difficult child disrespecting teachers and classmates

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ehlena, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    difficult child has missed his detention (for kicking a girl in the behind) a few times now. I don't know how to get him to go short of taking off early from work and dragging him there, kicking and screaming.

    I also got an email from his math teacher today...
    Ms. Ehlena,
    I want to let you know of an incident during class today.
    Today, during class, difficult child had his pencil out and was writing on the desktop. I asked him not to write on the desk. He tried to give me some story that he wasn't writing on the desk, but when I pointed out that he had his pencil in a position to write and was dragging it along the desktop, he stopped and shrugged his shoulders. I let him know that writing on the desk was not appropriate behavior. After class ended, I noticed that his desktop was covered in writing with FU in a big design. I went out during lunch and got him and brought him in to show him what I had found. He said, "oh, yeah, my pencil must have done that all by itself" I told him that wouldn't do and that he could come in after school and clean the desk tops in the room. He said "okay". He never showed.
    Another student from his last class came in for after school help and said that difficult child had scooted out of his last class first in line and headed home. I tried calling your home to hopefully have difficult child come back and. of course, no answer.
    I will be expecting him tomorrow after school. I would appreciate your reminding him as well.
    difficult child's behavior is such that I really think he is playing games with both of us. He hears
    you tell him to show me the work and get it checked off. He knows I am supposed to initial
    his blue sheet daily and then, when he gets here he tells me that he doesn't have it or that he didn't do it or that he left it home or that he lost it and on and on.......What we had planned in order to help him is not working. What to do?
    His behavior is such that it is difficult to get others to sit next to him. If someone does something he doesn't particularly like he will irritate that person by hitting, poking, etc that person until they ask to be moved or hit back. When I call difficult child on this behavior, he says that he is justified to do that because the other person did something that irritated him, like make a noise or something like that. When I ask him to write something down or to follow directions for a specific task, he usually looks the other way and does his own thing. Again, what to do?
    I don't want to sound negative about difficult child but I am frustrated as to what to do in order to help him. Any suggestions you can give would be greatly appreciated. I would like to see him turn things around and be successful in a positive way.
    difficult child's math teacher

    For those of you who've been there done that, what do you DO in this sort of situation? For the record, we can't "make" difficult child do anything. When he's in these moods, he'd rather sit at his desk doing nothing for a day and a night than do anything we ask.

    We've got his behavior somewhat under control at home, but he is just losing it when he goes to school. This has gotten way worse this year, and I worry what he's going to be up to next.
  2. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Is there ANYTHING you can think of, that he values enough for it to make an impact if you take it away? TV, phone, computer, going out...anything? He would know that a negative report from school would connect with this consequence? The book I just listed on the books thread, The Defiant Child by Dr. Riley offers some very creative consequences.

    I came up with a few of my own when I'd just get flat refusals to turn off the TV, turn off the computer, get off the phone, etc. I had the computer modem stationed in my room, so that I could just unplug her; I learned which breaker controlled the electrical outlets in her bedroom and told her I owned the electricity since I paid the bill; and I learned how to unplug the phone from the side of the house and curse the phone company. At the age of 12, I bet you can find something to get his attention at least temporarily.

    Of course, there are also REWARDS, and contract systems. These didn't work for us, but I know they do for some people.
  3. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    Hey emotionallybankrupt. We confronted difficult child about his behavior today - kept very calm. Told him he couldn't earn privileges back when he treats people that way (he's already on restrictions for running away two weeks ago, instigating a 5 hr police search). We told him to do his hw and write an apology note to his teacher. Praised him with every step he took towards doing the right thing.

    Turns out he had no intention of doing his hw. So husband took away his Harry Potter costume and his game.

    Things started to get hairy. difficult child refused to stay in his room and started following husband around. husband was trying to get some work done on his computer, and despite him repeatedly telling difficult child to "back off", difficult child started standing behind him and holding a pencil like he was going to stab him (difficult child has brandished a knife at husband before).

    husband subdued him, and now the police are coming to talk to difficult child. This is the 2nd encounter I've had with police in 1 month. I don't so much as have a speeding ticket to my name. :(
  4. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Ugh. This sounds so much like some exchanges we've had around here. Sharp objects were favorite things here too, as was following me around to give me not a moment's peace.

    I hope you live in a place where the police are helpful and supportive. I'll be interested in hearing how difficult child responded to them. And...even more...how did difficult child act after they left, unless the police ultimately took him with them? I sort of hope they took him. Sounds like a chargeable offense to me, and if he gets away with it, it is even more sure to happen again. And DON'T bail him out. My difficult child came to realize I would NEVER do that. If a situation here escalated to the point of her arrest, a detention hearing would be next, because bail was not an option.

    Is there a way for you and husband to put yourselves in "time out" when these things start? Depending on where my younger child was, I would sometimes lock myself in my bedroom, and sometimes it would work.

    I'd say until difficult child has an attitude change, the blue lights will keep coming. I hated it, but I also knew I needed help and was so thankful for the supportive response. As they came to know what life in my house was like, they patrolled more steadily and arrived very quickly in a crisis. In my case, I even let them know which doors would always be unlocked, so that they would always be able to get in quickly--and without breaking down a door.

    Definitely document these incidents in detail, in case you have to file some type of petition later. In my state, it's called an "unruly child petition."

