At least he is honest

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cubsgirl, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    I got an email from difficult child's teacher at the end of the day yesterday (he was already home). She said that the classroom always cleans up at the end of the day but difficult child refused to help. difficult child kept saying "I have to do everything. I always do everything". That is not true, his only chore at home is taking out the garbage daily.

    Then difficult child got on the bus and told the bus driver that he always does everything. He then told the bus driver that "I don't want to live anymore". The bus driver got worried and called it into the bus company who called difficult child's teacher. The teacher notified us.

    difficult child is not suicidal at all. He was afraid the entire evening that the police or an ambulance would take him to the hospital. I asked difficult child why he said this and his answer:


    His teacher said there was going to be a consequence at school on Monday for not cleaning up and for falsely saying he didn't want to live anymore.

    We told difficult child if he ever really felt like he didn't want to live he needed to tell an adult right away - that you absolutely cannot joke or be overly dramatic about that.
  2. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    A consequence is not going to teach your child the skills he needs to behave adaptively and address he needs in a appropriate manner . His not helping to clean up, his words with the bus driver , his answer to you are behaviors are symptoms of missing skills and unmet concerns. Help the teacher get past the behavior and deal with the problems . if we cut out the consequences , say to the kid he is not in trouble , we just need his input to solve problems we can do some collaborative problem solving

    check the book lost at school Lost at School by Dr. Ross Greene

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it is AWESOME that he can admit he was being overly dramatic!! Lots of kids either cannot admit it, or they have no words to explain it even when it is what they were doing/feeling.

    He does need a consequence for not cleaning up - prefs oemthing that will make him see that it is easier to clean up than deal with this. Just don't EVER allow them to take recess away as a consequence for anything. All that does is give the kid more energy to make trouble with. If nothing else, have them do "walk and talk" recess for him - he would walk around the edge of the playground during recess. Other kids could walk with him and talk if they wnated, or he could use an ipod or even read as he walks if he wants. But he has to walk and can[t go and play.

    Our school does this before school for the kids who get there early. It gives them something to do and they don't get into trouble or sit and bully each other. the kids LOVE it, they do NOT see it as punishment. they walk in small groups and talk, those who want to can be alone and listen to music, some walk in groups and use headphone splitters to share music, etc....

    Our state legislature made it illegal for schools to take recess away, and put temperature/weather restrictions on when school could do indoor recess because the reports of childhood obesity and the lack of physical activity. now instead of taking away recess the kids get walk and talk recess if they get into trouble. It works. The kids don't fight it usually, some kids will do it by choice and/or join a kid if they are the only one doing walk and talk, but it does work as a deterrent to bad classroom behavior even though the kids don't hate it. Some of the teacher hate it and feel it took a "useful" tool from them, but they are the ones who just want to punish kids, not to try to help them learn not to do the undesirable things, Know what I mean?? Overall the elem schools have seen a substantial drop in behavior problems, etc... AND a drop in the # of kids who have outbursts over punishments. Plus the kids get the pent-up energy out during walk and talk, which allows them to be better behaved after recess than they would be if they had to sit out during recess. It has been a HUGE help to the schools who use it properly. Schools who won't let other kids join the kids doing walk and talk, and the ones who made it so punitive that the kids hated it, they had increases in bad behavior. As soon as the teachers were pushed to do it properly, they got a drop in behavior problems within 1-2 weeks.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I simply do not understand the theory behind believing that consequences are bad for people. Consequences are natural. They can be good or bad. Kids are not short adults. They need parents to teach them to grow up to be responsible adults and they wont learn that unless they are taught that when they do something wrong that there are consequences for their actions. Just saying no no dont do that, it makes mommy feel badly, doesnt work for most kids.
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Good grief!!! Like you said, at least he was being honest. *snicker*

    As far as the teacher giving a consequence for making a false statement? That sounds really "dumb" to be honest. This would fall under his behavior IEP plan - "as something that could happen because of his illness - therefore not punishable".
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That comment is too good. In fact we had one like that last night... he said, do you know why I did that mom? and I said well, maybe... He said, "do you think I was just seeking attention?" (he usually forms statements in question form) UMMM where do you think he heard that.

    Janet, I hear what you are saying. I dont think it is all or none. Logical to clean up the paper....that is a skill that is learnable. Now, to say you get in trouble for stating something in a way that expresses feellings, dramatic or not, should not be punished. He should be taught the appropriate kinds of responses and why this doesn't work. Mom did start to do that. A consequence would not solve that problem. I dont take Ross Green to say that there should be no consequences. Not from the professional books I have bought of his either. I have taken it to mean that punishment when a child does not have the skills to do better in the first place will solve nothing. So, for those kids who do not improve when you have tried the traditional way (and I do take issue with suspensions as a consequence for many kids) what do you do? Keep banging heads against walls and getting madder and madder that the kid can't do what he can't do???

