Reply To: Speaking before thinking

Penny Williams

Often, our kids work off instinct because they struggle to stop and think. Our primal instinct as humans is survival. And our kids with ADHD and sensory issues often feel under siege just walking around in this world.

You can change this behavior with a lot of work, consistency, and time. You should have a conversation with him about this each and every time it happens.

Parent: Tell me what happened. Why did you say, “I could get a knife and stab you!” ?

Son: They were being really loud. It was hurting my ears. They wouldn’t be quiet.

Parent: (show empathy) I know loud places are really overwhelming for you. Do you think it’s ok to tell someone you could stab them?

Son: No.

Parent: What do you think you can do differently next time you get (overwhelmed, frustrated, etc… whatever he said it was that triggered him)?

Son: Come get you?

Parent: Yes! What else? (It’s important that the child comes up with options on his own, you should not tell him what to do but facilitate him coming up with more appropriate options)

Those are all good options. Should you tell someone you want to get a knife and stab them?

Son: No.

Parent: What will you do next time you feel __________?

Son: (Should list the alternatives back to you)

Parent: That sounds like a great plan.

This will take months of having this conversation every single time, but it will work.

A therapist could help with this as well.

To Master Anger, First Understand It

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism