Handling Consequences

This is not the first time this has happened.  In fact, it may be the hundredth time I have heard a story like this.

An 11-year-old client told me that she was very distressed that her mother yelled at her a lot for having failed to turn in a homework assignment at school.  I asked her what the consequence was at school.  She said that she turned in the assignment the next day, which she had left in a folder in another classroom.  She was given a 0 the first day, but after turning it in, she was given a grade.  Having done this three times, she had a detention which is the result of three 0s.  She is not allowed to go to the other classroom the day the work is due.  As a result of the detention, she was delayed in going to her after-school choir group.  This has gotten her attention.  Finally.

Her mother prepares meals this girl does not like.  She avoids eating them, and the mother gets angry.  I asked her if her mother calls the school and asks that there be a consequence.  She laughed and said she had not.

I advocate schools provide consequences for less than ideal behavior.  I advocate that parents provide consequences at home for less than ideal behavior.  To have consequences in both locations is too much.

Hopefully, the mother will discuss her daughter’s failure to take assignments with her to the appropriate class.  Screaming achieves nothing of value.