With Kieran, positive reinforcement is key.
He really does not respond to other types of discipline, especially tough love.
I remember one time that I said how disappointed I was with a choice he made.
He proceeded to cry and share how unloveable he was.
I was stopped in my tracks.
I took it all back.
I wound up apologizing to him.
Not only had he taking my words seriously, he took them too seriously.
He did another thing as well.
He noted my response…
The next time we were in a similar situation, even though I tread lightly, he immediately brought out the “unlovable” argument.
He was manipulating me!
I learned my lesson.
In sixth grade, I also learned an important lesson about what doesn’t work with my child.
My tipping point of defending him, instead of acknowledging his mistake.
One of his teachers, frustrated with his behavior (and rightly frustrated), asked Kieran in front of the class if he needed to be brought to my office (which was located adjacent to his school) in order to listen.
Not only was this lesson and his behavior lost on Kieran, he was so embarrassed that he wound up losing trust in the teacher for a while.
He literally saw red when he explained to me what happened.
If he had been approached privately, he might have been penitent.
I learned that when I need to address Kieran, I will have more success in redirecting his behavior, appealing to his logical mind, or asking him for a favor.
Tough love is too tough for this sensitive kid.