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Code of Conduct

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    Code of Conduct

    How do you discuss the code of conduct with your kids? Do you use it as your household rules? Do you post it on the wall? Sometimes I wonder if my kids would behave better if we had rules posted.

    Maybe something like 3 popsicle sticks at the beginning of the day. If you lose all three because you didn't follow the rules, then you lose the privilege to play outside? Or do you have more luck with rewards-based systems? I get complaints from the kids about school and how much they don't like it. My daughter especially will tell me how much she doesn't like school and doesn't feel like doing it. I don't want to reward that as school is necessary whether you love it or not. However, I am trying to figure out how to motivate her and she seems to wants something. I am curious how you all focus on rules and consequences in your homeschool. I'm in need of revamping. My kids don't always take me seriously. I have to shout to get their attention. I try clapping and they clap back, but inevitably, one of them will always be talking still or something. I'm tired of trying so hard just to get their attention for even the smallest of things. It is exhausting.

    Thanks!

    #2
    Re: Code of Conduct

    The broader issue is their mocking your authority. No matter which system you choose, this is unacceptable. As you gain confidence in ignoring them (or giving them a swift unemotional consequence) and then pressing forward, you will be free to use any system you like!

    Just be careful not to unwittingly reward what they are doing. Keep the focus on the task at hand.

    You might find it helpful to read the Code of Conduct each morning after gathering them for your Opening and Prayer. I found that by reading and rehearsing the rules, high standards, and clear expectations every morning, this gave me my marching orders for the day. The practice gave me the confidence to proceed, "in command" of the day's teaching.

    You might close the reading of the Code of Conduct with your morning prayer.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Code of Conduct

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      The broader issue is their mocking your authority. No matter which system you choose, this is unacceptable. As you gain confidence in ignoring them (or giving them a swift unemotional consequence) and then pressing forward, you will be free to use any system you like!

      Just be careful not to unwittingly reward what they are doing. Keep the focus on the task at hand.

      You might find it helpful to read the Code of Conduct each morning after gathering them for your Opening and Prayer. I found that by reading and rehearsing the rules, high standards, and clear expectations every morning, this gave me my marching orders for the day. The practice gave me the confidence to proceed, "in command" of the day's teaching.

      You might close the reading of the Code of Conduct with your morning prayer.
      How is this done with a more combative child?

      For example: rule, non-compliance, dispassionate consequence, combative child goes overboard.

      Overboard: whining and crying that he is a bad boy, everyone hates him, we are (apparently) killing him or he’s going to die as a result of having a privilege taken away, he’ll be punished forever, he’s going to find a new family. Its a non stop litany of cry-whining. I’ve tried to engage with logic in the past, but find that engaging at all just gets him attention (and that school comes to a grinding halt). If I am at all emotional, it escalates. And then I’m so flustered school REALLY gets derailed.

      Hugs, cuddles and tickles generally work to lighten the mood. But that’s kind of counterintuitive to discipline, yes?

      How do I tune out the whining? It really makes me upset (which is what he counts on, I’m sure). We OBVIOUSLY love him, he’s a great boy, talk of dying or killing sets my teeth on edge (even though I know he doesn’t fully understand either concept), the other children get upset when he says he doesn’t want them around and wants to be an only child. (This is why we are taking him to counseling, btw.)
      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Code of Conduct

        Yes, I have read (and experienced) that especially with ASD boys about age 8-9+, this can become almost insurmountable without medical intervention. For us -- not for everyone -- without medical treatment in the form of medication to stabilize mood, calm aggression, and restore sound thinking, no external organizational/behavioral strategies could help him sufficiently.

        I am, of course, also very sensitive to the onset of mental illness symptoms n preteen boys whether on or off the spectrum, so in our case I am very grateful our pediatrician referred us to a psychiatrist for my son's mood disorder, expressions of wanting to die, and blatant defiance. My son needed help. No counselor could talk him out of it, no fancy behavioral system could make him internally healthy. Only after he began taking a low dose of appropriate medication did my strategies stand a chance.

        Again, I say this only to help anyone who might be wondering about asking for a child/adolescent psychiatrist. In our case, it may have saved our son's life.

