View Full Version : Son doesn't "remember" misbehaving?

11-28-12, 08:21 AM
Have any of you experienced a similar situation? DS got into trouble yesterday in music class. He is in 5th grade. His music teacher actually called me to tell me how bad he was. She said they were doing choreography with long plastic candy canes and he refused to listen, refused to follow directions, refused to calm down, refused to sit out of the class to calm down and then refused to go to the office. He apparently was having a wild day.

I talked to him and he said she only told him once to stop something (jumping off the risers which he admits he did once) and then told him to go to the office. He refused because he was upset about having to go to the office and was crying and didn't to go down the hall crying.

She said she always has a problem with him especially when they do "production-type" work. I'm not surprised because the environment is then non-routine and kinda crazy. I did question her on the "always" comment saying that I had only received notification of one other incident this year and asked her point blank if that was accurate. She concurred but added that she always had to give him warnings. When I pressed her, she admitted that once warned he typically settled in and got his work done.

I do know that DS's perception of events is not always accurate, but the two stories are soooo far apart. It sounds like maybe the whole class was a little wild and DS was most likely the wildest. Perhaps she told the whole class to settle down and they all did but him? Has anyone else experienced this with their ADHD child where 2 accounts of an incident were so far apart? I mean he will typically tell me when he was acting wild and has always been forthcoming and I truely believe honest with me.

As an aside, I was concerned with the office referral. I knew he refused to go because of his anxiety about being in trouble and all his past history of losing control and getting suspended. I talked with the principal (who is new this year and came from a high school) who said he understood but couldn't let him just slide on insubordination especially since he will be in MS next year. I agreed that he should have consequences but voiced my opinion that in-school/out of school suspensions were not effective and didn't teach anyone anything. Natural/logical consequences are more effective. He agreed with me and preferred natural/logical consequences but conceded that the school only has so many options.

He talked with DS who told him that 3hrs of in-school suspension would be hard for him. When asked what he would do if he received out of school suspension DS told him he would most likely sit on the couch all day and do nothing. Principal told him he didn't want that so they agreed (which I liked) that a logical consequence would be that he miss his enhancement class today to do work for the music teacher. I appreciate the principal's willingness to work out a logical consequence which hopefully will help him learn something.

We had tried counseling in the past with little to no benefit but he was very young. I'm thinking now at 10+ yrs, he would be ready to actually work with a counselor to work through the anxiety and control issues? I also would like to get feedback from his other enhancement teachers to see if they all have problems with him or if it is the music environment or the teacher.

SIGH! It's never easy is it??

11-28-12, 09:42 AM
SIGH! It's never easy is it??

It's not easy, being cheesy.

But seriously, I'm more interested in the candy-cane dance. :p

11-28-12, 10:50 AM
Jen, I had a similar experience yesterday, in aftercare (sigh,too :()

I don't think it's so unusual for ADHD kids (and probably NT kids, too) to have a completely different recollection of events vs what the teacher says happened. (at least, in my experience w/ my son)

I think it's a great idea to talk to his other enhancement teachers to get their input on his behavior. Some of this (or most of it) may be just the way this particular teacher is dealing with the class in general, and him in particular.

I love how the pricipal handled it. I think you should let him know (if you didn't already) that this was a very effective (and much more productive) way for your son to be disciplined.

PS how goes the Vyvanse?
PPS, long plastic candy canes and my son would be a recipe for disaster!:p

11-28-12, 11:17 AM
īSome kids absolutely hate production type lessons and will do anything to get out of doing it. Maybe you could ask him how he feels about it, what are the things he likes and dislikes.

11-28-12, 11:24 AM
Yes, I agree about the 3ft plastic candy canes. Poor choice in my opinion. I do plan to talk to the principal and let me know I appreciate his approach. I think it will go ok today. DS seems ok with the consequence.

I definitely plan to follow up with his enhancement teachers. Dad feels this is more an issue with this particular teacher and I may agree but I want to have more input.

Vyvanse, well. I go back and forth given the day. I really REALLY like my son's personality. He's happy, outgoing, willing to participate in extracurricular activities, less argumentative for the most part or at least willing to accept reason and compromise. But that personality may be what is causing these problems at school. The talking out and such is usually his main problem. We've only had a couple of issues of what I would consider a real disruption like what happened yesterday. Of course, last year and the year before (on the old meds), we didn't really have ANY issues like that.

He may also still be recovering from sleep deficit from the holiday. He was up really late the whole long wknd and on Monday didn't want to go to school because he was so tired. He's had a couple of days like that lately so we are working on reinforcing his evening routines of being off the Tech at 8pm and in bed by 9pm. Hopefully that will help but it will take some time.

