I ordered your book and the CD's... I am having trouble knowing when to implement and when to not...
My son is probably going to be diagnosed Bi-polar soon.. it runs in the men's side of our family (grandfather, father, brothers, cousins)... he is taking risperdal now because he cycles into an agitated depression in the winter months... he is 17 years... a junior...you can see it coming on and this is the 2nd year that is is very noticeable....
He starts the school year doing his work and happy and by November he starts slacking down, starts having trouble sleeping and appetite starts to go down, and has to be pushed to finish the semester.... he gets C's and B's ... but then after christmas break... he gets worse... more argumentative... feels everyone is picking on him... and stops working completely... this year when i saw the anger and argumentative behavior. I asked the teachers if they were seeing anything different ... and they all agreed that after christmas this was not the same kid they had in class the previous semester... so i contacted his psychiatrist and restarted his meds
My problem is that he has to do catch up work ... to keep from failing this quarter... and he doesn't want to .... he has trouble accepting that he gets depressed and it takes all of us ganging up on him to get him to the doctor... once there he agreed to start back on the medicine ... i don't know how to discipline in this case when part of the problem is not due to his resistance but due to his body chemistry it takes two to three weeks to notice a difference when the meds finally kick in... his teachers for the most part are willing to let him do make up work...
In this last week i started taking the internet cord with me to work... and told him he has to start doing some of this make up work or can't be on the computer... he did some of the work but then by the third day... he doesn't come home because I am "treating him like a 4 th grader"...
It has been difficult for him in high school so far... in his freshman year I started him in a school that had special programming for boys with ADD and he was doing well... but then some boys at the school started a pornographic web page and put my sons face on the pictures and then sent it around to the other kids... it became a place where all the kids were looking it up and commenting some pretty ugly comments.... I could not get Face book to remove it, and had to have the FBI step in and force them to take the page down.... due to the severity of the harassment my son changed schools in the middle of his freshman year to a new school.... although he wanted to change schools.. he did not do well 2nd semester because of the disruption in his classes / routines / new teachers... it was hard for him to adjust to it all... but he did make all C's that semester
In the 2nd school (sophomore year) it turned out that many of those kids had seen the site and continued the harassing comments and nasty e-mails to my son.... even when I took this information to the school ... little was done about it.... in the midst of this problem my son suffered a grand mal seizure, stopped breathing and was resuscitated and hospitalized... and after that he started having problems with his mood and depression... last spring during the last week of school... kids were still writing and saying nasty things to him about being gay... or he should be "sucking someone’s dick"... and when I took the information to the school they just looked like ... all we can do is ask them to stop... I decided to transfer him again for fear that he would kill himself due to the stress...and depression ... or kill one of them. (he is being followed by a neurologist for an AVM on his brain found after he had the seizure)
Now my son is in his third high school... Junior year... and started as i said doing well but then is having trouble with depression again... he feels that he has had to put up with so much crap from other people in the past two years... that people should put up with him....he has lost motivation to do well for himself... he has made some friends... and does work a part time pizza parlor job that he likes. He recently had an episode of fainting, and is again being worked up by the neurologist and he will also be evaluated for possible syncope.
I want to get him on track with his education.... but am fearful to take too much away from him because of all that has happened this last two years... and for the most part he comes home on time... does his chores.... except for his room being a mess 3/4 of the time.. he does his laundry or other things i ask of him...
I believe that my son is out of control due to his ADD, due to me, due to circumstance that have happened... and due to choices he is making now because he feels entitled to act out since he feels he was unjustly picked on by kids he thought were his friends... he has many of the traits you describe on your CD's....
I just need some direction oh how to set expectations when all these issues are going on at the same time....
Sorry for the lengthy letter.... but i didn't know how else to go about it....
Looking forward to your response...
Re: poor academic performance—
I guess you didn’t read the recommendations for poor academic performance yet. It is located in the section of the online version of the eBook entitled “Emails From Exasperated Parents.”
Re: cyber bullying—
More and more, kids are using the Internet to antagonize and intimidate others. This has become known as cyber bullying. Today's young Internet users have created an interactive world away from adult knowledge and supervision. Because bullies tend to harass their victims away from the watchful eyes of adults, the Internet is the perfect tool for reaching others anonymously - anytime, anyplace. This means for many children, home is no longer a refuge from the cruel peer pressures of school.
