i lost my cool at school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lordhelpme, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    got the call that they wanted me to come and get difficult child and take him home, again!

    got there and i see the principle trying to make difficult child sit in a chair while he keeps saying he hasn't had anything to eat. i tried to get him to calm down using plan B from explosive child but she kept insisting that he sit down. she said i had to take him home and i just lost it! she can't keep him cuz she had to leave and cuz he hit the teacher he is at threat to her and the other students and obviously he is still upset and angry. well ya *itch he is angry cuz you have kept him in your office for hours with-o a snack and it is now lunchtime. if she had just let him do his thing for a bit and calm down he would have been fine.

    i yelled at her that she couldn't do this that he was no covered by idea and she told me that she was leaving for the afternoon and he couldn't go back to class.

    well difficult child ran out and hid in the boys bathroom i got him took him to the lunch room to eat(my kids get to have hot lunch on fridays as a treat) and he calmed right down!

    we left and i went straight to the superintendants office. he sited me the 10 day suspension bit and how the 'perception of assault' from difficult child hitting his teacher just can't be tolerated.

    i told him that it was my understanding that the 10 day suspension was only after appropiate methods to address his situation were used and he still broke school code.
    they have done nothing to address his meltdowns other than lock him up in the principles office and made to sit in a chair. hello that is like telling a bird it can go back to finding food only after you clip its wings. she gave me the explosive child to read but obviously hasn't read it herself!

    i feel so bad about losing it and crying and such cuz if was in front of difficult child but darn it sending him home is not a solution and they are trying to tell me this is how we are going to deal with-him until his iep at the end of feb?

    i am so emotionally drained right now and i bet this is old hat for some of you. how will i survive the 30 days of evaluations,LOL, if this is how the school district handles things!
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    How dare you demand that school do it's job??? :smile: :rofl:

    It really sounds as though there is no crisis plan or intervention for your difficult child (or for that matter any other difficult child) in that school.

    I forget - does your difficult child have an IEP?

    Sometimes, it becomes so tiresome to fight a system that is for the whole & forgets the individual. Keep your chin up & your :warrior: armor polished.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some schools and school districts make things so hard. I can't believe they would even consider suspending him for 10 days at 6 years old. Maybe the superintentent needs to read the part of The Explosive Child for schools. I know with my difficult child no way are they going to get him to sit in a chair for hours.

    He definitely needs a BIP so others know how to work with him and hopefully head off potential situations. Hugs.
  4. serenitynow

    serenitynow New Member

    Hi there! I'm new at this but thought I'd chime in, since I've been right where you are. My school's policy is: He hits, he's sent home for the rest of the day. This is their policy with him (which I'm not thrilled with) because he won't be able to "recover" from being so upset. They are right, though. We had one week in October where he was sent home twice. He hasn't been hitting lately, KOW, but has been doing just about everything else per his weekly report.

    I'm SO sorry for you - it's lousy to walk through the office to have to pick him up. On the bright side of losing it in front of him, at least he knows you're on his side. However, it definitely seems like they are breaking some rules, if not laws, here. I would start writing letters to the administration--if you haven't already--to create a paper trail, should you need to make a case. TGIF
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Coleen, if it makes you feel any better, I cried through every parent-teacher conference until Rob was in 5th grade. That year he actually had a teacher WHO LIKED HIM :smile:.

    But my tears resumed from 6th grade until his sophomore year in high school when I finally got angry and really gave them a piece of my mind.

    So, I'm not a good role model but I can sure sympathize! Don't worry- you are not the first and you sure won't be the last parent to lose your cool at school.

    Try to enjoy your weekend and get some rest. Monday will come soon enough. Have faith- you WILL make it to the IEP meeting in February. If I could survive you can, too.

  6. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I had lots of issues like this when my difficult child was in Kindergarten. Her principal did the same thing. It only made things worse. The school counselor was a joke. Your post is giving me flashbacks. :9-07tears:

    You mentioned evaluations... are they being done by the school district? Your difficult child really needs a crisis plan and an IEP. That is the only thing that has gotten my difficult child to 4th grade.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I not only lost my cool...I almost broke the principals phone! She was yelling at me and I started to yell back and she went to pick the phone up to call someone and I snatched it out of her hand and slammed it back down! No wonder they didnt like me to well.

    Oh well.

    Of course, they hated my husband's father even worse, he went to school with a gun! Only in the south.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Coleen, they are seriously mishandling this. He should have been permitted to eat. And making him sit in a chair, when he's agitated and hungry just doesn't seem to be appropriate or effective.

    Some problems that keep happening (we've been there done that - never again) are that a kid sent home from school, who has reacted at school because they're finding it so stressful, is being rewarded by being sent home from the very place that is setting them off. This is teaching them, in such cases, to misbehave if they want to reduce their stress levels.

    So we brought in a rule (at about age 6) - school work during school hours. If difficult child 3 was complaining of feeling sick, said he was too ill to go to school, or managed to convince teachers he was too ill or too out of control, then I would have him at home BUT he had to do schoolwork until the end of the school day.

