Friday, March 27, 2009

It's not the kids, it's the parents

So, at the Youth Center we have a policy that if a kid gets written up twice in a seven day period he receives a same day suspension. Well, today a kid received his second warning so we told him he had to go home. He said he couldn't because his parents weren't there so we gave him the option of being suspended either Saturday or Monday. He chose Monday. End of situation, right? Wrong!
I had called his home and left a message that he had been warned earlier in the week for not signing out (I know it sounds trivial, but we have to know who's in the building in case there's an evacuation) and that he received his second warning today for shoving another kid. Well, the mom arrives and wants to know why her son has a 1 day suspension. So, I explain it all and she says, "Well, maybe I should put it on record that he has ADHD."

Me: "OK, I just started here, but let me call Jessica over and see what we do." Jessica comes over.

Mom: "I just want to make sure that someone notes that he has ADHD and he doesn't take medication for it when he's out of school."

Jessica: "Alrighty, we can make a note of that, but we have these expectations of behavior (points to clearly visible list of rules posted at the front entrance) that all of the kids have to follow."

Mom: "But he has ADHD. Do you know what that means?"

Jessica: "Yes, my sister has it, but all kids are still expected to follow these rules while they are at the youth center or they have to deal with the consequences."

Mom: "But he doesn't have a brain like me and you. He doesn't know what he's doing."

Jessica: "I understand and I'm sorry, but he has to follow the same rules as all the other kids."

Mom leaves angry.

I thought Jessica handled it really well. The more I thought about it the more mad I got. Her son has ADHD severe enough that he's on medication while at school, but 1. she doesn't tell us about it and 2. he's not medicated while he's with us. This kid is with us 4 hours/day 5 days a week. I really don't understand how she can expect us to change the rules just for her child. Did she ever think that maybe if he can't understand the rules and know how to handle himself in social situations that she shouldn't drop him off there unattended every day?!


Heather Hansen said...

It really is the parents!

Leslie said...

The title of that entry is dead on. So many parents today enable their children to behave badly b/c they insist on making excuses for them. "It really is the parents!"

Mandy said...

I don't understand why the parents wouldn't get him to take the medication while with you at the youth centre if he takes it at other times. Surely he would need to take it all the time for it to have complete success.

Liza said...

It IS the parents! Hahaha. Tell them HH!

Kristina Patten said...

How sad that this loser mom was using the excuse that her son has ADHD as a way to get him exempted from the rules. I wonder how this kid is going to turn out when he gets older? Poor thing, at least he's getting some structure while he's with you guys.