    I just hope you have a supportive police department. I know it's not that way everywhere.
  5. bearded one

    bearded one New Member

    I wish I had the answers. Your difficult child sounds like mine. Mine is out of school pending full workup with a psychiatrist. He does many of the same things yours does and we haven't found anything that he values enough to control his behavior. I've pretty much resigned myself to someday having to let the cops take him to juvvy. It's just a matter of time and I won't bail him out.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Does difficult child have a BIP (behavioral intervention plan) as well as an IEP in school?

    The other choice & it's one that isn't well taken here is that difficult child may need to be in the Special Education setting - smaller classes with fewer distractions & para's wandering about the classroom helping keep our little wonders in line.

    I suggest this because your difficult child isn't learning nor is the rest of his class if he is disruptive.

    Does difficult child need an adjustment in his medications? Is he getting any kind of social skills training?

    Just a few thoughts for you.
  7. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    Thankfully, we live in a wonderful neighborhood, and the police here are very helpful and supportive. The police officer took him outside and talked to him for a bit. He gave difficult child his number and told him he could call if he felt like he needed to talk and couldn't talk to husband or I. He also let us know that difficult child has thoughts of hurting himself and of hurting husband. He recommended we bring it up with his counselor.

    I'll talk to husband about possibly putting ourselves in a time-out to avoid escalating the situation. But what do you do about your personal property? I'd worry about difficult child damaging our more expensive items, or taking them and hiding them as retribution (he's done this to his Grandpa). I don't think he'd do anything to our pets, but I've been proven wrong before.

    We don't have a BIP in place, but his teachers have asked us how to deal with him, and we told them to separate him or send him to the office if he is becoming too much of a distraction. And praise praise praise if he does anything in the right direction. We are trying to devote more energy to difficult child when he is good than when he is bad.

    What would a Special Education setting entail? I don't really know how I'd go about addressing that. He's already had his schedule rearranged to put him into the smaller classes, but I don't know that they're small enough.

    I've talked to husband about him possibly needing an adjustment to his medications, but difficult child's medications are for his concentration difficulties. It seems like he is able to concentrate just fine on his current dosage. In fact, I've seen him concentrate ok with-o them on the weekends, with one or two redirections - nothing major.

    I think social skills training could really help difficult child. How would we go about getting him into this training? husband especially worries about difficult child wasting away his childhood. It's depressing when we walk out our front door and there are spades of children running around the neighborhood and playing in the park across the street. One of the reasons we moved to our neighborhood was because it's safe, there are a lot of parks, and there are so many children difficult child's age. It's a great place for a kid to grow up, and we wish difficult child could take advantage of that.

    difficult child was gone by the time we got up this morning. He hasn't gotten to the point of skipping school yet, so I'm sure he's there (and no phone call either). He knows he's not supposed to leave so early, and without taking his medication. I'm hoping he at least tries to behave today.
  8. mrose

    mrose New Member

    I just found this place today and omg it is so nice knowing im not the only one. My difficult child has had more problems at school since kindergarden. He is now a 5th grader and finally last i found a doctor that believed me. It is so frustrating to know something is wrong and yet no one believes you and the school just wants the problem child out of the way. my difficult child would lock his self in the coat closet at school or try to leave school, they called Juvie on him for that at 10 yrs old. He is now on concerta and risperdal and it has helped so much also we had an iep today and they are doing a behavioral study on him. I am so glad there is a place like this
  9. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    It sounds to me like difficult child got a very sympathetic response from the police and a lot of positive attention. I sure hope that didn't function as a pay-off for him. I'm still wondering why they didn't charge him. I hope they somehow gave him a message that it is not okay to threaten people with sharp objects. I think for SOME kids, being cuffed and taken to kiddie jail, allowed to sit there a couple days without somebody posting bond, gets their attention. It at least sounds like a card that hasn't been played in your case.

    As for the time out for yourselves, I've become the queen of locked file cabinets and deadbolts. Many valuables can be secured that way. Usually, I could tell when a situation was about to escalate, giving me time to deadbolt my dogs in one of the rooms that had one. Yes, difficult child threatened property damage, and I worried about that, but I also explained to her that if she followed through, I would charge her with vandalism, and she knew I meant it. She didn't do it.

    As for HIDING my items? I'd take away something valuable to him in an instant, and I'd keep taking away more until my stuff re-appeared. A fact we tend to forget is that a minor owns nothing, even items purchased with their own money. Remembering that can give some powerful leverage.
  10. Ehlena

    Ehlena New Member

    Thanks emotionallybankrupt. Maybe putting a lock on our office would help. We do have a big flat-screen television that I'm afraid might become a focus for difficult child's anger. It's in our family room, and is pretty heavy. I can see right now that threatening to charge difficult child with vandalism wouldn't work. He would take that as invitation to escalate.

    And I'm pretty sure that putting ourselves in time-out will result in holes in our door, if not our walls. He's already done the hole in the door thing when he didn't get his way.

    The police officer said that he made sure difficult child knew that threatening people with sharp objects was not ok.

    And difficult child's got nothing valuable left to take away. He's already in trouble for the running away from 2 weeks ago (evading his father and the police, and not returning until 10:30PM), as well as him calling a classmate a "stupid Jew" (NOT the first occurence of him insulting others based on religion or race), failing to do his classwork and/or homework, and this latest incident with the math teacher. The only reason he had that harry potter game and costume is because they were birthday gifts from Friday.

    My husband is calling the social worker we had contact with before, from another incident where difficult child ran away, to see if she can help us in finding resources to help difficult child. We're both just tired.