stuff taken care of as suggested by Skippy. parenting.stackexchange.com/q/6783/2876 Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:24
  • I am also going through same problem... I think both of you incline towards little bit of spirituality... Sitting in Sarto for some time in evening or listening to some healthy talks together.. May be it will help
    – Indu
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 1:27

5 Answers 5


Firstly we have a cultural issue. I see you are from India, I am from Australia. Where I live, it is illegal to beat children. It is illegal to hit them with any object, near the face or head and many people do not like giving toddlers a smack with an open palm on the bottom. So this presents some difficulties in addressing this issue. Being mindful of the cultural differences, I am going to answer this question, from a global viewpoint of what all children thrive on and need from their parents.

The problem.

  • Your partner is away much of the time, so this puts a lot of pressure on you as a parent and it is important to have support and breaks as a parent. Having a renewed sense of purpose assists any parent. When you feel your irritation begin and your anger rising, you must remove yourself from the situation. Give yourself a time out, not as a punishment, but as a breather. To give you time to calm down and gain perspective. As the current cycle of behavior is not working for you and your son.

  • Allowing your son to hit you to appease him is only encouraging very bad habits. It is encouraging him to disrespect you, use his fists as a way of solving his bad feelings and removes any authority you have over him as his mother.

  • Beating your son teaches him that violence is an acceptable response to frustration. It demeans his self worth and the respect between you both. There is no example for him to learn to deal with irritation, except to become physically violent.

It is perfectly normal for children to require constant reminders and pressure to do homework and many other daily tasks. As you know this is an area of conflict, it may be better to let homework slide for a few weeks, until you can gather some more emotional energy and control.

At the end of the day, he is not completely in this environment effectively, he is growing bigger and stronger each day and the problem is going to become one you cannot rein in, if you don't take action. There is no point pressing a child to do homework, when there is violence in the home. Clean up the violent outbursts and then you can take stock of homework and other tasks.

Currently your son sounds angry and resentful towards you, he knows by not dong his homework, it makes you crazy and for many children this gives them a great deal of satisfaction when they are unhappy with their parents or situation.

So you need to ask yourself what sort of man do I want to raise?

I have two sons and I approach it like this: What sort of men am I raising? How are they going to treat their partners? I want to raise men, that are respectful and protective of their partners, not men that will scare their partners because of bad tempers and physical violence. How do I go about this? By teaching them that how they treat me (their mother) and their sister, sets the stage for how they will be as adults. And it all begins with me, as their parent. I am responsible for directing this.

I am also a single parent, and truly understand the pressures and how we can get to a breaking point, or so it feels that way. The key is, this is a feeling and it passes, we will soon be feeling better, so it is vital to not do things in this state that will cause harm to our children or ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves to take care of our children. They see everything and we set examples for them continuously.

What can you do?

  • As I mentioned earlier, give yourself space when you feel irritated.

  • Change your routine.

  • Spend time having fun with your son.

Find out what he enjoys to do (as often parents can lose sight of this when in a rut) and do it. Go for a walk, anything, together and break that routine and take the pressure off both of you.

  • Change your thinking about it.

By thinking your son is winning when he does not do his homework, it is helping the cycle to repeat. Change your thoughts and think, every time you do not beat him and every time you have an experience together where you both smile or laugh, you are both winning.

There is no easy fix. These words seem so flimsy to help your situation. It is just a beginning, to help you pick up the pieces and start again. In these times of crisis, sometimes we need to shock ourselves into a change.

An important issue that needs to be addressed is the type of support you have. Seek good family or friends to help you. Spend time with people and see if there are activities that your son can do, out of the home, where he is safe and occupied physically (like sport). You both need space and some more happiness in this situation.


I just read your profile, you have an older son. I would also be asking your older son for his help with his younger brother. This is something I have found to be invaluable. My 13 year old son spends a lot of time with his 19 year old brother. This has assisted a lot with his behavior problems and the conflict between us, as his older brother sets a good example (because he is older and through this difficult age) and my younger boy looks up to him in a way that they don't admire their mothers at this age.