    This is my take on it anyway and I have had q in a school that did use these ideas and he did better but that was elem and he had to go to middle school. I have included ideas from ross green in several emails to our behavior team wondering if we can try this or that....I mean, they ask so I am going to share.

    I agree that kids do need to learn there are consequences to actions. but they have to be able to make the connection and to have the skills to change.

    does that help a little.? I am not an expert in this and the therapy book I have of his was overwhelming at first. I can't even think of where it is right now.... I think it is super important for kids to learn rules, limits, that consequences will happen. But for so many of the kids who are difficult child's, traditional approaches may help them stop a behavior for the minute, but then the kids are still at a loss for what to do. For so many traditional, punishment kinds of approaches have been tried and where had it gotten them? Punished more, in trouble more, and still without the skills to do better. Nothing is magic. But this does help fill in and offer true hope for those kids who need a new approach.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes Buddy that is true while they are young and we can handle them at home and be right there beside them. But look at Klmno and what has happened to her son. And then take one look at our prison system. It is full of men and women who were our kids when they were younger and no one ever taught them what consequences were.

    I know I sound mean or tough or whatever. There were three kids growing up right here around me that were around Cory's age. Lets call them Robbie and Steven and then Cory. Robbie's mom died and he was raised by his grandmother and aunt. Steven was raised by his mother who is a drug abuser who also sells drugs. They both lived within spitting distance of us while Cory was growing up.

    Well, both Robbie and Steven would have qualified for diagnosis's I have no doubt. No one in either of those families would have ever considered taking those kids to a mental health doctor. Too much work. Too much like work. Raise your own kid? Whats that? You throw food at them and send them out the door to school and hope that they do something there and if they screw up at school its the schools fault. Well Robbie flunked out and quit at 16 and became a drug dealer. He died at age 20 from an overdose.

    Steven is still alive but he has been caught at school dealing drugs for his mother, threatening to blow up the school, dealing drugs out of his mothers home, his mother has been caught dealing drugs, he has 4 kids with 3 different women.

    Now remember...all these people (mothers and kids) thought Tony and I were horrible parents for sending Cory away and making him go to therapy. Cory told me when he was around 18 or so that he was so glad that we didnt give up on him or parent him like Robbie and Stevens parents did because he would have been just like them. And I have no doubt he would have been. He was bad enough as it was.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I dont think we are actually disagreeing... I think there is a huge difference between not teaching consequences to kids in some way...and trying to use methods to teach consequences that dont work. You sent cory to a specialized place to teach him because the typical home methods were not working. You did the right thing for sure. I think that is what the issue is here.....the method. To just say, suspend them and that will show them...the research shows those kids that this kind of program targets repeatedly are suspended and at increasing amounts. the suspension method/consequence only method...does not work for them because there is no skill teaching. They need to be taught what to do, how to cope, etc. I think that is what they are saying.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Suspension doesn't work because it's a vacation. I want to know who dreamed up that particular consequence and knock them over the head.

    It wasn't a vacation for my kids. It was Cinderella duty until you literally begged to go back to school. (toothbrush to clean the toilet anyone? lol )

    I'm huge on consequences. Dxes or not, disabilities or not. I'm just as huge on explaining why and talking with them about a better way to do something or handle a situation than the one they chose. But they always get the consequence. Always. Now that consequence will probably also be suited to best fit the child. Grounding either girl liked to drove them nuts. I had to ground Travis from specific things to make it work.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Great way to put it! In our case suspension is not a vacation (though maybe if it continues he will find a reason to like it and then it will change). For us it does't work because it doesn't take the brain injury and autism away and given the same situaiton, same stress, he has the same neurological system and limited tools. The approach has to include adding tools to the tool box including medications, identifying feelings and connecting actions to consequences before things happen...predicting outcomes and improving impulse control . In addition suspensions are a huge fear. A phobia for him at this point so they blind him from being able to think of anything else, HE panics. The administrators say that when they even walk by him he will say (even when he has done nothing) Are you coming to suspend me??? Honestly, if they are trying to teach him to stop escalation and turn it around, how can he do that if he thinks it is pointless??

    There are tons of reasons suspension is useless for many. THAT said, if it was ME.... it would have worked. I would have been shamed, scared, suere I would never get into college because it is on my "permanent record" lol. So, for kids like me, who basically have the tools but make a dumb choice, it might work. And for a very few kids, it doesn't matter if it works or not... they may need to be suspended to keep people safe. (still those kids need other services along with it, suspension will not keep people safe in the long run, they are fooling themselves if that is what they feel).

