I would first encourage you to change the language you use to describe his issues, it will help you reframe your mindset to be more helpful:
“he’s ruining his life;”
“He still does not understand at 13 that no means no;”
“If he wants to do something he will not think first;”
“He knows he needs to ask permission to do things but he doesn’t;”
Do away with words and phrases like “refuses to” and “chooses to,” and replace “is” with “can,” to help recognize that often his behavior is truly out of his control. You have to banish the idea that this behavior is on purpose, because you know it’s his ADHD brain (and maybe bipolar as you mentioned?).
For instance, change
“He still does not understand at 13 that no means no.”
“He still cannot understand at 13 that no means no.”
“If he wants to do something he will not think first.”
“If he wants to do something he cannot think first.”
I cannot recommend Ross Greene’s work and his books, The Explosive Child and Raising Human Beings, strongly enough. They will change your lives if you implement what he teaches.
In reading your story, it struck me that you have only tried one type of stimulant ADHD medication with your son: amphetamines. There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both. So, it stands to reason that it may be beneficial to try a methylphenidate. However, if he really does have bipolar, experts say stimulants can make it worse instead of better and that the bipolar should be treated first. If you suspect this or another mood disorder, talk with his doctor about it and get an evaluation.
You may find the contents of this webinar replay helpful as well:
Remember, your child isn’t giving you a hard time, he’s having a hard time.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Penny Williams.