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  #1  
Old 11-17-2010, 07:37 AM
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Willfull 6 year old boy, on my last straw

Ok...I need advice please,

My wife and have been fostering 2 children (FS,3 & FD,2) since February. In late July, we were placed with their older brothers, which are twins (6 and not identical). We both new that the older boys would be a challenge considering their nick-names were hurricane and tornado....
We are having great difficulty with the older of the 2 twins. When school began, he was having issues staying in his seat on the bus. He was mis-behaving in school. Kicking and punching... in school or on the bus... Not listening to the teacher or any teacher for that matter. His brother did the same but with much work, we were able to corale him and he has improved immensly
However, the older one doesnt seem to care. When we question him on his behavior he simply responds "Dad, I want my own way". I will give him this....He Honest!

To try and give positive encouragement, my wife would meet them at the bus stop and issue little candies if they were good throughout the day. This worked for a little while. We made sure to praise them no matter how little the object of that praise was and we still do. But now, he just doesnt want to do anything. At least once a day, I get a call or a note from school noting his unwillingness to do his work. The bus ride is big now. He and his brother acted up on the bus and I received notice that one more infraction and he will be off the bus for 3 days. After that, its indefinite as to how long. What kills me is that his bus ride is only 12 minutes long. He is the first to be dropped off and the last to be picked up. This past Saturday, I walked with them the 5 miles to school to show them that the bus ride is the best and funnest way to go to school and that it would be a shame to have to walk. ( now mind you, I would NEVER make them walk to school, but I was hoping that it would deter them from acting up on the bus.....and for now, it has made an impact)

What do you do with a 6 yr. old boy who wants his way??
My wife and I are out of ideas as to how to get him to change his mind.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2010, 08:17 AM
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I would say an evaluation for ADHD, I would suggest a contract with chores and behaviors and rewards that mean something to him.
I'm also a very firm believer that a child will live up to the expectations we (as adults or other kids) put to them.
If they have heard enough that they are "hurricane and tornado" then they will live up to that for you. I would try to never use those terms towards them again and start building something better for them to be.
Is there a trip they would like to take that is "doable" after they earn enough points on a chart?
With our son, who is very ADHD (before he was dx) we had a goodie box, purchased with small and inexpensive toys that each day he stayed focused he got to choose, this was a school only thing, if he stayed on task in school he got to choose....EVERY DAY!
Pretty soon it was every other day and then so on and we still have it and even though he is now on meds (sooo good for him) we still use it as a positive reinforcement.
Be careful about that walk though, you say you would never make him walk but you implied you would it's in a kids nature to figure out these things and then test it!
Good luck....



Quote:
Originally Posted by dad101
Ok...I need advice please,

My wife and have been fostering 2 children (FS,3 & FD,2) since February. In late July, we were placed with their older brothers, which are twins (6 and not identical). We both new that the older boys would be a challenge considering their nick-names were hurricane and tornado....
We are having great difficulty with the older of the 2 twins. When school began, he was having issues staying in his seat on the bus. He was mis-behaving in school. Kicking and punching... in school or on the bus... Not listening to the teacher or any teacher for that matter. His brother did the same but with much work, we were able to corale him and he has improved immensly
However, the older one doesnt seem to care. When we question him on his behavior he simply responds "Dad, I want my own way". I will give him this....He Honest!

To try and give positive encouragement, my wife would meet them at the bus stop and issue little candies if they were good throughout the day. This worked for a little while. We made sure to praise them no matter how little the object of that praise was and we still do. But now, he just doesnt want to do anything. At least once a day, I get a call or a note from school noting his unwillingness to do his work. The bus ride is big now. He and his brother acted up on the bus and I received notice that one more infraction and he will be off the bus for 3 days. After that, its indefinite as to how long. What kills me is that his bus ride is only 12 minutes long. He is the first to be dropped off and the last to be picked up. This past Saturday, I walked with them the 5 miles to school to show them that the bus ride is the best and funnest way to go to school and that it would be a shame to have to walk. ( now mind you, I would NEVER make them walk to school, but I was hoping that it would deter them from acting up on the bus.....and for now, it has made an impact)

What do you do with a 6 yr. old boy who wants his way??
My wife and I are out of ideas as to how to get him to change his mind.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2010, 08:20 AM
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Sounds like maybe a talk with teachers and come up with some consequences that are swift and carry weight with him.
He may need to learn the hard way. Say, missing recess if he doesn't complete his work or if he hits/kicks.
If he isn't doing what he has to do, he might need to lose some of what he wants to do.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:41 AM
sandysis sandysis is offline
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First of all, if he's acting up on the school bus, why not just drive him the 12 minutes to school? Give him less opportunity to act out.

You and the school administrators and teachers need to have a conference real soon. They need to have a plan for how to deal with his behaviors that are consistent. He should definitely be tested for ADHD and if he is diagnosed, he will be eligible for services through the school system. Some kids can have a personal aide who helps them throughout the day. Others go to a small learning environment (resource room). The school is obligated to educate your child or send him out of district for a proper education.

