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28.9.10

He doesn't seem to care...

We bought a chore chart, and he and my daughter both loved doing the chores and earning money for them. A couple of times I made him pay me for having to pick up his room, but overall his effort toward helping out was great. He had quit radding the pantry/fridge for unearned treats, and he was much more forthcoming with confessions of wrongdoing when picking fights with his sister. It seemed we were on the right track...

Then school started. For a couple weeks I thought things were going well. And I hoped that we would have a year of homework done on time and no major discipline problems. I asked him everyday how things went, and he told me great. In the past, he would always tell me when something went wrong. Usually he blamed someone else (Stephen got me in trouble today etc...) so I thought things were going well. Then I got an email from his teacher asking to talk with me. Apparently, things had not been going well. His homework had been turned in on time, but he rushes through it all and misses easy things (I would check his homework, except he finishes it during class. I guess that's the rushing through it part. We've since told him he has to take it all home so we can check it. Should I check it, or should I make him responsible for doing it correctly? I don't know if that is fostering self reliance, or if he really does need the help). His desk was already moved away from all the other students because he was a distraction. She believes he can't control himself, constantly yells out the answers, is out of his seat all the time (even after being asked repeatedly to stay put and stop yelling out the answers). But I'm convinced he can control it, but he chooses not to. He is doing this for attention. He has regularly been on honor roll in the past. But now he is, I believe, purposefully messing up. Getting almost every question wrong on some of his tests, then being asked to redo the test (because she thinks he knows better too) and still not doing it right. In Math, and English, and Religion (He's in a Catholic school), not just one subject. Now he lies to us about his conduct grades, knowing full well that I will talk to his teacher (I teach at his school as well, so I talk to her probably every other day).

After the first week of poor conduct, and figuring out that he lied to us, we decided to ground him for the weekend. His conduct did not improve this past week, so now he is grounded for the week. He has practically nothing in his room now, and is not even allowed in a room with a tv. We (especially my husband) are very frustrated and losing patience with him. We thought things were going well, but apparently he was just lying to us the whole time! I don't know if he was just hiding things from us over the summer when we thought things were going well, or if something changed. I feel like he's grounded all the time and don't know what else we can do. He still likes doing the chores for payment, but he has started steeling food again (I promise we don't starve him) loading his lunch box with way too many snacks and leaving very little for his sister. Then lying to us about taking it. Purposefully doing irritating things (in the car he likes to kick our chair 'accidentally' or make sound effects then 'forgetting' that we asked him not to). I know we are supposed to put on our poker face and not give him energy when he does these things, but he doesn't seem to care about the consequences. We will say, if you don't stop making that noise now, you will not get to play when we get to Nan Kim's house. But he doesn't seem to care. So he sits out at her house, and continues to make the noise.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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