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Son's behavior problem is everyone's problem

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By The Staff

 Q

:  My little boy is in the seventh grade.  His school called me in October to tell me he had become a behavior problem and that his behavior had been a problem all year.  I think I should have been told about this sooner.  It is too late to do much about this now after his behaviors have already become habits.  I cannot understand why I am just now hearing about this.

A

:  You need to stop focusing on when you were told about your son’s behaviors and begin focusing on what you were told.  You were told your son is causing problems at school.  Your immediate response should be to ask how soon you can meet with his teacher and counselor to discuss the problem and formulate resolutions.

While meeting, set up a behavior system with the teacher so that you can monitor his behavior every day.  If his behaviors are acceptable at school, allow your son to have his normal privileges at home.  

If his behavior is unacceptable, take away his privileges for the day.  Do this on a day-by-day basis.

The privileges that could be involved include television, video games, computer, cell phone, sports, playing outside, being with friends and the use of any other electronics.  

Make sure you explain to him clearly and exactly what the plan is and follow through with your part every day.

You need to realize that your son being a behavior problem at school is your problem at home.  You must take steps to resolve this.  If nothing is done at home, your son will continue with his unacceptable behavior at school.  This will allow the behaviors to escalate and become more out of control.  This could result in detentions, suspensions, alternative school assignment or even expulsion from the school district.

Each time your son misbehaves, he is missing out on crucial learning as well as keeping other students from learning.

Lastly, your little boy is not a little boy.  He is a seventh grader, which means it is time to stop thinking of him as a little boy.  You are enabling him to stay immature by referring to him as your little boy.  He is well on his way to becoming a young man and needs to handle the responsibilities of all young men his age.  This means that he must learn to be responsible for his behaviors. 

(Mary Beth Hall is a guidance counselor at Grant County High School. To get a question answered, e-mail her at  marybeth.hall@grant.kyschools.us.)