How should a parent handle a child who is expelled from two different high schools? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How should the parent handle the situation? Should the parent yell, or should the parent talk to the child calmly? Opinions, please.

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#2 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 04:10 AM
 
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Yelling will do no good, so my vote is a calm discussion when you can be calm. You have the right to be upset and disappointed, it's just that you have to keep it under control when you are actually talking with your child or they will just shut down and you will not be able to figure out what is going on with him/her. 

 

With that in mind, I have a few questions:

 

How old is your child? 

What were the reasons they were expelled?

At what age did they start having problems in school?

What kind of problems (even small ones)?

Did anything traumatic or very serious either happen at school or at home around the time the first expulsion occurred? (ie: serious bullying in school, death of a loved one, divorce?)

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#3 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 08:10 AM
 
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I think if my kid managed to get themselves expelled twice (!!!??!), I'd be beyond yelling and into the scary-calm voice. And I'd be telling that kid that they better be up and ready for the day by 8AM, because thats when they are leaving the house in the morning, and that they won't be permitted back in the house until 5PM. I'd say I don't care what they do with their day, they can get themselves registered in a third school, or they can start looking for a job, but they better do something productive with their life because we are not going to support them being a bum. They would no longer have the privilege of having their own key to the house, and if they refused to get out in the morning, then the next day we'd have them out at 5AM when their father leaves for work. Seriously, yelling or not yelling would be the least of their problems.

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#4 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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I would have been yelling a long time before the first expulsion, but that's an admission, not a piece of advice. As a strategy for helping a kid in trouble, yelling is pretty useless.

 

 

At this point, it sounds like it's time to come up with a plan B for the child's education. Are there drugs involved? Does the kid have to get sober before he can do homeschooling or a GED? What kinds of help does he need before he can pull himself together? 

 

There's only a narrow window before the child will be 18 and not your responsibility. If it's possible for you to help the kid figure out what's wrong and fix it, do that. I would approach it as something you're working on together. I am not the mom of a teen, but I have a friend who totally alienated her teenager through a punitive approach to her misbehavior. As soon as the girl turned 18, she moved out. Fortunately, she was not using drugs, she did finish school, and she seems to be doing OK--as far as her mom knows through their really limited contact.

 

So I think sit down, discuss what happened, ask what the child needs to get it together, encourage honesty by not judging and let the kid know your goal is to see him independent and ready for adulthood. 

 

 

 


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#5 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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I would likely have started off yelling, too. And... that doesn't help. Used to be that person -  I'd yell first, and then calm down to talk about it. But the yelling part made t harder to do any helping.

 

However, how to proceed depends a lot on what is actually going on. I hope OP comes back to give us some further details.

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#6 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitson View Post

How should the parent handle the situation? Should the parent yell, or should the parent talk to the child calmly? Opinions, please.



Well, I would think yelling wouldn't get to the source of the problem so if you can talk calmly then do that.

Why was the child expelled? What is causing them to act in a way that gets them expelled?

 

I would have a serious talk and hope that my child would open up and we could get things resolved in their life so that they can move forward. Maybe there needs to be therapy or different parental involvement. I would also look for alternatives to high school with my child. The high school environment is not for every kid.

 


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#7 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 06:26 PM
 
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I wouldn't yell or lecture.  But, I'd use a little tough love.   My child would be looking for employment, and/or trying to get into the military, or something productive.  (depending on age) 

 

He or she would absolutely not be sitting at home all day and night.  

 

Actually, her little life would change drastically.  I would from that moment on, only pay for my child's food and a roof over her head.  Every other privilege would be cut off.  Even if I had to pay to cut off he phone, her phone service would be gone.  

 

Other than that... I'd speak calmly, and matter of factly.  The student made the choices, and choices come with a consequence.  

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#8 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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As a person who went off the rails when I was a teen ( short form is I was pregnant, living with my abusive drug addicted 24 yr old bf, and dropped out at 15)  and made it back to a good place (ie, have my BSc, fab hubby,  3 beautiful kids & you'd *never* guess I'd been that 15 yr old), I'd like to comment here. 

 

There are really only 2 possibilities here.  Either he is in control of his behaviour, and choosing not to control it; or, he is not in control.  This is a pretty important distinction.  If a kid has some kind of mental health issue, a drug addiction,  an anger management problem or whatever, yelling isn't going to help, and neither will talking to them about straightening up and flying right.  They need some kind of intervention, and probably quickly. 

 

If they are in control, but are choosing not to follow the rules, then it gets more complicated.  There are a number of reasons a kid might be non-compliant, and not all are obvious.  In my case, I was deliberately choosing paths that would get me in trouble because I felt lost and didn't know what to do.  Unfortunately, my cry for help was pretty hard to read and my parents went all tough love on me.  What I really needed was someone to grab me and say, : " Hey!  I love you!  I can't stand to watch you hurt yourself like this!! You are a great kid, and you deserve to be treated better than you are treating yourself.  I'm going to do everything I can to get you to stop, because I love you and you are important to me."  I've seen other kids go off the rails too, tho, and some of them did need more of a reality check than I did. 