        In other situations, the common strategies may work well when applied consistently:
        1. Involve Dad.
        2. Be firm.
        3. Be kind and respectful but never a pushover.
        4. Be rested and healthy.
        5. Do not become overly distracted by outside distractions or even all the many "good" things to do, when the "best" thing is right there to do: Be wife and mom and teacher, loving husband and children, in this season of life.


        If the child is persistently speaking of -- or doing -- horrible things, consider at least ruling out a need for medical intervention to help him stabilize. Again in both my reading and experience, this will not magically go away as a troubled, agitated, moody boy becomes a teen. (On the contrary!) Better to address this before he becomes even bigger and stronger.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Code of Conduct

          Yup. We have an appointment with a doctor next week to see if W is a good candidate for meds.
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Code of Conduct

            I will say, we too have seen an uptick in this behavior over the last 3 weeks or so. The "you don't love me" or "you like so and so more" "you're meaner to me" just drives me bonkers. The other new one is self-hatred talk. "I'm stupid" "I'll never be good at anything" etc.

            I think it's a double whammy to me (and Mama's on this forum) because we have given so much to these children. It's the ultimate slap in the face.

            I think at it's base it's control. They have so very little control over themselves and their actions, they in turn try to control and manipulate others. And our actions / responses are so much more predictable than their own.

            It's hard. I think mental health and talk therapy are still over-stigmatized. No one wants to admit they need help. By the time we seek counseling, it's a last resort. I openly encourage people to seek help the first time they think it might be beneficial. So much time is lost as we grapple with the 'no, no, I've got this mentailty. The I can get this together idea', rather than just acting on that first hint.
            Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

            DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
            DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
            DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Code of Conduct

              Originally posted by Colomama View Post
              I will say, we too have seen an uptick in this behavior over the last 3 weeks or so. The "you don't love me" or "you like so and so more" "you're meaner to me" just drives me bonkers. The other new one is self-hatred talk. "I'm stupid" "I'll never be good at anything" etc.

              I think it's a double whammy to me (and Mama's on this forum) because we have given so much to these children. It's the ultimate slap in the face.

              I think at it's base it's control. They have so very little control over themselves and their actions, they in turn try to control and manipulate others. And our actions / responses are so much more predictable than their own.

              It's hard. I think mental health and talk therapy are still over-stigmatized. No one wants to admit they need help. By the time we seek counseling, it's a last resort. I openly encourage people to seek help the first time they think it might be beneficial. So much time is lost as we grapple with the 'no, no, I've got this mentailty. The I can get this together idea', rather than just acting on that first hint.
              Want a serious reality check (and a terrifying PSA for better mental health care)? Watch the documentary “A Dangerous Son” on HBO (we have HBONow streaming just for Game of Thrones and West World — did I mention hubby and I are sci fi geeks?). Saw the first ten minutes of the documentary and had to turn it off. My Boy doesn’t act like those boys, but I see enough similarities that I can’t watch anymore. Too close to home.

              The deinstitutionalization (there’s a nine-syllable word for ya) of mental health care has been a double-edged sword. People don’t do life sentences and get frontal lobotomies for “being crazy” anymore; “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” looks incredibly dated now. Better meds and the normalization of counseling and therapies have reduced much of the stigma associated with mental health. But as an unintended consequence of breaking up the institutional system, truly getting good institutional help for those who need long-term care is almost impossible. It’s only generally done after someone has hurt themselves or others. Like the proverbial “squeaky wheel”. I’ve read story after story of patients who need weeks (at least!) of care but can only get 48 hours, max.

