""No" is one of the most character-building words in the English language. Say it often, and mean it. "

6-Block Chart Program

Question

My son is 9 1/2. Over the last few months we have implemented the daily 6 block chart program after reading The Well Behaved Child in response to the defiance and attitude we had been seeing before which even culminated in him running off several times (would leave the house, be gone for about an hour, if we were outside and called him or he saw us he would run as fast as he could in the opposite direction). As in, he would run off about once a week for over a month when faced with a consequence or something that didn't go his way. Along with that, he would threaten to kill himself, or say anything he could think of that sounded awful or horrible or would push buttons. (Trust me, suicide is something both my husband and I have experienced in our families - we take it seriously. But his threats seemed to hinge a lot on his wanting a reaction.) After implementing the charts (as well as Alpha speech) we saw a change in behavior for the better. We have taken some of his favorite things - ripstick, drill bought with birthday money, bike, etc. and he is not to have them back and we will not be buying him anything nonessential until his behavior has gone for 30 days without losing the 4th block on his chart.
His target behaviors are :
-running off
-refusing to obey/ignoring us
-unkindness to siblings (hitting/kicking = all x's gone, general meanness is one x)

He is pleasant when around other people, generally well-liked, but at home (we also homeschool) he flies off the handle very easily, is distracted all the time, and his penchant for drama is well-developed.
Today after having all x's gone because he hit his sister, he was unable to go to the park and had to spend the rest of the day in the spare room.
He screamed at me that he would not listen to me or do what I say, and for me to shut up when I calmly told him that he knew the consequence for hitting his sister. Then when I told him that he could make his choice and I would make mine, he proceeded to run outside and be gone for awhile. He snuck in the basement, packed a bag about a half hour later, and when I told him that he needed to come upstairs and talk or he would be facing more consequences (like missing a hike tomorrow and possibly a birthday party this month), he came upstairs, grudgingly said he was sorry, and is now settled in the spare room.

He was adopted at 19 months with his brother, but we do not want to overemphasize that fact. He was a model toddler. The truth is, he has struggled for the last few years with lying, sneaking, and anger.... and we love him dearly.
We don't want to have too high of expectations, but being a pleasure to be around seems like a baseline expectation.
As parents we are both very involved, and he is the classic - "when he is good, he is very very good" (he loves to snuggle, warms to praise, seems to love everyone around him), but in the last few years, he increasingly seems to have the "when he was bad he was horrid" down pat. We are somewhat at our wits end. And in the back of our minds, hoping we aren't missing some obvious thing, - being too strict or too lenient either one.

Subscribe To View The Answer

Please register and purchase a subscription in order to view the answer. Existing members please log in.

Continue

Return to Previous Page

View All Questions