Worry mom
Worry mom asks:

I need to know how to help my son.  He's really defiant at school.  My husband thinks we should be using physical punishment but I don't want to resort to that.

My son has problems at school, he is  5 years old and he is defiant  with the teacher. He talked back....We work good behavior = prize/ sticker / time play WII... Initially we have some reports one two,  and he get 10 minutes minim for play......but lately he lost the all day. My husband put the blame on me. He suggest me,  be more strong and don't let him talked to me back under any condition. What I can do? Next step is a "fisical punishment" and I don't like that way. The privation of the game time doesn't work. And I don't know if he knows the difference or he can control it . I understand the teacher position .He doesn't like to work in P.E  class and  write.What she can do , he doesn't want to come back at school . ..... Please I need to know how help my son. I don't want he ruin his school and social life.  
Sorry My English I learning how to write, but I can read it.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Feb 7, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Ana,

Sounds like this has been a very frustrating time for your and your family. I'm glad to hear that you are working closely with your son's teacher to address this situation. My guess is that helping your son will involve a combined effort from the school, as well as you and your husband. You mention that you have been working on a reward program. Is this program also being used at both home and school? I ask because plans such as this that focus on providing immediate reinforcement for a child's behavior typically work best when they are being used across all domains of the child's life. So, you and your husband must consistently reward him for the behaviors and your son's teacher should also do this. Also, have you selected no more than five or so behaviors to target at a time? For a five-year-old, you would want to focus on just a few behaviors at a time. If you feel like his current plan is not working, you should request a meeting with your son's teacher and the special education administrator.

Regarding behavior at the home, I advocate for firm and consistent parenting with a loving touch. Thus, the rules of the house should be clear and unambiguous. It should also be clear what the consequences are of his behavior if he does not follow the rules. Rather than taking away his rewards for good behavior, I would suggest that you have other consequences. For instance, time out in a chair in the corner of the room. Again, you must apply the consequences consistently.

Now, in general, physical punishment of children is NOT permissible by the law. Parents are not to slap, hit, push, or kick children. If parents do physically harm their children in this way, parents can be reported for child abuse. Parents reported for child abuse will typically be investigated by child protective services and could be ordered to take parenting classes or...lose custody of their children. Thus, you and your husband must come up with a variety of consequences other than physical punishment. The school counselor should be able to help you come up with ideas.

Finally, you and your husband should make time each day (could be for just fifteen or twenty minutes) to play with your son. During this time, play whatever he wants to play and think of this time as a time for bonding and affection. Studies have shown this kind of time tempered with clear and consistent consequences can be quite effective for children with behavior problems.

Let us know how it goes. Good luck!

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