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What about pointing out the good that they do is supposed to be effective when...?

So, I've been told a million times to tell SS when he is doing good, rather then only point out when he is being a pain. Okay. I get it. I've had a lot of experience with that age group, working in classrooms and teaching and what have you. I know the benefits of positive reinforcement and "catching them being good." What if that doesn't work? When DH or I take the time to let SS know when he is doing a great job he turns around and makes faces at us, or growls, or acts up. For example, if he is treating his little sister kindly and we say something nice about it he immediately does something mean to her. If he is sitting down doing his homework without giving us issues and we complement him he immediately gets off task and starts to act up. Do we just ignore him all the time? Seriously, this kid has been seen by a psychologist and we were told he was perfectly well adjusted. So, we don't know what his problem is. Any ideas?

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Asked by PROGENITOR at 6:37 PM on Dec. 29, 2008 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 4 (30 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • How old is he? I have three 6 & 9, both girls and 10 my ONLY (lol) boy and go through the same thing at times. IMO, if he's been seen and has adjusted well, it's probably the kids being kids syndrome lol.


    Answer by LovingParent08 at 6:43 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Its the age. Eventually he will get it, who knows when tho.

    Answer by Kat122 at 6:46 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • He has been like this since he was 5, he is now 10

    Answer by PROGENITOR at 6:49 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Well, when I first read about the face making, the growling, my thought was he's embarrassed. My son gets embarrassed if I praise him...not sure why, he just does. But the other stuff, that doesn't sound like embarrassment.

    The only thing I could suggest is have him see another psychologist...maybe the first one missed something or something has changed since then. That's all I've got.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 6:55 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Yeah, it's not really an embarrased sort of face or growl, I've seen that in him, too. His face usually gets red and his eyes look embarrassed when that is the case. It has a different tone to it. More willfull and disprespectful than embarrased. If that makes sense.

    Answer by PROGENITOR at 6:57 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • yeah, it makes sense. My son will make faces or growl, and stuff, when he gets embarrassed. Kind of a cover up. You know, like when someone says they can see how much work you put into something and you brush it off? That's what I was thinking of when I was first reading it.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 7:08 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I would say he doesn't believe you. I would just let him be. When the time is right, mention how well he is doing and reward him with a special time with you and/or your husband, like a movie. If you are so frustrated, I think you need help with parenting stradegies. I would seek out a child psychologist for a second opinion.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 10:14 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Try catching him being good, but tell him later, when it's not in public. Like at bedtime, tell him, "Hey, I really appreciate the way you pushed your sister on the swing today. She will have great memories of you as her big brother." Some kids don't react well to public praise, esp boys that age. Maybe it's not COOL in his mind to be "good."

    Answer by 3gymnastsmom at 10:50 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Well I am not sure but maybe he is not used to that kind of attention and is not really sure how to respond? Maybe that sounds dumb but if he wasn't shown this kind of praise in the past and is being shown it now maybe he is just not really sure how to react so acts up because of embarrasment or confusion or just because he is uncomfortable or something. IDK - just an idea

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:18 PM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • Maybe instead of a verbal comment you could use a gesture like a "thumbs up" or just a pat on the back if other people are present. I would just ignore the faces or other responses and keep giving the praise. Some people don't know how to handle praise or compliments very well.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 10:47 AM on Dec. 31, 2008

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