Denial...it ain't just a river!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Em_Catz, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Why is it that the parents of students that have behavior problems almost ALWAYS the ones who deny it and/or act like it's the teacher that has the problem. I have a little boy in my class...let's call him Johnny. He's a busy body. His "crimes" include -

    1) Sticking gum between the pages of my Dr. Seuss book

    2) Purposely drooling on another child's desk

    3) Lying and telling me his mom said he could sunglasses to school (when i asked him why, he said that his brother closed his head in the door and gave him a concussion and he went to the hospital. Turned out to be a lie. he just liked the glasses)

    4) Constantly leaving his books, pencil box, broken crayons, folder, etc on the floor. I don't mean a usual, first grade mess. It's seriously a safety hazard w/the amount of stuff.

    5) Writing all over his desk with a marker he stole from another child's desk

    At first Mom was supportive and we met twice about his behavior. Once in October and once in January. She always compared him to his little brother saying, "I don't know what I am gonna do with Johnny. His little brother is so well behaved."

    After that January meeting, she starts blaming me.

    She says that I can't handle him. That he's six years old and just being a kid. That I'm too hard on him. Back in February he kept hitting other kids and stealing from their table, so I moved his seat so he was sitting alone for a day. She accused me of making him a pariah and a poster child for bad behavior.

    When I gave him a time out and took his recess for writing on the desk AND lying to me about doing it, she said that was excessive and mean. :mad:

    What's up with her? I don't think I'm being mean at all, especially since I purposely try to find good stuff he's doing and to praise him. I also have him do little jobs for me.

    Suggestions on how to deal because I doubt this will be my last parent in denial.
     
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  3. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jun 8, 2011

    I don't think this would solve much, but I might ask her, "If six is an okay age to participate in these behaviors, at what age do you think it's not okay anymore, and how would you have handled it differently?" I'd be interested in her response...
     
  4. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Keep holding your ground and document everything. Request an FBA to get some ABC data on the kid. With some hard line data, it will be very hard for the parent to play the blame game. Hopefully then she'll be more receptive in working with you instead of being part of the problem.
     
  5. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jun 8, 2011

    That's a good idea. I have issues with documenting behavior which is why I prefre to contact parents via e-mail so I have a record. What is an FBA and ABC data? We probably call it something different here on the East Coast.
     
  6. jwteacher

    jwteacher Cohort

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    Jun 8, 2011

    An FBA is a Functional Behavioral Assessment. At least in Missouri, for 10 consecutive school days you record ABC data on a child. ABC stands for:

    A = Antecedent (What was happening at the time... e.g. "Cleaning up after center time activities.")
    B = Behavior (What behavior did the child display during that time.)
    C = Consequence (What consequence(s) were given to the child. e.g. "Time out or no action taken".)

    After 10 data days, look at all the data and try to see if there are any established patterns. If the child with behavior issues drew on someone's desk 7 out of 10 days during group activities, for example, you would focus on that targeted behavior and see what kind of changes you would have to make (to the environment, expectations, consequences, etc.). Getting a team together to brainstorm solutions (including the parent) should help with your burden.

    You might need to get signed consent from the parent before you can take data, however. Talk to your school counselor or administrator about the process.
     
  7. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Document everything he is doing and you might want to talk to the principal and see if there's any other consequences that might be able to be put in place.

    Also, remember this: your classroom, so YOUR rules. She can choose any consequences she wants to at home, but as long as you're not hurting the child, she can't make those decisions for you.
     
  8. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 8, 2011

    We can take data anytime without parent consent. I would highly suggest keeping data on this student, especially the behaviors that you are seeing. Our school psychologist works on the FBA, so this is something you will need to talk with them about.

    Many parents have this reaction because they may feel attacked or that you are blaming them for the behavior or a number of other reasons.

    Another tip, when you communicate with parents-always start on a positive note and end on a positive note.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 8, 2011

    The best thing you can do is to start communicating early about each child in a positive manner. It tells the parents you like their child and care about THEIR child. Then when you have problems, you will usually have a lot less opposition because you have already built that rapport with the parent. Then you also have to report positive stuff between the bad stuff to continue that rapport.

    I agree with what Mopar said, it is a reaction to feeling just attacked, judged or blamed. Parents feel judged all the time.
     
  10. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jun 8, 2011

    :yeahthat:

    It's not too late to do this, even at this time of the year.

    Also, I know it is probably not politically correct to say this, but by documenting all of the transgressions, you will now be focussing on everything he is doing wrong.

    This is not a helpful focus.

    Try something different. Start documenting everything he is doing right. Let him know what he is doing right.

    You may see a turnaround in his behavior if you do this diligently.
     
  11. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Ah, that makes sense.I don't want to point fingers, it's just like stand up and take responsiblity for goodness sake. I guess when I have children of my own I will understand better.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 8, 2011

    Also, sometimes parents feel helpless. Like what can THEY do about it. They aren't there in the classroom. They don't know how to HELP you. So they get defensive.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 8, 2011

    I like the way you think schoolteacher!
     

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