 

All in all, my mom knew that tough love didn't feel right but ti was the fad of the moment and everyone was advising it so that's what she did.  You know your kid best, so follow your gut.  In the meantime, some great books that would've helped my mom - Coloroso's parenting with wit and wisdom ; and  Neufeld's hold on to your kids.  In the Neufeld book he suggests taking a vacation where the kid is out of their element and will instictively renew their attachment to you.  This absolutely would've worked with me, so I could hear the words I needed to. 

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#9 of 19 Old 03-07-2012, 08:12 PM
 
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I love what Jen Muise had to say.

 

I have no idea what I'd do, as there's not enough information to work with. I never got expelled (although I probably should have, once or twice...and almost certainly would have, these days). But, I went way off the skids. I honestly don't know what would have helped me, because my underlying problems were 1) high school was unbelievably repetitious and boring, and 2) (the more important) I was profoundly depressed - I don't think a single day of high school passed without at least one thought of suicide, and I can remember daydreaming about it for entire class periods. People couldn't get through to me, because they didn't know what was wrong...and most attempts to get through to me (tough love type stuff) just made me feel worse about myself and aggravated the underlying problem.

 

"Expelled from two high schools" is a snapshot. It doesn't give the whole story, yk?


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#10 of 19 Old 03-07-2012, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your idea. He is too naughty and doesn't study hard. He doesn't do as the rule says. I don't know how to do it better.

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#11 of 19 Old 03-08-2012, 04:59 AM
 
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How old is he?

 

People are not usually expelled for poor marks - but naughtiness and lack of rule following? That might be cause - if the behaviour was extreme.  To get expelled here, you would need to be selling drugs, physically violent or regularly verbally aggressive.  You need to address why he is getting kicked out of school, more than the expulsions themselves.

 

To me it seems very clear he does not want to be at school at this moment in time - I would address whatever issue is going on before re-enrolling anywhere.

 

Edited to add:  I vote for talk calmly if you can manage it.  Yelling is not going to get you anywhere.  Effective communication (perhaps even out of the house - a coffee shop?)  where you really talk to each other, listen to what the other has to say (and parrot back what they said to show you heard them) might help.  I imagine it will have to be done more than once (like an ongoing dialogue about how they got to this point and what can be done to fix it), and you should listen way more than you talk. 

 

I would also get clear in my head on what your expectations are for a teen who is not in school before you present them to him.  Is it Ok for you if he sits at home and plays video games?  Do you have work expectations - the economy is rough (although learning that mosts jobs require high school might be a good life lesson) - if that does not pan out, volunteer expectations?  Housework?  It is important for mental health for people to feel like contributing members of a society - if one is in school, one contributes by getting a diploma which will help them contribute later on.  He will need an alternate way.

 

 

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#12 of 19 Old 03-08-2012, 08:39 AM
 
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Where are you? This isn't the US, right? In a public school here, you would have been called in for conferences and informed about the child's behavior a long time before even one expulsion. It's also very difficult to be forced out of a public school in the US for academic failure--the child has to violate serious school rules to get expelled. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitson View Post

Thanks for your idea. He is too naughty and doesn't study hard. He doesn't do as the rule says. I don't know how to do it better.


 

 


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#13 of 19 Old 03-09-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

Where are you? This isn't the US, right? In a public school here, you would have been called in for conferences and informed about the child's behavior a long time before even one expulsion. It's also very difficult to be forced out of a public school in the US for academic failure--the child has to violate serious school rules to get expelled. 

 



Well, this was a LOOOONG time ago, but somehow, when I was 15 I managed to get expelled for skipping six months of school without my mother ever knowing.  She even dropped me off there every morning because she knew I had skipped some days.  I just waited for her car to go around the corner and walked over to the bus stop.  I don't remember jumping through hoops to intercept the mail or anything.  It really amazes me that they didn't manage to communicate with her.

 

Anyhow, I think it depends so much on what's going on with him.  For some kids it may be the right thing to forego high school.  If he's reasonably literate and bright, unless things have changed a lot, the GED should be pretty easy to pass.  I don't know how it is to get into college with a GED now, but when I did it, it actually helped me quite a bit that I didn't have a normal background.  I started by going to night school at Harvard (extension school) for three years and got great grades (once it was my idea and I had my own real reasons for doing it, I was pretty committed), and then applied to normal colleges from there and ended up getting into all of the top ten law schools  --  and for that I am SURE that my story was very helpful.  So, if you think he's the kind of kid who will find his groove eventually and is reasonably prepared academically (and btw, I think I was a pretty solid C average student for all of my public schooling, nobody would have thought I was terribly bright, lol, so I don't mean "does he do well in school?" but something probably harder to know than that), then I'm not sure I think high school is so important.  I absolutely thought it was a big fat waste of my time and, looking back, I'm pretty sure I was right.  

