12 year old school punishment

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    • #143253

      This is my first post. My 12 (almost 13 year old) son was diagnosed about 3 years ago. We’ve of course had our fair share of issues, mostly around impulse control and about 0 filters…basically if he thinks it he says it. He has an IEP purely for his behavioral issues (he’s a straight student and scores well enough to be in the advanced math). This year he’s been written up probably 10-15 times mostly for disrupting class…some are probably related to his ADHD and some are just him trying to get attention. My question for other parents is are your kids punished in school? Today is the first time that my son has had an actual punishment…he’s not allowed in the field trip. I’m okay with it but I think (or at least hope) that had he been facing consequences all along that maybe it wouldnt have gotten this far? When I hear about issues at school that are more severe than just him calling out he’s not allowed on electronics. He’s actually told teachers before it doesnt matter if I get written up…I get in trouble from my mom but school doesn’t do anything. So the first punishment he’s gotten is a pretty big one. And he just texted me from whatever room the the kids who aren’t on the trip are in and said that basically he’s just supposed to be on his phone. I packed him a book today and he said the room was too noisy to read in (plus he forgot his book in his locker) so I’m not even really sure that’s punishment. How do you deal with these types of situations?

    • #143290

      Ok so I’m not a parent and I wont be for a while. Why take my advice then? I’ll tell you why, because I’ve been in your sons shoes, he was me. I am now 17 and I can tell you that the most effective form of punishment is saying to your son that you know he’s better than that. When I was your sons age I had great grades and the same behavioral issues. Having your parents tell you that you are better than that, and saying (to your son) that they have so much potential and that you are concerned for them not only gives them hope but it also wakes them up. It worked for me, it scared me into straightening up. I hope you acknowledge my input because I was your son and I know how hard it can be for both you and your son.

    • #143361

      I certainly appreciate your input. A big theme that I have with him is “make better choices”. I have his back when needed (like if I think he’s being punished for something he didn’t do or couldn’t control). I would just like to see more consequences for his behavior at school. His grades have been really good throughout so right now there isn’t much incentive for him to behave (aside from video games at home…and he goes to his dads a decent amount and gets video games there no matter what – but that’s a whole different post)

    • #143467
      Penny Williams

      Clinical impulsivity makes it almost impossible for a reminder to “make better choices” to work in the moment. THe ADHD brain can rarely stop and think before acting, especially at age 12/13. This is why punishment doesn’t work for those with ADHD.

      To change behavior you have to find the root cause and address the cause.

      6 Truths About Child Behavior Problems That Unlock Better Behavior

      Kids do well if they can. He’s not choosing to act out (unless he thinks it will help him socially, which does happen, especially at his age). Shift your perspective and look at behavior as a signal of something else going on.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #145182

      If this is a consequence for a severe misbehavior, then it makes sense. If it is because he is impulsive, that is part of his diagnosis and it is illegal for the school to exclude him simply because of his “disability” so you should verify the exact reason. Also, were you informed ahead of time or just the day he got to school and didn’t go? I may be from a different area but where I am, a parent with a child who is unpredictable in a new environment has the option of a known adult accompanying them and being responsible. But, I repeat, excluding him simply for his ADHD is illegal.

    • #145214

      You can have the IEP spell out EXACTLY what will happen in school and I strongly suggest this. Teachers are not skilled at this stuff, you as the parent need to be the expert and be sure the guidelines are clear for the student and the teachers. They also have to be really clear for the student or they are simply meaningless. My son found any school or home “punishment” useless and ignored any typical reaction lime removing things or not going on (probably stressful) field trips.

      I suggest a behavior plan that is meaningful to your SON – even have him help write it. If he isn’t brought in, the adults will be spinning their wheels and behaving badly too.

      Very important: the plan should be Short Term Goal Based – not punitive, not ling term- no end of semester prizes- they’ll be meaninglessly distant.

      Teachers loved punitive, checklist garbage for my son & balked at positive short term goals- but he would shine when he had the better plan.

      Praise matters A Lot.

      IEP structure focused on:
      Short Term – Win Focused – Include Your Son

    • #145349

      As a parent of a ADD student, and a teacher. My son has had some pretty rough situations and consequences, however I feel that we do everybody a disservice by judging the teachers and the student without the full story. We do not know the circumstances or the behavior that lead to the student being excluded from the field trip. Did he endanger the other students or himself?

      • #157200

        I have to agree with you, Scottie. I’m a full time substitute teacher, diagnosed with ADD & depression. A couple things I’ve noticed this year in particular are one, teachers are very limited in how they can respond to & deal with behavior issues in the classroom, and it seems like students could care less about the consequences, they don’t work as a deterrent anymore. We reward kids at school with stickers, extra tech time, prizes, etc for doing what they should be doing! At some point we need to teach kids that they need to work on controlling their behaviors, even if diagnosed with some type of issue. Now is the time to figure it out because adulthood is around the corner & impulsive behavior issues don’t get you far once you’re an adult. It’s not easy.

    • #178473

      Hi Jill,

      Sorry to hear. I had a lot of the same problems growing up. I was in lunch detention almost every day for misbehavior. I didn’t behave the way I did to harm anyone else, I just found school to be very boring. With ADHD, every behavior happens for a reason. ADHD has a very potent curiosity when it comes to things a child takes extreme fascination in. This is why we see thrill-seeking or immediate gratification oriented behaviors. There are some other, less-severe behaviors, that are exhibited more to obtain a reaction from the parent or other person in the child’s vicinity. These behaviors deal with the inattentive part of the condition: we with ADHD get bored easily and then start looking for attention in the form of misbehavior. Every behavior happens for a reason. For the thrill-seeking behaviors, it’s important to spot the source of the curiosity and fascination. For attention-seeking, it’s best to ignore and be non-reactive.

      Hope this helps, I have some programs on ADHD parenting if anyone would like some insight.

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