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View Poll Results: Am I over-reacting, or is this a good punishment?
Yes, you should not punish your son for getting bad grades. 24 24.00%
Yes, some punishment is necessary, but you went overboard. 73 73.00%
No, seems appropriate to me. 3 3.00%
No, I don't think you're being strict enough! 0 0%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 06-06-2011, 07:52 AM
 
47,576 posts, read 56,997,015 times
Reputation: 22090

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Quote:
Originally Posted by msamhunter View Post
I can see both sides of the coin, but the original poster is right, parents you are not your child's friend PERIOD you are their parent. Grounding them for the summer, nothing wrong with that, myself personally I would not go overboard like that with no entertainment whatsoever for my kids but that's just me. Look at it like this, as a freshman in high school the way colleges and universities are, his son is already behind with failing math so no video games, cool, no tv, I would pair it down to a few hours a day, no dessert, oh well he'll live, extra chores he should be doing that anyway, help teach responsibility, no vacation well vacation is not a right, it's a privilege and if he hasn't earned it he just hasn't period. Buying books that you and your wife approve of, well all parents should be doing that IMO. Parents nowadays are too scared to be parents, they do want to be their child's buddy, their pal because some shrink who's never had to deal with a child let alone a teenager thinks they know what's best. Case in point, when I was coaching my step daughters youth basketball team, I told them a few days earlier, to start doing something or their will be consequences. Of course kids don't listen so after practice they would normally play knockout. That day I told them no and told them why they weren't playing it. They were disappointed but oh well. Helping coach was a recent grad "child psychology" major who played in college. She decides that she was going to let them play so I went over, took the ball and made them tell me why I said they couldn't play. This recent grad with no kids of their own proceeded to tell me that you don't do that, it's child psychology 101, you don't take things away like that. I then proceeded to ask her how many kids does she have OH ZERO I said, then I pointed towards the kids and said does it look like they are going to be scarred for life as they started joking around with each other by that time.

The point being, some of the things people have said in this thread falls along those lines, too scared to discipline as if the child will just fall apart or something.

I will say though by your own words it seems as though he really has a problem with math. I do not know your financial situation but if you can go on a vacation, you can get him a tutor or some place like Sylvan Learning Center because it does sound like he has a problem with math which can be proactively addressed.
I disagree about the parent not being the friend. I was kind of friends with my parents. I had a dad who could joke around and was quite fun to be around although he was far from from being scared to discipline. My dad was such a good friend, he would sit at the table after dinner helping us with our homework.

You aren't one of their age group peers, there has to be some different kind of respect - but my grandfather even was my friend. I liked being around him also.

 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,063 posts, read 13,661,073 times
Reputation: 14355
I was a good parent to my sons - and stepson. I know the difference between discipline and punishment. Discipline is a system of reward and aversive which is designed to increase positive behavior and decrease the negative. Punishment is simply to decrease behavior. It creates problems. Discipline is not punitive in nature.

BTW, OP, I am 62. My husband was a platoon sargeant in the army. Both of us have IQs in the genius range, as do my older son and his son. At some point, each of us failed a class. In my husband's case, it was pure boredom; for us other 3 it was an issue of missing an important segment due to illness. Thank goodness help was available and offered (and the need recognized) early enough and none of us were punished. I went on to tutor math for years as a high school student as well as during college. One of the problems I saw in my stepson was an inability to study. Learning had come so easy for him in grammar school, that he really didn't know how to study. I spent a lot of time with him teaching him how to study.

As a behaviorist, I will tell you that your stick method of punishment will work to diminish behavior. It will teach your son that when he needs help with something, asking for it will get him nothing positive. It will teach him that once he does something not necessarily wrong but "not right" in your eyes, there is no hope so why bother.

Carrots are needed.

Isn't it far better to have someone act in a certain way because they want to reap the rewards rather than only to avoid the negative punishment? If you feel the need to punish then that punishment should be reflective of the deed and couple it with a reward for doing the right behavior.

Your punishment is without hope. Your punishment is not relative to failing math. Your punishment is not relative to not learning the math. And there is no remedy - where is someone to teach him: how to study, how to learn, to fill in the missing pieces? And why wasn't anything done in a positive vein when you learned he was having issues back in March? What did you do then? Contact his teachers for a report? How did that help him? How did that teach him?

What is the message you want to give you son? And is this "discipline plan" of yours going to achieve that goal? In my opinion, it will not even come close.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:15 AM
 
128 posts, read 142,748 times
Reputation: 216
I haven't read all of the replies yet, but OP, you are abusing your child. The punishments that you have listed, especially all together, are incredibly cruel. This is not the way to treat someone you love. And he is 15 years old? Unbelievable. I don't know how he's tolerated this type of treatment for 15 years.

This is how it works: when a student doesn't understand a concept in school, he shuts down. Maybe there was a big concept at the beginning of the year that he didn't quite grasp. So he struggled with subsequent lessons, and after awhile, it was just too late. And the fact that you noticed this struggling and didn't find him academic help is pretty abusive, especially since this neglect was accompanied by threats.

This lack of understanding turns into disinterest after awhile. Your son was so lost in math class that he was no longer able to focus on or care about his assignments. And let me tell you: fear is NOT the path to comprehension. When your son fears you, his mind shuts down. He does not think clearly. You are just digging a bigger hole for yourself and for your son. What you need to do is revoke the punishments, talk to your son, and find out exactly what the problem is. If academics and school are so important to you, you would put your son's education above your family vacation and find him a tutor, classes, whatever you can get. Fifteen is a very sensitive age, and your son probably feels helpless.

