My 12 year old is getting into trouble and discipline is not working

Jennifer - posted on 05/11/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 12 year old son recently stared getting in trouble at school.He and a few of his buddies have been acting silly to the point that they've been disruptive and aggravating to both their peers and teachers.Its like they can not control the need to show off for each other.I found out from his teachers that he is well liked by all his peers he just seems to be the silliest of the group. At first I grounded him-then he got in trouble again.Next I grounded him longer and added more chores.Then he got in trouble again.He is going on his second month of being grounded now-his school behavior improved and he earned free time but the very next day he got in trouble for not doing his chores and got caught with notebooks he had been doodling in while he was punished.I don't know what else to do at this point-he literally has nothing else to lose.I've tried punishing him for a specific behavior but he he seems bound and determined to continue to act inappropriately.How long should his punishments last?His school counselor seems to feel like I'm over reacting but I feel like if I don't get a grip on his behavior its going to escalate.

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Debbie - posted on 05/14/2012

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yeah jennifer i had similar problems with my 12yr old girl. punishment wasnt working etc. i too was told same thing it was me over reacting these people make me laugh because they dont actually live in the circumstances. i hopefully have managed to sort this out but had to take drastic measures to do so, not sure you would want to go down same route but i felt i was at end of my teather and had no other option i have a 4 month old baby to consider aswell. so to cut a long story short i called on social services to help infact i almost had to beg them to help me but at the moment things have settled down i think she realised enough was enough all the stress of her behaviour was making me ill.
i hope you dont get to this stage but i know what your going through and thought i would share my experience with you , hope you get it nipped in the bud good luck x

Teresa - posted on 05/12/2012

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Hi Jennifer, it would seem you have a very normal healthy 12 year old on your hands. Your son is at an age where pushing the boundaries are part of the sequence of learning, he is becoming a young adult who is learning about himself and who he is. Unfortunatly his peers will be a very important part of his life, and he will feel pushed to conform to what his friends are doing, especially if encouraged to behave inappropriatly.
Grounding your son might not work at this stage as he will still be seeing his friends at school, who will probably carry on encouraging his distruptive behaviour, I would suggest that you discuss this with your son, explain that you feel, his behaviour is being encouraged by his friends and maybe the only choice you may have is to change his class or even home tutoring,( I am not suggesting you do this, but the threat might be enough to jolt him to think about his behaviour). Also encourage him to make friends out of school perhaps local sports clubs where his group of friends are not dependent on one group. I can only tell you his behaviour for his age is not unusual, and you are right about nipping it in the bud, showing him that his behaviour at school is unacceptable and that you will act on it, will show him that you are still respecting him but also that he has to respect you. Good Luck

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