Ya, its pretty obvious that you won't be getting help from the relatives. The school however is a different matter. He has been suspended 7 times. Pretty impressive for a 9 year old (and I was an elementary school principal), so has the school done any thing besides suspend him to help him or figure out what his problem might be? Actually, what state are you in? The symptoms you have mentioned are classic ADHD. If he has that the normal stuff doesn't work, but there is a lot of things that can work. I have been posting on the ADHD forum for the last 4 years and do have some suggestions. But, of course, gotta figure out whats going on.
All of the family stuff you have mentioned is a contributing factor, but its (I don't think necessary) the cause. So what has the school said? Also, what is really important - what does his classroom teacher say. Is he ok in that class and suspended for things outside of the class? What are some of the things he has been suspended for? Hopefully, I can help.
To start the school calls me when he gets in trouble. The teacher has secluded him in the classroom by placing his desk in the front of the class right up against the white board. He even at one point put an X on the board for my son to stare at. Then I found out and talked to the teacher. He erased the X before I got there and then his desk was placed in the back far corner of the classroom facing the opposite direction of the class. He gets in trouble both in the class and outside of it as well. They keep asking me what I am doing at home with him and how he acts at home with me. They haven't done much to figure out anything thats wrong with him. I haven't had him tested for ADHD because I am afraid if he does have it then he will be put on meds and he won't be normal. He has played football and baseball for the past 4 years, this being his 5th year in each one and he excels in both. He is going to All Stars in baseball this year.
We live in California. The school he goes to now doesn't give detention and I have seen pretty much no homework this year. When I asked the teacher about it because I was concerned, he said that he didn't like giving homework and would rather teach the children himself. My son had been suspended in previous years, but never 7 times. The things he has been suspended for this year are repeating something that a little girl told him about another little girl (something about a sex pill, which he had no idea what that even was), not standing on the line when told to do so, mimicking a dance move from a music video,etc. When I have talked to the teacher he said that he knows my son is smart, but is more interested in making friends and being social than his schoolwork. I have asked the teacher for extra work or if I could take a book home to get my son to do the work and he has watched me take the book out of the class, then 2 days later I get a phone call from my son while he's at school telling me he needs the book back and the teacher said I was never suppose to take it home. Half the time I believe what he says about the teacher and half the time I don't because he lies a lot.
I just want you to know I am not ignoring you. I spent most of the night answering this post - http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Child-Behavior/10yo-boy-not-sure-whats-going-on-anymore/show/1531336
You might want to check it out since it is about a 10 year old.
I'll try and get back to you tomorrow, but its midnight now and I'm tired.
Grrrrrrrr, can't stand teachers like that. Its so old school and doesn't help the child one bit. You think that the teacher would figure out that if isolating the kid isn't solving the problem, then perhaps the problem is something that the child has no control over.
By the way, I assume your son is in 3rd grade? When is his birthday? Sometimes being the youngest kid in the class is part of the problem.
Obviously, I can't make a diagnosis on this forum. And frankly, there is still more information I would need. I will say that all of the signs point to ADHD. You HAVE to find out if this is true. If it is true, then there are all kinds off ways to get him help at home and school. (meds don't have to be one of them). It would also explain why nothing the school has tried or you have tried has worked.
Your statement that you, "I haven't had him tested for ADHD because I am afraid if he does have it then he will be put on meds and he won't be normal." Is wrong on every count. First, any med choice is always yours and no one elses. You cannot be forced to put him on meds. Second, if anything, the meds could (if done correctly) make him more normal - not the reverse. But more importantly if he does have ADHD, either you or the school can develop an IEP or a 504 plan so that he can get help. It also means his new teacher can't pull off the BS treatment he was getting from this years teacher.
I don't know where you have been getting your information on ADHD, but you obviously need a lot more. I highly suggest you order the book, "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley. It not only will give you a better feeling for if he may have ADHD, it also will tell you how to work with the school to get him tested. And it has great ideas on doing homework, etc. If you check out the forum post I noted above - down at the bottom of that long post are two web sites where you can get a lot of information (look for the space between paragraphs, its just above that).
Finally, your initial question was, "If anyone knows of anything I could possibly try to maybe help him understand his feelings and a better way of handling them and start listening." The problem with kids with ADHD is that they have no filters. They do have feelings. They do feel bad when they do things wrong. Its just that they don't yet have the maturity to control their actions. However as they get older and start gaining this maturity, a lot of damage has been done to them. Their frustration and anxiety levels go way up. Of course, they start having more and more problems in school which also labels them, and the list just keeps compounding. You are really at a point where you need to figure out what is going on. Hopefully, the resources I have recommended will help you do that. If you have any questions, please post. I will watch this discussion. And I do check all the posts over on the ADHD forum. Best wishes.
I really appreciate everything you have said. I actually set up an appointment for my son to go to the doctor and I am going to talk to them about ADD/ADHD and get him tested because I would really love to see him succeed. He is a different kid when he is at home with me for the most part as compared to being at his grandparents house. He seems to listen a little more and cooperate without such an attitude and it's not because he gets away with murder with me, but I tell him how it is or what I want done and he seems to understand a little better now that if he doesn't do what he is suppose to at home then there are consequences for it.
Although more recently he has started to show a little jealousy about his sister and actually told me he thinks I love her more than him, but we talked about it and I told him that I love them both.
Also to answer your question about him being in the 3rd grade, he is not. He is in the 4th grade about to be out for summer break and then start 5th grade in the fall. His birthday is in October so it falls just a little bit before the age cutoff. So he is usually one of youngest in his class.