    The first work I'd give him was any set homework still uncomplete. Then we would move on to any work sheets I could beg from the teacher (using the motivation for the teacher as "We don't want this kid being rewarded by playing computer games in the absence of any work to do"). But since difficult child 3 had some slack-ar*e teachers who often couldn't be bothered photocopying extra work sheets, I went out and bought my own resources. Our rule was extended - if he said he felt sick he still had to work, unless he went to bed and slept. Even a fever would not get him out of working. My problem was - I could never tell when he was genuinely ill, or simply suffering from stress. We later worked out that even with stress his temperature will go up. So he learned to keep working, even when genuinely ill. Then we found - keeping him working actually calms him down. Some subjects are stressful, but overall he is calmer when he's working on task at his schoolwork.

    Then we made the interesting discovery - when he had extended periods of 'ill-health' then he began to do MUCH better academically than he had been at school. I wasn't tutoring him, merely making sure he didn't sneak off to play games. But he quickly became cooperative about working and works MUCH better at home than he ever did at school.

    Now he's studying at home by correspondence - he still does a full mainstream school curriculum, but he can get the workload done in fewer hours than allocated, and still do well. So I've introduced some extra work on top of what his teachers give him. And he's happy. Socially he's improved, physically he's healthier, and NO MORE PHONE CALLS FROM THE SCHOOL. Now when I have to go out to a doctor's appointment or something else I can't cancel, I don't have to dread having to cancel everything because the school has rung, yet again. I know ahead of time I have difficult child 3 with me, so we pack a schoolbag for him when we go out, and he works on the schoolwork wherever we happen to be. No turning back to collect him, no rushing around to scavenge spare worksheets, no tantrums and repercussions, no post-mortems over who hit who first - it's great.

    You may never have to get that far, but the one thing that set up difficult child 3's current work ethic - "school work during school hours". I can heartily recommend it.

    One important point - I'm increasingly realising that a lot of the problems such as difficult child 3's detentions, suspensions and similar were often caused either directly by staff mishandling him, or staff not supporting his needs and helping keep him safe from being bullied by other kids. In one particularly nasty case, difficult child 3 complained of being repeatedly stuck with something sharp by a bully, and the teachers not only didn't intervene, they actually sent difficult child 3 back to the classroom, unaccompanied by an adult, in the company of this child. And when difficult child 3 hit this kid the teacher advised the other mum to press charges of assault against difficult child 3. Luckily she had the sense to not do that. I didn't find that out until three years later, when the other mother told me and I put it all together from my records plus her statement to me.

    Which all bears out the extreme importance of keeping your own written records, and documenting everything. Put all complaints in writing and keep copies. Send other copies to education officials up the chain of command and be prepared to continue with a complaint. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off. They will continue this sort of mismanagement until you can insist on something better in place.

    It is important to be seen to be making an effort to work with the school and support the school, but you can do this by saying, "I'm a vital member of difficult child's Learning Team. Here is a list of his problems and here is the subsequent logical extension to this - the list of what behaviours you will not be able to change. So here is my next list - the alternative management strategies, according to authority X & authority Y, as recommended by [list the staff member who gave you "The Explosive Child"]. We all have the same aim - to support this child in his learning needs, to help him adapt to the social environment of the school with a minimum of trauma for both the student and the staff and to produce, at the end of the day, a productive, happy, educated and independently-functioning individual. We are a team - we must work together. We must communicate."

    Have the confidence in yourself to stand up to any patronising or bullying tactics. If they do something wrong, tell them (politely) in writing. Use a communication book - you write in it, the teacher writes in it, it provides an immediacy of communication that is vital to both school and family. The book lives in the child's schoolbag but it is adult responsibility, not the child's, to use it and put it back where it belongs. Be forgiving if the teacher vents via the book - after all, you vent here. We all do. The teacher needs to as well. But giving the teacher an outlet to vent as well as your considered feedback can reduce the impact on your child.

    A suspension like this - the main message the school seems to be trying to send is to you, the parent of a difficult child. But when they know that you understand, they will focus more on the child and not punishing you as well. Suspensions will still happen, but hopefully more appropriately. They also should begin to handle him better, when they are getting more immediate and relevant feedback from you.

    It's not a cure-all, some schools never learn. But if you can get it up and running, it can help.

    Good luck with it all, I hope you can get some answers. And don't worry about the tantrum you threw - I hope you scared them.

  9. On_Call

    On_Call New Member

    I, too, have cried at several encounters with the school district - including iep meetings. It's rough. In our elementary school, we have gone through 3 principals since difficult child was in kindergarten - in 6 years. Each has their different 'take' on the schools Code of Conduct, but each has been pretty firm about the assault portion. The current principal has been the most flexible.

    The first principal told my then kindergarten difficult child that he was being manipulative and could turn his rage on and off like a light switch. I told her that I didn't agree, etc., and she had him removed from the room and berated me for disagreeing with her in front of difficult child. I totally lost it on her. She tried to relate to me by telling me she had been through something similar with her own son, etc., but our relationship was forever ruined by her ignorance at that first meeting. She was the principal that told me the staff was "afraid of difficult child because he held grudges and glared at them in the hallway".

