The Norman Transcript

Features

December 21, 2012

Parents need to put in detective work for child’s behavior

NORMAN — Q: Our son started full-day kindergarten in September. For the first three months he had no problem with his behavior at school, but for the past few weeks he has gotten in trouble for talking, not listening, and he spit at a child at school today. Taking away privileges hasn’t made a difference in his behavior. He was always such a well-behaved child so we are at our wits end as far as what to do. Any suggestions for punishment would be greatly appreciated.

 

A: Sometimes punishment is the answer for a classroom behavior problem; sometimes it isn’t. In this case, I am reluctant to recommend punishment (but I’ll go ahead and describe an approach that may work) because your son’s problems began rather suddenly after three initial months of good behavior. That’s certainly puzzling. It suggests that something happened — and is still happening — at school to cause this sea change in your son’s attitude. That intuition is strengthened by the fact that he’s never been a discipline problem.

Is the teacher young or inexperienced? Did some incident occur — an embarrassing one perhaps — in class on the playground that might have caused the other children to change their attitude toward your son? Is he being teased by his classmates? Did his best classroom friend suddenly decide to abandon him in favor of some other child? You first need to do a certain amount of detective work in order to determine if such an incident did occur. The fact that taking privileges away hasn’t worked to set your son back on the right path leads me to think there’s more going on here than meets the eye.

Sometimes a seemingly small event can rapidly cascade into a major problem. If so, then it may be that things have gone downhill to the point where a change of teacher, even a change of school, is called for — a fresh start, in other words.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014

  • Parents should work on themselves first

    I absolutely love it when people begin to realize that the problems they’re having with a child are of their own making; when they begin to realize, in other words, that the child is not the problem — they are. All this time (however long ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Helping cat with first veterinarian visit

    Dear Dr. Fox: A stray kitty adopted me a couple months ago and has since been tamed enough that I have found a vet to neuter him and do some much-needed dental work. My fear is that the poor boy will be so traumatized by this ordeal that ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014