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Dont know what to do! Please help

Posted by hoakie2601 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 26, 10 at 21:06

Ok... My step grandson that I have custody of. (I am like his parent that is why I am posting here) Has had issues with conduct points in school and other behavior problems. His conduct points have been 7 in Dec and 4 in Jan. Last week I purchased probowl tickets for him and my husband to attend. I have told him 3 different times in the last 2 days that if he got any conduct points he would not be going to the probowl.

Well today I looked at his school records and he got a contuct point for class disruption. Talking while it was quite time. I am so torn. I hate taking this away from him but if I dont follow through with my word he will think I am a push over. But still this is ripping my heart out right now. He was so excited about going.

At the same time I am kind of scared because he is prolly going to make my life a living hell this weekend. We live about 4 hours from Miami and my husband is leaving on Sat and not returning home until Mon. I was looking forward to a girls weekend. Now I am afraid I am going to have to deal with a upset boy.

Please help me get over the feelings I am having.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

That's the problem with ultimatums, we almost always have to follow through with consequences when we were really hoping we wouldn't have to.

I don't know what conduct points are but it may be really hard for him to not get any, depending on his age, what his behavior problems are and whether the teachers may be singling him out this far into the year because they expect him to misbehave. Since he's living with his grandparents, it seems like he's had some difficult times in his short life.

Can he earn back this trip? It seems like he's doing better. The weekend away with his grandfather will probably be a treat for both of them, and it sounds like he needs the break as much as you do. Sit down with him and talk about the improvement in his behavior and that you've seen him try hard, that he got seven points last month and so far this month, only four, and how proud you are of him. Give him a few small chores to do this week to earn this trip and let him go, with a hug.

Don't make it all or nothing for him. Sit down with him and talk together and set small goals, small steps, that he can reasonably reach, and feel successful for having done so, that's how he'll stop feeling like a failure. Of course he'll have setbacks, but if he sees that he can succeed, he'll start to relax and the two of you can then set some bigger goals for him, and help him come up with strategies for reaching them.

Good luck and enjoy the weekend.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

My husband and I are both young grandparents! He is 13! I am 43 and my husband is 51. Not that this is the point here but he has been with us for lover 2 years now. And this is the first time we have had any real problems.

GS and his sister go to a Charter school. So conduct points are thinkgs you earn when you dont follow rules. Talking in class, chewing gum, throwing food at another kid these are some of the things he has gotten conduct points for. If they have more than 2 a month they can not wear street cloths on dress down days and have to wear uniforms all the time.

Your right maybe I should not set ultimatums too high. We have been through so much this year with him. From getting ISS (in school suspension) for giving another child choc laxatives telling him with was chocolate. I let that go and was still allowing him to go to the ball game. He told me he did not know it was laxatives and I took his word for it. But his sister tells me that he told her he knew what it was and thought it was funny.

See mom got out of prison in Dec and he has told us that he wants to go back and live with her. But because of the courts giving us perm custody of them. We can not just let him go back. If she chooses to open the case back up with would take 6 mo to a year if not longer for her to get him back. He told me that until he gets to go back with her he is going to my our lives a living hell.

There is a lot of things going on here. We dont know what to do any longer.

I am sorry I ahve unloaded all this. Thanks in advance for reading this.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

That's the problem with ultimatums, we almost always have to follow through with consequences when we were really hoping we wouldn't have to.

I agree. Well, to some extent. Ultimatums are fine as long as they ARE something you are willing and able to follow through with. Never threaten something you are unwilling or unable to do. And always follow through. Even though it greatly inconveniences you.

I hate taking this away from him but if I dont follow through with my word he will think I am a push over. But still this is ripping my heart out right now. He was so excited about going.

...

I was looking forward to a girls weekend. Now I am afraid I am going to have to deal with a upset boy.

The boy will be upset and miss out on something he really wants to do. You will be stuck with him and also miss out.

