Avatar universal

Possibility of relapse in behavior

I am currently trying to fight for my child in regards to the behavior color chart system. Her behavior this year has been exceptional but it's also only the first week of school. It probably sounds like I have no reason to be concerned based on that statement. I promise it wasn't like this when she was in kindergarten. It was a very traumatizing experience for not only my child but our whole family. I am not claiming to be a perfect or fully educated parent but when your maternal "spidey senses" are tingling, informing you there is a problem, you act. Going back to the beginning of kindergarten things were fine and dandy. She'd come home with green, blue, or purple. She'd be so excited to let us know how happy she was at school and how much she loved going. That was until she got red and I received the first of many calls to come to the school for her behavior. They informed me that my child had turned over a desk, a chair, tried to run away from the teacher, and tried to get physical with both teachers and students. I was so shocked because she hadn't displayed any of this at home. I was very concerned but I thought well they know what's best. Of course she had tantrums, like all kids do, but I felt like it was excessive in the school setting but I chalked it up to being in a new environment. Her original teacher gave up on her and asked to have her transferred to another teacher's class. We proceeded to set up an IEP and FBA meeting after several other incidents of violence and trying to run away. I had her evaluated by a pediatric psychiatrist who came to the diagnosis of ODD, which I had never heard of (I even asked why they were calling my child odd until I understood it was just an abbreviation lol). Based on that diagnosis the school made slight changes. They tried isolation with bad behavior. They set her up with a buddy plan with other staff members to help calm her down when she was upset or help control the situation when she became volatile. When those stopped being effective they would just call me to pick her up saying she was suspended either for the rest of the day or a few days. I observed the twisted view she was developing of "good" and "bad" and how it continued to worsen with every week of "bad" colors. The other students in her class would even segregate themselves from her and tell her she was bad.  By the end of the year there were many, in my opinion, unnecessary suspensions but I didn't know I could fight it. I just always thought they were trained to deal with these things and they knew what was best. My daughter had very little self-esteem and her spirit appeared so broken. During the summer after kindergarten I would be watching and listening to my daughter play or draw independently and noticed she would talk so negatively about herself and use the word bad to describe herself or write "I am bad" on papers. My heart was breaking for my child so I sought out parenting help and decided to homeschool the following year. After changing many things I was doing as her parent and the one-on-one teaching I saw a change in her behavior and general spirit. My outgoing, happy child was back and more confident and fierce than ever. I was so excited for her. She moved so quickly through her curriculum there were days that I had to find extra practice or just take breaks and do fun thing for a few days. We met up with a play date group once a week where I met another mother who use to be a child advocate in the schools (I'm not sure all the details of her job or qualifications). She helped me realize I had every right to fight the school and educated me with resources and support. Due to personal reasons I could not homeschool another year so fearfully I registered my daughter for public school again. I haven't mentioned all of the details but I KNOW the color chart system attributed to these radical behaviors in my child. I also feel the school wronged her on many levels and were unprofessional at times. Since she is attending the same school my  worry is very strong. She has received yellow on 2 days and she was so upset getting off the bus that she couldn't look at me and she would cry trying to tell me what all happened. Both times her offense was talking when she shouldn't be. I completely understand that it is extremely important for all children to be able to focus and hear the teacher when she's teaching. My issue is when she was asked to move her clip from green to yellow she wouldn't do it, she would shut down, not respond, not participate. Luckily, her teacher is great and allowed her time to cool down on her own. I have spoken to her on the phone and she seems so Caring and on board to help my daughter succeed this year. On the other hand though, she referred me to the disciplinarian and upon "speaking" to him (the "" is because it was more like he was arguing with me) he informed me that the behavior color chart system was put into place because it's effective. I was made aware that it also has positive forms of discipline and there are systems of reward the teachers used in addition to the behavior color chart system. I was also told that it worked for him, his children, and the majority of other children but that I could have an FBA done this year to see if there is need to make changes with just my child. I don't think her behavior is currently a problem but I am very concerned about regression in her behavior. I was also informed that since she has received green since getting 2 yellows it's obviously effective for her. I am so torn and emotional. I also want to fight for all the children this system is failing who maybe don't have the support or confidence boosters they need at home. I know the behavior color chart system may not have EVERYTHING to do with the issues my child had. I know in part the school as a collective whole did wrong too. One thing I have tried to do is tell her repeatedly that I don’t care what COLOR she gets as long as her behavior is acceptable. I’m not saying talking when she shouldn’t be is acceptable but I did help her understand that there are right and wrong times to be talking during class and if she didn’t know if it was ok or not to ask the teacher. Having everyday conversation about her day has also reveled to me that the way I’m sure her class once felt about her is now how she feels about another student who frequently receives red and orange. That saddens me even more. I’ve asked my daughter to try to befriend this child because maybe at home they don’t have support and at school it’s hard to feel cared about if you feel like you fail so often. I’m NOT forcing my daughter to be friends with this child. Just asking her to give them another chance and maybe get to know them. Does anyone have any advice as to what I can do?
6 Responses
13167 tn?1327194124
I really think our generation believes that raising a child with no adversity,  no difficult times,  no self-shame for poor behaviors is the best thing - but I've strongly come to believe we're raising children incapable of dealing with life.  Moving a clip to a different color as a punishment is the mildest punishment you can endure - it's no different than saying "cut that out".  Children of prior generations were dealt with MUCH harshly,  and they were members of "the greatest generation".  