    The second principal was a powder puff compared to the first, drill-sargent, but she seemed afraid that difficult child might somehow be contagious and wanted him removed the second he started to act up, become tearful, etc. She used this soft, baby voice, and the only time she said anything directly to me was during iep meetings. All other statements were made to me through the counselors and/or teachers. She would watch through the door window during an episode and then pass her decree down through the ranks.

    Our school district also removed our difficult child to a neutral place - sometimes the principal's office - and never allowed him anything to eat or drink until I arrived. He is now in collaborative day and the same thing happens. Twice since he's been there he has ended up eating his lunch in the car on the way home - at about 2:30 p.m.

    Don't be too hard on yourself in this situation. These 'professionals' have no idea what it's like to live the lives we do. They have a problem with our little angels for a few minutes and then purge themselves of it - we deal with the fallout of the episodes and much, much more. Sometimes it gets to be overwhelming and becomes a huge weight.

  10. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    thank you all for your support. i guess what scares me the most is that most school district don't know wtf they are doing and so most parents don't know the right things to do.

    i am going to write down everything that happened and then a list of my demands. i will send this to the school board(i personally know 1/2 of them but that doesn't matter as they do what the board pres says or he 'gets' them off the board).

    you should have seen the look on the superintendants face when i 'warned' him that i, as pta pres, was going to have a workshop or seminar for parents to inform them on the proper routes to take if they think their child needs testing. he was taken aback, scared and then regained his composure and offered to help plan it if i wanted his help. yea right buddy you mean you want to control the content.

    ya the joys of being a warrior mom!
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Coleen, I agree with you writing it down and making your lists, but do try to present it from the point of view that "you, the school staff, will benefit greatly if you implement these practical strategies." Give them clear guidelines as to what to do in x, y and z situations. Tell them you are there for them if they need practical advice on what to do now to minimise a situation getting out of hand. Tell them that you understand that they won't get it right all the time and mistakes happen, but you will have far more respect for them if they can admit, fast, when they know that have got it wrong, so that the situation can be put right (or as right as possible) as quickly as possible.

    You need to be a team with the school. They must see this as well and allow you in. Work on getting "Explosive Child" methodology on board and in place. Do not let them off the hook if they try to say that making such huge exceptions for one child is going to send a 'wrong message' to the other children. Tell them to implement it for ALL kids if they don't want to make an exception, but if they do not do this then they are setting themselves up for failure.

    Teachers, especially those who have been 'out' for a long time, believe nobody can teach them anything. Tell them that their traditional methods are the most successful on the majority of children, but they have been found to actually aggravate problems in a small minority. Your recommendations are based on expert advice and considered observations indicate that 'normal' kids also benefit from this model. The teacher ends up being respected far more and the students become far more personally responsible and independently pursuing learning. (and at this point, take note of any teachers openly scoffing - they're the ones who are going to give you trouble).

    basically, butter them up, flatter them that they have experience but this kid is not going to fit the way they've done things up until now, he needs different handling. With it, they will succeed. Without it they will waste everybody's time including yours and the child's. It will save time if they take your suggestions on board.

    Always push the advantage to the school, of following your recommendations (requirements?) You are the expert on this child. Make them respect that. Do a self-esteem course if you need to, but sound like the expert you know yourself to be. If you are asked a question and you're not sure of the answer, say so but add, "I'll do some further research on that topic and get back to you with my considered response." Practice that phrase.

    And a principal who watches from closed doors and sends down instructions from on high - go knock on the door and walk in. Invite her to a family barbecue. Drop in with totally unrelated matter, such as a page or two of really funny (but fairly clean) jokes from the Internet, especially aimed to make teachers feel good. Make yourself invaluable to her. Find out what she likes and keep her supplied with a snippet of information here and there on the topic. Basically, any difficult person you encounter, go out of your way to win them over. It scares the other staff when you can get on with the stuffy secretatry that nobody else can stand.

    Good luck. by the way, this can be a fun exercise in studying human nature. Be as cynical as you like about it - inside your head.

  12. susanga

    susanga New Member

    I am so sick and tired of schools being os CONCERNED about our children, and all we hear is how their psychologists and counselor's are educated in aspects of different behavior disorders. Bull - aloney. Good for you! I actually pegged my son's assistant principle in front of 6 other teachers! - Don't ya love those meetings? You and 10 teachers? The 'committee!' UGH! It just burns me up. Stick to your guns fellow warrior Mom. I've got you in my prayers.javascript:void(0)
  13. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    What about asking if he can go to the nurse instead of the principal? I'm an aide in a K-5 school. Through the years, we've had students that might be having a hard time and they can go to the nurse without even asking anyone. Sometimes the student is brought to the principal and depending on how packed the nurse's office is, he'll either send the child in by the nurse to calm down or he'll have the child sit in the main office.