The anonymity of online communications means kids feel freer to do things online they would never do in the real world. 60 per cent of students pretend to be someone else when they are online. Of those, 17 per cent do so because they want to "act mean to people and get away with it". Even if they can be identified online, young people can accuse someone else of using their screen name. They don't have to own their actions, and if a person can't be identified with an action, fear of punishment is diminished.
Technology can also affect a young person's ethical behavior because it doesn't provide tangible feedback about the consequences of actions on others. This lack of feedback minimizes feelings of empathy or remorse. Young people say things online that they would never say face-to-face because they feel removed from the action and the person at the receiving end.
There are several ways that young people bully others online. They send e-mails or instant messages containing insults or threats directly to a person. They may also spread hateful comments about a person through e-mail, instant messaging or postings on Web sites and online diaries. Young people steal passwords and send out threatening e-mails or instant messages using an assumed identity. Technically savvy kids may build whole Web sites, often with password protection, to target specific students or teachers.
An increasing number of kids are being bullied by text messages through their cell phones. These phones are challenging the ability of adults to monitor and guide children because, unlike a computer placed in a public area of a home, school or library, mobiles are personal, private, connected - and always accessible. Kids tend to keep their phones on at all times, meaning bullies can harass victims at school or even in their own rooms.
Built-in digital cameras in cell phones are adding a new dimension to the problem. In one case students used a camera-enabled cell phone to take a photo of an overweight classmate in the shower after gym. The picture was distributed throughout the school e-mail list within minutes.
Schools are struggling to address the issue of cyber bullying among students, especially when it occurs outside of school. When real world bullying occurs in a schoolyard or classroom, teachers are often able to intervene, but online bullying takes place off the radar screen of adults, making it difficult to detect in schools and impossible to monitor off school property.
Young people should be aware that some forms of online bullying are considered criminal acts. Under the Criminal Code, it is a crime to communicate repeatedly with someone if your communication causes them to fear for their own safety or the safety of others.
It's also a crime to publish a "defamatory libel" - writing something that is designed to insult a person or likely to injure a person's reputation by exposing him or her to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
A cyber bully may also be violating the Human Rights Act, if he or she spreads hate or discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or disability.
Internet service providers (ISPs) are the companies that provide Internet access to consumers. Most ISPs have Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) that clearly define privileges and guidelines for those using their services, and the actions that can be taken if those guidelines are violated.
ISPs and cell phone service providers can respond to reports of cyber bullying over their networks, or help clients track down the appropriate service provider to respond to.
Cyber bullying is everyone's business and the best response is a pro-active or preventative one.
What parents can do—
1. Create an online agreement or contract for computer use, with your kids' input. Make sure your agreement contains clear rules about ethical online behaviour. MNet's research shows that in homes where parents have clear rules against certain kinds of activities, young people are much less likely to engage in them.
2. Encourage kids to develop their own moral code so they will choose to behave ethically online.
3. Encourage your kids to come to you if anybody says or does something online that makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Stay calm and keep the lines of communication and trust open. If you "freak out" your kids won't turn to you for help when they need it.
4. Learn everything you can about the Internet and what your kids are doing online. Talk to them about the places they go online and the activities that they are involved in. Be aware of what your kids are posting on Web sites, including their own personal home pages.
5. Talk to your kids about responsible Internet use.
6. Teach them to never post or say anything on the Internet that they wouldn't want the whole world - including you - to read.
7. If the bully is a student at your child's school, meet with school officials and ask for help in resolving the situation.
8. If your child is bullied through a cell phone, report the problem to your phone service provider. If it's a persistent problem, you can change the phone number.
9. Report any incident of online harassment and physical threats to your local police and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
What schools can do—
·Change the school or board's bullying policy to include harassment perpetrated with mobile and Internet technology.
·Educate teachers, students and parents about the seriousness of cyber bullying.
·Integrate curriculum-based anti-bullying programs into classrooms.
·Update the school or board's computer Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) to specifically prohibit using the Internet for bullying.
