Pulling Weeds as a Form of Aversion Therapy?

"I’m raising my grandson who was suspended from school (year 8) for the past week for swearing at a teacher. He was told that he would get 2 weeks next time. He now has the attitude that if I send him back to school he will see to it that he is sent home again and again. I did do the 3 days behaviour in his room and I do notice that he is getting bored, but he seems to have the attitude that boredom is better then school. So now what?!"

So he just hangs-out in his room? How difficult is that? Not very!

In this situation, “staying at home” must be more uncomfortable to him than “going to school.” Rather than telling you what you “should” do here, I’ll just tell you what I did:

When my son (now 32) got suspended from school (at age 9) for back-talking a teacher, I made life at home pretty damn miserable for him (just short of ‘pure hell’):
  • He could NOT sleep in
  • He could NOT take naps
  • He could NOT stay up past 9:00 (he either went to sleep or looked at the ceiling all night)
  • He could NOT access any games, music, t.v., etc.
  • He was grounded FROM his room rather than TO his room (due to the fact that he liked to hide in there when he was mad)
  • He was required to do extra chores throughout the day (about 4 hours every day)

Was he bored? Nope. Tired? YES!

Now... I won’t say he was excited about getting back to school after the suspension, but – let’s put it this way – he preferred sitting at a desk at school rather than picking weeds and scrubbing oils spots off the driveway at home (a little dose of aversion therapy).

It didn't matter to me whether or not he was doing the chores perfectly ...I had bigger fish to fry. The only thing that mattered was that he was spending a lot of time and energy performing tasks he had no interest in.

He never got suspended again (although he thought about it a few times). Was this luck? I don’t think so.

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