25 answers

My 7 Yr Old Has Been Suspended from School! Help!

I totally don't know what to do with my son. He's been having good days and bad days. I can't put my finger on a reason or what to do to help. He was suspended today for spitting on another student. Yesterday, he was in trouble because he wiped spit on another child and then today's incident. My husband and I are thinking seriously about taking trick-or-treating away tomorrow.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! We've tried behavior charts, positive reinforement, medication, etc. I have an appointment on Tues. with a counsilor.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My son is taking Strattera for AD/HD. He has days at school where he's absolutely wonderful and then he will have days where he's getting in trouble for talking to loud in the cafeteria, fighting at PE, etc. Yesterday, the 1st time he was in trouble for the spitting, he said it was because he tried to spit and got some on his arm and the little boy kept hitting him in the face so he wiped his arm on him. today, he says he did it because another child did. He's not taking responsibility for his choice which I'm hoping we can address with the appt, next week. I'm so torn on the Trick-or Treating because he's been having really awesome days and then this. I know he knows right from wrong, but at what point do you know whether it's an impulse issue that he truely can't help? I want to help him, not bring him down. It's so hard to know what to do!

*** so we let him go trick or treating, but for only half the time. He gets no more of his candy until after Saturday, no playing with his friends, no electronics until after Saturday. I'm very glad we let him go, but still let him know that what he did was not acceptable ***

Featured Answers

Don't take away trick or treating. This isn't a discipline issue, it's a behavioral health issue. Wait until you meet with the counselor before doing anything more.

4 moms found this helpful

Dont take away trick or treating. In kid world, that is second only to christmas morning. Punish away, but I would leave Halloween out of it. He is only 7.

3 moms found this helpful

I have found that positive reinforcement works wonders, as opposed to severe consequences. Let him trick or treat. He's already being punished for spitting. Work on the behavior in a positive way and I bet the counselor will help a ton with coping skills. At age 7, children don't want to be "bad", but they need help learning the appropriate behavior and ways to handle their emotions and impulses, especially if they also are coping with ADHD.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Honestly, as the mom of a kid who had a rough day on Monday--and this was a very unusual one-off-- losing Halloween Trick or Treating will be a consequence if we don't have a good report from the teacher both today and tomorrow. That afternoon, we did ALL of his schoolwork from the day (which he hadn't focused on) and he lost his tv/play time. He knows I mean business and that he's expected to behave at school.

Trick or Treat is a privilege, not a right. You don't get rewarded for being disrespectful to others, for causing the teacher to have to tend to you instead of being able to teach. They know by this age what their job is at school and after one warning about wiping spit on another person, the behavior is completely unacceptable.

If it were me, I'd be looking for counseling help as well, AND Halloween would be gone. It might sound mean, but we don't do our kids any favors by rewarding them for getting suspended. If my son did this, his world would pretty much come to a screeching halt.

ETA: I must respectfully disagree that spitting isn't a big deal. If someone spit on me, I'd be disgusted and deeply offended. Why do we expect other people's kids to put up with behavior we ourselves wouldn't welcome?

6 moms found this helpful

If my girls were suspended from school they would not be going trick or treating (or having play dates, watching TV, etc.). BUT... my kids are neurotypical and should know better than to spit on other children. If your son has ADHD and it's not under control, he might truly not be able to stop himself if he's provoked or all spun up. So, I think you need to sit down with your husband and determine whether your son is capable of controlling himself. Not whether you want him to control himself (because of course you do), but whether he is in a situation at school that so overstimulates him that he can't help himself. Does he express remorse? Is he generally a good kid but certain things push his buttons? If yes, then maybe counseling and a change of medicine is a better avenue to pursue...