 

If he is not a kid you feel comfortable counting on to ultimately get with the program that way, I'd say you all definitely need a plan  --  either to get through high school or to do something else (some kind of vocation, maybe?).  There's a guy here in San Diego who trains young people to snake drains and then lets them work for themselves through his answering service.  They get paid $20 dollars a drain, but it has always taken them about five minutes a drain when they come here and we usually do 2 or 3 drains.  I think they're doing pretty well, moneywise, especially since they're mostly in their early 20s and don't have any sort of formal education.  I am always jealous of them when they come!  I owe HUGE amounts of money still for my education and I want so badly to continue staying home with my kids, but I have to go to work soon just to pay for freaking law school.  All that education just made it impossible for me to do what I want to do. But these kids are doing well and are so free!  And if they ever feel like they need a degree or want to learn about something else, they've got a pretty good way to support themselves through it.  

 

As others have said, yeah, I wouldn't want him playing video games and lying on your couch 24/7 and I wouldn't want him getting in with a bad crowd or drinking excessively or getting into drugs.  But if those things aren't issues, then I'd try to come up with a five year plan that you can both feel comfortable with.  Maybe it could be something he'd be excited about?

 

And also, I wouldn't bother with the yelling.  There was a lot of yelling in my house during that period and it didn't ruin me, but I doubt it contributed to the successes, either.  Punishment just doesn't make a lot of sense to me in this situation, either, although I also wouldn't be catering to him if he's just laying around.  If it was my kid I'd say I was only going to work with him (pay the cell phone bill or whatever perks teenagers get from their parents these days) if he's got a plan and is pursuing it.  


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#14 of 19 Old 06-06-2012, 02:45 AM
 
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Yelling is the worst way to communicate to your child. It is also one of the most harmful actions parents can do to their children. It would be best if you talk to your child in a calm way. That way you can seriously talk with him/her to know more about the situation. This will make you easily express your concerns and how you feel.

This article which offers advice and support for parents of expelled students would be a good read. It provides you with some good options on how to handle this situation. One point from the article I'd like to stress out and suggest is for you to spend some more quality time with your child and do everything possible to strengthen the bond between both of you. Lack of this is usually the root cause of this behavior and is probably the best approach to overcome this problem.

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#15 of 19 Old 06-06-2012, 05:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitson View Post

Thanks for your idea. He is too naughty and doesn't study hard. He doesn't do as the rule says. I don't know how to do it better.

"Naughty could cover a rather wide span of behavior, but to lead to two expulsions, I suspect it is more than simple pranks. Unless we have an idea of what he's actually doing, we can't really provide better input...

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#16 of 19 Old 06-11-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igraine View Post

Yelling will do no good, so my vote is a calm discussion when you can be calm. You have the right to be upset and disappointed, it's just that you have to keep it under control when you are actually talking with your child or they will just shut down and you will not be able to figure out what is going on with him/her.r

 

With that in mind, I have a few questions:

 

How old is your child? 

What were the reasons they were expelled?

At what age did they start having problems in school?

What kind of problems (even small ones)?

Did anything traumatic or very serious either happen at school or at home around the time the first expulsion occurred? (ie: serious bullying in school, death of a loved one, divorce?)

It would help us be able to help you if you could answer all of these questions, or at least elaborate on what type of things are going wrong. Also where you are at.  I never studied, and pushed rules as far as I could, but was never kicked out of a school.  So either the schools he has been in are stricter then your average school or he is really doing more then being naughty, and not studing. 

I do not think that yelling is a good tool when wanting to get someone to listen.  Yelling tends to make people shut down and tune you out. 

Are there any decent Alternative schools where you live?  I have friends that have pulled their good students out of normal public school, because our alternitive schools were a better fit for them even.

Is homeschooling of some form an option for you?  Some kids really do good with homeschool who have done horrid with traditional school(the oposite is also true, but I would say that is not the case here, since he has already shown that traditional schools are not working for him).


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#17 of 19 Old 06-15-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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I don't have any advice, my kids are just starting school.  But...maybe some light at the end of the tunnel.  I recently went to a relative's graduation from high school.  2 years ago, this person had missed over 40 days of school and was failing everything.  I don't know what changed, but now, she's graduated a year earlier than she would have staying in school, with a diploma---with the local school's name on it.  She pulled it together, found a way to take online classes, got it done, and has a plan for further education this fall.  :)  It CAN be done.


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#18 of 19 Old 06-17-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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I would tell to him either finish high school through correspondence, start a trade, or to get a job and start paying rent. 


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#19 of 19 Old 06-17-2012, 05:09 PM
 
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well if he's over 16 i might see if he wants to go to job corps.  while there he can get his hs diploma or ged and get vocational training for free and the will even give him an allowance while there and money wen he graduated.  i loved going there
 


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