It's wonderful that your daughter has now learned to control her behavior - she's maturing and learning.  And she needs to further mature,  and learn to quietly move her clip from green to yellow if she's broken a rule - as long as she isn't being singled out for punishment when many others are doing worse stuff.  

Kids who are allowed to struggle do best - they learn to strive and endure.

But I do understand the desire for her to never have unpleasant days,  I really do,  because I was that way too.  And it was a mistake.
We're all entitled to our own opinions as a person and a parent. Like I stated above, I have not given all of the details of every incident that happened with the school. There were witnesses other than myself of inappropriate suspension just because that was the easiest thing to do. How is that a productive lesson for her? They were teaching her to give up when things get hard. There were times that she was suspended and I wasn't given any explanation until I brought my child back to school after suspension. So like I said there is much more to the story. I'm trying to work up the chain of command with the school district to make sure the correct actions are taken and new guidelines are set into place to avoid this from happening to other people's children. I'm also trying to get more parents in my community involved in their child's education. Most parents just don't have the knowledge or understanding of the complex laws and rights for both parents and the school. It's tough to know if no one tells you. Awareness is the first step to any rehabilitation.
13167 tn?1327194124
I went to your profile to see if your state is listed,  but didn't see one.  in Texas (or at least my school district) a school can't call a parent mid-day just because they've had about enough of that child's naughtiness for the day and she needs to go.  Suspension from elementary school is a long, protracted process (or the result of an acute criminal act) and there are no policies for schools to call a parent to come get that parent because she's misbehaving.  

Although I have seen it on this board.  I'm just not at all familiar with it in life - and yes,  it does seem to make the child feel that she can get to go home if she just acts up a bit.

I was responding to the first line of your post,  which I consider the "topic sentence",  and wanted to address it.
189897 tn?1441126518
    I have been in education for over 40 years now in a variety of postions (see my profile).  Never really been a fan of the "color" system. But, it is a system that because of the graduated warnings it may work for many kids.  The problem is that  for a child with ADHD, or ODD, it is a form of torture, because it simply will not, cannot work.  Having said that. It is also the system that your district uses and is not going to change.  
   And in many respects, the color system is not the problem.  The problem is how they work to help your child.  That is what to concentrate on.   Being the CL on the ADHD forum also, this is something that we deal with a lot.  I have included some links that you may find helpful.
      The first is how to deal with ODD kids - http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/26/slide-1.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=October
      The second one is very good and deals with both ADHD and ODD and how to tell the difference.  "If a child does start to become defiant, there is an easy way to tell whether that behavior is a consequence of ADHD or is a sign of ODD. "ADHD isn't a problem with starting a task, it's a problem with finishing a task," says Russell Barkley, Ph.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. "If a child can’t start a task, that's ODD."    That link is - http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9868.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July
     Finally, a third link on identifying ADHD.  This is important because, "Before tackling a child's ODD, it is important that his ADHD be controlled. "When we reduce a child’s hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattention, perhaps through medication, we see simultaneous improvement in oppositional behavior,"   From the link  given above.  So knowing if your child also has ADHD is very important.  This link is http://www.livescience.com/22362-adhd-symptoms-guide.html
     Hope this helps you help him.
19104607 tn?1472367169
Punishment is the best remedy for bad behavior like put her on timeout for instance (if you use belts and stuff for punishment that is fine, i didn't get belts as punishment till i was older but if you do not use that form of punishment here are alternatives). If my parents didn't think the offense was that big of a deal they would make me stand up at a wall for a certain amount of time then they would talk to me about what i did wrong and not to do it again then they would either send me to my bed or let me watch tv, (depends if i was already in trouble before, if i was already in trouble they would send me to bed but if i had just did something wrong once they would let me watch tv) but punishment is a MUST in order for her to learn that misbehaving is not okay.
If she is just talking too much maybe make her stand up for a little bit like 10 minutes, just make sure she knows that talking when not supposed to is not good behavior, but overall my point is PUNISHMENT, if she does better her reward is no punishment because i never got rewarded for behaving good due to the fact that behaving good was what i was supposed to be doing anyway, but if she does extra, like get all greens then she gets a dollar to spend anywhere, just small prizes, 5 skittles or something (as i a child i would've loved to get 5 skittles as a reward), so yeah i hope i helped you.
189897 tn?1441126518
   Unfortunately Ruby what worked for you may not work for other children.  This is especially true if the child has ADHD or ODD.  It is a whole different ball game.   But, thanks for your comments.  Oh, I prefer to call it consequences rather then punishment.
Avatar universal
It sounds like you have been through a lot.
You know your child best and can tell the color system does not work.

I would as your daughter to be part of the solution. Explain every child in the class has the same behavior standards. What would she think is fair when she breaks a rule or standard?  Then I would have a meeting with you and your daughter and the teacher and discuss what system you can implement.

It's interesting they identified her as ODD but she has no issues at home with you in a position of authority. In my experience kids with ODD struggle with almost all forms of authority handing down discipline or guidance.

How do you discipline her at home? I personally use positive parenting techniques in which we talk about the behavior, why it is bad and make a plan and consequence together.

She does sound slightly perfectionist, like she internalizes any mistake as a personal failure.
I would consider celebrating failure as something to learn from not to be afraid of.

Finally why is her behavior so different in a school setting? Does she get overstimulated in a sensory way?

The school should never label her as a bad child and expect bad behavior from her. They should expect she can succeed, because she can! That is what I would fight against.
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