Paul is struggling at school. My smart, sweet, good-hearted boy is refusing to finish work in class and his teacher has described him as occasionally "defiant." I can't deny that I'm seeing some of this at home, too. We've been trying daily behavior contracts, tied rewards to the results - and yet last week was the worst yet. Paul was promising me his end-of-week report would have an "O" on it, but instead it was the dreaded "U." The biggest problem is that Paul can't seem to work independently. He daydreams and fidgets, and then when the time is up he whines that he wasn't given enough time. He tells me his teacher is mean to him and doesn't listen to him. His teacher seems firm, but frankly I think a firm hand is good for Paul. There's usually another mother in the class, too, so I think I'd hear about it if she really was "mean." We're just going to keep trying until another idea presents itself.
And then there's Eli. His behaviour is just getting worse and worse. He's belligerent, argumentative, brazenly defiant, transparently manipulative. I hope against all hope that this is a phase. I've tried time outs, toy confiscation, rewarding good behaviour, and corporal punishment. Nothing makes a dent, and I suspect corporal punishment makes him feel like he has a license to hit everybody, which he does with abandon (although never at school, thank heavens). he likes to kick and choke, too. He's really wearing me out and I don't know what to do next.
His school teacher has recommended a parenting class offered through the district. There's a waiting list, but I'm going to sign up for it tonight before I go to my guitar class.