difficult child lost it

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    about the very issue I posted about yesterday. Over and over again things happen. He was so upset he came home, never said a word. Just sat and stared.

    Again (has complained all year) that everyone else is talking..loudly,(he even used the word screaming), one kid was whistling, and he said, "shut up". He gets sent to the office.
    Only prior to leaving he happened to point out all the other kids talking.

    Two seperate classes. He has named these 5 kids before. He says they talk and whislte and laugh through every class. If on a rare occassion their name is called, they act surprised like what did THEY do.

    What do I do? difficult child doesn't want to go to school. He said he is done. He is sick of how unfair it is. (as far as neighbors, he knows how she feels as well as her kids)
    Do I call the school? Do I go in and speak to them? What do I say? difficult child is very "out of it".
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I can't say that I blame him for feeling this way. If it is in fact true that there's no balance in the classroom, he's going to end up not wanting to be there.

    Last year, did he have the same complaint (assuming he has a different teacher)? If so, I think I'd wonder if it was a sort of persecution complex (you know, "everyone is treated nicer than me" mentality). If he's noticing a pattern THIS year, I'd say that there's a problem.

    I'd calmly make an appointment with his teacher, bring a copy of his IEP (just for clarification - you never know how much she's read or even been given!), and discuss HIS impression of what's going on in class. Face to face will allow you to decide if she's taking you seriously or just blowing you off.

    HOWEVER: (and we're going through this here) make sure that although it doesn't seem fair that he's singled out, if he hadn't been fooling around in the first place he couldn't be busted. We're trying to get our 3 difficult child's to realize that just because the rest of the kids are doing something it doesn't make it right.

    Then, on your way home from school, get yourself a nice cup o'coffee and take some "me" time.

  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I like Beth's suggestion.

    If the school is truly that biased, if they just have less tolerance for your son, then you may want to consider home schooling or online.

    Now might be a good time to remind husband that his son has needs from his father other than throwing a ball around every now and then. He should be fighting this fight with you.
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child has 6 different teachers. He has mentioned this problem (same kids who talk and don't ever get talked to) before. This is NOT in all classes. I believe it is in two. difficult child is in some Honors classes, these kids are not in those classes. Only the regular classes.

    Home school..not possible. With my work schedule I am not able to spend that kind of time with him.

    Online - Don't know. I do not believe he is disciplined enough to do his work on his own without some urging. And with my schedule, I do not know how I could help him.

    easy child told me yesterday that the kids in school(that school) use to push him in lockers, knock his books out of his hand, walk into him....because...he was involved in Theater/Drama. He never told me that before. He stuck with Theater/Drama through high school. That is what he initially went to College for, to be a Drama teacher/director.

    The difference here is, easy child would just take it and not respond. difficult child would react and fight back.
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I don't know that I'd go to pulling him out of the environment right away. This could be rectified with a meeting with the teachers involved. If you approach them in an "explanatory way" rather than confrontational, they may be better able to see where they are giving him a sense of unfair treatment.

    Also, if you go in and tell them that you recognize that he was fooling around but the punishment needs to be more universal, they will see that difficult child is accepting responsibility for his actions, but is easily "led astray". Explain to them that fair and equitable treatment will allow difficult child to mature faster toward a "non follower" type of mentality.

    As we say around here "grease the wheel, know that you're using your brain over theirs and twist the system to get what you want". Getting them on your side is key. If you have to make "nice" and play well with others to get them there, so be it.

    Don't forget the stop for coffee!

  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree, husband should be in there with you. I know it's sexist, but when a mother complains they're more likely to be dismissive of a "highly strung mother" and less likely to be dismissive of an "authoritative father". Life isn't fair.

    I would be in there slugging away for difficult child. For years I bent over backwards to make it clear to difficult child that although I knew he was being bullied, if he had not been doing something wrong (like hitting back) then he wouldn't have been the one in trouble; finally, years later, I realised I had given the school too much 'wiggle room' and in the process, been extremely unfair to my own son. The school had completely had me bamboozled, even when I thought I was fighting for my son successfully.

    In this, I would be believing difficult child. And if the school comes out with, "Well, did you know that your difficult child didn't tell you the whole story? Did you know he was really doing this, that, etc..." then DO NOT immediately get outraged at your 'deceptive son' - this is a common tactic for people who want to deflect an angry person from attacking them - they redirect your anger back towards your own home front in an attempt to defuse your attack on them.
    I'm not saying to totally disbelieve them on principle; just take notes, talk to difficult child later on in a way which does not prejudice his answer, but in the meantime while at the school (and do not do this over the phone) insist that they stay on topic, and try to compromise with, "I will discuss this with my son and hear what he has to say about this. In the meantime, would you accept that IF what my son is reporting is correct, this would be a very unfair situation requiring investigation and a change in strategy?"

