My son rips his school work!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lizzybee, May 10, 2010.

  1. lizzybee

    lizzybee Guest

    Hello all! I am new here and wonder if anyone could share their experience and perhaps success stories about how they stopped their child from ripping class work assignments.
    My son almost 9 years has a one on one aide..very bright, can do the work, however when his work is not perfect the way he intends it to be or he just doesn't feel like doing it; he will rip it up. Reward systems, etc..will sometimes work, and even telling him he will redo the work helps some of the time..but he still rips many assignments throughout the day.
    We are having an independant psychiatric evaluation done, and at the end of the month we will visit a psychiatrist who will hopefully prescribe the smallest bit of medication to take the edge off. This is very frustrating as this is a smart child with alot of frustration, anxiety, need for perfection, and obstinance!

    Thanks for your help!:redface:
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Lizzybee, welcome!
    My son used to do that. Mostly, he did it at home, if his handwriting wasn't perfect, or if he was trying to draw a picture. He would scribble it out and start all over. Then he'd have so many scribbled things on the page, he'd rip it up.
    Drove me nuts.
    He used a pencil (they don't use pens until 5th or 6th gr, usually) and I kept reminding him to use the eraser. It took weeks. Sigh.
    Sometimes I would write something and deliberately make a mistake and then erase it and say, loudly, "Oh, dear, I have to erase this now. Well, I guess that wasn't so bad." Sort of talking to myself but knowing he could hear ... ;)
    I'm not sure how many school papers he has thrown out because they're not perfect, but now he's at the stage where he doesn't care at all, and just putting his name and the date at the top of the page is all the effort he'll put forth. Be careful what you wish for! :faint:
  3. lizzybee

    lizzybee Guest

    well he rips about 3 assignments a's a big problem. Like you, I have gone through making a big stink out of my own mistakes, and explaining that mistakes are made by everyone. My son would never allow one mistake to remain on the paper for more than 20seconds before it's in pieces. Drives me crazy! and he is so upset with himself after the fact..The psychologist feels this is wearing on him.

    Also..I am not experienced with knowing and understanding medications. The school thinks I am long overdue in getting him this type of help. I just wonder, do medications really help. Everyone still seems to battle the problems wh the medications, and I wonder if they set the stage for new problems??? Any insight?
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Hi Lizzybee,

    It sounds as though he is very frustrated for some reason. Perhaps his work is not "perfect" enough for him or he is just bored ? Even so ripping up his assignments is not making matters any better. When my difficult child is frustrated with his homework he will break pencils (never has he ripped his work up because he is scared to death to get in trouble at school) I wish he was as compliant at home LOL. Perhaps his evaluation will give you the answers you and your son both need. I hope all works out for you and keep us posted. And by the way your 4 year old calling your difficult child cooky bird made me crack up because my 7 yr old daughter will look at my son when he is " having a moment" like he is nuts and just shakes her head .....:D
  5. lizzybee

    lizzybee Guest

    Frustrated is very accurate! He doesn't want to do the work, he says it's boring. Then when he forces himself to do it, his obsessions with having it perfect come out.

    Do medications help?? along with CBT?? I am so afraid of medication..does anyone have a positive outcome story in terms of medications helping this sort of thing?
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    In our case, medications have helped a lot. Our son has been on Adderall for many yrs, and we just changed, as he is aging out of it and his hormones are running rampant.
    He also uses clonidine, which calms him down and takes the edge off of eveyrthing, and in the past yr, Imiprimene has helped a lot.
    If it weren't for the Adderall, we would not have made the progress we have, because difficult child literally could not sit still and absorb any information. It was h*ll.
    I know that Aspies don't always need medications, but he could be a mixture, and also, some Aspies have such high anxiety, they need medications.

    Oh, I just remembered something! One day I used a big piece of paper and had difficult child scribble all over it, deliberately. He was hesitant, but I encouraged him to go ahead. He finally did it, and made a fine mess. Then I said, "See? Now, how did that feel? Now you know it's okay to make a mess sometimes, and not have to be perfect on all your papers."
    He said, "But you TOLD me to MAKE a mess. That's not the same thing."

    He got the msg, though. The next time he tried to start over on a project because it wasn't perfect, I shoved a big piece of paper in front of him and told him to get it out of his system. He shoved it away and said, "Okay, okay, I get it."
    I can't believe I forgot that. I have to write these things down and save them on my hard drive ...
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    From a personal point of view... When I'm having my own difficult child-type days, if I get frustrated and something's not perfect, I'll shred it or crumple it up and throw it. Try not to do it in front of my own difficult children though.

    Onyxx does this occasionally.

    If he is bored... He is frustrated with the boredom. If he's a pretty bright kid (and many of our difficult children ARE very bright), then any time he doesn't "get" something, it makes him angry. He should KNOW it, right? Add in a dose of impatience... And you see the explosion about to happen.

    As far as medications go, if the teachers are telling you to medicate him - DON'T DO IT. Have your doctor recommend someone to evaluate. psychiatric is good. Go from there. The teachers aren't trained to know about medications. We had one teacher tell us we HAD TO MEDICATE Jett or he would report us to CPS. We didn't... And he didn't.

    Next teacher wasn't such a twit. We explained the situation, and with his help and the IEP going well, Jett blossomed.

    Now we have a teacher who won't work with us, and Jett is wilting again. UGH!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good point, StepTo2, in regard to clarifying whether the medication issue is brought up by a teacher, dr, or parent.
  9. iloveturtles

    iloveturtles Guest

    My difficult child used to shred his papers, eat his papers etc. I don't know how many taped assignments we turned in.

    The medication definitely helps and therapy has definitely helped.

    And me trying not to show my frustration.