What kids can do—
Because most incidents of bullying occur off adults' radar screens, it's important that young people learn to protect themselves online and respond to cyber bullying among peers when they encounter it.
Take a stand against cyber bullying with your peers. Speak out whenever you see someone being mean to another person online. Most kids respond better to criticism from their peers than to disapproval from adults.
Guard your contact information. Don't give people you don't know your cell phone number, instant messaging name or e-mail address.
If you are being harassed online, take the following actions immediately:
1. If the bullying includes physical threats, tell the police.
2. If you are being bullied through e-mail or instant messaging, block the sender's messages. Never reply to harassing messages.
3. If you are being harassed, leave the area or stop the activity (i.e. chat room, news group, online gaming area, instant messaging, etc.).
4. Save any harassing messages and forward them to your Internet Service Provider (i.e. Hotmail or Yahoo). Most service providers have appropriate use policies that restrict users from harassing others over the Internet - and that includes kids!
5. Tell an adult you trust - a teacher, parent, older sibling or grandparent.
One last thought— Bipolar teens tend to respond very well to mentors, or Big Brothers. Find a trusted adult (preferably not a family member) who will be willing to be your son’s friend and confidant, and who will work with him for many years to come.
Online Parent Support
My name is E___, and our son's name is J___ (he is 15 yrs old). J___ has been sentenced to a four month open custody at the Young Offenders Centre and 2 month community supervision sentence which may be served at home or in a group home, we don't know yet. The judge ordered child welfare to be in contact with us 45 days prior to his May 30 release date from open custody to be involved to find a home for him for assessment and treatment. We had a case conference at the Centre last week as he is eligible for a group home during his open custody. It was decided by them to keep him there for 2 months as a stabilization time before he is moved.
His sentence was for breaching the conditions of his probation (he had 3 breaches)...not following the rules of the house, drug (marijuana use), and not going to school. His involvement with the law started last spring when he was running away and not coming home for days. In that time he was charged with shoplifting a skateboard and the police put conditions on him, which he had no regard for. One month later he was also charged with stealing our motor vehicle. We charged him after the third time taking it. The courts then put more conditions on him and he was arrested several times for breaching his conditions and held in custody for 2 - 3 days 3 times. He was finally put on house arrest while he waited for a pre-sentence report and actually did pretty good in that time. He was put on a year probation last August and as soon as probation started he began not following his conditions. After several times in court - sometimes dates being moved, etc. He was to be sentenced on Dec 6 of last year and went to court stoned and they held him for a week so that he wasn't under the influence at sentencing. At that time he was sentenced to 90 hours community service and told one more breach and he would be sentenced to some time. He kept putting it off and asking for update on his sentence report, which happened in fall as well, but was unable to comply and continued to not follow his conditions (it was myself who reported his breached to the probation officer. His sentence came on Jan 31/08. That's the background.
J___ is not angry with us and realizes to some degree his consequence. He calls us everyday (he only has 10 minutes) and we have been visiting on the weekends at the centre. He says he realizes that his marijuana use was coming before everything else. He says he wants to make changes, change some of his friends. We are going this weekend to see him along with the drug addictions for a counselling session. What he is not understanding is the length of his sentence because there are other people who have less sentences for worse things. We have tried to tell him its not just for the 3 breaches but all the other breaches (probably about 20 plus) since last summer, and that when the same judge sees you 10 times. We try to tell him he was given lots of opportunities by the courts and us. We tried to have house rules and you didn't follow them as well as not following your probation. He has put in appeal for the length of his sentence and we did tell him a couple of weeks ago that we don't support and we won't go against the judge's decision.
I've started reading through your book online, and yes we've been through tons of counselling. Eventually he will come home and I feel the changes need to start happening now even though he is not at home, even in our conversations. He does have a mentor that he calls and talks to (he talked to you last week - Tom Barthel). I would like some suggestions on how we can communicate with him effectively so that he realizes that people care about him and that when rules aren't followed like you say in your book, society will control him. Also so that we support him but can't enable him. He is a good kid at heart, very intelligent and polite, but defiant and making some bad choices and his life was definitely heading down the toilet. My husband and I love him dearly. Our life has been hell for the past 2 years especially the last year.