    Follow up any such meeting with a letter (again), minuting the meeting. Simply say, "Thank you for seeing me on [give date] about [describe situation]. At this meeting, I was concerned about [state issue] and you told me [what school said]. Our outcome was [give what you think outcome was]. If I have somehow misunderstood, please correct me, in writing, by [give date, no more than a week away]. Since our meeting I have talked with difficult child and he told me [describe whether difficult child confirmed the school's version or insisted they were wrong and he was right]. I do believe that this is how he perceives the situation and I am further concerned that this is leading to school phobia. It is in both our interests to resolve this to mutual satisfaction, in order that difficult child may feel safe and supported in the school environment, and in order for him to be more likely to behave and cooperate in class. I feel we should meet again to discuss how this can be accomplished."

    If the meeting outcome is a stalemate, still follow it up in writing and include your concern that you cannot reach agreement with the school on what has been going on, and what they are going to do to resolve an unsatisfactory situation. Always ask them to confirm or refute in writing and indicate that if you do not hear from them in writing, you will take that as confirmation that your record of the conversation is correct.

    Then if you still get no satisfaction, you have a written record of events to date which can be used to hopefully get action from higher up.

    What SHOULD happen is that they will take you seriously and maybe make a decent effort to not have difficult child feel so victimised. Even if it's all in difficult child's imagination, if they can help him feel more supported (and hey, it doesn't take THAT much) then it's got to help.
    If difficult child is right, and they have been making him a scapegoat, then having it all in writing is enough (hopefully) to make them realise that you are not going to be easily fobbed off with platitudes and misdirection, and that even if difficult child is a horrible little *****, they need to treat him with kid gloves. This isn't fair, but it IS what happens. But if the school is right, and they give way to him just to keep you happy, eventually you will see enough in his behaviour at home to realise that he's getting away with murder at school, and you will be able to have another talk with the school to set something else in place, more supportive of the school.

    But frankly from my own experience and what you describe (plus a lot of what you've written about him in the past) I do not think this is him trying to make the school look bad just to cover up his own misdeeds. I think this is a kid genuinely believing he's being victimised. And he needs you to at least show that you will take his side. He needs to know he can come to you when he's in trouble, and you will help him. He also needs to know that bullies can be faced down and there are good and right ways to 'win'.

    It requires not only the first meeting, but for you to stay on their case and keep monitoring the situation not only by talking to difficult child, but if you can, find another kid in the class who is neither part of the chatterbox group nor bosom buddies with difficult child, and who is prepared to talk to you confidentially about what is really going on. I found I got my best information from 'spies' in the classroom - kids mostly, and occasionally adult volunteers. Bad teachers will often be slack in other ways, letting their guard down in front of kids. But if you do use another kid this way, do your utmost to keep their name out of things unless they choose to report a problem themselves. Once a 'spy' is outed, they lose their usefulness because teachers will know to guard their tongues around such a kid. They can also be victimised (again, by bad teachers). This happened once with us - the son of my best friend was victimised in this way.
    I'm sorry this sounds so cloak and dagger, but it is what we had to resort to. And not just us - I hear this over and over, different schools and different teachers. As I say, good teachers have nothing to fear.

    The biggest use of kid spies, I found - to get an overall feel for what is REALLY going on, so I could better protect my child, or at least interpret what REALLY was happening instead of what I was being told. Getting a better picture, a more detailed and accurate picture, helped us avoid the kids who were the biggest problems and made it easier for us to jump ship when the time came. A more educated, informed decision. And a big hug to my former spies - those who I'm still in touch with have all grown into smart kids who are doing well in school and who still look out for difficult child 3 when they see him. They were justice-minded back then and it is showing now, as they mature. And still only they know how much they helped me understand the true picture.

  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child responds very well to teachers who punish all violaters. If he is one of the kids doing wrong, he accepts responsibility. That has never been an issue. If teacher is fair..he says so.
    It is when he see's others talking, singing, whistling and if he opens his mouth..bam he's sent to the office. THIS sends him into an angry outcome.

    There has been several times over the past few years at this middle school that they threatened to call the police. Only AFTER further investigation (video camera's) has it been proven he has not done it. All the while being accused. It is myself that has to insist on the investigation.
    The OTHER kids have even "witnessed" him stealing from a teachers purse. I have been called, told there were witnesses (while difficult child is loudly denying this in the background) This particular instance of stealing..WITH witnesses happened to occur on the previous day...difficult child was NOT even at school.
    I do not have any faith in the Schools investigations. They were more than willing to call the police even though he denied it so loudly.

    I have no problem with difficult child facing consequences for his actions, when he DOES do something. As long as all is fair. difficult child is the first to admit to what he does do.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Especially if difficult child will accept punishment if others responsible are also punished - you need to take this up with the school. He needs to see you take action. He has a highly developed sense of justice and this NEEDS action. Even if you try and fail, he needs to know that you tried.