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Private Vs State for discipline with a boundary pushing DS

(104 Posts)
jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 18:26:03

DS is a bright boy but showing some challenging behaviour. He has been assessed for ASD, ADHD etc but nothing can be diagnosed as he is not displaying "symptoms" of any one particular disorder, he isn't like this with us at home (it is the opposite of the good state of affairs which is challenging at home, angel at school!) and despite us being extremely poor at the moment and mildly opposed to private education I am tempted to look into a private prep school.

For example DS has been spitting on the floor. He spat once on the floor at home about 8 months ago and I dealt with it and nothing at home since. At school, I am mortified to discover that he does it several times a week, they have written him a "social story" to show him why he shouldn't do it. Personally I think they should read him the riot act and he wouldn't do it again. There are other examples of this flowery approach and I think he has sussed it. He is a boundary pusher but responds well to a strict set of rules.

Am I being daft? Are prep schools more disciplined? Or should I just tell school to man up a bit? Would he flounder in a prep school because they would expect perfect behaviour?

lljkk Fri 08-Feb-13 19:33:36

I think they usually have less patience for difficult behaviour in most private schools. DS went to a private school that specialised in difficult kids, they weren't really stricter, instead they had more time to listen.

It seems to me like you could impose a draconian punishment at home if you wanted, Jalapeño, there's no need to keep being unhappy that the school doesn't come down like a tonne of bricks, but I'm not sure it's the wisest thing. I think maybe school has it right.

jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 19:40:17

Really? You think saying spitting on the floor is unnacceptable is draconian?

Doing the story thing clearly isn't working. I realise being at home is different from school but can't fathom why he is not behaving like this at home. He tried it and we clamped down and he didn't do it again.

We aren't even that draconian at home. We've never smacked him, I don't have set routines or anything, people think I'm laid back (which I've never seen but they have commented on it!). I am just strict with manners. I can't see why school think spitting is not a problem, especially when he doesn't do it at home?

diabolo Fri 08-Feb-13 19:42:24

I can't comment for all preps obviously but the 2 I know well don't put up with any bad behaviour at all. Most preps would ask your DS have a taster day before offering a place, not just to assess his academics, but behaviour, attitude etc. They also usually ask for a report from previous schools.

Might be worth having a chat with someone at the preps you are looking at before you make the jump.

jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 19:48:34

I'm not looking at any tbh, really we can't afford it, I just really think he is better with a firm hand. I don't mean anything scary, just "we will not accept this" rather than "we will let you do this as we think it is a thing you do".

He is a strange child in some ways but he is my son and I obviously want the best for him. I really feel like he's not getting a fair deal and that the lenient way of dealing with him (that probably suits 95% of the population admittedly) is not for him.

I don't want him to be caned or anything! Just told he can't spit on the floor under any circumstance!

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 08-Feb-13 19:50:25

My dc go to a prep, and they absolutely would not put up with that behaviour. My youngest is a little challenging to say the least, so they have their work cut out. Youngest was there from the very start so didn't have to do taster days or assessments. Not sure if they would have taken him if they had got a chance to meet him first smile

jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 19:54:27

So littlechimneydroppings do you think they'd accept a year 3 that is bright but challenging in a flowery environment?

Or would he just get thrown out 6 months later shock

diabolo Fri 08-Feb-13 19:59:04

I think the fact that you've been looking at getting a DX for some kind of named problem would help, there are a couple of boys on the Autistic spectrum at DS's school and they get lots of support and have no problems sticking to the rules.

Can you ask your current school to get an Ed Psych to have a look at him, or have him assessed yourself if they won't or have you already been down that path?

It does sound like his current school is being a bit drippy about it - how on earth are children supposed to learn boundaries when you tell him one thing and they're not backing it up? confused

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 08-Feb-13 20:00:49

I dont know Jalapeno. I must admit I have wondered the same thing about ds, and he's a lot younger than yours. They have never said that though in fairness, I worry too much. The fact that your ds is bright is a good thing as he'll be more able to do the work. How do you think he'd get on at an assessment meeting? Is there anything you can do to work on your sons behaviour at home?

jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 20:11:41

diabolo I would think in a few years we might end up with an ASD diagnosis but whatever he has he is not a severe case, the school say he should see an EP but since he is not severe he is at the bottom of the list. Last year they said over 12 months and this week they said 6 months so perhaps he is getting worse sad

We could pay but not got any spare cash and not sure it would help?

I am thinking I will ask his teacher to tell me every time he spits and I will remove toys or pocket money at home. I'm willing to bet this will be an end to it but I hate bribing, I wish they just made it clear it was unacceptable.

little chimney if he was asked about something he was interested in he would come across very well. If he was bored by it he would seem rather sullen blush

diabolo Fri 08-Feb-13 20:16:15

What a shame. Hope you get something sorted out.

jalapeno Fri 08-Feb-13 20:20:08

Thanks Diabolo...I will have a think and update smile

deleted203 Fri 08-Feb-13 20:21:52

IME private schools do not tolerate bad behaviour in this way. However, this is not to say they have better discipline. Simply that they make it clear to pupils what the standards are - and pupils who do not obey them are told they are out. Unfortunate but true. Parents who are paying a lot of money are generally not prepared to put up with someone else's kid disrupting their child's expensive education whilst the school try to sort it out. Schools will normally simply get rid of anyone disruptive - as presumably that is better than having 10 parents or more in that year remove their child and send them somewhere else. You can see their logic.

