8 Year Old Getting in Trouble at School

Updated on December 16, 2008
K.M. asks from Durham, NC
5 answers

I need help with my 8 year old who constantly gets in trouble at school. He moan, stomps,and grunts or yell out when the teacher asks him to do something he doesn't want to do. He thinks everything is a race and it always gets him in trouble. Example: He tries to be first in line and will push other kids if they jump him in line. We have told him over and over if someone does something to you then tell the teacher. Well he always takes it into his own hands and he always gets in trouble for that. When the teacher gets on him all he says is "I don't care". Recently, he has had trouble with his grades beginning to drop and his teacher thinks it's because of his behavior. We have punished him by taking his toys away, not letting him participate in the team sport activites that he like, taken the tv out of his room, making him do extra chores, and even spankings. Nothing will work. Nothing phases him. We have even spent many years and alot of money on psychologist and other doctors to test him for things like ADD and ADHD however, we are constantly told that there is nothing wrong with him. I don't know what else to do.

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answers from Raleigh on

Hi Kristi,
I am a mom of four kids. One is grown and the rest are teenagers to toddlers. I have a 14 year old that went through this. i want to say...Im not a doctor..just a mom, but this is what worked. Joshua was never affected by negative reinforcement. taking things away got us an attitude of.."who cares ill do something else"..he was talked back to his elders and those in authority at the end and it was because even in school the consequences were negative for behaviour, but nothing to reinforce the good behaviour. I decided perhaps this one was different and that he truly WASNT affected by the punishmen. He was delibberatley disobedient ..olater someone called it "oppositional defiance disorder" I praised him more and that is not to say..dish out compliments for doing what he was supposed to....but a really sincere attaboy when he completed a task that he wasnt asked to do. Granted it was hard not to get into the whole take away the xbox or tv priveledges and we did do SOME of that...but never more than 3 days...My son is now 14 and is a well behaved young man. It took us at least six months of thisand some other behavior mods like...when he was mouthy we would simply say..."why are you talking to us this way...we dont do this to you"..and leave it at that. look up Oppositional Defiance disorder..see if you can find some help..good luck to you and your sweet boy..even if he isnt acting sweet now :) {Independence is a trait you have to tame some ;)}

Take care,
T. C
Raleigh NC

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

If the school allows you to have lunch with your son, go to lunch one day and see how he interacts with the other kids during lunchtime. Try to determine if there is anything going on in his social group that mey be setting off his behavior.



answers from Raleigh on

I would have diagnosed him with some kind of a disorder- please have him start seeing a counselor, there IS something wrong. K.



answers from Omaha on

I think Ingrid gave a great post. The play therapy does wonders for kids. Also, I think getting him active in a physical activity like kirate or football would be strict, but also a place to get out aggression.

As a teacher, I am so thankful to you for understanding that yes your little boy is having a hard time. So many times parents sit around and say, "Oh no, not my little baby boy." Teachers don't have time to make up this kind of stuff--yes sometimes they are wrong--but working together will only help him out in the long run. :) So good job for being a great mom!

Also, I would recommend some kind of behavior log that goes back and forth to school EVERY DAY to communicate what is going on. If he knows you and teacher are on the same page, being consistent with immediate consequences, that will help immensely!

Blessings your way,



answers from Raleigh on

I noticed that you are in Durham, NC. So I highly recommend getting him evaluated at Developmental Therapy Associates (DTA) to rule out any sensory, auditory, or other issues that might be stressing him out at school and causing him to behave this way. Once they evaluate him, they will suggest therapies, if needed, but also things to put in place at school to help.

Is he behaving well at home? If so, then something about the school environment might be stressing him out.

Does he have an older or younger brother or sister? How does he interact with him/her? Does he always get to go first or is he jealous of his sibling? The reason I thought of this is because my daughter used to be bossy and not have any friends, because when she was little her brother had no creative play so he totally relied on her for ideas on what to do when they played. He was diagnosed later with highly functional autism. She, fortunately, did grow out of it and has many friends now as a teenager.

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