Behavior Blues: What You Need To Know About Teen Suspension

September 1, 2015  |  

It’s 9:00 a.m. and you just sat down at your desk to take the first sip of your hot coffee. Relaxed and ready to start the workday, you receive a call from your child’s school that you must come right away. Once you arrive you discover that they have been suspended… again. It’s important as a parent to understand the different kind of school suspensions so that you know how to handle the situation. The process differs per school and state, but generally goes something like this:

In-school suspension is when your child is taken out of her classes and put into a separate room where she does her work and has lunch for the entire day.

Out-of-school suspension is usually a number of days when your child is not allowed to go to school. And this one usually means they can’t go to any extracurricular activities or other school activities like a dance or sports game.

Expulsion is when they are removed from the school and not allowed to attend school or school-related activities for a long time period. This usually forces a parent to have to take off work because an expulsion involves having to go before the school board for a hearing.

Once an incident happens at school consider the following tips…

Listen

It’s important that you really listen to their side of the story and absorb what they are saying. Even if they were in the wrong it’s important for them to know that you want to hear their side and not just fuss and shut them down.

Know The School Rules

Most schools give every family a student handbook that list the rules for behavior and what happens if those rules are broken. This is a book that you should make the time to go through with your child. Make sure that when the principal tells you they are suspended, they are clear about what rule was broken and where it is in the handbook. If you feel like what they are saying isn’t justified and that your child wasn’t wrong you can contact your local department of education to find out what to do next.

Take Time To Process

It’s natural to panic when this happens and it’s ok to be mad but try not to lash out because it’s not very effective. Instead of spiraling out of control, take some deep breaths, step away, and try to relax. Then ask yourself “what lesson can they take away from this?”

Punishment

It’s important for your child to learn that there are consequences for their actions. If they are suspended or expelled and have to stay home you should come up with a schedule for them. Maybe they can get up the same time they would on a school day, they can work on homework first and then chores. If they are home alone it’s unrealistic to think they won’t watch TV or try to find their video games so you may want to consider allowing them to do this once everything is done. Now, if they aren’t abiding by your rules of homework and chores you can go to the next step and have their cell phone turned off or put away their games so they don’t have access until they start cooperating.

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