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How to get a Devil Child to wake up and go to school?

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

One step-mom, one big brother, a Principle, and a Janitor later, and we finally got him inside the school. Kind of.

Hi Everyone! I haven't posted for a while but have been lurking on and off. Since my last posts DH and I got married.

Okay, so for the past few months youngest SS (age eight) has been putting up a fight each morning when his dad wakes him up to go to school. He refuses to get up. Refuses to get ready. He puts up a good fight with his dad, but his dad usually gets him out the door, and often even has to CARRY him from the car to the principle's office where he plunks him down with an apologetic face and then goes to work. His older brother has been late to school a good number of times because of it.

Well he asked me to take him this morning because he had to go into work early.

Oh boy.

I wake SS up--he opens his eyes but remains laying down. His brother wakes him up some more, to which he proceeds to get on the floor and curl in a ball under his blanket. (This kid is 8 years old not 4 btw).

His dad made him sleep in the clothes he would wear (for this exact purpose) but he ignores me when I say put your shoes and socks on. So I put his shoes and socks on while he lies like a limp body on purpose. Then it's time to go and he won't get up. 5 minutes of asking him to please get up, his brother is running late etc. me and his brother finally get him by one arm each and pull him out the door. Don't judge us. We made sure we didn't hurt him, and at this point his brother is already running late to school and me to work and we're getting desperate.

Then he proceeds to fight us at the door while I try to lock it. Then I lock it, and he kicks me--on purpose. I get him by the collar of the shirt and get him to the car. He waits until I'm in the drivers seat and JUMPS OUT of the car and runs down the street. I give chase, but I'm too slow. This is a busy street, mind you.

His brother then has to chase him down the street, wrestle him down, and get him back to the car (I wont do it because it's simply not my place to man-handle him, being the SM--wish I could but no, I'm not going to have officials investigating me because he's throwing a holy tantrum of all tantrums!!)And I'm calling his father in a rage to tell him to NEVER EVER ask me to do this again.

We get him in the car. We are driving on the free way and he proceeds to take off his shoes and socks and throw them around the car while screaming at me to shut up.

Wow.

We get to the school. Of course he refuses to get out. I try to coax him out, bare-foot and all. He's saying he doesn't want to go to school.

I go and find the Principle. When he sees her coming he puts on his shoes. But then he refuses her requests to get out of the car. :jawdrop:

Now in my days I had a healthy fear of the principle. Not this child. She's was trying to coax him out for a good 5 minutes. Nope.

Finally the janitor comes, and at the request of the Principle, and with my permission, carries him like a damsel in distress to the Principle's office.

OOoooooooo....

HELP

Does he have ODD?? Is he the devil?? AM I the devil? There has to be a better way :jawdrop:

Let me just clarify that I let their father handle the discipline. It's not my place nor duty. I don't get physical with the children, have never hit them, and will occasionally verbally follow up on rules their dad lays out. But I've never EVER seen a child put up such a fight to not go to school--and without being able to throw him over my shoulder like his dad can--well, it's hopeless. Never. Again.

And here's the kicker--the principle said when he's there he's a good and smart boy. What the???

There has to be a solution to this behavior...right?

just.his.wife's picture

What is his currency? You need to find it.

Personally I would put the kid on lock down. Strip his room of all toys decorations etc. Bed and dresser remain.

No tv, video games, no snacks, nothing that remotely resembles FUN. He gets to sit in a chair, facing a corner, looking at the already dry paint from the time he gets home from school until dinner. He gets to eat dinner take a bath then return to the corner.

On days he gets up to go to school and isn't an asshole about it, then he gets to have fun.
The minute he refuses to do as he is told the first time in the morning, fun is gone for the day.
Make sure you explain that since he is CHOOSING to not do as he is supposed to, that he is CHOOSING to be bored out of his mind and have no fun.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

Ohhh find his currency..I like that. He does have these pokemon cards he won't put down. Hmmm....

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Nvm

milldog's picture

WOW…this is exactly what my SD12 did at the beginning of the year. :jawdrop: Once she actually grabbed hold of the banister and refused to let go. If my bios had done that, I would have duct taped them to the banister and gone to work. That’s the way I rolled as a parent. Guess what, my kids are adults now and still love and visit me. Your SS is in charge as is my SD. You are right to refuse to ever accept that responsibility again.