              Instead the care of the mentally ill falls on families — who aren’t counselors, doctors, pharmacists, case workers or clergy. They have to sort it all out while the rest of their life is going on. It’s two full time jobs. Is it a coincidence that a disproportionate number of homeless and those incarcerated are mentally ill? We aren’t responsible for our children’s behavior or their outcomes, but we have a helluva lot of influence.
              Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
              Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Code of Conduct

                We have tried meds over the years for ADHD, but my son is so thin. He is not even 60lbs and the stimulant meds just make him eat less and sleep less...not helpful. He has a real hard time paying attention. It is a real challenge. The med we are trying now to help with attention and such is making him feel sick. He threw up a couple of times when we actually got to a dose that seemed to help and now he can’t even take one pill without pretty much losing his lunch! It is really frustrating. I have always hoped we would find something that helps, but I’ve not looked at mood issues. I’m struggling a bit to figure out where to go. We have phsychiatrists, but I’m wondering if I need a behavioral psychiatrist or a pediatric or what. I haven’t really figured out the best place to go. Maybe I need to look outside of town. Unsure. I do know that I need to tighten up and be more consistent at home. For too long I have been wish washy and not a strong parent. I’ve been way too passive and now I’m paying the price...😳.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Code of Conduct

                  Originally posted by empokorski View Post
                  We have tried meds over the years for ADHD, but my son is so thin. He is not even 60lbs and the stimulant meds just make him eat less and sleep less...not helpful. He has a real hard time paying attention. It is a real challenge. The med we are trying now to help with attention and such is making him feel sick. He threw up a couple of times when we actually got to a dose that seemed to help and now he can’t even take one pill without pretty much losing his lunch! It is really frustrating. I have always hoped we would find something that helps, but I’ve not looked at mood issues. I’m struggling a bit to figure out where to go. We have phsychiatrists, but I’m wondering if I need a behavioral psychiatrist or a pediatric or what. I haven’t really figured out the best place to go. Maybe I need to look outside of town. Unsure. I do know that I need to tighten up and be more consistent at home. For too long I have been wish washy and not a strong parent. I’ve been way too passive and now I’m paying the price...😳.
                  It can be so hard to be consistent. Especially when the easy thing to do in the moment is giving in. Consistency does bear fruit though. Don't beat yourself up, just decide that consistency is more important that finishing XYZ. You're teaching the skill/habit of obedience. This is what I tell myself, my self pep talk, if you will.
                  Susan

                  2018-2019
                  A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
                  C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
                  G (5) - Simply Classical C

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Code of Conduct

                    Originally posted by Anita View Post
                    Want a serious reality check (and a terrifying PSA for better mental health care)? Watch the documentary “A Dangerous Son” on HBO (we have HBONow streaming just for Game of Thrones and West World — did I mention hubby and I are sci fi geeks?). Saw the first ten minutes of the documentary and had to turn it off. My Boy doesn’t act like those boys, but I see enough similarities that I can’t watch anymore. Too close to home.

                    The deinstitutionalization (there’s a nine-syllable word for ya) of mental health care has been a double-edged sword. People don’t do life sentences and get frontal lobotomies for “being crazy” anymore; “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” looks incredibly dated now. Better meds and the normalization of counseling and therapies have reduced much of the stigma associated with mental health. But as an unintended consequence of breaking up the institutional system, truly getting good institutional help for those who need long-term care is almost impossible. It’s only generally done after someone has hurt themselves or others. Like the proverbial “squeaky wheel”. I’ve read story after story of patients who need weeks (at least!) of care but can only get 48 hours, max.

                    Instead the care of the mentally ill falls on families — who aren’t counselors, doctors, pharmacists, case workers or clergy. They have to sort it all out while the rest of their life is going on. It’s two full time jobs. Is it a coincidence that a disproportionate number of homeless and those incarcerated are mentally ill? We aren’t responsible for our children’s behavior or their outcomes, but we have a helluva lot of influence.
                    Mental health care in our country is so awful. I can't even. It has been so awful getting crisis care for my mother when she has had episodes (she is bi-polar, has had suicide attempts, and goes into paranoid/very confused states where she absolutely has to be hospitalized). One time she was in the ER for four days, finally got moved to an inpatient crisis ward and was discharged one day later. And the only reason she got that spot is that her sister contacted higher ups at the hospital that they had relations with. This is a person with good health insurance, a supportive family, and the finances/long-term care to pay for home health care, etc. What happens to those without the financial means and supportive families? It makes my blood boil. There just aren't enough beds in mental health facilities.
                    Susan

                    2018-2019
                    A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
                    C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
                    G (5) - Simply Classical C

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Code of Conduct

                      Just a note that, unlike many ADHD meds, some meds for ASD/aggression/stability will add weight and increase appetite. As always, check with the most thorough, responsive doctor you have. It can be very difficult to tease out what, if any medication(s), a child needs.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Code of Conduct

                        I did find a place that does CBT. Is that a good route? Anyone done this before?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Code of Conduct

                          Originally posted by empokorski View Post
                          I did find a place that does CBT. Is that a good route? Anyone done this before?
                          CBT is the go-to therapy for anxiety/depression and has a great track record. Just be sure to stay in the loop with what the therapist is telling your child and that the therapist is 100% respectful in adhering to your family's faith tradition, especially if any exposure therapy is involved.

