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Suitable punishment.....

(44 Posts)
MummyandStepMum Thu 21-Jun-18 15:12:13

DSS (15) has always had problems at school, usually a detention either lunch time or after school and always for the same reason - arguing with teachers. The usual punishment is no Xbox or being grounded.

This week has been the worst! He's already been in referral for half of yesterday plus 2 after school detentions and I've just had another email saying he's been in referral today! He already doesn't have his Xbox and is grounded.....so how the heck do we add to that? He's suppose to be going to a theme park at the weekend with his friend for his birthday, I say he doesn't go but DH thinks that's too harsh?

We've tried to address the issue of arguing with teachers but unfortunately as soon as someone starts showing authority he just will not back down and do as he's told, I don't know how he's going to manage the rest of his life like that! We know how to handle him at home so we don't have any problems with him it's just school.

Any advice would be great, thank you

Sadik Thu 21-Jun-18 15:31:09

I've often recommended this book on here, but I found the book Divas and Doorslammers by Charlie Taylor really helpful for practical solutions. Lots of it is about swapping punishment for doing wrong into reward for doing well, and endless positive reinforcement (which sounds naff to start with but works really well IMO).
I can't explain it briefly, but one of his tactics is a 'micro-rewards' thing where you basically break their pocket money up into bits which they earn - so eg you might break ds's pocket money into 20 lots of £1 (if he usually gets £20/month) and he 'earns' £1 each day he doesn't get into trouble at school. But there's lots of other ideas too.

MinaPaws Thu 21-Jun-18 15:43:11

I agree with your DH that I wouldn't take away the trip out with his friends as a first reaction, because that will breed resentment and resentment makes behaviour deteriorate.
Have you had a proper discussion with him focusing on empathy for the teacher.
In cases like this, I'd keep asking why he thinks the teacher said what they said, how they said it. I'd ask if he's aware teachers are human, that they might due to stress or time pressure not always phrase things in a way that he rates as 100% ideal to his own ears but that's not a requirement of their job. Is he aware how challenging it is to try and keep control and focus of thirty pupils? Is he aware how helpful it would be, not just to the teacher but to him, to just behave in a way the school would find appropriate. Can he see why at times keeping our opinions ot ourselves is the strong, wise thing to do? Does he understand why it;s a good skill to learn how and when to pick your battles?

I'd ask all these and loads more and listen patiently to answer to each one, and not move on from each question until I had an answer to each one that showed true signs of empathy that the teacher's world doesn;t revolve around DS's ego. Only if he showed no signs of trying to see the other side of the argument would I be mean and say, we're staying here, discussing this until you get it, even if that means being late to meet your mates.

I hate punishment not related to the problem. In the end, it's a solution not a power battle that's needed.

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 10:59:28

Thank you for the advise, really appreciate it. It's good to hear it from someone else's perspective, I will definitely order a couple of books as a few people have suggested some to me.

We have tried to explain to him why he can't behave like that and picking his fights etc but I think we'll try again and explain from the teachers side. Fingers crossed for a good day at school today!!!!

Thanks x

myheartgoesout Fri 22-Jun-18 12:37:33

Agree completely with MinaPaws. The school are punishing him already - why do you feel the need to punish him more. You should be talking with him about and around his behaviour. You need to coach him on how to handle situations better, you will not punish this behaviour out of him. This book is a management tool but also very useful as a parenting tool especially with teenagers and it's a pretty quick read.

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 12:46:48

I guess because the detentions and referrals are not seen as punishment to him, it means he gets to miss time out of lessons which is a result for him, hence why removing Xbox and grounding have happened. I suppose we just want him to know it's not ok to treat people and teachers so badly, but I think sitting down with him to explain again until he understands might be the only way forward.

With Mock GCSEs starting next week I was hoping he might start to take school more seriously!!!! Thanks for advice x

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 12:49:11

Book ordered!!!!! smile

ForgetMeNotCat Fri 22-Jun-18 13:01:28

I agree with Sadik that Charlie Taylor's books are excellent. I've mainly read the one for younger kids but it's an easy read and i really like how he focusses on trying positive methods first. He has run schools for teenagers excluded from other schools and uses the methods successfully there, so i feel that he knows what he's talking about

BeautifulFern Fri 22-Jun-18 14:02:44

Personally, I let the school deal with punishment and consequences at school. Otherwise I would be battling all the time - I deal with the consequences of bad behaviour at home and thats plenty! You don't mention home, so perhaps he is OK there?!

I agree with whoever said about talking to your DS about whats happening at school. However, I am not sure how receptive he is and so how effective that will be?

NorthernSpirit Fri 22-Jun-18 14:14:38

I’m sorry, but it sounds like you are leaving the school to discipline and parent your child.

The boy argues with teachers (I pity the rest of the kids in the class who are suffering because he can’t behave). And he doesn’t like authority - we’ll tough, he’s going to have to learn to deal with it.