I would love any immediate suggestions.
Re: I would love any immediate suggestions.
I would simply "let go" and allow him to experience his natural consequence (i.e., the sentence). Other people are taking care of the discipline side of things for now. I don't think you need to do anything additional in the meantime (other than accept his phone calls and making your weekly visits).
During his first week home, implement Session #1 Assignments. Week two, implement Session #2, and so on.
Re: I would like some advice on how we can effectively start communicating.
First of all, implement Session #1 Assignments when he returns home as stated above.
Also, the strategies in the eBook entitled "The Art of Saying Yes" ..."The Art of Saying No" ..."When You Want Something From Your Kid" ...and "I See - I Feel - I Want" will be effective in weeks 2, 3, and 4.
Online Parent Support
What do you think of the “3-strikes-you’re-out” rule. We thought we would give our 15-year-old son one verbal warning for misbehavior, if the problem continued, give him one written warning, if the problem continued, issue the 3-day discipline. Have you heard of anyone trying this? Do you think it will work?
Thanks in advance,
I don’t think this method will hurt anything, but I don’t recommend it because it will be a waste of your time and energy. The “3-strikes method” is just another traditional parenting strategy that makes little – if any – change in the child’s behavior.
I find that when you give a kid 3 strikes -- he uses all 3. Teenagers, by definition, push against the world to see how it will push back …they test the limits …they spend a lot of time figuring out how much they can get away with. This is normal for a teenager. Thus, you can count on your son using all 3 strikes.
A better method would be “When You Want Something From Your Kid” in the eBook (a “1-strike-and-your-out” method).
Online Parent Support
Click here for my response...
Click here for my response...
Our daughter refuses to meet us half way. Today she left the house to go to a friend’s. Without permission! The list goes on and on. Will your book really help with this kind of problem child? We feel helpless as to what to do. We can’t lock her up. We can't forcibly restrain her - and don`t dare strike her. She is 15.
I can – and will – help you, but you're the one who will have to take some action.
In answer to your question, "Will your book really help with this kind of problem child" ...it absolutely will help! I'm not going to bullshit you, though. The work will be tough -- but the reward will be well worth the effort. It all depends on how serious you are to implement change. Don't procrastinate!
My Out-of-Control Teen
I wanted you to see what the teacher has said since we last spoke! We have had a victory- hopefully the beginning of many! It works, it really works! You are a God send!
THANK GOD!! WOOHOOO
So far today he has continued to surprise me. He has done wonderfully. Way to go mom. Now we know the rest of the story and what needs to be done to get his attention. He is a great kid!!!
I wanted you to know that D___ had a terrific day yesterday. He finish all the assignments he was missing and he raised his hand the correct way to get help. He followed all the rules just like he was supposed to do. He earned his behavior clip and he seemed to be very proud of it. He has come in this morning and without my telling him he started to work. I am seeing a totally different kid and I love it. I will try to let you know more later.
Although I can understand letting go, and have felt the relief of letting go myself in the past, I do have a bipolar kid. I feel like if I don’t maintain involvement that because of the disorder he won’t succeed. My guilt always draws me back in. My involvement, or what I’m doing now is not working though – he just gets progressively more depressed and angry as time goes on. So, bipolar and all, do I still let go? My son is 15 years old and is a sophomore.
Can I answer your question in 3 points:
O.K. I'm being sarcastic. But bipolar or not, you will do well to follow the recommendations as they are outlined.
Thanks for the email,
Online Parent Support
==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents
==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents
==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents
In this first week, I simply want you to work only on the objectives outlined in Session #1 assignments – nothing more for now. The objectives are pretty straightforward.
The goal of week one is to re-establish the broken bond between child and parent. We as parents must build a bridge back to our kids because, only then, will they accept discipline from us. Thus, concentrate on establishing trust and developing a renewed commitment to the parent-child relationship by following the Session #1 objectives.
The most common mistake I see time and time again is as follows:
The parent, out of a sense of desperation, (a) prints out a hard copy of the eBook, (b) skims through it in one sitting, (c) can’t find a magic bullet, and (d) says to herself – or to me – that she’s tried all this before and it doesn’t work. These parents will never, ever see success because they hop from one strategy to the next without giving any one strategy enough time to be effective. Please do not make this error. Be patient with the process, and you, too, will experience success with this program.
