Suggestions for constant silliness in year 7(15 Posts)
DS appears to be being constantly silly at secondary school. We expected a tricky transition to secondary as he has never loved school but it just seems to be continual ongoing silliness. However we had hoped he would find the lessons more interesting at secondary and therefore be more engaged as he loves learning at home (on his own terms).
We support all sanctions and would like to work with school to prevent it escalating into anything more serious but we find communication with school very poor. We have requested a meeting which will hopefully help.
Having been very badly bullied in previous schools he may be trying to make people laugh or trying to get acceptance and win friends and ensure they do not think he is a "geek" or "sad loser". It it is hard to know how to help when he is very unhappy and school have not communicated directly with us.
We have not been given any targets as yet but if they are based on CATS and SATs scores then he would be targeted top grade GCSEs and I cant see any way he is on target for 8s and 9s with the way things are progressing.
IME secondary school communication is not generally great. They dont involve parents unless it is beyond what they feel they can handle in the school.
By the sounds of it your DS is not untypical. He is 11/12 and still at that silly giddy stage. He is trying to find his feet in a very different environment from primary school.
When you have your meeting with the school it may be worth asking if there is any mentoring available. I know that my DD (y12) has done a fair bit of working with earlier years. It can be quite helpful as they are older but arent constrained by being a professional so they can tell a younger student when they are behaving like a dick!
What does he say about what he is doing in school?
Does he do any activities outside of school where he has to be/learn self-discipline? The uniformed youth groups (scouts, cadets etc) are very good for this.
Thanks for this. He does scouts and martial arts and lots of other activities both in and out of school. He has a mentor but tells me the mentor says he cant do anything to help him!! I think it is more than typical year 7 behaviour as he says he has more incidents than most of the others.
He always has a reason for what has happened and I think he really believes that he is unfairly treated. I don't share this view as I know he is frustrating to deal with as he is unable to see it from the other child or the adults view point despite being bright.
He has no impulse control so for example I really believe if you said you can have a thousand pounds if you don't do anything silly all day he would still flip a bottle in a lesson or such at some point in the day. It is like he cant help it and cant visualize the consequences or see that someone might be upset by it. Hence rewards or sanctions seem to have absolutely no effect.
Is it worth getting a cognitive profile done? A girl I know found she had a profile which was normal for age in all areas but executive functioning was like a much younger child - making sense of her impulsivity and poor organisation. Also, could some simple fiddle toys help? Get onto your SENCO maybe.
Chat to the form tutor. Some of our students go onto a tutor monitoring report which class teachers sign each lesson with a note about behaviour etc. Form tutor checks and signs it (as do you, daily)
Gives you a chance to get a glimpse of what's happening before it goes into 'formal' processes.
What is he like in his out of school activities? Is he able to maintain self discipline in these?
Safe to cross - Cognitive profile was done a few years ago and it was spiky but still averaged out in top few percent and comprehension/vocab etc well above top one percent. CATS score done at start of year 7 was similar with verbal above top one percent.
I think it was processing and digit span that were lower which I think may indicate dyslexia however his spelling and reading are great. We found it helpful and following that we tried to make instructions simpler at home ie put shoes on, then request to clean teeth later as we had probably been giving lengthy complex instructions in line with his reading/comprehension age 5 years ahead. However school is teaching in mixed ability groups so they will keep it simple.
MrsT - I guess this will be discussed at our meeting with school - not sure who will be attending other than head of year but maybe form tutor too. Yes we would be happy with anything that stops it escalating. This school doesn't really use the home school diary. I like schools when the form tutor and parents have to sign it each week and when even minor incidents are logged but this school has comparatively very poor communication.
Gnome - He manages in martial arts with total self discipline but didn't start until age 10.5. I don't think he could have done so earlier and the instructor is very very scary. Otherwise behaviour is silly or impulsive everywhere else including scouts.
Hmmm.... so he can be focused when the discipline is very firm but not when it's less directive. When he's 12/13 he could look at joining air or army cadets where the discipline will be a lot firmer.
Some of it may simply be immaturity. I don't think people develop in a straight line some things develop quicker than others.
Only with this one martial arts teacher - I cant think of any other situations. Would this work because the teacher is there as a reminder where a bribe/sanction wont as they are out of sight out of mind? Could the impulsivity be linked to some kind of SEN like ADHD or similar? Definitely immature in some ways and no awareness of danger or consequences of his actions. Also very little awareness of others around him. We need to find a strategy sooner for our sanity and his happiness/mental well being.
I guess that discipline in the martial arts class is pretty much instant. Secondary school is different, delayed reward, delayed punishment. When he receives a sanction for some impulsive or silly behaviour does he see that it is a consequence of his action albeit after the event? If he upsets someone does he see that it was his action which upset them?
Exactly detention can be a month later! Not aware of any rewards. He cant understand why someone would be upset by something as it wouldn't upset him or why they would tell tales or why school would be concerned about certain things that seem very unimportant to him. We have spent years trying to get him to see things from other peoples view points. I can remember trying to teach him facial expressions ie anger/upset etc from pictures about age 5 or 6 despite his having read the Hobbit. He just cant seem to understand why would people care if he was clean or why he cant go out in pyjamas for example as he doesn’t understand conformity. He really appears to believe that teachers just dislike him and cant see why they find him so silly or annoying especially if he knows the answers when he looks like he is not listening. It is all very frustrating.
No one can diagnose over the internet. I dont know how you go about getting a referral to a psychiatrist (we got there in a crisis) but I do think that review and assessment would be helpful.
In the mean time, your DS responds to firm discipline. If he is happy going to the martial arts lessons then I would be looking for more of the same and dropping the activities where discipline is less clear.
Hi, it would be worth seeing the senco or an educational psychologist. He could have traits of a high level functioning aspergers or similar.
Its GP referral to the Paediatrician or Community OT for ADHD assessment (if not under CAMHS) here.
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