But at this point, I'm just not willing to switch meds for the sole purpose of supplying the school with a Stepford child. I told the principal yesterday that although is is medicated, they should not expect a perfect child and he agreed. I prefer to work with them to develop a plan that works for him and them. I have my old happy, outgoing child back and I'm not willing lose him again without exhausting all other options.

11-28-12, 11:27 AM
Squarepeg, thanks! The principal said the same thing. I asked him last night and he said he really doesn't enjoy music class. He thinks it's boring, he doesn't like to sing or dance. So maybe he doesn't participate in the production (I think it is a class production for the holidays). Maybe they find another way to involve him in the production without him having to do the musical number. I just don't want him to have to write papers about music instead of participating (which was a suggestion from administration).

11-28-12, 11:39 AM
Maybe he can participate off-stage, Iīm sure they could find him a job as part of the production team so that he is still involved and then maybe next time a small part in the background.

11-28-12, 11:46 AM
Yes, that is what I was thinking. I'm going to followup with the music teacher before he has her class again.

11-28-12, 04:20 PM
As a child I was so lost in my own little world that the goings on around me were little more than a grey-scale blur. I'm sure that I did all sorts of things and completely forgot them, or had teachers tell me things and they just went right over my foggy little head.

11-28-12, 05:24 PM
I agree with RHW I too experienced teacher exaggeration during my childhood. It does sound like this is something of a teacher compatability issue.

I can"t help but feel something is not quite right. Not helping a frightened and crying child, even if they've been asked to go to the principals office seems cold. He'd just a little boy.

Also, a lot of the time children with adhd get into trouble and they don't know what they did wrong, they learn to just say nothing and go along with it because asking for clarification brings with it, more condemnation, often disbelief and longer demeaning lectures. Just speaking from my own experience

11-28-12, 05:48 PM
This still happens to me. I'll do something, and a parent will get on to me about it, and I won't remember the instance at all. I guess it just wasn't important enough to stick in my brain. That sounds kind of bad, but it's the truth. My thoughts go too fast for me to remember all of them all the time.

11-28-12, 06:27 PM
I feel bad for your son.WHy is it always us that get singled out and labeled?Itmust be hard for him once he gets revved up to settle down.Once I get wild and giggling its hard for me to stop immediately and IM a 37 year old addult lol. At least hes honest and upfront with you and maybe the teacher just isnt a patient or tolerant person.

11-28-12, 10:40 PM
I was always very reserved as a child due to the fear of not understanding, Its easier to not be involved to avoid getting something wrong, I became very avoidant, maybe ask him what he does like about music any little piece of involvement no matter how small will help, being involved alone is huge.

11-29-12, 12:23 AM
You know, now that I think of it, that hits home.

I had a lot of social issues in school.

I remember having said something, or reacted in a certain way, and then wondered why in the world everyone was overreacting.

I would wonder, WHAT? What did I say/do? Everyone would be all up in a tizz, looking at me like I was nuts. I used to get so confused, and then angry.

I also used to hate having to sing. I know I would've hated being involved in that candy cane dance. I think that a lot of people are under the impression that an ADHD child wants attention, when very often, they don't. Who wants a whole audience full of people, observing a performance that you'll probably mess up? Ugh, poor kiddo!
Hope things work out!

11-29-12, 09:34 AM
Thanks everyone! I feel better about this now. He is always telling me, "I got a warning today but I don't remember why or I don't know why". Sounds like that is pretty typical for ADHD. He still maintains he wasn't doing all the things she said he did. I think the truth is somewhere between his story and her story. We'll see how it goes.

BTW, he did fine with the consequences yesterday so that was good. But he had a meltdown about not wanting to go to hockey practice. He was frustrated with the whole events of the week, tired and frustrated with difficult homework and I think he's not enjoying hockey as much anymore. It was pretty bad but I have to say compared to how they used to be it was mild and since he's not had them in a while it seemed worse I think. One day at a time!

11-29-12, 11:31 AM
Good thing it wasnt me id probably would have said something perverted or made a dirty gesture n got kicked out of class.

11-29-12, 12:12 PM
I work teach kids English as a second language ranging from 5 to 18 years old.

My youngest kids are 5 and there are at least three with some sort of "problem" although none of them have been diagnosed with anything. I strongly suspect at least one has adhd.

Any what I have introduced a reward chart, just a plain piece of card with a list of their names. I have different coloured stickers and I give them out for a variety of different reasons, from listening well, starting tasks (important) finishing tasks, participation, helping a classmate, sharing their pencils with a class mate, being kind, tidying up, trying or if they have improved in any way. One boy never has his pencils, rubber, ruler etc in his pencil case and spends so much time looking for his stuff (sounds like my son). I gave him a star today for turning up to class with all of this stuff in this pencil case, yaay he was so pleased bless him.