My Out-of-Control Teen
David was diagnosed with ODD at the age of 3 and ADHD at the age of 6. His mother had him tested by a psychiatrist, because he would often lose his temper, argue, refuse to comply with rules, deliberately annoy his playmates, and blamed others for his misbehavior. This disturbance in behavior caused significant impairment in his social and academic functioning.
No one knows for certain why David got ODD plus ADHD. His parents divorced when he was 5. His father is an alcoholic and has been in trouble with the law many times [currently in prison – 2008].
When David was 3 years old, his mother thought that the terrible twos were finally over. They were not. His mother was very grateful that the grandparents were nearby. The grandparents were grateful that David's aunts and uncles lived nearby. David's aunt was grateful that this was her nephew, not her son. Why? David required an incredible combination of strength, patience, and endurance.
In elementary school, David's day usually started out with arguing about what he could and couldn’t bring to school. His mother and his teacher made out a written list of what those things were. David brought a PSP to school and told his teacher that his mother said it was alright. At first his teacher wondered about this, but David seemed so believable.
When David was 15 and in the ninth grade, he seemed to have one problem after the other. His teachers always commented that he was capable of much more if he tried. David's best friend, Alex, was currently doing a 6-month sentence for vandalism and shoplifting. Since David had almost no other friends, he would do anything to be Alex’s friend. David thought it was "cool" that Alex was at the Madison County Youth Center. David wanted to be just like his good friend Alex.
When David was 16, his mother had to work a lot because she wasn’t getting any child support from her ex-husband. David could pretty much go wherever he wanted to - whenever he wanted to since no one was home to keep a check on him. During this time, David found a lot of “cool” friends like Alex to hang around.
When David was 17 and in high school, his mother would not let him go to a dance. He broke all the windows in her car. He lasted two months in 11th grade before he was suspended for fighting. David lost the few “good” friends he had by getting kicked off the football team. He swore at a judge during a probation hearing and got two months in the Madison County Youth Center, which was extended to six months after he tried to attack a guard.
After his release from the Youth Center, he wanted to be able to drive. His mother said no, and he decided that was it and went over to a friend’s house and got drunk out of his mind. He also took a bunch of pills – and ended up over-dosing. His mother still remembers those words, "You'll be f-ing better off without me and if you come after me I'll f-ing kill you".
That horrible day was the turning point. It took five police officers to get him to go to the hospital. It took a careful evaluation to figure out that he wasn't just ODD and ADHD - he was very depressed, too.
David is now an adult. Life is not easy. He has already been to prison twice and is following in his father’s footsteps. When he’s not incarcerated, he works by himself [doing little construction jobs here and there] because he cannot get along with co-workers and doesn’t like to be told what to do by bosses. He leads to a very lonely life because he cannot keep a girlfriend for more than a few months.
David has made several suicide attempts, has seriously assaulted two individuals on two different occasions while at the local bar and grill, and makes a little side money selling drugs [he also carries a gun]. David is unaware that he has an increased risk of dying prematurely by violent means.
David never sees his father. His mother has made herself sick worrying about David. But David doesn’t really care whether he lives or dies. He is consumed with finding his next “high” and will bulldoze over anyone or anything that stands in his way.
Don’t happen to run into David on the streets.
If your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, seek help sooner than later.
Treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder includes:
·Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and decrease negativity
·Family Psychotherapy to improve communication
·Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management
·Parent Training Programs to help manage the child's behavior
·Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance with peers
Parents can help their child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder in the following ways:
·Always build on the positives, give the child praise and positive reinforcement when he shows flexibility or cooperation.
·Maintain interests other than your child with ODD, so that managing your child doesn't take all your time and energy.
·Manage your own stress with exercise and relaxation.
·Pick your battles. Since the child with ODD has trouble avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want your child to do.
·Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits with consequences that can be enforced consistently. Take a time-out or break if you are about to make the conflict with your child worse, not better.