I just feel so terrible for your son. You need to learn, right now, that he needs your help, your support, your compassion. When he said he was struggling in high school, you should have talked to him, found out what was going on, tried to help him. If you stop threatening him and get him to open up to you, maybe he'll tell you what's going on, what he needs help with, and you can get him that help. Then he will feel comfortable and receptive, the optimal state of mind for learning and improvement.

Best of luck to you and your son.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:19 AM
 
128 posts, read 142,748 times
Reputation: 216
Also, one more thing: studying for eight hours a day is NOT going to help your son. That's just too much information to absorb at once, especially for someone who struggles with math. He needs a tutor to help him, SLOWLY, as he works to catch up at the pace he can handle. A good tutor will know how to pace things.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:33 AM
 
Location: here
24,002 posts, read 27,496,985 times
Reputation: 29473
WWH - please come back here at the end of the summer and let us know how all of this worked out for you.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
494 posts, read 1,376,162 times
Reputation: 430
Quote:
Originally Posted by ItalianIce View Post
I haven't read all of the replies yet, but OP, you are abusing your child. The punishments that you have listed, especially all together, are incredibly cruel. This is not the way to treat someone you love. And he is 15 years old? Unbelievable. I don't know how he's tolerated this type of treatment for 15 years.

This is how it works: when a student doesn't understand a concept in school, he shuts down. Maybe there was a big concept at the beginning of the year that he didn't quite grasp. So he struggled with subsequent lessons, and after awhile, it was just too late. And the fact that you noticed this struggling and didn't find him academic help is pretty abusive, especially since this neglect was accompanied by threats.

This lack of understanding turns into disinterest after awhile. Your son was so lost in math class that he was no longer able to focus on or care about his assignments. And let me tell you: fear is NOT the path to comprehension. When your son fears you, his mind shuts down. He does not think clearly. You are just digging a bigger hole for yourself and for your son. What you need to do is revoke the punishments, talk to your son, and find out exactly what the problem is. If academics and school are so important to you, you would put your son's education above your family vacation and find him a tutor, classes, whatever you can get. Fifteen is a very sensitive age, and your son probably feels helpless.

I just feel so terrible for your son. You need to learn, right now, that he needs your help, your support, your compassion. When he said he was struggling in high school, you should have talked to him, found out what was going on, tried to help him. If you stop threatening him and get him to open up to you, maybe he'll tell you what's going on, what he needs help with, and you can get him that help. Then he will feel comfortable and receptive, the optimal state of mind for learning and improvement.

Best of luck to you and your son.
Great post by Itailan.

Look, I'm not going to say how you should or shouldn't parent. That's been discussed enough and that's not my place as I'm not one, but you really need to be mindful of your son. You don't want your son to hold resentment towards you over this or feel like you don't care about him, because you choose not to help him. In times like these, children look for thier parents for support not sever punishment and ridicule. When they receive that instead of support, you are potentially damaging your relationship with your son.

I'm saying all this a someone whose parents did something similar after I bombed a semester in college. My parents weren't interested in what I had to say about it, was met with severe punishment, and I had to seek out my own help cause my parents weren't interested in helping at the time. My parents eventually came around, but by that time I had already fixed everything w/o their help or support. My way wasn't perfect either, and I could've needed an extra advice when doing so, but it was the only option at the time. Ever since then, I've been unable to trust them when things go wrong in my life or open up fully to them like I used to. You don't want that to happen to your son, and I don't want that to happen, because it's quite a miserable existence. Having said that, I know that they still love me, but I have to live with real evidence that it only seems conditional. Rather or not that impression is accurate doesn't matter, it was pretty damaging at the time.

I want you to keep this post and the post I quoted in the back of your mind. Again, I can't speak for your parenting skills, as I don't know what goes on in your family. All I'm saying is you should consider your son's feelings as you go through this. Last thing you want to do is make it worse and not solve the problem.
 
Old 06-06-2011, 10:15 AM
 
2,109 posts, read 3,939,443 times
Reputation: 967
Quote:
Originally Posted by pythonis View Post
I applaud the OP for being a parent to his kid and not a friend. The kid has friends at school. He needs a parent at home. As far as everyone screaming "tutor", tutors cost money and not everyone has that.
So you think punishing the kid for having a disability is okay?
 
Old 06-06-2011, 10:22 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 9,971,002 times
Reputation: 8956
I only read the first page, couldn't stomach hearing more about your cruelty as a parent. I guess you don't care if you damage your son emotionally and he grows up to hate you?

How important is math in the larger scheme of things?

If you knew he was struggling and did not get him a tutor, then I don't know why you think your barbaric punishments are going to result in him all of a sudden getting and loving math. Au contraire, he will probably have an aversion to math so strong that he might never learn even simple concepts because of the negative associations.

I hate to tell you this but teenage boys need doors on their rooms. He is not a drug addict, he failed a class . . . and in most schools I know of now-a-days, you can check grades and assignments online and you get mid-term notices - so how come it was such a surprise?

Give the kid a break. If you truly despise him see if he can go live with relatives who will treat him with the love and respect he deserves as a developing human being. And you might want to review your own childhood, because you seem to have some serious unresolved issues. What was your dad like, I wonder?
 
Old 06-06-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 9,971,002 times
Reputation: 8956
Does the poor kid have a mother?
 
Old 06-06-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: You know... That place
1,899 posts, read 2,277,546 times
Reputation: 2044
I say to give up guys. This OP is either a troll, or doesn't care at all about what we have to say. Either way, this is not a person who is trying to grow as a parent. He came back only to ignore or insult everyone who doesn't agree with him and was very happy to find the 2 posters who somewhat agreed with him.

There is no point in responding.
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