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very violent child at our home-school co-op UPDATE - Page 3

post #41 of 62
Yeah. I guess I feel like just because there is a big transition in his life right now doesn't justify aggression, nor does it mean that the transition it causal just because it is co-related, kwim? No child's life is perfect, and any child who is aggressive you can think and come up with xyz reason that must be the cause. I'm not discounting that stress, insecurity, life changes can be related. But they are not necessarily so, nor do they mean that the behaviour is in any way okay or less unacceptable.

I find this type of cold, calculated aggression a mystery, and I have encountered it several times. I just don't think there is necessarily a deep emotional cause that can be blamed on the parents or the environment, kwim? Not in the cases I've known. With the first two (as I said, third remains to be seen) the most compelling issue I've found is lack of boundaries being set and enforced by parents. Both times parents subscribed to GD philosophy which actually translated into ND (no discipline). And then xyz or abc reason was used to justify the behaviour, and this idea was brought in that the child needs to learn empathy, as you mention lotusdebi. Unfortunately that discounted the experiences of teh children targeted (too often my own), and what they were learning while the little perp was endlessly given opportunities to eventually learn empathy.
post #42 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
Wow. I'm appalled that you would insist that a young child who's obviously going through some difficult times is a sociopath and that he should be treated like a criminal! Treating a young child as though he has the mental capacity to show criminal intent is what's shameful here. Filing criminal charges against a young child is cruel and damaging. What a horrible thing to be advocated here!
I doubt even if she did call the cops, that actual charges would be filed. I don't think charges can actually be pressed on a child that age. But it does document a pattern of behavior. AND maybe it would pull the parents heads out of their respective new partners backsides to realize that yes, their child DOES need some help. Also a child can't be diagnosed Antisocial personality disorder until they reach adulthood .. but he definitely seems to lack the intervention of a conscience which is a big worry for his future. If someone doesn't step in and do something dramatic to get some help for him, yeah it's not a far reach to say that he has a high likelyhood of continuing this behavior, it getting worse as he gets older... and ending up in jail for it later. All of that would be a lot more harmful that the giant wake up call to his parents that actually following through will do. If the organizers and parents aren't willing to do something, the logical next step IS the authorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
If this kid can't be adequately shadowed, he needs to be pulled from the co-op. He's not in a good mental place right now to be around other kids, and the other kids shouldn't have to deal with his violence. While addressing the pain he has caused other children, his own pain should also be addressed. His own needs also need to be addressed. And someone needs to have a serious sit-down with his parents on that matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Yeah. I guess I feel like just because there is a big transition in his life right now doesn't justify aggression, nor does it mean that the transition it causal just because it is co-related, kwim? <snipp>

Unfortunately that discounted the experiences of teh children targeted (too often my own), and what they were learning while the little perp was endlessly given opportunities to eventually learn empathy.
Agreed. My brother and I grew up with my mother being married five times, to some really big failures at life.. alcoholic, abusive etc. Startng around that age. Yeah she was pretty self absorbed at the time and yeah it was hard... but no, neither of us was VIOLENT. My brother acted out, I withdrew. But nobody ever got hurt. A kid cannot be allowed to continually seriously injure other kids and given a pass because of his circumstances. I stand by my stance that he needs to be removed from the coop because he has to learn consequences for his awful behavior. His parents also need to be (figuratively speaking) so that they realize what they are allowing to happen to their son.
post #43 of 62
I can't reply to this anymore. I have a tremendous amount of empathy for all the children involved in this situation. I'm sorry, but I can't participate in a conversation where people are expressing so much hatred and anger towards a young child. I hate how it's so accepted to criminalize children now in our society. I hate how it's so accepted to label children as sociopaths at such a young age. I can't accept this. And I can't participate in it. I'm done.
post #44 of 62
moma justice, are you planning on having your child in your classroom this week until something can be worked out at the meeting?
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I can't reply to this anymore. I have a tremendous amount of empathy for all the children involved in this situation. I'm sorry, but I can't participate in a conversation where people are expressing so much hatred and anger towards a young child. I hate how it's so accepted to criminalize children now in our society. I hate how it's so accepted to label children as sociopaths at such a young age. I can't accept this. And I can't participate in it. I'm done.
post #46 of 62
I'm not seeing hatred or anger, nor criminalizing apart from one poster.