I would encourage parents to attend parent teacher meetings, to suggest these kinds of incentive charts in all classes to encourage all kids rather than issue warnings, taking aways points, punishment etc. It works so much better. Especially with kids that really canīt help their behaviour or try really hard at something but then get punished for doing something else.

11-29-12, 01:33 PM
I feel bad for your son.WHy is it always us that get singled out and labeled?Itmust be hard for him once he gets revved up to settle down.Once I get wild and giggling its hard for me to stop immediately and IM a 37 year old addult lol. At least hes honest and upfront with you and maybe the teacher just isnt a patient or tolerant person.

This is one of my main issues with schools ( there are many, but this is one of them). They have so many RAh-Rah assemblies, charity or fundraisers going on, wacky hair days, pajama days, bring your fav. board game days ... which is all lovely for a NT child, but even a medicated ADHD'er can struggle with the abrupt change from WOW, let's get crazy and scream in the gym and then be expected to instantly switch hats at the door and return silently to our class and do a math sheet. Pure torture for my daughter. My daughter gets overloaded easily with noise and commotion ( unless she's the one making it :lol:) so this was a double whammy for her as she left hyped AND stressed. I don't know what the answer is because I guess it's not fair to all the kids not to have these things because my child can't handle it. It just bothered me that it became MY problem when their extra school activities cause my child to not behave in a typical manner. Her new school has non of that stuff going on and there are no highs and lows for her experience.

11-29-12, 02:03 PM
My sons pre-k teacher did something similar last year and it worked wonders, if he got more smiley faces than sad ones, he'd get to bring home a small toy. Then at home we'd give him additional rewards for a week of good reports. This year, being kindegarden, we just started something similar but a bit different. If he can do three activites in the am without incident he can use the x-box for 10 minutes, and then if he can have a similar afternoon, 10 more minutes. And I'd be more than willing to give him some additional time or another reward, but so far however, he has yet to earn it. And I had to talk to the teacher today about an incident yesterday. Something similar to the OP, he punched another child for no reason and when the teacher asked him why, he claims he doesn't remember. And then a little later on he pushed someone off the swing. That he remembers as he wanted to use the swing and the other child wouldn't get off. But there are so many times I ask him about something he did and he dosen't remember. It's frustrating but I guess part of the ADHD.

DS was just offically diagonosed today. Going to start 5 mg Adderall this weekend to see how it works. Fingers crossed.

11-29-12, 10:46 PM
Yeah thats what I was trying to say,Id go to assemblies or rallies where everyone is laughng an screaming and makng noise.t was over they went to clss quietly meanwhile I wanted it to go on the rest of the day as always I have to go overboard on everything and act like a moron and be redicoulous which often lead me to being reeled in and gettng into trouble. On the son pushing another student off the swng.Alot of tmes ID ask if could use something and the nt kids would be like NO take a hike,and be nasty to me etc.When I retaliated them lil snots would turn it off like a cop and be like sweet as pie and turn on the water works etc and Id get into trouble.Ive gotten wise to 2 faceness with people like this and once I get a read on some one like this I stay far far away as these people are dangerous,2 faced snitches who cant be trusted.Maybe he dont remember because hes embarrassed the way hes been treated,dont know how to express himself or his feelings to you or others or feels like if he does say well jimmy johnson spit at me and told me to take a hike so I kicked him off the swing,etc that no one will believe him so its just easier to say dont remember or forgot what happened.t is sort of a cop out.Being we have behavior problems off the bat it seems were are never given a fair chance and which leads to blaming us right off the bat since were already seen as hooligans,so its easy to make us the fall guy over damen the devl nt child whos heckle and jeckle but knows to cut off hs mean streak w the right person.IM also not saying if we do misbehave that we get a free pass either oh no.

11-30-12, 11:58 AM
My son resembles a lot of this too. I've have many instances where the behaviour was a retaliation but the other child said they didn't do anything and the person in authority believed them. It stinks to get a "reputation" like that.

11-30-12, 05:13 PM
I went all thru school lke that Jen E.Picked on an bullied and when I got the chutzpah and got worked up and fought back it seemed there was always the teacher,principal or some authority figure to bust me.Meanwhile no one saw a damn thing the other student did to me,It was just unbelievable.I feel for him I really do

12-01-12, 12:11 PM
Ridiculous. An office referral for something so stupid. I just wish discipline was administered more appropriately sometimes. We had a coupon system at my school. I hardly "acted out," but I'd forget to raise my hand, forget pencils and things, not pay attention. All of those led to losing coupons, which made me feel like a failure. You earned coupons by good behavior.

I dreaded going to school because I knew I'd lose a crap ton of coupons. And it didn't help that everyday I went home and mom would ask how many I'd lost. I felt like I'd disappointed her. I just wish my school would have focused more on what kids did right instead of what they did wrong.