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However, from a different point of view here, I am finding
a little bit of this bad behavior fromn my own home this year (second
is now in 10th grade). What I attribute it to is that he hears me come
home telling my husband over diner how easy "so and so" got off from the
principal and tales of
how "so and so" got around "such and such" rule over and over. In other
words, he has
seen that the earth doesn't shatter when someone is bad, and he has
started doing it at times too (formerly not a trouble kid but now his
grades are getting lower and his attitude less serious). I now wish I had
not been so verbal at home about the ingenious ways kids escape getting
caught and ways they find loopholes (i.e. where the kids hide
out to smoke and not get caught, which rules in the handbook need to be
rewritten because they are flawed and allow kids to skip without penalty
etc.) It seems like the "cat was let out of the bag" in that once he
started doing some of these things he found out that the penalty (which he
had imagined would be horrible) is actually relatively a big nothing (at
least at our school).
Also, we had an exchange student here (for six weeks in our home - whom
should have sent back, I know that now) who caused some trouble at school
classes, escaping class on forged notes to teachers, leaving
campus, leaving our
home etc without permission ) and when our son saw all these things hap
pen (he even went along and did some of these things with the student)
and no substantial penalty
from the school (a few personal discussions with the principal, gee how
fun, and only a few lunch detentions for the fellow, which were not even
processed until the
students final two days at our school) then the "imagined" terror our
previously had as to what horrible penalties would follow was shattered.
So now he's been doing stuff, not terrible stuff, he's a good kid
underneath it, but he has seen that the penalty is not really that severe
so he has more of a "who cares" attitude when he gets caught and punished.
Of course we are doing what we can at home too.