I don't feel overmuch empathy for a child who is repeatedly aggressive and causes serious injury with intention, and who doesn't get consequences for it. I think that is okay. I've been in the shoes of the parent of the injured child a few too many times now.
post #47 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu the Geek View Post
moma justice, are you planning on having your child in your classroom this week until something can be worked out at the meeting?
I was wondering that as well. I think it's your responsibility to keep your daughter away from this kid until his behavior has turned around.
post #48 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I can't reply to this anymore. I have a tremendous amount of empathy for all the children involved in this situation. I'm sorry, but I can't participate in a conversation where people are expressing so much hatred and anger towards a young child. I hate how it's so accepted to criminalize children now in our society. I hate how it's so accepted to label children as sociopaths at such a young age. I can't accept this. And I can't participate in it. I'm done.
I don't feel hatred, nor do I want this child to feel like a criminal. I DO want his parents to get a wake up call that he needs some help... as nothing else seems to have done the trick up to this point, it might be necessary to get a tad extreme in an attempt to open their eyes.

I don't agree that children should be allowed to continue with such atrocious behavior that is a threat to the safety of many OTHER children around them... just because they are children. That is part of the problem with teens these days, many have been allowed to get away with things 'because they're just kids' or 'boys will be boys' and now they've just graduated to the next level of bad behavior.
post #49 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by CariOfOz View Post
That is part of the problem with teens these days, many have been allowed to get away with things 'because they're just kids' or 'boys will be boys' and now they've just graduated to the next level of bad behavior.
ITA with this. And these boys will be men. We have a problem with violent men in our culture - what should we be teaching our aggressive boys? When my child was targeted and I permitted it to continue for too long, I realized what was I teaching her, a future woman, about whether it is acceptable for her to be violently targeted? That I'm sorry is enough, even if it just becomes part of a pattern of harm - forced apology - next opportunity to harm? No. And likewise, as I don't want her to learn these lessons about whether it's fine to harm her, nor should aggressive boys (in our case the aggros have all been boys) be learning that this is an acceptable way to behave, or channel difficult emotions.
post #50 of 62
Thread Starter 
wow guys, i guess this subject brings out the momma bear in ALL of us, it just shows up in different ways.

well, first to update. the teacher and the chair of the co-op board have both talked to eachother, myself, and the BOY'S family all weekend, off and on.

today we had our meeting, the boy's family was supposed to meet with the teacher and chair before our big group meeting and have a discussion about boy's acts and the plans for the conseqences etc. one of the boy's parents was so late that they did not get to really discuss much about consequences, it is my understanding that what little time they had was spent trying to explain to them that the boy had a long history of incidents and that they were not all other childrens' faults or normal kid stuff. infact he was on every report. every one from the whole year.

so, when the group meeting begin it ended up being that somehow, people were asking me how much consequences did i want him to have. i was so floored that i had a hard time gathering my wits. it was a disorganized discussion that ended with the agreement that he would miss the next day of co-op and be attended by his mother the following day. when i tried to press for some kind of if this happens again type rule and the parents felt like it needed to be a case by case basis.

omg, as i type this i am kicking myself, i should have stood up and made a bigger stink about him just getting voted out.

all through the meeting the parents of said boy just seemed really confused about what was really going on. they even asked me what i thought should happend to the boy as his punishment at home on his day out of school. i tried to explain to them about love and logic type natural consequences.

but it was not sinking in, you could tell. the thing is that when my dd does something that i think is quite wrong, she can tell that i am not proud of her choice and that i am saddened and unwilling to accept or condone her choice. i am firm about my expectation of her behavior if she wants my trust and support to do thte things she enjoys. and tonight i could see that this boy's parents were perhaps not even capable of feeling all that for their child, all that CARE and CONCERN and tough love. much less able to act out in a firm boundary creating way.

