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His behavior at Junior High seems to be getting worse...

Dear Mark............many thanks for the My Out-of-Control Child download and information on Teen Incentive Contracts. My wife, teen son, and I are making progress and are beginning to see improved changes in all of us. This information has answered many of the "yes, but how" questions that we have had.

Our son's behavior is improving at home but his behavior at Junior High seems to be getting worse -- e.g. more tardies, talking back to teachers, not studying during advisory period, etc. The consequence for these incidents is generally an after-school detention. Please advise if there should be a natural consequence at home as well considering that my wife or I must then pick up our son because he can't take the bus home?

Many thanks...............J.


Hi J.,

You've mentioned 2 issues:

==> behavior problems at school

==> his behavior then is an inconvenience for you

Re: after-school detention. This is his consequence. I wouldn't add another on top of it

Re: providing transportation. Since his lack of responsibility costs you money (i.e., gas) and time, I would tell him that he will be charged a taxi service fee of, say $3.00, in the event he misses the bus and you have to go get him. This $3.00 can be deducted from his allowance, or he can perform some work at home to earn the $3.00, which must be paid back to you.

Sound silly? It works! This sends a very clear message to your son that his negative behavior affects him directly.


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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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