So you are leaving the school to deal with it. You need to parent him and set the boundaries at home. And I agree with you - I wouldn’t be rewarding to a nice trip to a theme park as he clearly can’t behave. Don’t agree with posters who say, it’s ok, as the school are punishing him. That’s not the schools job, it’s yours as parents.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 22-Jun-18 14:25:46

It needs to be a combined effort. It's not a case of school dealing with school incidents and home dealing with home. If your child isn't behaving in a way that school feels is appropriate, you need to back that up at home.

I would say he absolutely doesn't get to go to the theme park. If he's grounded, why would he be allowed to the theme park? If he knew the consequences would be Xbox removal and grounding, you have to apply that. Have you been consistent in following through with punishment?

I would be livid with that kind of behaviour - rowing with teachers is not acceptable.

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 14:34:50

This is where me and DH are torn, the same as this thread. It's so hard to deal with because at home he's absolutely fine, he lives by the rules and rarely causes arguments at home, but school is another story!

To actually get him to sit down to listen without arguing back is nearly impossible, I feel sorry for the teachers! I just don't know where he gets the attitude from, we certainly don't condone his behaviour and make it perfectly clear why were removing the Xbox or grounding him and how long for and we stick to it. But things just seem to be getting worse! The grounding, Xbox, referrals and detentions don't seem to bother him.....we've tried to sit down and explain things and talk calmly, shouting also doesn't work.....so what will????

myheartgoesout Fri 22-Jun-18 14:35:53

We know how to handle him at home so we don't have any problems with him it's just school. How do you handle him at home?

SoddingUnicorns Fri 22-Jun-18 14:37:38

It’s not the popular opinion, but I wouldn’t let him go to the theme park. If it breeds resentment so be it, punishments aren’t supposed to be fun!

He’s been bang out of line in school and there is an immediate consequence which WILL bother him (unlike the others from what you’ve said OP) so it could well be a short sharp shock.

I’m a fairly laid back parent, but in this instance I’m with you OP. Sometimes coming down hard is called for.

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 14:43:55

Calmly and trying to explain to him why he shouldn't do something instead of shouting. He's mentioned the teachers he's had problems with this week have been shouting at him. He can't deal with it and it makes him angry and never back down. I can see why the teachers are shouting but it's just not the way to handle him, his head of year has said the teachers who know him get on well with him because they know how to deal with him. The new head of years are very strict and don't take this approach.....I'm pulling my hair out with the situation because I can see both sides and to be honest think that why should the teachers have to handle him a certain way???

myheartgoesout Fri 22-Jun-18 14:44:18

I think time will help. I think he feels the teachers don't respect him and treat him like a young kid when he feels he's an adult, so why should he respect them? What are his hopes and dreams - has he any ambitions?

He doesn't have to respect the teachers, but they are his gateway to a better quality of life, currently he is squandering his opportunity to access a good career and a better lifestyle for himself. I'd be making him see how utterly senseless he is being...the teachers will walk away from him and their career will be fine - he'll be left with all his self righteous anger and no future and that's what I'd be talking to him about. Grown ups don't behave the way he's behaving - only idiots and kids pretending to be grown up do.

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 14:45:45

I think this is why it's so frustrating at the mo it's such an important few years at school and he can't afford all this time out of lessons!

DH has already agreed he can go to the theme park confused

SoddingUnicorns Fri 22-Jun-18 14:46:40

While I agree about the way to handle him, my worry would be that a boss wouldn’t pussyfoot around him and learn how to handle him. The real world just isn’t like that, and it’s a hard lesson but one we all need to learn.

SoddingUnicorns Fri 22-Jun-18 14:47:10

I’d also be pretty pissed off with your DH in your shoes, did he discuss anything with you first?

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 14:49:21

exactly, even a college teacher won't accept this behavior, then what will happen? detentions? no he'll just get kicked out!

we talked over the phone about it and he made me feel like it would be too harsh to stop him going, but having 2 after school detentions, a referral and 2 break detentions in 1 week surely warrants this???!

SoupDragon Fri 22-Jun-18 14:50:15

The problem with cancelling the theme park is that it punishes the friend too.

SoddingUnicorns Fri 22-Jun-18 14:52:12

we talked over the phone about it and he made me feel like it would be too harsh to stop him going, but having 2 after school detentions, a referral and 2 break detentions in 1 week surely warrants this???!

I completely agree OP, I see where you’re coming from and think your DH was quite rude to just overrule what you’re trying to do. It is for the long term benefit of his child after all!

MummyandStepMum Fri 22-Jun-18 14:56:00

I'm glad someone else sees it like that! I just don't know how he's going to manage the rest of his life with this attitude and problems with authority.....

SoddingUnicorns Fri 22-Jun-18 15:00:46

I can see exactly what you’re saying OP, not dealing with it now may make for an easier life for now but not for him, later in life. I actually think you’re being the responsible parent here, not your DH.

Like I said, I’m a fairly laid back parent, I don’t want to be militant parent, but some stuff is absolutely non negotiable, and dicking about at school is one of them.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 22-Jun-18 16:53:18

Couldn't agree more with skidding, it's a non negotiable.

And OP your DH has just undermined your while position- your son can have a really bad week, behave atrociously and there are no (meaningful) repercussions - he still gets his day out with his mate. That's such the wrong message to be giving.

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