    Just MHO as usual. Sorry I am processing this so much, it just is such a huge topic for me right now, and of course I am SURE I am biased. But this started for me even before Q was in my life. I have advocated for kids with disabilities in terms of this specific issue for many many years. The stories....I wont even go there.
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I don't think your boy will learn anything from the teachers consequences. He has learned more in the processing with you. I do use Ross Greenes approach at school. Found it too late to have much effect here at home. I agree that kids must be taught the appropriate skills. Some kids, esp. those with issues, just seem to not pick up on these skills without some direct teaching. Involving strong willed kids in the process helps take some of the battle away. I have to say, since difficult child has been home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I have tried to use it with her and she refuses to even sit and work things out. She has absolutely no respect for our parental authority. The party has to be willing to sit through the process. Once teens get to the stage mine and klmo's and some of the others have gone to, nothing works. You can't ground 'em. They just leave when you are not looking and if you try to stop them it can get physical. You take the phone away, they just go use someone elses. You give a work detail? Just try to make 'em do it! You give them no money or permission to go to a movie or somewhere fun, they steal from you and go anyway.When it gets down to brass knuckles-some of our older kids absolutely possess the skills and absoltely will not use them. They are driven by desires, addictions, that they cannot/will not get a hold of in the real world. There is no one stop shopping for any of our kids. Humans are too complex for that. I count myself as a skilled mother and have much training with children who have behavioral/emotional problems-look where it has gotten me in my own home. The bottom line-You can only change yourself and hope what you do has some effect on your child.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Exhausted, thanks for that perspective.
  13. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    Wow! I wrote this thread because of difficult child's overly dramatic comment - I thought it was honest, insightful and funny (in a warrior mom sort of way). The consequence was just part of the story. I didn't mean to touch on a sensitive topic!

    Thank you for all of your perspectives. We give difficult child consequences (and we also process with him on his behavior). He only gets a consequence if he understood - before he did it - that it was the wrong thing to do. He knew he was wrong. His consequence at school will be something minor like having an extra clean-up chore at the end of the school day. His teacher is excellent in processing with him too.

    But thanks again for sharing your stories and perspectives.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    LOL, yeah it got deep... but really important stuff to share and process. your difficult child will be fine and that is because you oversee everything. Just one of those topics that we all probably face bigger than typical families.
  15. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Consequences are important, not the ones - if you do this , this is what is going to happen to YOU - they just each kids to lie, not get caught , not to trust adults - so which consequences are important - showing kids how their behavior impacts on others and providing the framework so that they will be able to engage in the moral act of restitution in an autonomous way. If a kid knows that there is a consequence coming, he will shut down and we don't have any chance of engaging in collaborative problem solving or helping the kid to ask - what type of person do I want to be . Consequences is Plan A - collaborative problem solving - Plan B - they don't mix. Dr Greene has been emphazing the importance of not discussing behavior with kids - rather focusing on concerns - the kids concerns first , then our concerns . Consequences focus on behavior - it is behavior modification - what our kids need is help with lagging skills,their cognitive deficits. CPS is a cognitive solution to kids difficulties.

    I suggest to read my link - running in the hallway from my first response. Try to think of the scenario where the teacher reprimanded the kid and then consequenced him = death blow to cps.

    Parenting is Learning
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Allen I love this stuff, but do you work with these folks?

    What is really of the main reasons my son keeps getting suspended from the lunch room (his only mainstream experience at present) is because he is running thru the halls. He also runs to the bus at the end of the day. (he had been abused by a bus driver threatening to drive away, her actually "fake" driving away to escalate his anxiety ...witnessed by sp. ed teachers and EA's, and once she actually left now he is even two years later making SURE his beloved bus does not leave without him) (yes, she still works there, but got in trouble I am told...whatever that means)
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    For me - bit of psychologising coming up so please switch off your TV set now if that will bore you :) - the difference between to consequence or not to consequence (that is the question) is to do with whether we take an "external" view of people or an "internal" one. From the external one we just want (not unreasonably) life to be orderly and people not to cause disruptions to others; this is our main focus and we believe it is right to use the necessary means to achieve that. From the internal view, we are concerned with people's feelings and inner states - wanting them to be whole rather than fractured, have integrity rather than just going through the motions. And from that point of view, consequences are not very meaningful. They condition behaviour but they do not help create the structure of a person.
    Just my 2 or 20 cents' worth...
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is deep Malika. I like it.

    Poor cubsgirl, sorry your thread was so refocused. on the other hand, you stimulated a really interesting discussion, so thanks. I wonder if it can be moved to a thread (when it took this turn) called "consequences" or something like that. I dont even know if that is possible or if it matters to you, but I wanted you to know that I do remember why you posted...

    AND it is a really cute difficult child moment! (I know it had some "serious" words involved , it is one of those sort of funny, unique memories in difficult child land)