Ask the Experts

Don’t Yell at My ADHD Son!

“I’m mad at my friend for disciplining my attention deficit preschooler! Any advice?” You’re right to be angry, says our expert.

You are absolutely right to feel angry over your friend calling out your son. You should tell her that it is your responsibility, not hers, to discipline your child. Ask her to respect your parenting skills. If you have a no-yell policy when your child acts up, tell her that as well. You might say, “I don’t yell at my children for minor things; I teach them through words and role playing.”

She may not have thought she was yelling, just raising her voice. Still, four-year-olds are sensitive to loud, mean-spirited words, as are many adults! You can ask her to kindly show the same respect toward your son that she would toward an adult. You might even ask her if she would have “yelled” at an adult in a similar situation.

Also, it is not up to her to “toughen up your son” in order to prepare him for being yelled at by others — a pretty grim scenario, by the way. Gently but firmly explain that you are the decider about the life lessons he learns.

If she disagrees or fights you on this, find another playmate for your son.

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