  • 3
    Considerately and Well Said. I wish I could upvote this more than once! Commented Nov 18, 2013 at 21:00

I have to continuously tell him to do his routine work like bathing, brushing teeth etc.

Sadly, this is quite common among boys this age. However, with some children, an occasional reward when they have made it through their ablutions in good time can help. The reward could be 5 minutes on Youtube with you, or extra bedtime reading with you -- be creative, but don't set it up as an expectation, that each time he succeeds, he gets the youtube treat.

Develop a checklist together that has all his evening necessities listed, so he can check things off as he does them (brush teeth, put on pajamas, put dirty clothes in basket, etc.).

When I sit with him for studies and he doesn't show inclination to complete his work, I get irritated.

You may need to back off and let him have some difficulties with school, and then offer your help. Or perhaps you could hire a somewhat older person as a homework buddy. That would free you up to enjoy his company, and you'd be able to bypass the homework patrol duty.

However, it is possible that there are some things going on in school that are causing his lack of interest in his home study. It might be helpful to make an appointment to observe some of his classes to see if you notice anything of concern.

There may be private or volunteer tutoring available where you live.

I suggest you sit down and think about what would be a worse outcome when your son becomes a self-sufficient adult -- that he not be a big academic success, or that he not be a respectful person (i.e. perhaps hitting his baby when he becomes a father, perhaps ending up in jail, etc.). If you find that you feel that academic progess is a wonderful thing, but not quite as important as being able to trust that he won't deliberately hurt someone, then remembering that thought process will help you walk away from a fight.


While the other answers already address the question of how to interact with your son, I'd like to address the role of the father.

My husband is posted out of the city and comes home only at weekends. He blames me for my way of upbringing.

This is a problem you will need to address, I fear. It is already a difficult (though manageable) situation that the father is only present during the weekend. However, it is absolutely unacceptable that he undermines you by blaming you for all the problems. Your child is your shared responsibility, and if he (for whathever reason) is away during the week and leaves parenting to you, he must not then blame you for not doing this "right".

Try to sit down with him in a quiet moment, and describe the problems you are seeing. At least from my point of view, both parents are jointly responsible for their child, so try to discuss with him how you both can work together.

Even if he's only present during the weekend, that's almost a third of the week - enough time to make an impact. Try to find ways for him to take an active role in raising your son. This will hopefully also make it easier for you, both because the actual work of parenting is shared, and because you no longer have to bear the responsibility alone.


Give yourself time and think what you can do differently other than punishing and yelling. Ask your partner what is the right way of upbringing and try to understand what he says. Just do as he says for few weeks, if you can't handle the pressure call him and share your experience. If it doesn't work try something different and try it even if you think a new approach is not going to work.

Ask your son what he thinks about your behaviour, if he says you are nagging then tell him that you won't nag him at all. No matter what.

If he doesn't bath on time, give him breakfast right away and send him to school. If breakfast is difficult too then give him some milk and send him to school and fill the lunch box more than what you normally give. He might eat all of it at school and feed him well when he returns.

About the homework, take special permission from school to submit the homework once a week for 12-13 weeks and get his dad to work with him over the weekend and see what positive changes happen in your family.

Assess yourself, is your violent and aggressive reaction because of societal pressures then you might want to guard against such pressures.

Grab a book on self disciplining children and try reading it. Or simply subscribe to free emails who sends content about disciplining children and implement those techniques. Be creative.

Good Luck!!


I have gone through this with my daughter. Take away the phones, screens and TVs. Give a hug and be understanding if they feel overwhelmed. Have them get up the same time every day. Let them stay up as late as they like but they WILL be up by whatever time it is.

If push comes to shove lock them out of their room, let them go in to get clothes or whatever for 5 minutes in the morning. Let them use their room for sleeping and that's it. Have them spend some time every day getting organized and make it part of their routine. Have them go through their stuff before school and when they get home.

Fighting and screaming is not how to parent. In fact LOWER your voice. Pause before you say things. Remain calm. Make them listen to you. As my wife says you have to parent up. Demand respect. Also GIVE respect. You may need to stress your disappointment with their poor performance but don't do their work for them.

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