Apologies everyone for the long post but wanted to get it all down!
I guess what I'm after is advice from parents who've been through this and can say what worked and what didn't.
Since my DS started Y8 I've been getting one, sometimes two, calls from teachers per week (it's their policy) saying that my DS has been issued a minor, or sometimes senior, detention for bad behaviour in class.
My DS is bright, is in the top groups for his key subjects, but says he finds school boring and hates most of his teachers. In a call today, a head of year said that he is regarded as a 'persistent low level disruptor'. His test results and grades have started to slip as well.
My initial reaction is to remove what he loves for periods of days whenever this happens, i.e. his iPad and PS4 controller. But I worry that he's rapidly becoming ground down and that I should maybe take a more thoughtful approach, like giving him incentives to do well instead - or is this way too soft?
He gets up really early to go to school, is incredibly organised and reliable but seems to have an 'I hate everyone' attitude at the moment. I should also mention that, while his social life at school seems good, he's not that social outside of it this year for some reason, which may mean that he's overly relying on school for the social aspect (although he attends sports clubs three times a week).
I'm wondering if this is a typical phase that Y8s go through, or if we're at a crucial crossroads in his life and the decisions we make now will have a direct bearing on how his life turns out. I probably sound a bit dramatic but I'm very worried!
Taking away what he feels are privileges will be too severe, and he may react badly. Taking away things he takes for granted will help him more. Examples; he can do all his own cooking and washing up, his laundry, his cleaning. For maybe three or four weeks or until he keeps a clean record for a few weeks.
Being clear and not angry when discussing why this has happened will help. Don't sink to bickering or trying to justify yourself - you don't have to, and if he makes it a conversation, he will think he is getting away with softening his punishment or he will feel disrespected and won't abide by the new house rules.
I am a secondary school teacher. If he was in my form then I would suggest he went on target a report. A report where he has three target e.g. 1) To focus on my work 2) To work to the best of my ability Or whatever they should be for him. He would then take his report to all lessons and the teacher would tick if he had achieved them the teacher ticks the appropriate box.
This will give your son some thing which clear and achievable to work towards.