MOMinFL's picture

7th grader with behavior problems

My son has had about 4 referrals this year. He has also had several detentions. He has never had any issues in school until now. He is in all advanced classes and has always been an honor student, until now. This year his grades have fallen, he is passing all of his classes but has mostly C's. We have had conferences and a lot of contact with his teachers. The general problem is him being lazy. He has pretty much been grounded the whole school year. He will little by little earn back privileges and then he will screw up again. His referrals range from being disruptive, horseplay, to not following simple rules.
He has always shown "some" signs of ADHD. However, this hasn't impacted his behavior or school work in the past. I am beginning to think that his impulsive ways are stemming from this.
I have a back ground in psychology and have been a social worker for 12 years. I am at a loss with my own kid though. I am not a fan of medication. Especially since he has managed to be very successful until now. He also seems to have the "victim" attitude. No one likes him, it wasn't his fault, etc, etc. He is very small for his age and I think that his self esteem is suffering because of this. He plays sports and excels in that area.
I am just looking for suggestions from anyone that has had similar issues.

2xstepmom's picture

My son had the same issues in 7th grade but had many more than 4 referrals. He was (and is still at 31) ADHD, and we chose not to medicate because of the side effects of meds available 20 yrs ago. 8th grade was not much better but once he got to high school and started football, he did a complete turn around. The school and very tough coach had high standards that my son chose to meet in order to play high school level sports. That was a huge behavioral incentive.

You may want to consider putting your son on one of the ADHD meds that are available now. I also have a mental health background and those 2 years were as difficult on me as they were for my son. Once he turned around, my son was embarrassed by his previous behavior, though he did not seem to be at the time. I hope your son makes it through successfully. My son graduated from college and now has a Master's (which he got in 13 1/2 months while working full time) and a very good job where his ADHD tedencies work for him. Good luck!

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Maybe your son is not motivated to do his work b/c either A) it's hard for him and he doesn't want to try so hard or B) he's having a problem at school that he hasn't told you about. I think if your son hasn't had any previous problems academically, I wld look into other possibilities first. Start w/ counceling, then maybe a tutor. If your son is ADHD, get him tested privately, and make sure you get him the services he needs in school so he can continue to excel. I think the involvement in sports is an excellent outlet for your son. You may also want to try karate, swimming or track. I too am not a huge fan of meds for kids, but do what you feel is best for your son. Good luck to you both.