My SD had to have a “meeting” with the truancy officer. MY DH arranged it, and I suggest your DH do the same. They will put a little fear in him. He should have absolutely every thing he enjoys taken away starting today. He can have one thing back on Friday if he has willingly gone to school all week. If he reverts back, everything is gone again and he starts over. It’s the only way you will get the power back. Little kids, little problems- big kids, big problems. Something to think about for the future.

milldog's picture

MAke sure when he goes to bed he is not taking any electronics with him. My SD was up until the wee hours of the night playing on her phone. Makes for a very nasty kid in the morning.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

I agree Echo and MixFoxie...as a step mom this puts me in a bad position--I can't nor am I allowed to under the law to man handle him. But what am I supposed to do when he's running down a busy street like a maniac?? :? But it seems to be the only thing that works, which is why his dad does it. Nope, not gonna do it.

Thanks for the tip milldog. Think I will look into the truancy officer thing.

misSTEP's picture

Definitely summer school time.

Also, if he wants to ACT like a baby, he gets TREATED like a baby.

Babies don't get to have pokeman cards because they will ruin them.
Babies don't get to go to the playground because the big kids might hurt them.
Babies don't get to watch television.
Babies don't play video games.
Babies have VERY early bedtimes.
etc etc etc

THEN, maybe dad should take a day off work to sit IN CLASS with the little shithead and make sure that everyone knows it is because of how much of a jerk he is in the mornings. He wanted to make sure he's not a jerk in class too.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

Lol I know right? At home he can be good--says please and thank you and washes hands before dinner. But then he get's these stubborn tantrums. Bipolar symptomatic? Idk. Honestly--the morning things are the worse I've seen him. I have asked why he doesn't want to go to school so bad and he says because it's boring. I don't know if there may be another reason.

MamaFox's picture

Oh it's boring is it?

Put him in advanced classes for a month or so, when the other kids make fun of him for not knowing what they know, bet it puts a stop to that real quick.

And yeah, I would totally burn pokemon cards.

morethanibargainedfor's picture

Crazy. SD13 is like this. BM has had to literally carry her into school a few times.
This kid needs therapy and you need to find out why he doesn't want to go to school so badly. I could be because he is getting so much attention in the morning by acting out and refusing to go.
ODD does not exist. Most therapist and psychologists don't even recognize it as a disorder, here in Canada anyways. 2 of my SILs are behavioral therapists and they will never diagnose anyone with ODD or ADHD.
Those are just fancy names for shit head of a kid to make people feel better about their kids. Its an easy out. Gives parents an excuse for their kids behavior, rather than having to just admit that your kid is bad.

misSTEP's picture

I agree that ADHD is over diagnosed but it IS a real condition. My DH got diagnosed recently and has had it since childhood. Medication and diet changes have made a HUGE difference in his focus and other issues he's always had.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

I agree as well. Though, I don't think we understand it fully. With that being said, I agree that it doesn't stop their ability to know right from wrong. My BS has ADHD--he got diagnosed by 3 different doctors. He says his mind wanders while he tries to listen and do work and he can't stop it. But he's not defiant or mean. He would listen to me when I meant business. The defiance--this a whole different can of worms. Me thinks maybe the ODD kids are more stubborn/aggressive...maybe that's what that means. Idk.

We have tried taking away SS's privileges for this behavior. It worked for a few days before, but then goes back to the same. Maybe we are not taking the right things away. He did this to his mom on Saturday when he didn't want to wake up at her house when she had to work, and she smacked him for it, apparently. IDK I think it would take a kid-whisperer to work this out. lol.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

So a light bulb just went off when I replied above--he did this to his BM on Saturday when he didn't even have school. He just didn't want to get up.
Guess I can rule out school as the problem.

Drac0's picture

>There has to be a solution to this behavior...right?<

Yeah. It's called excorcism. Church doesn't condone it but there are a few priests out there who still do it.

JK.

Optimistic, I know this was probably not the reaction you were hoping for but I read this post and found myself giggling. I mean Geezus, did this kid know he was going to school or did he think you were going to sell him to some gypsies? LOL

What is this kid's reason for not wanting to go to school? His actions sound like he is crying for attention IMO. I have a niece who is a bit like that. Even if it is negative attention, it is still attention if you know what I mean?

