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BOTD 10/15/13 "Report Card Day" A DMK Production

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David M. Katz

A DMK Production

This is your twelve year old son, Adam.

ADAM - 12
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Adam says school is boring.  He started seventh grade this year.  Your family moved over the summer and so this is Adam's first year at his new school.  Adam has always liked school but says he does not like his new school.  Adam has served a couple of detentions and has been assigned to write lines on two occasions. You chalked the issues up to normal twelve year old behavior and to Adam getting adjusted to new surroundings and so you did not concern yourself greatly with the school's punishments.  Adam just said that he "got busted for talking."  You remember you were a bit on the mouthy side yourself when you were Adam's age.

It is now nine weeks into the new school year and Adam brings you his first report card.  You are pleased with Adam's academic progress but are shocked and disturbed by his conduct grades and the teacher comments.

This is Adam's report card:
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Adam nonchalantly says, "You gotta sign this thing so I can take it back." Adam seems to care less about the grades and comments on his behavior.

You use spanking with Adam when needed and it works well.

Is it time for Adam to drop pants and bend over?  Or, do you take some other action?

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.


I think the 'meeting requested' is the important thing, and it should be happening for every class.

I'm not going to jump into all the possibilities, instead I'll just sit down and talk with Adam. First, I need to let him know that I'm not happy with the conduct grades, and that I actually find them unacceptable. Then I need to find out what the problem is.

Considering that almost every teacher made comments about him 'not staying on task' or things with similar meanings, yet he has incredibly high grades, I have the feeling that our new school district isn't offering much to challenge the boy.

I don't see any reason to spank at this point, though I'll make it clear to him that it is a consideration and his behavior had best improve if he wants to avoid one.


If Adam is getting 98% in honers math while "talking" and "not staying on task then Adam must be correct that the new school is boring! Obviously the classes are not advanced enough for him!

My answer to his statement "You gotta sign this thing so I can take it back." is going to be: "Why, you are not going back to that boring school!"

"Adam seems to care less about the grades and comments on his behavior." With good reason!

I will start looking for advanced online instruction or maybe advancement in grade by at least 3 grades, if the school is actually good maybe he should start college soon.



If I had no alternative but this school I'd be in Jack's court re having meetings with all his teachers and seeing where we go from here.

Since I do have options, I'm firmly in Icono's court here; get him involved in classes/a school that challenges him in a meaningful way. The fact that he's so blasé about the behavior reports tells me that he is indeed bored to tears and beyond. Spanking would be counterproductive and no good will come from it. I see/hear a lot of me in this one when I was his age!

Stone Man

I'm disappointed that the school didn't contact me along the way, rather than waiting until a grading period had ended. I most certainly will be meeting with all the teachers.

Adam and I will talk things through so I know better what his feelings are. If the challenge isn't there for him he needs to develop ways of coping instead of disrupting others.

I see no reason to spank him with what I know at present.


Adam seems to be stopping just short of serious sanctions with the school such as they are. This does not say if this is a paddling school or not. I am going to attend the conference(s) as suggested, not with individual teachers as it is clear Adam has been picking them off one by one but with someone with an overview, Principal, main tutor?

My other conference will be with Adam where he will talk me through just why his conduct is so poor and tell me why he thinks I shouldn't paddle his backside for him. He can drop the attitude and I will keep an open mind. One thing is for sure, while I wouldn't spank for bad grades unless I think the lad isn't trying I will If I see another D in his conduct report as that is an ongoing problem

In both cases I want to know if Adam is being fully extended and decide if I have the right school for Adam. Is there a higher stream he could go into perhaps if he can behave so poorly in class and score so highly


I too am surprised and concerned. If Adam's behaviour through all classes is as bad as indicated why hasn't the school been in touch before since he is a new pupil? Also if it is that bad how come just a couple of detentions and a few lines? Have I got the full truth from him?

