What to do about your kid's detention, suspension and expulsion

Learn about: What to do about your kid's detention, suspension and expulsion from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...
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What to do about your kid's detention, suspension and expulsion

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You know, the kids who I worry about the most are the ones who are not only behaviorally challenging at home, but who are also behaviorally challenging at school. And often the school is handling those behavioral challenges in ways that are very punitive and very adversarial. A lot of these kids are the ones who are getting detentions left and right, suspensions left and right, and as - well my belief is that detentions and suspensions don't fix any of what's getting in the way for a behavioral challenging kid. If a kid is getting a lot of detentions and suspensions, that's proof positive that detentions and suspensions are not fixing what's getting in the kid's way. But this is especially tough because schools, not all of them but many of them, have a tendency to blame parents, the folks at home, for what's going on at school. And while it is true that there are things that could be going on at home that could be affecting the child at school, I find that it is more often the case that we are in our schools tying our hands behind our backs by blaming the folks at home for what's going on at our watch at school. I find this to be an extremely counter-productive belief system. Schools have the kids 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months out of the year. Schools can do a kid a whole lot of good in that time, almost irrespective of what's going on in that child's household. But here's the interesting thing. While we don't want to be insensitive to what could be going on in the child's household that could be causing difficulties at school, it is my experience that in the majority of cases, the difficulties at school are related to the unsolved problems that are happening during the school day, not related to the unsolved problems that are happening at home.

Learn about: What to do about your kid's detention, suspension and expulsion from Ross W. Greene, PhD,...

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Ross W. Greene, PhD

Psychologist, Author & Researcher

Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is the author of the well-known books The Explosive Child and Lost at School, and the originator of a model of care (now known as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions) emphasizing collaboration between kids and adults in resolving the problems contributing to children’s behavioral challenges.  He is also associate clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, on the professional staff at the Cambridge Hospital, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Tech, and senior lecturer in the graduate program in school psychology in the Department of Education at Tufts University.  Dr. Greene founded the non-profit Lives in the Balance to provide free, web-based resources on his model and to advocate on behalf of behaviorally challenging kids and their parents, teachers, and other caregivers.  He lectures widely throughout the world and lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and two kids.

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