I have a 8th grade (13-year old) student who seems to always feel like the adults in his life are out to get him.
His behaviors are very blatant and often obnoxious, yet when a teacher calls him on it, he feels like the teacher is picking on him.
For example, this morning he kicked another student while working together at a table. It wasn’t the end of the world since the students were decent acquaintances, but it still was a distraction to both their learning. So we had him move to another desk. Once there, he proceeded to make random utterances, thus disrupting the class again.
As a side note, this is a student who is perfectly capable of devoting quiet attention to a task for hours on end – I have seen it. So we are not asking of him things he is not capable of doing.
So we needed him to leave the classroom and go to another one just down the hall. This was in his eyes a major offense on our part.
No matter how an adult tries to reason with him, we are met with a response like “I don’t understand why you guys always have to pick on me…” As if he wasn’t doing something worthy of being removed. We have tried to reason with him (both in the heat of the moment and when he’s calm), but he maintains the fact that we are singling him out as a “bad kid” when he’s doing nothing different than the rest in the class.
Watching a video of himself in such situations yields no better results. He still perceives that adults are out to get him.
I am crying out in desperation here for some intervention techniques for this boy. He is in a social skills class, so we have the opportunity to role play scenarios and such.
I am just at a loss for how to retrain him to understand that HE is in control of his life. When he messes up, something bad can happen (and at school, we do our best to ensure there is a consequence).
Does anyone have any strategies for dealing with this victim mentality – or some insight as to his mis-perceptions? We love this boy and want him to take ownership for his mistakes.