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gaming_momma in big_kids

When is punishment too harsh?

My son who is about to be 8 in a couple of weeks, has been getting in a lot of trouble. He is about to be kicked from the bus for the remainder of the year, which will require him switching schools because I can't drive him. He just got a write up today for acting out in class. I can't get him to listen to me at home half the time. I have tried everything. Spanking, time out, screaming, talking, taking away special items, grounding from xbox and computer, extra chores, even grounding to his room. Its not like he is bored at school. He goes to a school for academically gifted children. He has been a problem child since day 1 and this is just too much. We are considering canceling his birthday. No gift from us. No cake. Family can do what they please. But I feel like giving him a cake and gift will be like rewarding him. And his behavior has been anything but deserving. We have tried rewarding him for good behavior as well. And that doesn't work. Please Help!! Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.


I agree with this. Some things in life you should get just because you exist, not because you earned them, and it's probably very important to him to know that he is unconditionally loved.

He might be acting out to test to see if there's a point where you won't love him, and if so it's important that he never reach that point.

He's done some serious stuff here and disrupting the family; I would go for the counseling.
I agree with this. His birthday is something to celebrate -- regardless of his behavior recently, he IS turning a year older, and it's a rite of passage to some extent, and he your son and you love him and are glad he was born and is a year older. He will never turn 8 again, and I fear that you will regret it if you don't celebrate. It's not a reward. Kids don't get b'day parties or cakes because they were good. They get them because it's a family tradition, etc.

Be clear, though, that this celebration is about loving him and being glad he's been your son for 8 years, etc. Don't connect it in any way to his recent behavior, meaning don't say things like "Even though you are misbehaving on the bus, and we're really mad about that, we're doing this party anyway, so think about how luck you are, and blah blah" -- that's just a guilt trip.

(I'm not intending to imply that you'd do any of that, but it's a natural reaction, I think, but I strongly believe it can do more damage than good.)

Good luck!
thank you. That's what I was wondering.