Make it happen for him.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2010, 10:04 AM
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My DD was 6 when she came home and tornado would have been a good nickname for her too.

It took 3 days of walking one time and then a full week of walking plus payback chores at home to make up for Mom and sibs having to walk too, plus her own personal seatbelt installed on the bus to keep her safe. After the 1st year she was no longer required to sit int he seatbelt seat and has never had another bus notice home!

BTW....Mom walks very fast and does not carry backpacks:}
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2010, 10:29 AM
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I had the same thing happen to me a couple years back with my bio son and the neighbor kid. The school is approx. 5 miles in the middle of nowhere. We live in a very rural area. Both boys received the notice from the bus driver the same day. I let them have it. I told both boys that if they ever got a notice again that they will walk home from school and I will drive right behind them. I don't care if it's a 100 degrees or pouring rain, you will walk. The mother of the other boy agreed. They only took the bus home from school, we drove them to school, because to school they were 1st pick up with approx. 1 hour on the bus before school and after school they were 1st drop off with only a few minutes on the bus. My son and the neighbor kid does not have any emotional issues so I was not dealing with that. We never had anymore issues on the bus. I don't make idle threats and both boys knew that.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2010, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad101
What do you do with a 6 yr. old boy who wants his way??
My wife and I are out of ideas as to how to get him to change his mind.

I've yet to meet a 6yo that DOESN'T want is own way! If his negative behavior is resulting in him actually GETTING what he wants, it won't stop.

You can't change his mind, you can only establish consequences (natural and imposed) and follow through on them. You don't mention what consequences FS faces for his behavior at home and at school?? The natural consequence of having to walk to and from school is a great one.

What I have found works best is giving lots and lots of choices; give him the illusion of control. A responsibility chart is also a good way to get agreement on what behaviors are desired and having a structured reward system. It sounds like you FS is pretty bright...charts work really well for kids who are smart enough to play the system to get their way. It takes LOTS of effort on the parents part to keep them up...but it does work.

I agree with PP that if you suspect an organic cause of the problem, you would consult the appropriate folks for assessment. I also agree that you need to meet with school officials and come up with a game plan and consequences that you all can stick to. The bottom line is that This is life...you don't always get what you want.

I feel you pain totally! We've recently overcome a battle of wills with out FD who is 3...we finally conceded that she DID have the control; but that meant she also had the consequences. Didn't take too many times before she decided the consequences weren't worth it and decided to make a different choice. Good luck!!
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2010, 11:46 AM
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More info on my willfull 6 yr. old

Thank you so much for the info that has been shared. However, I think I need to clarify and add more details where I couldnt earlier for the sake of time.

He is not ADHD, he has regular, consistant consequences (loss of deserts, playtime, removal of preferred toys, time outs). Then for chores he has had sentences to write, long walks to school, added chores inside and outside, early bedtimes. In all of this he either refuses to do it or blames us because he has to. We lovingly but stearnly remind him that his choices have brought this about. To which he still is in his own reality and insists that we dont have to do this and to give him another chance. We have allowed him to pick his own reward even on a daily basis gradually working up to bigger weekly rewards. He doesnt care. He just tells us that we can give it to him anyway. He is willfull and head strong.

Also, my wife and I have never refered to the boys by their "nick-names". These were names given by some of the people that knew the boys before we did.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2010, 12:18 PM
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I stand by the chart/contract. There IS something he cares about that will offer leverage, you have to find it and run with it.
I would consider formal testing for ADHD and also maybe a phsyc eval and counseling.
Negative breeds negative. He has learned that eventually adults give in, that wont undo itself in a short amount of time.
The comment on the daily or weekly rewards says it all to me...."you can give it to me anyway" Well....yes we can but we wont until it's earned. One time giving in to a smart fella like this is a major set back.
I wouldnt be using food as a punishment (in our area it's not allowed) if you need to with-hold desert then do it as a whole and not as punishment. Cut him off refined sugars and treats (if he gets them now) and try for natural stuff. He can refuse to go to bed early, but he can also go an extra 15 min early every night till he gets it right...did that with my boys when they were a little younger and it took a couple of days of going to bed directly after dinner and they "got" that I mean business and they stopped messing around!
You may have tried some of the ideas you've been given, tweek them a bit, put it in writing, meet with the teachers and again, unless he has been formaly tested I would get that done. Talk to transportation and your CW about things that are ok to use as discipline...like having him walk regardless of weather while you drive behind him...it's chilly now, he may not like it and if he does like it then good, it's exercise and his teacher may appreciate that!
Worst that can happen with trying things or tweeking old things is that it wont help, you might get lucky and it will
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Current placements:


FD Newborn plan: Waiting for TPR. RU is terminated...its us or a family member. placed at 2 days old 1-14
FD 8 Plan: Looking for family. 10-14


Former placements: Just too many to put down now. We do ER work as well as long term
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2010, 12:36 PM
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While my 6yo BS is very strong willed, I say that God gave me him to prepare me for my 4 yo AS. You have to be consistant ALL THE TIME. Read all you can on natural consequences so you will be ready. One time letting it go and you will pay for it. My AS will test, test, test, take a few days break and then test, test, test some more. At first we chalked it up to his RAD. Then last summer they said he is completely attached, RAD no longer seems to be an issue and dx him with ADHD. The therapist then told me the challenging and strong will is just his personality. I about cried. Love him, but some days I have to take my own time-out.