Only you can say if your child would do better with firm boundaries, or would flounder against their expectations. You should be aware however that most take the view that 'it's their way or the highway'.

seeker Fri 08-Feb-13 20:28:15

I'm surprised that they have written a social story for him if they are not pretty convinced that he is somewhere on the spectrum- have you talked to the AEN person at school? Because if he is on the spectrum somewhere, it's unlikely that strict discipline a la old fashioned prep school would work for long. Or be helpful in the long run. On the other hand, if he isn't, the therapeutic line being taken by his current school may not work or be helpful long term either. I think whoever is in charge of AEN at his current school is where you should start.

LittleChimneyDroppings Fri 08-Feb-13 20:28:31

Sounds like my ds jalepeno. Interestingly he has autistic tendancies too, according to the consultant, although he hasn't been formally assessed for it yet. It would annoy me if the school just let that behaviour go though, especially if he knows it is wrong. I guess at dc's school they would be read the riot act, and sent to see the headteacher. Cant you have a word with the school to see if they can change their approach a little?

ninjahamster Fri 08-Feb-13 21:00:20

It's not a question of state v private school - it is about finding the right school. Nobody can say state schools cope better or privates cope better, there are good and bad in all. I will say I think in the main, independent schools are not as good at coping with challenging behaviour as they experience it less. I would look for a good state school that will support you and has the same values as you do.

happygardening Fri 08-Feb-13 23:26:25

Out of curiosity if you're "extremely poor" how are you proposing to pay the fees?

colditz Fri 08-Feb-13 23:32:38

Ds1 has ASD and ADHD, diagnosed, and social stories only work as an explanation as to WHY he shouldn't do something, they offer no incentive whatsoever to not do it.

If I found out ds1 was being allowed to behave poorly at school, without them listening to me about effective discipline, I would be very unhappy. Make an appointment to see the senco and make it clear that just because your son make have additional needs does not mean they get to give up and treat him like a two year old, just because they are too wooly to do something that will be effective.

QTPie Sat 09-Feb-13 00:14:40

I think that you may be asking the wrong question here: you have, several times, said that private school fees are really not an option. So you need a different solution to tackle this.

I really wonder if he is ASD/ADHD/whatever - what do you really think (you know him better than anyone)? It sounds as though he knows how to behave (at home), but is just playing up at school? Is he just very bright (and manipulative), but bored and fed up at school? Are there other state schools in the area that might suit him better (more engaging, whilst taking less nonsense?)? Does he have other routes to channel himself as well as school (something like martial arts to engage him in physical activity, discipline and respect)?

Good luck.

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 07:28:45

Thanks everyone for the input! We could not afford fees at the moment, we have a healthy income but a huge mortgage so asset rich and cash poor. This should improve in a few years but not an option atm unless we move away from G London which I would like to do but that's another thread...

Seeker what is an AEN? Is that the Senco? I spoke to her this week, I told them I feel he is playing up as he doesn't do this at home but they feel it is a coping mechanism. I've told DS that I'm going to ask school to tell me every time he spits and I will remove toys or pocket money at home. I have told him I won't tolerate it, if he needs to spit he must do it in a tissue or sink and if he needs to do something to help him concentrate he must think of a new "thing".

I think he is better with boundaries. Maybe it is mothers instinct, maybe I am wrong. His father certainly needs a firm hand grin and I always responded better to the mad, strict teachers at school that everyone hated.

No idea about ASD, my sister has ASD and SPD so I think could be similar.

Thanks for all the points, I will read them again.

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 07:34:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 07:41:35

QT we have tried martial arts, footie, drums and swimming. I think he may need a run in the morning to burn off some energy and I am wondering if a literacy tutor would help as it seems to be literacy that he feels he can't do. I have got some writing books to help and I will try to do it with him but am worried that we will clash and it won't be a positive experience for him so might look into a student or someone else cheap-ish to help him with creative writing so he gets used to it.

wannabestressfree Sat 09-Feb-13 07:48:58

My eight year old was like this and has a brother with aspergers. Ds3 had tendencies. The school he was at was lovely but not for him. I was being called in at least once a week. I moved him to another school and he has thrived...... It is much stricter and has very firm boundaries and established older staff.

He is a different child......and they don't recognise him as the boy in their reports they received from his previous school prior to starting. . Good luck

jalapeno Sat 09-Feb-13 08:01:36

Wannabestressfree (this is my mantra atm!) this is food for thought, thank you for your reply. Maybe I need to talk to the teachers a bit more and perhaps some other schools.

happygardening Sat 09-Feb-13 09:15:24

I wonder whether it's the individual teacher we know a child who has from a very early age and still does display now as a teenager challenging behaviour the cause; after God knows how many assessments he just enjoys behaving badly. But not with everyone the reason is simple he just knows which people are for the want of a better word a soft touch and those who aren't.

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