Online Parent Support
I am better today. Lia is home. I tried your the technique you teach of "give some praise through a wired shut by anger mouth"... :-) ..., yesterday on Lia. She DID the dishes, 1st time out and good.
After she finished them I said "TTTttttttthhhhhhaaannnnnkkkkk (aaarrrgggggggaAAaag) Yyyyyoooouuuu.
You did the dishes great and even put them away without being asked. Want to help with dinner?"...
I swear she stood frozen, like a deer cemented in headlights, and eventually said "sure". So today is a new day. A thankful while hopeful day for the ONE day of peace I had yesterday and for the hope of adding another day today. It is at least a start. Thank you!"
Online Parent Support
I just want to say your ebook is proving very helpful. I am almost 57 (A___) and have an adolescent son my height (14 in May) and another son 13 in August (who's shoulder height). I am a single mother - I agreed to 50/50 childcare on the divorce application 2 years ago, but have been dumped with 90 - 95% childcare, because my ex-husband took off to a place a 2-and -a-half-hour drive away, and sees the sons he wanted, only in holidays and a weekend a month whenever he dictates. When he left our home, and had bought a new place with a new partner BEFORE our divorce application was even lodged, I had the relief that my 'eldest dependent son' had left home. Yes, I was bullied and intimidated into doing everything - earning all the money, paying all the bills, doing the main bulk (deliberate redundancy there) of childcare (getting children to school en route to my job) and housework. And burning out. I see from your book I was the over-indulgent wife. Yes, indeed (due to intimidation, and his lack of educational skills, I think.)
And my ex-husband, March 2 is now in my elder son. I have no family in this city, all 5 uncles are in different countries, both grand-dads are dead, the father is a long way away, there are no male first cousins, so all in all I lack on-the-spot male role models for my sons, other than their school teachers. I tried to get them into scouting, but my ex-husband who actually was an Assistant Scout Leader, and scout-leadered other people's sons, just took off 3 months after our separation and ignored that request / necessity. There was a scout club hardly one kilometre from where his first flat was...OK, it sucks. I feel sad for my sons on this one, but without a car, can't do anything about it.
I bought your book last Friday, and we started a new era of parenting. I think I'm the HERO and the lost child - the one that hid in poplar trees, away from her father's almighty painful excessive use of the cane. I write peaceful music, and publish CDs and sheet music. That strong side of me has continued unabated throughout this pattern, I now see from your wise book, of being bullied and intimidated.
Today I refused to write my son a note to his history teacher asking for an extension. He's had 3 days to do it. My heart has become poker-faced, knowing I have to develop my sons' educational paths (which I accepted, and knew my marriage would disappear in order to achieve it) but now I'm aware I have to face up to the social / behavioural training for them as well to be acceptable to society. I know my elder son is pulling away from me - yes, I'm fired as the manager - and this is utterly necessary, but from now on, rather than my reacting to the bad manners (e.g. throwing an envelope on the floor at my feet - for school photos) and insisting on good manners, I have to PROACTIVELY set the limits and my expectations. And do the cheating - of positive verbal affirmation when things done well - which I have always done to a large extent, just like to the pets.
I will be reading up on Parent Traps at lunchtime. You can see I'm basically 2 generations older than my sons, with no family support anywhere around - the 2 grandmas are in a different country. It's good to have your invitation to on the odd occasion say how useful your material is. I used to be a high school teacher, and knew theoretically about Tough Love - even recommended it to the parents of out-of-control kids who ended up as suspensions on the school I was at. Now, I'm learning about the social necessity for this (gentler) form of Tough Love myself. Vital. There's a Big Brother Big Sister network I've found - my sons don't want anything to do with it, but as Mum, I've decided I do! So, that will be underway today. Google is very helpful.
Online Parent Support
- Identify a maximum of five (5) problem behaviors that you feel need to be improved. These behaviors could be priorities, and some should be related to the behaviors that are causing the most problems, i.e., legal problems, school problems, or medical problems (such as illness due to drug abuse or an overdose, or medication compliance issues if the teen is on psychiatric medications such as Ritalin).
- Specifically identify what the expectation is for each behavior. Be clear and concise when identifying expectations so that there is no chance for a teen to tell you he or she didn't understand the expectation.
