My 7 year old son is really destructive with objects. I have tried teaching him respect for things and other peoples property. He destroys toys,balls,helmets,bugs,paper,clothes anything you can think of and more. In school he is great. At home, it's a different story.
He does get worse when he is with one particular friend. This child is also great in school and bad at home.
I have punished him from seeing this friend for several weeks. The whole family was miserable and the friends family too. One time I took both of the boys to the police station to talk with an officer about destruction of property. That seemed to work for awhile, but back to the start.
He is not self-destructive,angree or has fits of rage but lacks all sence of responsiblity and respect for things. None of my punishments have worked. Things that I have tried:
1. Time out in room-- sort periods of time and long periods
2. Trip to the police station.
3. Things taken away from him, things that matter.
4. Not able to play with his friends including the problem friend.
5. Can't get in the pool.
6. Writting sentences about what he has done wrong.
7. Making him pay for the replacement of the broken item.
I'm sure there is more but I can't think I so frustrated. PLEASE HELP
Sometimes children's behavior falls within the spectrum of normal childhood behavior problems and is not really indicative of any mental or emotional disorder. In such instances, common sense, systematic behavior management is often sufficient to solve the problem. It's not really clear what might be occurring with your son. My suspicion is that it signifies a problem with impulse control, and if this is true it's important to figure out what might be the reason. It would be prudent to arrange for an evaluation with a pediatric mental health clinician to figure this out. Sometimes children who display ADHD manifest symptoms primarily along the Impulsivity dimension, even when they are not hyperactive or inattentive. But there are other types of impulse control conditions as well.
The fact that your son is "great in school" but the exact opposite at home tells me that it is not an issue of being impulsive. You don't turn impulsivity on and off like a microwave. It sounds like some manipulation is going on at home, i.e., he knows what he's doing but needs immediate control when such events occur. I am one of those folks who believes that spanking is NOT child abuse. Would that be worth a try- a swift and immediate placing him across your knee? Would that be a wake-up call to him? Perhaps while he is over your knee, you could state in no uncertain terms what behavior you will not tolerate. You've got his attention while over your knee :) and it may be that over the knee is enough- without needing to spank. Still, you might want to tell him that if his behavior continues, the next time he goes over your knee will be quite different- spanks on his buttocks while in his underwear. Personally, I think it is worth a try.
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