Three days of out of school suspension (OSS). 😞
Recently our son received three days of OSS for aggressive behavior towards his teacher. I have mentioned before about my son's struggle with a mental illness. He feels things so much stronger than most people. From happiness to sadness to anger and everything in between. It is very difficult for him to regulate his emotions. This causes him to be incredibly caring and very emphatic, but also act out when angry.
The consequences of his behaviors effect our whole family. It is heart wrenching to see his struggle. He wants to be included, to be "normal." He is very sad and apologetic after he calms down and it hurts him to know how he acted.
Understandably, this effects his ability to have friends, be successful on a team, and make it through the school day without problems. This most recent behavior that lead to suspension was severe.
We do so much to help him. He has numerous community supports he works with (mental health and medical) and a team at school. We've participated in parent/child interaction therapy. We've tried behavioral charts, earning privileges, loss of privileges, and grounding. I believe some of it helps but we're not where we want to be. Not yet.
I cried today while in a conference meeting with my son's school team. I hate he acted the way he did and I hate that mental illness has such a strong grip on him right now. But. . .
We won't give up. We'll keep fighting. He will be successful!
I share this not to evoke sympathy but to give you a small slice to how mental illness can effect a person, a family.
I want to end with mentioning that aggression towards others is not common in those that have a mental illness. In fact, aggression towards oneself is much more likely in those suffering then aggression outward. But no matter how the symptoms manifest, we must keep fighting.
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.