As others have mentioned, you need to find this kid's currency.

When my BS acts out (Eg "I don't wanna take a bath!"), I just look at him straight in the eyes and say "I asked you nicely. Now we either do this the easy way, or the hard way." Usually the threat of something "bad" is enough to get my BS to do as he is told.

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

It was probably super funny to the people watching at school, too. Especially when he wouldn't listen to the principle either. If he doesn't get it together, he might be defying authority all the way to a jail cell one day. I would hate for that to happen--he's a smart kid. And his dad doesn't deserve that. But that is what society does for people who won't listen to anyone!

AllySkoo's picture

I like the idea of finding this kid's currency, and flicking a lighter near the cards sounds like the way to go. Wink

Are there any other "red flags" about his behavior though? I dunno, I've heard of stubborn kids, and I know I hated school as a child, but this level of tantrum at that age seems over the top. Has he seen a psychiatrist by any chance? It could be nothing, could just be the love of attention or whatever, but I think I'd want him to see someone if he were mine...

Optimistic Soon to Be Step Mom's picture

I agree AllySkoo, I think he's too old to be acting like this at this age--it's toddler behavior--not 2nd almost third grader. We do have an appointment for him with a psychologist. I hope he learns society appropriate behavior soon...

AllySkoo's picture

Well, for what it's worth, I have a 5 year old who sometimes runs away from me or his Dad rather than sit in time out. All it takes is for me to grab one of his toy cars and hold it over the trash can to get him to just go sit on the stairs. Smile Race cars are his "currency". So if your SS is just acting like a toddler and there's nothing more serious going on, that sort of consequence works well!

Rags's picture

Get a paddle and start lighting his ass up. A pitcher of ice water will wake him up and the paddle to his ass will overcome the disconnect that he has between his brain and his body.

This manipulative crap needs to be addressed firmly and directly.

IMHO of course.

christag's picture

There was a period of several months where my BS refused to go to school in junior high. It turned out he was being bullied and terrorized by another boy. He would have done anything to get out of going to school, including making himself sick and getting himself suspended. There was absolutely nothing I could do to get him to go, no matter how much I punished him. Nor would he admit what was going on. I only found out about it because a teacher witnessed my son being harassed and I got a phone call.

Rags's picture

Have you been reading my old posts? Biggrin

My kid burned a few of his most cherished Pokémon cards when nothing we had tried prior to that got his attention.

The ice water I can attest from personal experience works very well. My mom used it to good effect getting me out of bed on school mornings when I was in my sullen pre-teen and early teen years.

Rags's picture

Topic: Is It ADHD or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder? - WTF? Really?

I linked to empoweringparents.com web site, saw this title to an article and just closed the site.

That was enough for me.

Wow!

shamds's picture

Then jumped out of a car that was getting ready to drive him to school and run down the street?

what kind of discipline is his dad doing here? My mum is asian and dad European and believe me that this behaviour wouldn’t happen, i wouldn’t even get close to it ever. My parents were so strict we feared them but in a good way. This kid has no respect for authority, his parents, his siblings who actually need to get on school on time

this kid needs to go to one of those boot camp schools for behavioural issues where he’s brought into line. This is just insane

shamds's picture

Then jumped out of a car that was getting ready to drive him to school and run down the street?

what kind of discipline is his dad doing here? My mum is asian and dad European and believe me that this behaviour wouldn’t happen, i wouldn’t even get close to it ever. My parents were so strict we feared them but in a good way. This kid has no respect for authority, his parents, his siblings who actually need to get on school on time

this kid needs to go to one of those boot camp schools for behavioural issues where he’s brought into line. This is just insane

shamds's picture

Then jumped out of a car that was getting ready to drive him to school and run down the street?

what kind of discipline is his dad doing here? My mum is asian and dad European and believe me that this behaviour wouldn’t happen, i wouldn’t even get close to it ever. My parents were so strict we feared them but in a good way. This kid has no respect for authority, his parents, his siblings who actually need to get on school on time

this kid needs to go to one of those boot camp schools for behavioural issues where he’s brought into line. This is just insane