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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 7 year old child has been getting in a lot of trouble since

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My 7 year old child has been getting in a lot of trouble since the day he started school. He is in 3rd grade, and extremely immature for his age. He has a very difficult time interacting with other kids, and comes across as very annoying to other kids by the way he acts. He has been suspended from school at least once every year. Recently, he told another student that he was going to bring a knife to school and stab him in the stomache. I have no idea where he is getting this, or why he is acting like this. He is a perfect child at home, very helpful, attentitive, but as soon as he gets to school and aroun dother kids he turns into a bully and trouble maker. We have tried everything, he is know talking with the school counselor but i fear this will not even work either as we have had him talk to counselors before. We are really at a loss for what to do. Thank you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the behavioral difficulties of your son. First of all, relax. You are not a bad parent and your son is not a bad son. Please continue with the counseling. Also, make sure that he is involved in some type play therapy and role modeling activities in the counseling sessions. There are several issues going on. Your son probably has become a target by the other children. He is probably ridiculed and taunted as a result of his antics coupled with his immaturity. Therefore, his defense mechanism is to be a bully toward other kids. He wants to fit in with the other kids but settles for acting out and saying things to get any kind of attention that he can. Making the threat of bringing a knife to school should betaken seriously. He could have been influenced by tv, the Internet, video games, and other children. He also may be the target if bullying as well.

One thing that I hear which is positive is that he is the perfect child at home. So therefore, school should be the main focus. The teacher at school needs to put your son on a behavior contract that focuses on his positive behavior in order to eliminate the negative behavior. For your son, the daily contract can be broken down by every hour of the day ( or morning, late morning, and afternoon) If he can get through a specified time period without problems, he receives a happy face. Then the teacher should really praise him when he is behaving. The teacher will play a big part in trying to change his behavior. Allow him to be a special helper more and give him more leadership roles. Also, you need to pay several visits to the school especially at recess to see specifically what is happening. But back to the behavior chart, if your son can get let's say 10 happy faces for the week. He receives a special treat or outing. The number of happy faces can be adjusted according to his behavior but should be at a set limit for the week.

When he does misbehave, just remind him of the correct behavior. But remember , your goal is to focus on the positive. Note that the changes will not happen overnight. The teacher must be consistent with her behavior techniques. You must keep in constant communication with her, even if it is through daily emails. You must be consistent with your rewards as well.

Also, make sure your son is involved with other kids outside of school like sports.

Hope this helps. Have a great day.
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