Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
smileysunshine
smileysunsh... asks:
Q:

3rd grade boy..GREAT GRADES...AWFUL BEHAVIOR...HELP

I am a step-mom to a 9 year old boy; I've known him since he was 4 and recently, his dad, mom and I in addition to school are having A LOT of problems with him.

Our son is smart, A-B report cards, only missed 1 on the TAKS math test, and then the behavior column of the report card...N's with TYPED NOTES, "does not respect others" and "does not follow directions".  We are at witt's end.  Last night his teacher called his mom and let her know that he had officially had his WORST two days of the school year.  She called us which led to an evening of conversations and our son stating "I've just been bad lately".  

For the last several months he has been rude, sassy, disrespectful *especially towards women*, and just plain awful to be around.  The thing is, he knows he's doing it.

We have grounded him, taken electronics away, sent him to bed early, made him apologize to people.  Most recently, his dad told him if he had another weekend like one recently where he was just mean to me all weekend, his room would become vacant and everything would be gone.  It's seems to have eliminated his attitude towards me but it seems like now it's moved further to school...

Suggestions, help...We asked him if anything was wrong last night at our house, his other house, if there were problems...anything...What now?

In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Blended families
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Apr 2, 2009
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

It sounds like you're very frustrated with your step-son's behavior.  I can understand that you feel like you are at your wit's end with him.  I'm sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble in controlling his behaviors lately, but please know that things will get better!  

You mentioned that he's only recently begun to act this way, so that would lead me to believe that something has happened recently that is making him act out.  It's great to hear that he's doing well academically, so you can rule out his behavior as a way to avoid doing school work that is frustrating or hard for him.  Are there any big life events going on in the family that could be causing him stress?  For example, have you moved recently, had a baby or adopted a child, had a death in the family, or a change in the family's financial status including loss of a job?  Take a few moments to think about what stressors you may have as parents and realize that they may be having a trickle down effect on your step-son.

There are many questions that we could ask to get more specifics on your situation such as what are the teachers reporting what he's doing specifically at school to be disrespectful and rude?  Is he being physically aggressive, or is he displalying more verbally abusive behavior toward other students and teachers?  

It sounds like certain consequences have been effective recently in the home.  That's great news.  If it's working, keep it up.  I would also suggest meeting with his school counselor and teacher to come up with an effective plan for consequences that will continue at home for his negative behaviors during the day.  Because consistency in discipline is important, he will be less likely to continue those behaviors at school if he knows he will be punished at home for them and he knows that you and the school are on the same page.  

Even during those times that you are very frustrated and angry, remember to praise him for those times he is acting appropriately.  Verbal praise is a good motivator for kids to continue doing good!

If you would like to talk to someone in more depth about your situation, please feel free to call our free hotline and talk to one of our crisis counselors.  We're here to help you 24/7.  We can be reached at 1-800-448-3000.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

Did you find this answer useful?
2
yes
0
no

Additional Answers (2)

LDSolutions
LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
It is very important that a child feels "loved" in order to do well.  If everthing around the child is focused on negativity, the child in return will react negatively.  Try lots of positive reeinforcement with your child.  Spend some time doing things that he really likes doing and make it all about him.  For example pick game night one night and let him pick his favorite game.  Praise him and make him feel special.  All of this positive energy will help him in return act positive.  Pick his favorite dinner one night and together let him cook with you.  During the cooking time, talk and share stories of the day.  Work together in a positive, happy environment.  Model a calm, loving, respectful and healthy family to your son.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
1
no
ShirleyCressDudley
ShirleyCres... , Teacher, Child Professional, Parent writes:
First, I commend you for being diligent and keeping your expectations clear and consistent with your child.  It's tough to do, but it's best.  

As I read your comments, he's obviously a bright boy, and also seems aware of his behavior.  I wonder if you've asked him what has changed, or what has happened to him, recently, to change his behavior towards women.  (Kids are amazingly honest if we ask the right questions.)  Maybe his Dad could ask him, since his behavior seems to be directed towards women.  Possibly taking him on a Dad/son trip on errands or ice cream, would be a good time to start the conversation.

If that doesn't work, it may be helpful to try an outside source, a school counselor, or local counselor (LPC, MFT, LFMT, LCSW are all good choices) could figure out what is going on.

Something has changed, and it's time to figure it out.  Keep the boundaries in place, and continue to pursue the reasons behind this behavior.  Good luck to you and thank you for loving and caring for your step son enough to seek help.
Shirley Cress Dudley, LPC, MA  at www.blendedfamilyadvice.com
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Answer this question