Children learn best when they are motivated. We regularly meet with children who have found the demands of the classroom too much, who will engage in all kinds of escape behaviour in order to get out of completing tasks at school, and tasks at home.
What are escape behaviours? These are any behaviour that a child performs that results in them getting out of a task. This could be typical behaviour like complaining, more extreme behaviour like throwing or hitting, or it could even be subtle behaviour like saying 'oh, i'm just too tired, it's too much.' However teaching children to complete tasks and follow through on demands is an essential life skills, without it they cannot participate successfully in adult life.
When children try to escape from educational demands, there are some tools you can use to help with learning
1. Fade in demands. For example, if a child really hates maths and has a tantrum everytime they are given homework. Start with a super small, super easy, completely achievable maths sum, and offer lots of reward for completion. Gradually build in demands as they come to see that actually, it can be achievable.
2. Embed demands. For children who need to practice their skills such as telling the time, embed your demands amidst something fun. For example, you might be playing a super fun game which they love and every now and then pop in a teaching question such as...hey.. what time is it now?' Incorporating 5 questions about time into a play sessions can lead to more success in learning the time than having the child sit at the table and answer questions on a sheet.