Me:  Hank?  Do you have T.P.C. (homework)?

Hank: Yes, but I cannot do it.

Me: Tell me more.

Hank:  I need to write my name fancy like this (full cursive name) and I don’t remember how to write my name.

Me: Well, I can help you remember, if you’d like, or you can practice, because I saw you write your name only yesterday so I think with a little patience you will remember.

Hank: That was just my first name and I am not aloud to write my name that way anymore.  I need to get a check.  I wrote my name for my teacher and she gave me an x.  Check means it is good. Check with a circle means that it is mais ou menos (more or less) and an x means mal (bad).   I need a check.  I like only checks. I cannot do this.

Me:  Wow. That is a lot of stress you are putting on yourself. Writing your letters is hard and writing them fancy is even harder.  T.P.C. (homework) is when you practice to become better. It may take some time to earn the check, but you can do it.  You need to understand it takes work to get a check. Let’s sit down together and practice.

Hank: No.

Me: Henrique.

Hank: I cannot do it.  I hate it.

Me: Just write your name for me and we will have a place to start.

Hank: I don’t know how anymore.

Me: Hank.  Please try.

Hank: (whining and wiggling) OH! (mistake) See, I told you. I cannot do this. (pencil throwing)

Me: Let’s just start working on just H’s and then we will go from there.

Hank: But that is not what I teacher told us to do.

Me: (frustrated) We need a place to start buddy and you cannot start from CAN’T.

Hank: (yelling and crying) I have to do it the way my teacher told me.

Me: Then, please do.

Hank: I CAN’T.  I don’t know how.

Me:  Then, let me help you.

Hank: NO!  (crying and ripping at his homework)

Me: Now, you are going to need to calm down. Go spend some time in your room.



Hank:  (sobbing)


(After two sessions and an hour and a half of hysteria the homework is still not done.)