- Example: Teen will attend all therapy sessions, including weekly individual and weekly family therapy, and teen will take medication as prescribed).
- Specifically state what the privileges and consequences will be when a teen is either following the rules or chooses to break the rules. These privileges and consequences should be natural and logical. In other words, when possible, set a consequence that is related to the misbehavior. Be sure you, the parent, are willing and able to enforce the consequences that you set or your contract will be worthless.
Example (for the expected behavior listed above):
- Consequence: Teen will not be given any privileges until he complies
(car, phone, TV, radio, going out with friends, etc.) THIS IS NOT NEGOTIABLE.
- Privilege: Teen will earn parents' trust and be better equipped to cope with stresses.
- Set a date that the contract may be revised and/or negotiated. Renegotiation is based on the amount of progress. Inform teen that he/she may earn more or fewer privileges based on behavior in the interim. Encourage dialogue with your teen regarding privileges he or she may want to earn in the future.
- VERY IMPORTANT - Consult with other parental figures to make sure that ALL ARE IN AGREEMENT AND WILLING TO ENFORCE THE CONTRACT AS WRITTEN. If parental figures do not agree on some of the items, it is imperative to make the necessary revisions to come to an agreement. Again, a qualified therapist may be able to help you get over the hurdles of differing opinions.
- School behavior and grades
- Telephone use
- Computer use
- Use of the car
- Alcohol/drug use
- Expression of anger or violence, including profanity
- Conflict resolution (helpful when two siblings are at each other's throats)
- Running away
- Medication issues and compliance (for those who take regular medicines, such as Ritalin)
- Attendance at therapy sessions
- Teen will not use any alcohol or drugs.
- Consequence: Teen will be grounded for one week. Grounding consists of: staying home, no friends as guests, no phone calls, etc. etc.) Punishment will increase one week for each subsequent offense (i.e., if teen is caught using substances a second time, punishment will be for two weeks, etc.)
Note: It is VERY important to clearly state what being grounded consists of so that there are no avenues for manipulation by the teen to get out of the punishment).
- Privilege: Teen will be allowed to continue going out with friends and may have continued use of the car.
- Teen is expected to return home immediately after school except if prior arrangements are made with parents. Teen will inform parents where he/she is going and will be home by 8:00 p.m. on school nights and 11:00 p.m. on nonschool nights.
- Consequence: Teen will be expected to come home twice as early as he was late for one week. (e.g., if 30 minutes late, then curfew will be one hour earlier for the next week).
- Privilege: Teen will maintain current curfew and gain trust (some parents may want to allow their teen to work his/her way up to a later curfew by proving himself or herself, but parents should never set a curfew later than the legal curfew in their area).
- Teen will perform all assigned chores in a satisfactory manner, according to the standards set by parents.
(It is helpful to provide a written list of daily chores so there is no misunderstanding - a dry-erase marker board hung in the kitchen or other family area works great for this purpose).
- Consequence: Teen will not be allowed any privileges until required chores are completed, including TV, radio, computer, having friends visit or going out with friends.
- Privilege: Teen will maintain access to all privileges of the house, including watching TV, using the computer, having friends visit, and going out with friends.
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Would you have any information for teachers and how they can deal with out of control students?
Thanks in advance,
Hi Ms. Margy,
Yes. Here’s a “Guide for Teachers”:
Guide for Teachers--
I. Brief Overview
A. Present main points from:
Behavior Problems: What's a School to Do? - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter.
1. Refer to the outline entitled Intervention Focus in Dealing with Misbehavior for a concise description of strategies for managing misbehavior before, during and after its occurrence.
2. Utilize the Logical Consequences section to discuss the nature and rationale for implementing consequences, as well as a review of appropriate guidelines for using discipline in the classroom.
B. Labeling Troubled and Troubling Youth: The Name Game - Excerpted from Addressing Barriers to Learning Newlsetter, Vol. 1(3), Summer 1996.
§ Refer to this document to provide a theoretical framework for understanding, identifying and diagnosing various behavioral, emotional and learning problems. This framework accounts for both individual and environmental contributions to problem behavior.
