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7 year old ds vandalizing school and other property!

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 5:49 am
I'm fresh out of ideas. My 7 year old ds has gone on a rampage, some of it together with a friend, some alone. He went back to school after hours and threw things around and created chaos in several class rooms. He got filmed on the security cameras. Then, with his friend, he broke into another building, climbed through the window, and smeared around paint and threw around things again.
We live in a yishuv in Israel where children commonly play in the streets in the afternoon with minimal or no supervision.
We thought he was playing with his friend in the street like everyone else.
He does have serious learning problems in school and is supposed to transfer to a "small classes" framework next year. Part of it is speech difficulties, part is probably adhd, even though he hasn't been officially diagnosed yet. He was in a gan s'fati before starting school. He's got an appointment to a children's/youth psychiatrist via the kuppat cholim, but it's only in another 5 weeks.

At home, he is very undisciplined, doesn't listen and has anger outbursts where he also throws things. He broke all the drawers in a cupboard in our house last week for an example.
On other occasions, he tries to behave well and is very sweet. It's extreme ups and downs. He was always like that but the downs are getting more violent. We had parental counseling in the past but it didn't really help.

How can one manage this child? How can we get along until the psychiatrist?
I'm in Israel but decided to put it in the general forum to get more input.
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Chickensoupprof




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 6:02 am
It's a good idea that you are going with a psychiaterist with your son.
For now, you should bring extra structure in the house, maybe with picto's. Every step ieasily written down so he knows what and when he needs to do what.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 6:50 am
Hugs, you must be counting the milliseconds till that appointment! Do you know anyone with push who can get him in sooner? Does the school?

See if you can get a copy of Ross Greene's book, "The Explosive Child". Also, look into the Nurtured Heart Approach.

I agree with chickensoupprof, you probably will have to plan on not leaving him unsupervised. Also, work on "catching him being good", so you can praise him, because kids like this get a lot of negativity, and then stop caring about rules. Structure, structure, structure is what a kid like this will benefit from.

It might also be worthwhile to get a better sense of how the rebbe/morah is handling him.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 7:11 am
Can you find ways to keep h productive and busy? I understand the kids all have lots of unstructured play and I'm a fan of that but he could use direction. Can you hire someone to come do parkour classes twice a week? Give him a piece of yard to make a garden or even just dirt pit to play.

I had a corner of my classroom with old technology like cameras, cell phones, computers, etc. And a box of screwdrivers. It was their favorite spot. They'd take everything apart pull all the little pieces apart and build new things. It was their workshop.

Of course therapy and coaching and all of that is important. I'm just trying to address the issue of keeping him busy yet productive.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 7:26 am
This will sound completely crazy, but try giving him an energy drink like Monster.

If he has ADD, the caffeine can help him be less impulsive, and help him focus more. My daughter got through high school on energy drinks and double shots of espresso, because she didn't want to take Adderall.

It's worth a one time try, and if it doesn't work, at least you've ruled something out.

What is his history with strep? I know it's going around Israel right now, at least in the Beit Shemesh area.

See if you can get approved for a PANDAS test. Just contact your pediatrician online through your kupah and put in a request for the bloodwork.

Putting him in a smaller class might be a good short term fix, until you know more about his medical situation as well as psychological and neurological stuff.

The end goal should be giving him the help he needs to be mainstreamed again, so he can feel successful. People who can feel good about themselves do not usually destroy stuff.
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 7:46 am
avrahamama wrote:
.

I had a corner of my classroom with old technology like cameras, cell phones, computers, etc. And a box of screwdrivers. It was their favorite spot. They'd take everything apart pull all the little pieces apart and build new things. It was their workshop.


Love this idea! I might offer some of our old junk to a classroom that could use it.

But how did you control their not using the tools on other things in the classroom when your attention was elsewhere?
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behappy2




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 8:07 am
Can you bribe him to behave?

Does he have things he likes doing that you can get him busy with? He needs to put his energy and creativity somewhere.
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avrahamama




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 8:38 am
imasinger wrote:
Love this idea! I might offer some of our old junk to a classroom that could use it.

But how did you control their not using the tools on other things in the classroom when your attention was elsewhere?


We had a very very strong community of trust in our classroom. Also I gave them opportunities to do lots of things not common. Like hang a picture using nail and hammer. I had a broom and a Swiffer for them to clean up messes on their own. And a big sign hi-lighting the skills they would aquire and master in each subject. It helped to keep them focused, organized and ready to work. So basically there was no need to take things out if their place because there were always opportunities for new things to try and do
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amother




Amethyst
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 11:12 am
Everyone gave great advice, but I just want to chime in that he sounds very angry and frustrated. When I was a kid, I didn't vandalize the school, but if I'd had the guts or been the type I might have. I hated school, hated the teachers, and didn't really have school friends. No one really made an effort to understand me or meet me on my level, they were all just trying to keep things running.

(Don't worry, I cleaned up my act in high school, which was a different, more understanding and positive school.)
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 11:16 am
I second the explosive child. Its fantastic. Its helped my kids a lot.
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amother




Green
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 11:29 am
I second the Nurtured Heart Approach. It worked wonders with my explosive, ADHD son.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 11:53 am
amother [ Amethyst ] wrote:
Everyone gave great advice, but I just want to chime in that he sounds very angry and frustrated. When I was a kid, I didn't vandalize the school, but if I'd had the guts or been the type I might have. I hated school, hated the teachers, and didn't really have school friends. No one really made an effort to understand me or meet me on my level, they were all just trying to keep things running.

(Don't worry, I cleaned up my act in high school, which was a different, more understanding and positive school.)


My thoughts exactly. It doesn't sound like he's destroying things because he's bored, to be cool, or because he has way too much energy. There are a million other things he could be doing if that was the case.

First rule out medical issues, but also have him assessed for learning disabilities. He may need a lot more support than he's getting, and the school might not want him if he needs too much help. (DD got kicked out of school in second grade, because she needed an IEP. The school didn't want to be bothered.)

He seems extremely angry at the school, and wants to express that anger the only way he knows how. I also feel like there's a lot of hurt, sadness, and frustration going on. If the school is rigid and unaccommodating, he may need a more understanding and nurturing environment.

In the meantime, keep calling the psychiatrist and checking to see if there are any cancellations. Make sure his secretary knows that you have an urgent situation. If you are a pest, there's a good chance they can get you in sooner.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 12:11 pm
OP here, thanks for all the replies. I have to add, yes, he is angry and unhappy most of the time. He has said many times that he hates school and every morning it is a fight to get him there. We have spoken to the morah, the school counselor and other staff - I don't think it's their fault. The morah is nice enough and he even got a personalized learning program and his own homework at a slower pace becausd he's not able to keep up with the class. She also lets him out during lessons to let off steam and then come back. He hasn't got many friends in school though. His afternoon-friends are from our neighborhood but either not in his school or in different grades.
He doesn't like being at home either.
Even has threatened to burn down both the school and our home because he hates everything.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 11 2021, 12:20 pm
I think getting him in a special ed school will be super positive for him. A 7 year old is not stupid. He knows he gets easier work then everyone else because he cant keep up and it likely makes him feel really bad about himself which causes a lot of the behavior problems.

Being in a group of kids like him goes a long way towards keeping his self esteem intact.

I dont have experience with Nurtured Heart but the explosive child has made my home so much calmer and pleasant.
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