heather_myers asks:

6th grade boy - great grades, not so great actions

I have an 11-year-old son who just entered Middle School.  Grades are fantastic (straight A's, occasional B).  However, he has always had questionable behaviors in class.  Here recently, its a lot of talking, throwing things like paper, erasers, etc.  He is now on the principal's radar, and looking at a suspension.  
For the most part, none of his behavior has ever been to the point of horrible, but there is a definite lack of respect there for the teachers, unless he likes one.  
We've tried both the incentives as well as the consequences, but not sure what else to do.  
One thing to note - he is a triplet, so very competitive.  He is also in all advanced courses.  
In Topics: School and Academics, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Oct 12, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

We are happy to hear about your son's success academically.  It is clear that he is a child who can and does succeed at a very high level.  Do you have a sense as to why he is misbehaving?  Is it because he is seeking attention?  Do you think he is bored?  Do you think he is defiant?  Does it have to do with his classmates?  If you can identify the reason why he is behaving this way, it may be helpful in coming up with appropriate actions for teaching, discipline and growth.  If it is attention seeking, find other positive things he can go to get that attention.  If he is bored, even by his advanced classes, find extra activities that he enjoys that will challenge him.  If he is defiant than it may be that you need to get him to a counselor as there are sometimes deep seeded issues that come with defiance.  But sometimes by knowing the reason for the behavior, you can more easily change it.

Sometimes in these situations it helps to enhance his good qualities instead of squashing his bad ones.  Does he have extracurricular activities that he can focus on?  Is there a teacher that he especially connects with that could talk to him about how he is behaving?  Sometimes the same message, delivered from somebody else can resonate in a strong way.  If you can keep him busy with positive activities and get him some guidance from multiple positive influences who he respects, it may be a start.  

There is often no easy answers for behavior in the adolescent years, which your child is beginning to enter into. Adolescence is a tumultuous time for families and children.  Be patient, don't be afraid to ask for help, and continue to practice consistent and loving parenting skills with your children.

Also feel free to call our hotline and check out our website, we would be happy to hear from you and the call is free.

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline-A resource for parents and teens

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