But you know, at 13 yo, he's old enough to clue in to those facts. He's old enough to know that you really don't want (and maybe didn't really intend) to follow through. He's old enough to figure that you don't want to ruin your weekend as well as his. Listen, a six year old would probably be able to figure that out. I know from experience. That's probably a large part of why he didn't bother to behave. He pretty much figured he'd get to go to the probowl anyway.

At this point, I don't think you have a choice. You have to do what you said you would do. It's not only about him thinking you're a pushover, it's about him understanding actions = consequences. That's a very hard lesson but it's a huge disservice not to teach it. Not grasping that concept can lead to much worse trouble as he gets older.

My advice, stick to your guns. It doesn't have to be a horrible weekend. You can still do something fun with him locally. You didn't say he had to stay in his room all weekend, just that he couldn't go to the probowl. Yes, you're going to miss out on your all girls weekend, but just consider it a sacrifice for the good of the child.

The sooner you make it clear that you mean business when it comes to his behavior and the consequences for his actions, the easier your life will be. All the books I've ever read on raising children say that they WANT discipline. They want predictability. When you say you're going to do something, do it. Of course they will not be happy, of course they will test limits. But if you consistently stand by your words, they eventually learn that you mean what you say and their behavior will reflect that.

I raised two boys, now age 19 and 22. This method worked well for me. I threatened consequences that were workable, I followed through. It only took a few follow throughs for them to learn I meant business. It was painful for me and for them during the process. But oh, the reward of being able to tell them what I expected and to get that from them. It's so worth it.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

Could he go and visit with his mother, as a reward for good behavior, or isn't that a good plan ?

It seems a shame that he can't see her, when he really wants to.

I agree with the follow through principle. Children must learn consequences, particularly this child...as his mother suffered very bad consequences for her actions.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

"He told me he did not know it was laxatives and I took his word for it."

You believed that?! That's been a classic gag ever since chocolate Exlax was invented, and either you've been living under a rock or you're far too willing to believe whatever this little 'angel' tells you. You lost credibility there. Big Time.

" He told me that until he gets to go back with her he is going to my our lives a living hell."

Sounds like he means it. Is it your plan to give in to his threat? Or just tiptoe around hoping not to set him off. (This is good for him -- how?)

"Ultimatums are fine as long as they ARE something you are willing and able to follow through with. Never threaten something you are unwilling or unable to do. And always follow through. Even though it greatly inconveniences you."

Exactly. You made a very High Stakes deal, then went ahead and bought the reward as if he had earned it. There's a huge difference between 'not buying' him Pro Bowl tickets and 'getting rid of' Pro Bowl tickets you already bought, and now you're going to find out exactly how big that difference is.

Unless you give in to GS's terror-tactics.

Lowspark is absolutely right. You HAVE to follow through on this for the good of the boy. He clearly needs more adult guidance than he's been getting -- not beatings, being yelled at or lectures -- but structure, limits rules, predictable consequences.

This kid's in trouble, and he needs your help. It won't be fun -- but help him. Say no.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

I can take the remarks that I have been under a rock for a long time. I just want to believe the kids.

He is not going to the Pro Bowl. I am over the feeling bad for this. He ended up the next day with yet another conduct point. Now my husband is going to Miami for the weekend. I am going to deal with him.

We have seeked counciling with someone from our church. We have agreed that he has to be told the cold hard truth about everything and try to get him to stop living in a fantasy world. No he can not see his mother she is in GA and we are in FL. We have all agreed that the things that his mother has told him has brought him to these feelings. And until he is told everything he is not allowed to speak to her and any future calls to her will be on speaker phone so that we know what is being said.

Thanks for reading and all the advise.


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RE: Dont know what to do! Please help

he is prolly

Okay, that's PROBABLY......

Get help from his school guidance department.
They can connect you with social services and get you on the way to help.

You obviously are terrorized by this kid and he knows it.

It's no win doing it alone.


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