Behavioral issues with my 7 year old.

Jaimie - posted on 04/15/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 7 years old in first grade. He's recently been suspended from school for a day because he is continually disrespectful and recently has been caught in numerous lies. He is not accepting responsibility for his actions. I know he doesn't have ADD or ADHD, because he is able to focus on tasks when he wants to, for things he is interested in. I have mentioned this thought to his doctor, and he sees no need for concern. He is striving to get attention, any way he can, and most of this is through negative behavior. I'm out of ideas on how to help him overcome this, he's very smart, but just doesn't show anyone that he cares or has remorse about the bad choices he's made. We have taken his privileges away, taken all of his toys out of his room, his books too (he loves to read). I need help on other ways to try to get through to him.. Any information at all is greatly appreciated.

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[deleted account]

This is an amazingly hard cycle to change.  He has become accustomed to receiving attention for his negitive behavior and then it becomes so very difficult for you or the teacher to catch him being good and praise him for that behavior.  Is this behavior mostly at school?  If so, has the teacher tried any behavior contracts with him?  If he likes to read he is probably really good at it, would he want to read to a kindergartner as a reward?  Has the school guidance counselor spoken to him about being responsible for his actions?  These are just a few thoughts I had after reading your post.  I wish you the best.

Amy - posted on 04/23/2009

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My son is 7 yrs old and at the beginning of the school year he was a great student. After his football season ended he started acting up in class. It never affected his grades but it started getting worse and worse. We have a reward program at home. My son like yours get a behavor grade(S, N, U) sent home everyday and our deal is, If he gets all S's for the week then he gets to draw a card out of the basket. The card is something special he really enjoys doing. for example he gets to pick a movie to rent and we pill up in the living room and have popcorn and a movie, or I go thru the clearance aisle and pick up some inexpensive action figures he likes and put them up. Also it could be extra one on one time with mommy or daddy to do whatever he choices or in our case extra passing the football time with daddy, and extra shooting basketball with mommy.

Heather - posted on 04/15/2009

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How does his teacher reward him when he does the right things? Also, how is this done at home when he has a "good day" at school? I have a 7 year old boy as well and we had problems sort of like that but he is improving very much over the past 4 or 5 months.

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[deleted account]

Sorry...last sentence was cut off by a mis-key. Should have read: Without a solid road map (such as can be provided by good psychological testing), advice can only address isolated behaviors or incidents, and as such can be a bit haphazard.

[deleted account]

It might be helpful to have psycho-educational testing. This can be done through the school system (don't know about the particulars of your district; its easier to accomplish this in well-funded districts, of course, but all districts should provide this). There are several issues that the behaviors you have described can point to, but without adequate testing and information, it is very difficult to make any kind of determination. Family docs often do not have the kind of information on pediatric behavioral issues that would help them best make a determination; their training is in pediatric medicine, not child psychology. So your family doc/pediatrician may not be offering the best advice. Your instincts are solid, and you are clearly doing everything you can think of to parent him and guide him. I guess my advice to you would be to leave no stone unturned, and don't be put off by the notion of psychiatric testing. It is a wonderful tool, and can lead to the development of a solid behavioral plan targeted to helping your child overcome his specific issues. Without a solid road map (such as can be provided by good psychological testing), advice and be

[deleted account]

Quoting Jaimie:

  I know he doesn't have ADD or ADHD, because he is able to focus on tasks when he wants to, for things he is interested in.


It may not be the case with your child... but my 9yo son does have ADHD which was diagnosed by a his paediatrician over a year ago, but he also has (and has always had) the ability to focus on things when he wants to... 



If he has to complete simple tasks such as clean up his toys, he will get distracted and start playing with them and make more mess, at school he struggles to focus and listen, getting distracted by other kids, displays in the classroom, his pencil while doing his work even... resulting is him disrupting the other kids etc...



However he can sit and play with Lego for hours, he can set up his own tent without help when camping, he can go fishing with his father for hours and not get bored...

Jaimie - posted on 04/22/2009

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thanks for the feed back, I am not sure what the teacher does for a reward for his good behavior, I will have to ask her. He does have a behavior report sent home daily, it's his responsibility to bring it home. For good days, he gets his privileges for the night, and he gets to earn something back that was taken away from him previously. This seemed to work for him for sometime, but has recently seemed to not care to earn back his toys and privileges.
Thanks for all of the feed back. :)

[deleted account]

My son is almost 9 and we've been going through the same thing for about 3 years now. He was acting out at school, it always seemed like he obsessed about things. We had him tested at his pediatric clinic for ADHD and he had some characteristics, but he was able to focus on the task at hand. The last time they tested him for something called Aspergers Syndrome. It was him to a T! It is a form of Autism. You should look it up. Also talk to your pediatrician, let them know you want to have him tested. It's just a big round of questions.

Marquita - posted on 04/16/2009

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I'm dealing with something like this with my soon to be 8yo.  He is also very smart, and has been acting out in school.  I do not have any advice for you...yet!  I'm looking for advice too!  His is mostly social behavior problems, trying to get kids to accept him; he started a new school this year.  If I get good advice, I'll pass it along.  Good luck and God bless!  Marquita

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