The Edmond Sun

Features

January 18, 2013

Boys being boys is not pre-sociopathic behavior

CNHI News Service — Q: Our son is in kindergarten at a small private school. Most of the children in his class are boys. From the beginning, he’s been somewhat of a behavior problem. Each time we get a notice from his teacher, we punish him. Last week, he and a boy in his class were goofing around. The boy twisted my son’s arm and my son hit him to get away. Both of them were laughing the entire time. Nonetheless, the school said they were fighting and expected us to discipline at home. Several days later, he punched another boy, again in the course of goofing around. The teacher agrees he’s not being mean, just playing around, but any physical contact that can be interpreted as aggressive is unacceptable. Can you suggest anything?

A: I have two suggestions: First, figure out how to get your son to stop the goofing around before he’s expelled. Second, find another school for him before he’s expelled from this one or they make his continued enrollment contingent upon him seeing a mental health professional of one sort or another.

You’re not describing a boy who has an aggression problem. You’re describing a boy. This situation is representative of the tendency on the part of schools to over-react to aggressive behavior of any kind. Because boys are generally more aggressive than girls, boys are the usual targets of these over-reactions. Schools — public and private — seem to be having great difficulty differentiating between what is simply normal boy behavior and what is truly pre-sociopathic behavior. They end up punishing boys for simply being boys.

The more immediate problem, however, is the practical one: to wit, most private schools — especially those with waiting lists — have no reservations about expelling problem students. As one student goes out the door, another student comes in. I don’t need to tell you that if your son is expelled, it will be difficult to find another private school to take him.

There’s another possible dimension to this as well. I’ll just bet your son is not only having fun goofing around physically with other boys; he’s also having fun out of getting such a disproportionate reaction from so many adults. Unfortunately, all of this is likely to lead straight to a one-way ticket through the school’s front door.

Level with your son. Sit down and tell him you understand he’s having fun as opposed to being bad, but that if he doesn’t stop, the school is going to kick him out. Furthermore, tell him that as much as you don’t want to, you’re going to have to punish him when he goofs around. That’s the nature of your agreement with the school. In that regard, whatever punishment you use is going to have to more than cancel the fun he’s having. When the next incident occurs, take away all privileges and put him to bed early for two weeks. Whatever you do, it’s going to have to make a permanent impression.

FAMILY psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions at www.rosemond.com.

1
Text Only
Features
  • How to care for your pet without breaking the bank

    It’s a shame furry friends can’t pay for themselves. Though wagging tails after a long day at work may make pet ownership seem worthwhile, a happy pup won’t stop those bills from rolling in at the end of the month. Thankfully, quick and easy ways exist for dog owners to cut down on costs.

    July 28, 2014

  • MS_new pastor_Page_1.tiff Local church welcomes new pastor

    For one of Edmond’s newest pastors, faith and family intersect on a personal level.
    Sam Powers, pastor at Edmond 1st United Methodist Church, 305 E. Hurd St., and his family arrived in mid-May and his first Sunday in the pulpit was the second one in June. He and his wife Sheryl Heaton Powers, have two children — Kyla will be an eighth-grader at Cheyenne Middle School and David will be a fifth-grader at John Ross Elementary.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • MS_Andy Billups.jpg Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency

    Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
    The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
    And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
    Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • -1.jpg 5-year-old learns valuable lessons

    It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
    Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
    “I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • peach formatted.jpg Hard year for peaches doesn’t dampen summer tradition  

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.
    Like the aging water tower, Porter’s peach industry isn’t as vibrant as it once was.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Final step to train toddler with baby on way

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night, she is taking off her diaper prior to falling asleep, wetting the bed after she goes to sleep and then crying for us when she wakes up in a pool of pee. Is this a sign that I should begin night training? I'm hesitant to do this because I am 8 months pregnant and don't relish the idea of waking up several times a night to take her to the bathroom and tending to a newborn as well. I would prefer to continue using diapers until she is old enough to get out of bed and take herself to the potty (even a potty in her room). Is this unrealistic? Or should I just deal with the extra night wakings and start taking her to the potty a few times a night now? If not, how do I keep her diaper on at night?

    July 25, 2014

  • Living Smart: How landscaping can deter intruders, pests

    Done right, landscaping can do much more than attract compliments and boost your property value. It can help you repel intruders, both human and natural.
    Landscaping experts who’ve earned high marks from Angie’s List members say overgrown bushes and shrubs are like welcome mats to burglars. Keep plants and trees trimmed. Place thorny but attractive bougainvillea or barberry bushes under windows, sending would-be thieves a sharp message to go elsewhere.

    July 25, 2014

  • 7-26 YARD OF THE WEEK.jpg Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors

    This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Discard the boredom of family game night

    We’re all about families having fun together, and game night is one of the best ways to do that. But playing the same games over and over can get a little stale. So in the interests of injecting a little more fun into your family’s game night, here are some great choices that will keep you and yours engaged and laughing.

    July 25, 2014