am i doing the right thing... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-11-2003, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I will try to make this brief.. or as short as possible. About 3 weeks ago , my DS, 13yrs stole $10.00 from my husbands wallet. After a long investigation and uncovering the truth, we decided on a 10 day chore list for him, repaying $1 a day.
3 days ago, DS woke up and said he wasn't feeling well and wanted to stay home from school. Since he always loves school, I allowed him, on the second day he continued to complain of nausea and feeling bad. He once again stayed home, but acted like he was OK.. yesterday, I told him that he had to go to school.. he complained again of nausea... but I insisted. SO, I call home from work at around 9:30 and DS answers the phone! I knew something was up! So, I said to him... I have the number for your school in front of me, is there something that you need to tell me..... to which he replied... Yes, I have in school suspension.. they said I stole a book.
I am niave to these kind of things.. you don't get ISS on the first offense.. so I called the school and here is what the guidance counselor said..
He is a sweet and kind boy, but will allow other kids to talk him into things just in order to be accepted. 2 wks ago, he and another boy found a purse and they went through it and took money... then 3 days ago, several boys encouraged him to break into a locker and hide the books. He recieved 3 days ISS for the first offense and 3 days for this one... My first question was .. Why was I not notified.. her response was.. we send notes home but do not require it to be returned with a signature. NOW.. I am to be called anytime he even gets looked at for an infraction.
Here is what I have decided to do... !st he is to have some peer counseling and private sessions with a male counselor in our community...
For the immediate infraction.. he was to go to the beach with his grandparents this weekend, staying for a week.. but instead.. he is going to come to work with me ( 5 days).. and volunteer. I work in a nursing home.He will pass ice , stock linen carts, deliver mail.. and a male co worker (who use to work in a group home) has asked if he can have DS help him in the gardening duties...
Have I done the right thing? I'm feeling a little weak about it all and need some encouragement!
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#2 of 5 Old 04-11-2003, 09:55 PM
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hmmm. . .it sounds like you've put a lot of thought into what's going on with your son, and that shows that you're obviously trying to do the very best you can. i think your ideas sound great- losing a privilege, and having to replace that time with something constructive. counseling, also, is almost always helpful imo. i'm sure you've done this already, but since you didn't mention it: have you and your son (and maybe dh) sat down with ds, maybe even in an informal situation, and talked to him about what's going on with him? encourage self-reflection with him?
honestly, grades 7-9 are just hellish for so many kids. many do their rebellion then, and then outgrow it. not that that's particularly comforting, but it's something to bear in mind.
on a side note, i find it really strange that ds's school didn't notify you sooner. i'm a teacher; every time i send a kid to the office that kid's parent gets a phone call. good for you for following up on it and for insisting on being notified in the future.
good luck to you and your family. , christi
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#3 of 5 Old 04-12-2003, 05:32 PM
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peer pressure is MOST intense in jr. high. It is not nec. a slippery slop.

Good luck. I agree with talking to him informally and non-confrontationally. And everything else sounds fine too.
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#4 of 5 Old 04-18-2003, 03:56 PM
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Lilac Moon,

I've been meaning to post and tell you how impressed I am with your discipline, but I always seem to have the baby in my arms when I'm at the keyboard. I think you've got some great insight, the only thing I would wonder about is if there is a stealing pattern going on.

Does taking money out of your dh's wallet play into the problems at school? Is there a particular "friend" your ds had begun to associate with that is encouraging this behavior? This may or may not apply, but I have to admit that in the past I've had to help ds#1 choose his friends.

We had one particular "friend" who was determined to find trouble, and after several talks with ds, about what the boy was doing, why it was wrong, and how even being present while these things were going on would reflect negatively on him (guilty by association), we finally said they could only play at our house while supervised by me. Pretty soon both boys realized that the friendship was not going to work. Ds was not interested in getting in trouble, and the "friend" thought that ds was pretty "boring" to hang around with, so he moved on.

I know some people think it is manipulative to influence your children's choice of friends, but I think they are children, and need our guidence to make choices they aren't mature enough to make on their own.

Anyhow, I just wanted to give you a big , and also put my $.02 in.

Good Luck, HTH
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#5 of 5 Old 04-21-2003, 08:55 PM
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We had problems of a whole different type, but the bottom line...and the resolution were the same. Counseling. We send 11 y/o step daughter to counseling. She has been going for almost 2 years. Her problem was her mother...but in the same sense she had to learn to make 'decisions for herself'. Not let other people do it for you. Same thing that it sounds like your son needs. It took a good 6 months before we saw a significant change, but since then she has gotten remarkably good at standing up for herself to EVERY one and doing what 'she feels' is right. 99% of the time she is right on. She now has stronger friendships, a MUCH better sense of self-security, and truly feels that in any situation SHE can make an educated decision.
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