When days get really bad with him what gets me through is knowing I was a very strong willed child and survived (though my mother says there were many times she understood why some animals eat their young).

ps - love the walking him to school idea, just be sure you follow through every time. If he is anything like my son, you will be walking a couple times one week, take a week break and walking a couple times again for several weeks before he gets tired of challenging that and moves onto something else.

Almost forgot -- be sure if you can request teachers/coaches/etc you always do. (At least with my sons) they will eat a person alive that is not firm and consistent with them. Took us many tries to find a babysitter that can handle them!!!
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Last edited by Biblemom : 11-17-2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Just wondering... What does your school do for children who are misbehaving? Our school has them 'flip their color card. Neither my 6 or 4 year olds care about doing that. My 6 year old will flip it regularly once, but only from time to time twice b/c he has to miss some recess and go to bed 30 minutes early. My 4 yo laughs at flipping his card until they starting putting him in time-out. He wouldn't even sit in time-outs for them until I stepped in and started sending him straight to bed when he comes home with a note about refusing time out.
Don't want to start an uproar, but sometimes I really do wish the school could still give children a (reasonable) paddling! That would certainly stop my oldest in his tracks! Would never do that to my youngest b/c would bring up past issues.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:55 PM
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sorry, trying to get too many things done at once, so my thoughts are scattered.

Another thing you might consider is reading up on the 5 love languages of children. This will help you learn if he prefers: quality time, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, or physical touch (ie hugs). Will make it easier to find out what it is he will be excited to work on earning.
We read up on it and realized my 6 yo is gifts and 4 yo is physical touch. My 6 yo likes to earn trips to the dollar store and 4 yo extra cuddle time after the other kiddos are in bed. I love that I know this about my kids and can express my love to them in a way that means the most to them.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad101
Thank you so much for the info that has been shared. However, I think I need to clarify and add more details where I couldnt earlier for the sake of time.

He is not ADHD, he has regular, consistant consequences (loss of deserts, playtime, removal of preferred toys, time outs). Then for chores he has had sentences to write, long walks to school, added chores inside and outside, early bedtimes. In all of this he either refuses to do it or blames us because he has to. We lovingly but stearnly remind him that his choices have brought this about. To which he still is in his own reality and insists that we dont have to do this and to give him another chance. We have allowed him to pick his own reward even on a daily basis gradually working up to bigger weekly rewards. He doesnt care. He just tells us that we can give it to him anyway. He is willfull and head strong.
:

OK. This helps. I have two suggestions #1: Stop engaging in so much dialog with FS on it. What I mean by that is that if you have a regular consequence already defined, he breaks a rule the consequence is immediately assigned (each and every time, never miss, never skip, never delay). End. Of. Subject. No debate. No discussion. No dialog. You can't stop him talking but YOU refuse to engage. What we do is in a very neutral manner, return FK to the task/consequence, repeat the behavior/choice and the task/consequense/expectation and walk away. rinse and repeat. (sometimes over and over and over).

#2 simply the rules, find his button and stick to it. I suggest that instead of having all of these various consequences you either let the natural consequence happen (ie having to walk home, no longer having a toy he breaks, etc) or pick just ONE imposed consequence. What is important to him, what does he really like or really hate? It will change with time, but find that one thing that has meaning. then use it as a consequence. Maybe it's going to bed (his room) early. Maybe it's a particulary chore. Or maybe it's having "time in" - having to be with you every moment doing what you are doing. Can you say b.o.r.i.n.g? Then you have to make him do it, consistantly, every time (while still refusing to engage in dialog about it! )

I know you said you are consistant...but then you also said he "refuses to do it". So that tells me sometimes he is able to get out of the consequence. This one is a smart cookie and will work any loophole you provide. You are going to have to tighten down on those loopholes. It is going to take an enormous amount of work on your part to extinquish this behavior.

I know you said he doesn't have any "issues" but you might still consider seeking out therapy for him. There is a root here...you can probably bring him around through hard********* parenting, but it might be easier on all if you can get to the root of it and fix that.
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:57 PM
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Maybe you've already done this, but try to get more information. What is happening on the 12 min bus ride that evokes his behavior problems? Can he be seated away from everyone else?
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:13 PM
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Judo (any martial arts, really) could be helpful. It gives them an outlet, builds their self-confidence,and makes them feel 'in control.'
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