In the schools today they wanna ‘preach’ so much on positive reinforcements and constructive criticism. Well a lot of it is BULL if you ask me. They say for us as parents to make sure we reward and praise our children when they are doing well, or doing good things. Why is it though that when bad or negative things are going on at school that’s all we the parents hear about? I’ll give an example. My son was in a particular after school program and day camp program for years. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 5 so he’s been on medication practically ever since. When he didn’t take it however, he was a hand full! (And then some) Everyday that I’d go pick him up, if there had been a problem, I’d hear about it. If he caused a scene on a field trip, I heard about it. If he hit another child, I heard about it. If he kicked the tables and threw things across the room, I heard about all of that too! I even had other workers tell me that one particular individual didn’t like my son and had voiced his opinion as to such. This individual even told my son (I found out much later) one day after he had not been there the day before that they ‘enjoyed him not being there’. What self respecting adult who is supposed to be a type of mentor for kids says that to a CHILD?! Very rarely did I hear “He had a great day today.” or “We didn’t have to get on him at all, he was good.” Never anything positive. Do you know what that does to a parent after so much negativity about their child? Its devastating and emotionally draining. I got to the point where I didn’t even care about what they were telling me he was doing that bad or wrong. Cause like I told the lady one day when I went to pick him up and she looked at me and said “Today hasn’t been a good day” (she had this look of disgust on her face), I said no day ever seems to be. She caught on then and said “Well now that’s not true! He has some really good days.” I just gave her this look like “REALLY??!!!! WHEN!!??!!!??!” Because I NEVER hear about those days.

Now on to the issue I began this post about. My daughter has also been recently diagnosed with ADHD. She has a much more difficult time than my son did with emotional problems. I have both hands full with her most days at home. Some days are good… Like yesterday. 🙂 But then she gets me to the point where I just feel like running away some days and never looking back. I know some reading this would say, “No, it can’t be that bad!”, but really, it is. I love my child and I would go to the ends of the Earth for her if I had to. But its a struggle to deal with her extreme emotionality. Well at school so far this year I think she has been in the office between four and five times. One time she was sent home early because of her behavior. (School has only been in 28 days.) I’ve explained her situation to her teacher who is new at the school, which I feel she had already gotten some negative information about her before school even began. She was hesitant at open house; gave me this “are we going to be okay this year?” look… Right here I wanna say that when you prejudge a child and dismiss them as a lost cause before you ever give them a chance, they will never be successful. I feel that the administrators who know my daughter from previous years want to give her a chance and they try to help her work through her frustrations most times. Although today particularly it just seemed like they were unconcerned about the fact that she spent the entire morning in the office instead of in the classroom. True enough, she acted out in a very disruptive manner. This was because she was unable to do something she thought she would be able to do which caused her ‘melt down’. Yeah, she does the whole crying thing and acting out at home, so its not like she’s just doing it at school. But I have learned to deal with it in a way that works best for the both of us I think.

I don’t feel the school should reward bad behavior. But I also believe in progressive discipline. If a child is sent home for misbehavior; that to me is a disciplinary action. Why take away an incentive two weeks after the ‘bad’ behavior occurred? Its giving a reward for good behavior, but not allowing the reward to be utilized when the time comes which is backwards! It doesn’t make sense. That’s like me saying to her or any of my other children that since you were misbehaving in Wal-Mart last week, when we go to Chuck E. Cheese next week, you aren’t going to be able to get any tokens and play games. Its like dangling a steak in the face of a lion but snatching it back! Isn’t the lion going to be angry, won’t he react negatively?! I feel the situation today is same thing! Schools wanna promote positive reinforcements for good behavior and making better choices, but when they ‘punish’ the kids so to speak well after the misbehavior has already been dealt with and there were no other instances of bad behavior since, its just wrong! It discourages children from doing the right thing in the future. Although they should not have to be bribed, or expect to receive something in return for doing what is right, they grow to expect good rewards for good behaviors and good choices. Don’t we all? Even as adults; in our jobs, if we do something good worth recognition, we expect to be recognized. We expect a pat on the back saying ‘job well done’. We as adults expect this so as children do what is right and try their best to be good little boys and girls, they should be praised and rewarded when it is necessary.