so darn it!
i am going to have to talk to the chair again and let her know that they need to insist going to family counseling and having the parents attend with him every day. for how long??? any thoughts?
thanks for all the support and thoughtful discussion!
and i had to laugh at the thought of me going to my local police station and wanting to file charges against a 6 yr old who bit my 6 yr old at kindergarten.
whoa.
my dd, the poor little child in this story, has bit her brother, myself and dear friend in the past year. one part of this i have explained to her is that this a way that maybe she is really learning (the hard way) that biting is totally hurtful and unacceptable. NOTE: she never bit us nearly as hard as he bit her. but still, for a 6 yr old to bite someone is within the realm of normal, his bite was not. and his parents lack of reaction is not either.

anyway, suggestions for my firm requests to the board chair are welcome!
thank you!
i may very well print this and show them a range of mom responses!
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Unfortunately that discounted the experiences of teh children targeted (too often my own), and what they were learning while the little perp was endlessly given opportunities to eventually learn empathy.
The really ridiculous thing about that stance is that I'm fairly confident that the opportunity to repeatedly hurt other people while the adults around you discount the feelings of the injured children does not teach empathy. That situation teaches the opposite of empathy.
post #52 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
The really ridiculous thing about that stance is that I'm fairly confident that the opportunity to repeatedly hurt other people while the adults around you discount the feelings of the injured children does not teach empathy. That situation teaches the opposite of empathy.
I agree.

To OP: your Co-op sounds like the Clueless Convention. Everyone standing around wringing their hands, unsure of what to do or even whether an incredibly violent child is even a problem... and then basically telling you that it's your problem and you should deal with it for everyone? Especially since what you know is the correct answer (that he should be asked to leave) will be met with "oooh, but he's just a little kid!" and then nothing will be done.

I think that you have to deliver an ultimatum: either your family or his. And you have to be prepared to follow through if they pick his family, which they sound just crazy enough to actually do. And if that happens, you have to realize that these people are nuts and you're doing what's right for your family in removing your child from a dangerous situation. Both physically and emotionally.
post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
The really ridiculous thing about that stance is that I'm fairly confident that the opportunity to repeatedly hurt other people while the adults around you discount the feelings of the injured children does not teach empathy. That situation teaches the opposite of empathy.
Yep, totally. It was teaching everyone that adults didn't care enough/couldn't do anything about it, and that it was acceptable for it to go on and on without anyone stepping past the pathetic 'say sorry/hitting hurts our friends' interventions that just became a rote part of the incidents.

I seriously didn't know what to do so I just backed off the friendships. The mothers were not. getting. it. I don't understand why, but it's much like the OP, where the serious nature, intentionality, and just the fact it's not cool dude, were all minimized. And how do you talk to someone about their child's aggression, and get past those kinds of minimizing defenses? I don't have the answer.

OP it's interesting what has happened in your situation. I don't think it's right that the coop put it on you to decide the consequence. I think there needs to be a clear guideline in place, and again it's like the fact your child was actually a *victim* of a physical assault is downplayed.
post #54 of 62
I am baffled that they expect YOU to come up with a punishment and ways to handle this? I'd simply say, "this child needs to leave the Co-op until the parents can get him the help he needs. Once he's had that help, and can demonstrate that he is no longer violent, we can accept him back into the Co-op."

It is not up to you to decide what type of help he needs or what his punishment should be. The school administrators need to come up with the school consequence (i.e. kid out of school) together. If you're a part of that administration, fine, but it's not you alone. As for the help he needs, that is up to his parents. They should be talking to the child's doc and explaining his violent behaviour so that they can be referred to the appropriate medical professional. I don't see how it's reasonable for you to suggest the type of counseling or how often they should go.

If his violence still exists with his parents around, then having them there doesn't help a thing, especially due to their lack of interest in dealing with it. If them being there ceases his violent acts, then perhaps having them attend is a compromise instead of kicking him out of the Co-op entirely. The problem with this is though, that you have no idea how he will act once his parents no longer attend and in the meantime, the kid hasn't got the help he needs. So, once they stop attending, he could easily revert to the same behaviour or worse if he's been holding his anger in while his parents attended.
post #55 of 62
post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofu the Geek View Post
I am baffled that they expect YOU to come up with a punishment and ways to handle this? I'd simply say, "this child needs to leave the Co-op until the parents can get him the help he needs. Once he's had that help, and can demonstrate that he is no longer violent, we can accept him back into the Co-op."

