School Related Problems
If the school’s consequences for problems are effective, there is no need to further punish children at home. That would be “double jeopardy.” However, there are times when parents need to take action.
When students have persistent difficulties, they may have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or they may have lost or never had a bond with a significant caretaker. Older children who show sudden changes in behavior may have been traumatized or become involved in substance abuse. In addition to seeking evaluations for such problems, parents can:
HOMEWORK AND POOR GRADES
Ask the school to have children tested for learning disabilities or attention disorders if academic problems have been present since the third grade or earlier. You may need to be persistent. Employ any of the strategies below that are helpful:
SKIPPING CLASSES AND TRUANCY
Teens who miss school may be experiencing peer pressure or developing serious conduct problems. However, anxiety due to panic or fears of looking foolish can require therapy. It is common for children to have “school phobia” in fifth through seventh grades due to the transition to larger schools. Allowing children to avoid school can aggravate problems, so take immediate action to get them back on track:
Many schools have their own form to communicate with parents when students are having academic or behavioral problems. If none are available, parents can use the generic forms below. Minimum standards can be set for students to gain rewards or to have evening and weekend privileges:
Miracle Cures by Jean Carper (HarperCollins, 1997), pp. 233–234, suggests that oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs) in the herbs pycnogenol and grape seeds may regulate enzymes that control dopamine and norepinephrine.