I'm not sure I'm explaining this correctly, so here's another example. My daughter Piper is well behaved 98% of the time. So when she has an epic melt down or is completely bratty, I have to first look at whether she's had enough to eat during the day. Because most of the time if she misbehaves, she hasn't. She has had a couple of bites of breakfast, given her mid morning snack away, and gotten distracted at lunch. So by 3 when I pick her up she's running on empty. Then her sister can do something dumb and it sets her off and she flails her arm, yells, and can't be pleasant. It's her fault, but not totally. She truly can't handle the emotions on no calories. In those instances, I don't do a major punishment. Instead, I give her a really big snack and send her to her room to read and think things over. But if she's eaten and the day has gone well and she's just being a jerky small child, and she knows better... she'll lose priviledges. We talk about it and she knows the difference.

So that's what I mean for your son. If you think he was well set up for success, then don't let him trick or treat. But if he hasn't been sleeping well and the teacher isn't helping, and the other kid is overwhelming him... you may find it's better to hug him, ask how you can help, and get him a doctors appointment.

5 moms found this helpful

Your previous post said that he had ADHD. it sounds like he should be seen by a professional to help control is behavior and impulsiveness. Ask the school counselor for some referrals.

5 moms found this helpful

Don't take away trick or treating. This isn't a discipline issue, it's a behavioral health issue. Wait until you meet with the counselor before doing anything more.

4 moms found this helpful

One of the huge clues our son's ADHD medication isn't working anymore is the report of bad behavior at school. He was suspended twice in third grade while we were trying to get the medication back on track. Same type of awful behavior.

I would go back to your son's psychiatrist and explain what's happening at school. His impulse control is off and the medication will take care of that. Strattera is a non-stimulant and generally used for mild ADHD; it may be that his has progressed and it's time to consider a stimulant. In any case, the psychiatrist can help you sort that out.

If you're not taking him to a behavioral therapist, I'd get started with one, too. Ours has been a great source of advice through all of the ups and downs of ADHD. He/she can tell you exactly what to do in these situations as far as consequences. With kids with ADHD, it's an entirely different ball game than neurotypical kids. I wouldn't take trick or treating away, esp. since it sounds like a medication problem, but do give a meaningful consequence, like taking away video games or another "currency" of his for a day or two max. You don't want to lose the motivating power of his currency going forward. Kids with ADHD have a horrible sense of time, too, so one day will truly be meaningful to him.

4 moms found this helpful

Will he be going to school tomorrow? If so, let him know that if he gets into any trouble at school he cannot go trick-or-treating.

I do not think it is appropriate to decide to punish him if he had no real way to understand that punishing him might happen.

Our 7 year old has good days and bad days. But he knows that a consequence to bad days is loss of electronics. Each night I read a few pages of Harry Potter (we're on book 3), and he knows that if he is too rambunctious during our bedtime routine, I will not read Harry Potter.

At 7 years old, it is still appropriate to give them one warning, one opportunity to change their behavior, before issuing a consequence.

4 moms found this helpful

Oh I don't think you should take away trick or treating. Maybe consequences starting Friday would be losing 1-2 pieces of candy per infraction if he makes bad choices going forward. He is 7- watching you take away a kit kat will be devastating enough. Seriously, I wouldn't take away trick or treating.

I'm thinking the counselor will be a bigger help then us because he/she will be able to see the big picture. I will say that structure is imperative with these kiddos, as well as consistency. I think the biggest thing that happens is parents think they are following through, but they aren't doing it as often as they think. Take a good luck at how consistent you are and how predictable his routine is.

Let us know what happens after the appointment. I don't have great advice for you because I think you are beyond friendly, vague advice. I do want to say that you sound like you are being a great advocate for your son, and taking his behavior seriously and finding him help. I know this must be hard for you and you are very brave to take these steps. Good luck to you all.

4 moms found this helpful

No, he wouldn't be going trick or treating at my house if he was suspended from school. He seems to have some kind of anger that needs to be addressed. Has something changed in his life, is he being bullied at school, or is this an inappropriate cry for attention???? Hopefully, you can get some positive results quickly and teach him some anger management techniques before his behavior gets even further out of hand. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

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