Can he have green days? VENT

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by smallworld, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I'm sorry Beaner is struggling.

    How do you know he just needs to try harder? What will earn him a green day? What is he doing to earn the other color days? Are the expectations above what he can handle? Does he have an IEP?

    I really believe in Ross Green's assertion that "children do well if they can" (have you read his book The Explosive Child?). I also believe in leaving school consquences at school; otherwise Beaner is going to spend his entire life in trouble.

    I think there's a reason Beaner isn't doing well at school, and your job is to figure out why (and no, ODD is not a good enough reason because it's a diagnosis typically fueled by an underlying cause). Sometimes the system created at school doesn't work for our kids; sometimes our kids mature at slower rates than other kids; sometimes an underlying disorder makes it difficult for them to "behave" the way they're supposed to at school. I hope you can uncover the real reason behind Beaner's challenges at school.

    Good luck.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Maybe your goal for Beaner should be yellow days. I know I was thrilled any day my daughter could do better than red (we didn't have orange). They were few and far between in kindergarten and first grade. However, I understood that no child wants to be "bad." I truly believe kids want to be good, some just can't do it.

    You might look at the teacher -- the expectations may be too high for him. Try to find out how many kids get green cards frequently (some teachers forget they are working with little ones and expect them to behave as if they are 5th graders). Try to find out if he is being singled out. These could all be factors as well.

    I'm not sure what "high risk for ADHD" means. I'd guess from your descriptions of his behavior he has ADHD. The ODD frequently comes because we are try to protect our kids when they are toddlers. When a child has ADHD, their impulse control is even worse than the typical 2 year old -- it is completely non-existent. They rarely learn from past history. So, as a parent, you are constantly saying No, don't touch that!, don't do that! You are not doing it because you are a bad parent but rather because you are trying to protect them from themselves. Unfortunately, a child doesn't see it that way. All they hear is the word no and they take that as a punishment (they can't do what they want). After awhile, their logic says I may as well do whatever because I'm going to get in trouble no matter what I do. To the child's mind, it is a lose-lose situation. The only way to "win" is to do it and then get the consequence after (at least there was some fun before the punishment). So, you have a little one with no impulse control and a mindset that can't help but get him in trouble.

    It takes a lot of work and effort to change that mindset. The non-existent impulse control will take a long time to come about. If you haven't read The Explosive Child, please do so. It really will help you understand your son a little better.

    But please don't blame him for everything or think he really can control what he is doing. He's just a little boy who has some problems. He needs help to change. Constantly being angry at him isn't going to do that. It is just going to have him continue to act out.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I use a similar color system in my classroom. Green is good to go. Yellow is just a warning. Orange is stay in at recess and do a fix it plan and red is a note home to the parents. I tell the kids it isn't a note to get them in trouble but just to let their parents know they struggled for the day and to help them get back on track.

    Very few of my students get to red. It happens occasionally. When I have a difficult child in class I do cut some more slack as I know they need a bit. The year my difficult child had a color system was the year he had his best behavior in school.

    It may be for him the color system won't work and they need to do something else.

    I'm glad to hear they are working on a bip.
  4. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I get those comments constantly about my son, but it has gotten better with age. It is very frustrating when all you hear is negative. I tend to turn little tiny positive things into big huge positive things. Sometimes if I do not concentrate on the positive I will go nuts. Hang in there
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Just a suggestion.

    If, on yellow days (and yellow simply means try harder) you are keeping him from his favorite cartoon, his favorite snack, going outside, AND extra attention that you would otherwise give him if he had a green days, he may be too overwhelmed to try for those green days. That is a lot of punishment for a yellow day, if yellow simply means he could do better.

    You mentioned that academically, he needs to try harder. Perhaps a lot of his acting out is due to his frustration that he isn't getting things as easily as his peers.

    Perhaps (remember, on this board take what works and throw out the rest) you might start the new year with something like this. "OK Beaner, let's make a pact that you are going to try your best. That is all I ask for, that you do the very best you can". Hopefully, you get the BIP and other things in place. In the meantime, if he continues to consistently bring home yellows, then I'd say that yellow is his average, and I would not fault him for that. I would not take anything away from him at home on yellow days, as was mentioned earlier, or he will spend his life grounded.

    If he gets a red or orange day, appropriate consequences should be administered. Now, if out of the blue he brings home a green day? Buy him a slurpee or something. I mean, don't tell him that this is what you have been waiting for, but let him know that you are so very proud of him. Make him want to do it again.

    Green days may be the exception to the rule for him, at least right now. Accept that. At least right now. And get your hands on Explosive Child. Yesterday.

    Hang in there, Mama.
  6. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    I forget which ADHD expert said something like "we were able to do it once and it's held against us forever". Such is the conundrum of the inconsistent performance of an ADD'er. It's got to be incredibly frustrating. No surprise they have such low self-esteem - they're forever compared to their own best performance so it's assumed that it's won't, not can't. Still so much ignorance out there.
  7. saman

    saman New Member

    My son too has the color chart...but our's is Green (great day!) Yellow (one warning) Red (Principal's office). There's not a lot of wiggle room in that! 3 strikes you're out!

    Now, his teacher is great and knows his boundaries. Green days are few and far between for us. Yellow is pretty much the norm...we've had some red. I KNOW he can get green, but that takes ALL of his effort, every ounce of it. And he's still 5. I guess I always go back to that. Sometimes, they are just being 5 and being silly...and land them selves on a yellow.

    Man, when we get green days, there are PARTIES in our house! Ok not really parties, but in all seriousness, he has a behavior chart that comes home daily...and he's had FIVE all hands up days ALL YEAR LONG! And they are proudly displayed on my kitchen cabinet. :smile:

    I wouldn't question what you're doing as a parent with rewards/punishments, but the ODD in kids is just one of those things that I really dont' think they have that much control over, especially at such a young age. I know my son tries VERY hard to keep things in check and I also know he has days that he doesn't try at all. It has to be such a frustrating thing to be constantly trying, trying, trying...and still not meeting adult expectations.

    Hang in there. ((HUGS))
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member


    Here's a spin -

    My kids (primarily difficult child 1) spiral downward in Dec. because of the anxiety over Christmas.

    Accept yellow for what it is. Try praising the things he did right rather than focusing on what he did wrong (sort of a la let school stay in school). Lower the anxiety, lower the outbursts.

    When he leaves for school, say "have fun" rather than "have a good day" (see where I'm going with that?).

    Ask the teacher if she can do the color chart for half of the day (a re-start if you will by mid-point). He's only 5. The day that the little girl came and told you he's been bad he'd made it to 11:30 on yellow. If a "re-start" went into effect at 12:00, it would give him an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Again, lowering the anxiety.

    Just a few thoughts to get you through the grind!

  9. brandyf

    brandyf New Member

    my difficult child's teacher uses the same color chart...its a mess. i had him completely taken off of it. he is no longer to tell me what color he gets on because his anxiety has taken over and making him not want to go to school, like physically vomitting, anxiety attacks, diarrhea from a nervous stomach. i told her teacher it made no sense. my difficult child has to have clear rules..and if there is a way to earn back up teh color chart...he needs to know exactly how to do that ..not just "be good".. its a ignorant way to deal with 30 children in a classroom.