                          CBT can help behavior issues but in a different way. The primary cause of behavior issues is an inability to solve problems: something makes the child uncomfortable/frustrated, they don't know how to respond to that, so they act out instead. The key is to find the faulty thinking (similar to CBT) that they're operating under in a particular situation, explain that that doesn't nullify the rules and guide them in finding an alternate solution for next time.

                          As for consequences, we've learned a couple of things lately that have been life-changing here: consequences are not ways to coerce your child into not doing something; they're ways to teach your child how not to do it again. Consequences have to be task and time oriented -- something related to the offense that trains the child in the opposite habit, limited to a specific amount of time. For example, if your son continues to bother his brother's head, you remove his iPad privileges until he has not touched his brother for 3 hours (habit you want him to acquire). The BIG thing here is that you have to be in complete control of the consequence. If you remove his iPad privileges, he is likely to pick it up anyway, right? (mine used to do that kind of thing). So instead of simply saying "don't use the iPad" -- something that requires his cooperation -- you do any or all of the following: 1) lock the screen, but he might then get frustrated and throw it so 2) place it in a safe, send it to work with your husband, or lock it in the car and keep the keys in your pocket.

                          HTH!
                          Last edited by jen1134; 05-17-2018, 07:46 AM.
                          Jennifer
                          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                          2019-2020 Plans:

                          DS16
                          MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                          MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                          DS15
                          As above, plus:
                          MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                          MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                          DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                          DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                          DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                          DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                          DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Code of Conduct

                            Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                            CBT is the go-to therapy for anxiety/depression and has a great track record. Just be sure to stay in the loop with what the therapist is telling your child and that the therapist is 100% respectful in adhering to your family's faith tradition, especially if any exposure therapy is involved.

                            CBT can help behavior issues but in a different way. The primary cause of behavior issues is an inability to solve problems: something makes the child uncomfortable/frustrated, they don't know how to respond to that, so they act out instead. The key is to find the faulty thinking (similar to CBT) that they're operating under in a particular situation, explain that that doesn't nullify the rules and guide them in finding an alternate solution for next time.

                            As for consequences, we've learned a couple of things lately that have been life-changing here: consequences are not ways to coerce your child into not doing something; they're ways to teach your child how not to do it again. Consequences have to be task and time oriented -- something related to the offense that trains the child in the opposite habit, limited to a specific amount of time. For example, if your son continues to bother his brother's head, you remove his iPad privileges until he has not touched his brother for 3 hours (habit you want him to acquire). The BIG thing here is that you have to be in complete control of the consequence. If you remove his iPad privileges, he is likely to pick it up anyway, right? (mine used to do that kind of thing). So instead of simply saying "don't use the iPad" -- something that requires his cooperation -- you do any or all of the following: 1) lock the screen, but he might then get frustrated and throw it so 2) place it in a safe or send it to work with your husband or 3) uninstall all his apps (yes, it will be a pain to reinstall them but it's worth your son's character).

                            HTH!
                            And be consistent. Consistency is generally the best medicine.
                            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                            ~Pope St John Paul II

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Code of Conduct

                              Originally posted by Anita View Post
                              And be consistent. Consistency is generally the best medicine.
                              Very true, but it was learning these principles that enabled us to be consistent. It's hard to be consistent when you don't know what to do because normal approaches don't work with your child.
                              Jennifer
                              Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                              2019-2020 Plans:

                              DS16
                              MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                              MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                              DS15
                              As above, plus:
                              MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                              MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                              DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                              DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                              DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                              DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                              DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                              Comment

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