It is not up to you to decide what type of help he needs or what his punishment should be. The school administrators need to come up with the school consequence (i.e. kid out of school) together. If you're a part of that administration, fine, but it's not you alone. As for the help he needs, that is up to his parents. They should be talking to the child's doc and explaining his violent behaviour so that they can be referred to the appropriate medical professional. I don't see how it's reasonable for you to suggest the type of counseling or how often they should go.

If his violence still exists with his parents around, then having them there doesn't help a thing, especially due to their lack of interest in dealing with it. If them being there ceases his violent acts, then perhaps having them attend is a compromise instead of kicking him out of the Co-op entirely. The problem with this is though, that you have no idea how he will act once his parents no longer attend and in the meantime, the kid hasn't got the help he needs. So, once they stop attending, he could easily revert to the same behaviour or worse if he's been holding his anger in while his parents attended.
I agree with this. The focus shouldn't be on your making rules for this boy, the focus should be on preventing his hurting other children. You can't know what's going to work, and it's not like it's ok for him to attack other kids as long as the adults are all doing everything they can think to do, short of removing him.

I'm sorry the meeting went the way it did. ((Hugs))

I agree with the pp that you may have to make an ultimatum-- either he stops attending until his violent outbursts are under control, or your family leaves the coop. It would be a difficult stand to make, but it might be enough to wake up the leadership of the coop, and if it isn't enough, you're probably better off investing your energy elsewhere anyhow.
post #57 of 62
A child would attack or harm my child only once. There would be a resolution to the issue by the next day where I would feel that my child was in a safe environment or I would remove my child from the harmful environment. I cant parent other peoples kids nor do I understand why some are so violent. I just know that mine is not and I refuse to allow him to be subjected to physical abuse by anyone.
post #58 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by moma justice View Post

so, when the group meeting begin it ended up being that somehow, people were asking me how much consequences did i want him to have. i was so floored that i had a hard time gathering my wits. it was a disorganized discussion that ended with the agreement that he would miss the next day of co-op and be attended by his mother the following day. when i tried to press for some kind of if this happens again type rule and the parents felt like it needed to be a case by case basis.
What is going on with the leadership here?? Why are they so reluctant to make a decision? They need to hear that it is NOT OK to put you on the spot like that. They need to know that you expected them to make that call!

So, basically, they gave him a one day suspension. Because suspensions in a school system work so well. Then his mother will come in for a day and his behavior will be fine after that. That just makes no sense.
post #59 of 62
Honestly, a HUGE part of being a parent is protecting your child from harm. Even if the harm comes in the form of another person's child.

Either the aggressive child need to be removed from the other children, or they need to be removed from him.

Period.
post #60 of 62
"omg, as i type this i am kicking myself, i should have stood up and made a bigger stink about him just getting voted out. "

Don't kick yourself, OP. Unlike many other posters in this thread, you are seeing that it is a complex issue and know that labeling a 6 y.o. who bitesaand throws stuff as a "perp" and a "sociopath" and trying to get him hauled into Family Court on assault charges is maybe not the most enlightened, practical approach.

Like you, I have a kindy-aged child who struggles to get along in a peer group and has sometimes been "grabby" or even violent in classroom settings (he's got ADHD, not a spectrum disorder, but the behaviors can be very similar in the younger years). I'm not a denial-type parent, and it sounds like this kid is dishing out way more violence than my kid ever has, but I can still relate to his pain.

You've mentioned a couple of times that his behavior is improving as the year goes on - so no wonder you were reluctant to pitch a fit and get him kicked out at this point. You weren't being a chicken or a poor advocate for the other kids - you were being a wise mama and a committed teacher who like to see children stay in an environment where they are improving.

What I did for my son was to hire a shadow. His major problem was running away from the classroom, but as a side benefit, the shadow was there to intervene whenever he had violent impulse. If I were you, I'd wait until the next violent outburst, and then when the hand-wringing committee convenes, suggest that a shadow be hired. If the parents can't/won't pay, then they might have to leave the co-op, but your desire to not pitch this child onto the street when you see him making progress at your school is a GOOD thing. Don't be ashamed of that!
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