Firstly a discussion with Adam is called for and then a meeting with the Principal and teachers. We need to get to the bottom of the cause, after which the bottom of the effect could possibly come into play


The first thing I want to look at, is if the teachers are male or female. As a woman, I've noticed with my boys that if they have a male teacher, there's rarely a behavior issue. Compare that, with female teachers. I honestly believe, that 95% of female teachers do not know how to engage and teach boys, nor do they like them.

Case in point: When Tyler was in first grade, he was diagnosed with ADHD which we knew was a possible side effect of the drugs his birth mother was on when he was born. His teacher (Female) was made aware of this and the circumstances. She however, took it upon herself to discuss the matter with DSS (Department of Social Services here in SC) because she believed we weren't getting him the help he needed. So after a six week investigation, with documentation from both us, his doctors, their doctors, and the county courthouse that finalized the adoption, the matter was closed. We promptly removed him from her class, and into class with a male teacher. Never had another issue.


I agree with your line of thinking Kitty.....

I have noticed this with Tristan......of course Tristan has a strong will but the kinder and first grade teachers always had problems with him and even suggested he had ADHD but this year he has part day with a male and the other female and his male teacher has no problem....Suspect 

For the BOTD I agree that I nee to confer with all the teachers and that at this point in time no spanking...

hugs kal


Editor Extraordinaire
I'm not jumping to the conclusion that boredom or poor classroom management is the reason for Adam's poor conduct grade or the comments from each and every teacher about excessive talking. "I'm bored" has become the go-to phrase for every parent whose kid has behavioral issues but whose grades are generally high. Ironically, parents whose kids have behavioral issues but poor grades also use this same excuse. "I'm bored" doesn't cut any ice with me. Teachers are not there to entertain a class, and they are likely teaching to a group of kids with a range of aptitude. The ones who learn quickly had better also learn self-discipline because all their lives they will be in situations in which they are bored. A kid who is bright enough to be bored is bright enough to figure out how to deal with the situation without resorting to disruptive behavior. He could bring a book to read for when he finishes quickly or ask for enrichment activities. He could work independently on enrichment activities of his own choosing or ones that I help him select. In some classes, he could assist the teacher in giving some individual help to struggling students.

One real possibility is his behavior is an attempt to find his niche in this school.

Assuming he does not suffer from ADHD or some other condition that would mitigate his behavior, I expect Adam to comport himself appropriately at school or I will come down on him like a ton of bricks. For starters, he will be at the parent-teacher conferences.



I don't think that ADHD really exists, at least not as often as it is diagnosed. But anyway, I don't know enough about US-schools and their rules and possibilities. However, there has to be done something and a conference with his teachers is probably the best way to start.

David M. Katz

Why has it taken me nine weeks to pick up on the warning signs that there was an issue?

I think the first step is going to be to get Adam and me and my SO and all of the teachers to sit down and discuss the problem and formulate a solution.

Perhaps, because of the move, he is not fitting in socially and is trying to force friendships and relationships.  If so we need to work on strategies to overcome that.

Perhaps his course load and classes are not challenging enough.  There are ways to look at his schedule and the curriculum to overcome that.  As Kat suggested having him help tutor, do personal enrichment or put him in advanced classes are all possible solutions.

Perhaps my boy has just decided to turn into a clown and there are no issues except he wants to be the center of attention.

After the conference we will all know more and can make a better set of decisions.  This may involve social skills, class changes, advancement and enrichment, clubs and sports and extracurricular involvement.  And yes a new school or home school may end up being one of the strategies. However it is also possible that Adam just needs his rear roasted to let him understand that all involved take the issue seriously.  The conferences will help sort it all out.

I am at fault for not reacting sooner.  The school is at fault for not being more aggressive with informing me of the issues and Adam is at fault for not being more open with me and the teachers.

After we meet and get some workable strategies in place, God help Adam and his backside if the second report card looks like the first.  He is going to have to be a part of and take ownership of the plan(s) and he will own the responsibility of behaving properly once the solutions are in place.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

John Boy

I am going to meet with his teachers and tell him that based on the reports from them and more talk with him will determine whether he will be EmbarassedEmbarassed or if he will be on a short leash that will lead to EmbarassedEmbarassed

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