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14 yr old son - behaviour problems at school

(12 Posts)
TiredTaser Tue 21-Mar-17 10:35:14

For the last year my son's behaviour at school has become disruptive, and he's always "on report". I have always thought mild ADHD - hyperactive, instransigent, hard to focus. But not enough for a diagnosis.

Anyway, another call from the school today about him being rude and cocky to his tutor. I'm just fed up with it.

I am going to bring in some consequences for poor behaviour, esp at school, but is there a limit to punishments being effective? The main one is going to be no mobile phone, of course. There will also be a serious chat. But how useful is all this if he finds it hard to change his behaviour? Has anyone found strategies that were helpful in turning things round.

<sigh>

TanteJeanne Tue 21-Mar-17 11:11:30

Wish I knew the answer to this!!
All I can say is, don't drop the rope. Keep on trying to encourage and motivate good behaviour. I think it's important to carrot and stick- offer encouragement and incentives as well as punishments.
My son had a particularly crap spike in his bolshy behaviour just as he turned 14. It lasted several months and then subsided into normal teenage behaviour. I wonder if it was linked to some testosterone surge which then levelled out.
Try to remain calm and don't give up. Try to explain how his behaviour now will impact on his choices in the near future, as well as for his lifetime...

TiredTaser Tue 21-Mar-17 11:18:08

Thank you Tante.

TanteJeanne Tue 21-Mar-17 20:38:25

Have you read that book "Get out of my life. But first take me and Alex into town". I borrowed a copy from the library. It suggests strategies to try.( I remember them for about a day then drift back to my old ways.... but you might be more committed than me!)

TiredTaser Thu 23-Mar-17 11:53:57

Hi Tante, I alreay read that (and several others!). I liked the understanding of how a teenager is both a child and adult i.e. struggling for independance, so I thought it had good insight there. But I didn't like its laissez-faire attitude and acceptance of poor behaviour. And some of its values - or lack of them - did not sit right with me. Anyway we have had a talk around expectations, and I think he actually responded well to that, although there are new boundaries and new consequences, but all is much clearer. All the best star

TiredTaser Thu 23-Mar-17 11:56:06

And hopefully clearer means calmer brew!

TiredTaser Thu 23-Mar-17 18:14:21

Well, for 5 minutes anyway. Another call from the school today. Really disappointed in him.

JustDanceAddict Fri 24-Mar-17 07:39:42

Also read Divas and Doorslammers if you haven't yet.

swingofthings Fri 24-Mar-17 08:37:13

Bad behaviour rarely improves significantly in months, let alone weeks, so it is likely to involve changes in disciplining (and rewarding) that will need to be sustained for quite some time, likely to involve even worse behaviour before it starts to improve.

Rudeness is about attitude, so it is important that he is being challenged on it at home every single time. What other behaviour problems is he having at school. Is it only/mainly at school or do you have the same issue at home.

Whatever discipline you put in place, you need to be prepared to stick with it, however miserable, angry,begging etc... it makes him, so think about what you are capable to stick with. Also make sure to not fall into the common mistake of only focusing on his bad behaviour. Ensure you do pick up on the good things he does and praise him for this, however little it is at the beginning.

knittingwithnettles Wed 29-Mar-17 23:07:30

I don't agree with swing about attitude. I think the most important thing is to pick your battles and although that might mean some important boundaries (in our house it is respect for teachers, and getting up every morning to go to school however tired or fed up you feel) Ds1 also know the value of an apology. We let a lot of attitude go, and as a result it has considerably reduced, 2 years in, because he feels listened to and a lot of situations don't escalate, even if he initially flares up, or refuses to do things.

My son has dyspraxia. It makes him impulsive and disorganised and he reacts in a very literal way to things. I have a friend whose son (most probably) has ADHD and is making life hell for her, yet she has no diagnosis, and has put all his behaviour down to "attitude", because he is clever and talented, so it cannot be a SN...but it almost certainly is.

14 is a critical age for feeling misunderstood, and needing support as well as boundaries. I have another friend whose son was lazy impatient and reactive at 14, (has NO Sns) but for some reason by 16 he was getting straight A's, and is now heading to uni to do Stem subject; he is still lively and bouncy but that attitude didn't escalate; I think because she always felt she was on his side (compared to my other friend who felt as if her son was determined to destroy her)

we were given advice by dd's school, in a general parenting meeting, that if your child reared up at you like a Cobra, the answer was to retreat, and talk to them when things were calm, rather than argue with them when they were angry and dangerous!

Please investigate the ADHD, don't let it be a lingering suspicion, also check his Vitamin D levels (this is a new bugbear of mine, ds1 was deficient at 25ng/mol, and I think it very much affected his behaviour, made him depressed and irritable)

Decide on a few rules and stick to them, but don't impose too many rules and let a lot of stuff (tidy room, organisation, greed, money running through fingers, homework woes) with a pinch of salt. He is almost certainly disruptive because he has a problem with the work and is concealing it. The most important thing is that he trusts you, and respects you, and other adults. Also read How to Talk So Teens listen by Faber and Mazlish, I found it very valuable in reminding me what not to say.

knittingwithnettles Wed 29-Mar-17 23:13:24

I also found that talking too much about choices and how things would affect him in the future just made my son angry and scared...as did comments about not getting a job, not getting on in the world, not amounting to anything. really negative stuff just had a very demoralising destablising effect on him and made him think F...them, what do they know. You are a role model but you don't have to be a moraliser or a preacher.

Find out what is bugging him. And don't tell him what he is doing wrong, ask him what would improve matters for him at school, try and get school to engage in a positive management of the situation rather than endless sanctions.

knittingwithnettles Wed 29-Mar-17 23:16:58

I would give ds one simple chore(in our house it is bins and errands/heavy shopping bags). I say thank you to him a lot, but not "I'm proud of you", because he finds that insincere/fake.( possibly overdid that). I also watch boring tv programmes with him and go to the cinema with him on occasion, he seems to like these small chances to bond. And I don't invade his personal space much.

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