Reply To: Physical Aggression


My daughter started to become the same way at about the same age. She too was tall and while not as mature as her friends, she was growing up (hormonally) much faster than other girls. She was always the tallest child, but eventually stopped at 5’4.

I can’t tell you how to handle her, but I can tell you what I have dealt with over the past 4 years (she is now 15). She has always been quick to explode since a child, but I never realized that she was ADHD until she was around 9 or 10. She has slammed more doors putting holes in the walls, blocking me, and just being aggressive when she was angry with something I wouldn’t let her do or if she was going to get into trouble for something she did. I tried putting her on ADHD medication, but she didn’t like the way it felt and I feared making her take meds against her will. So I didn’t keep her on them.

Long story short, I just refused to raise my voice, react or feed into it. I just walked away, went outside, or locked myself in my room until she would calm down. Shutting down internet and her cell phone. I would only threaten police interference if needed. They want you to react – misery loves company. I can’t tell you how many times I would hear the same story – “I hate you, I hate living here, I want to leave”. I would tell her she could walk out the door at anytime, but once she leaves I have an obligation to report her as a runaway. Each time she would stop and go back to her room. I am still fixing the door frame from the last slam.

She refused to talk to a therapist saying she wouldn’t talk, and she was right. Each time I tried to take her it was a waste of time and money. Eventually, she would come around and apologize. Even then it was difficult to discuss, in fear it could heat the temper all over again. But each time, I tried to discuss the situation just to lead by example. A few months ago, I realized it wasn’t ADHD, but her extreme anxiety issues. I got her in to see a psychiatrist who put her on Prozac temporarily (safest for children under 18). For my daughter, it wasn’t her ADHD that was the explosion, it was the anxiety of getting in trouble for something she did (which was the trigger point for her aggression). Similar to starting a war to divert from the issue at hand. She is getting better and is starting to get to that place where she is understanding that her reactions will create loss of privileges at an age where she is starting to care about things like driving, cell phones, freedom, dating, etc. I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a long way to go. She is a good kid at heart and is well behaved outside of the house. I hope this helps you realize you’re not alone and it is so hard not to over react, but see if you can find if there is a common trigger and remember the good in them.