II. Fact Sheets
A. The Broad Continuum of Conduct and Behavioral Problems - Excerpted from The Classification of Child and Adolescent Mental Diagnoses in Primary Care, American Academy of Pediatrics (1996). Excerpted from a Center Guidebook entitled: Common Psychosocial Problems of School Aged Youth, pp. III B-5 (1999) and a Center Introductory Packet entitled: conduct and Behavior Problems: Intervention and Resources for School Aged Youth (1999).
0. This document serves as an additional resource for understanding and identifying variations in the nature and severity of behavior problems.
1. This document should be referenced for additional information on variations in the manifestation of specific problem behaviors at different stages of development (infancy through adolescence).
B. Conduct Disorder in Children and Adolescents - Center for Mental Health Services Fact Sheet ( http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/CA-0010/default.asp).
0. Note the section titled What Are the Signs of Conduct Disorder, which lists the symptoms of Conduct Disorder. These signal more severe problems that must be addressed.
1. Because families may look to teachers or school counselors for help and/or referrals for their child, it is important to know what resources exist. The section What Help Is Available for Families? may be helpful in generating ideas about referral interventions.
C. Fact Sheet: Oppositional Defiant Disorder - Excerpted from a Center Introductory Packet entitled: Conduct and Behavior Problems in School Aged Youth, pp. 113 (1999). As adapted from an Ask NOAH About: Mental Health Fact Sheet: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, The New York Hospital / Cornell Medical Center. ( http://www.noah-health.org/english/illness/mentalhealth/cornell/conditions/odd.html).
0. Note the section titled Symptoms, which covers symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
1. Ideas for interventions might be found in the section titled Treatment, and families can be encouraged to use the principles listed under Self-Management.
D. Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder Center for Mental Health Services Fact Sheet ( http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/CA-0008/default.asp).
0. Note the section titled What Are the Signs of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, which lists the symptoms of ADHD.
1. Again, the section What Help Is Available for Families? may be helpful in generating ideas about referral interventions.
A. What is a Behavioral Initiative? - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: Behavioral Initiatives in Broad Perspective, Center for Mental Health in Schools (1998).
§ A brief overview of what a "behavioral initiative" is and why taking a proactive approach to behavior management is necessary under the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
B. School-Wide Behavioral Management Systems - Excerpted from an ERIC Digest by Mary K. Fitzsimmons.
0. Note that one of the main points of the article is that effective behavioral management requires a system that will "provide opportunities for all children to learn self-discipline." Thus, the focus is not on discipline strategies.
1. Reinforce the points made by Tim Lewis of the University of Missouri (at the bottom of page 1). Objectives need to be realistic, need-based, and accompanied by multiple levels of support.
2. The section titled Common Features of School-Wide Behavioral Management Systems can be used to generate discussion about encouraging commitment to a school-wide program incorporating a code of conduct and social/emotional skills instruction.
C. Student's Perspectives / Addressing Underlying Motivation to Change - Excerpted from a Guidebook entitled: What Schools Can Do to Welcome and Meet the Needs of All Students, Unit VI, pp 16-17 and Unit VII, pp. 23-28. Center for Mental Health in Schools (1997).
0. This resource addresses the question "why?" in the discussion of students' problem behaviors. It also provides a list of assessment questions to guide understanding of the problem when it occurs.
1. An assessment tool is provided as a guide in the assessment of problems from the student's point of view. This tool comes in one form for young children, and another form for all other children and youth.
IV. Model Programs
A. Social Skills Training (Examples): - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: A Sampling of Outcome Findings from Interventions Relevant to Addressing Barriers to Learning, Center for Mental Health in Schools.
B. Violence Prevention and School Safety - Excerpted from a Technical Assistance Sampler entitled: A Sampling of Outcome Findings from Interventions Relevant to Addressing Barriers to Learning, Center for Mental Health in Schools.
C. Excerpts from: Building on the Best, Learning What Works: A Few Promising Discipline and Violence Prevention Programs - Excerpted from American Federation of Teachers (2000). ( http://www.aft.org/pubs-reports/downloads/teachers/wwdiscipline.pdf)
V. Additional Resources
o QuickFinds related to Behavior Problems at School:
VI. Originals for Overheads
The following can be copied to overhead transparencies to assist in presenting this material.