Reply To: My 7 year old son with ADHD is violent and aggressive to me. I am desperate.

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents My 7 year old son with ADHD is violent and aggressive to me. I am desperate. Reply To: My 7 year old son with ADHD is violent and aggressive to me. I am desperate.

#98065
Juliana C
Participant

Hello,

I’m ADHD-diagnosed and, during my youth, exhibited extremely violent behavior, often for no reason. I was kind of a hellion.

In my experience, such meltdowns are the result of a specific instance, most often a request. It doesn’t matter how politely phrased it is, it’s the fact that it’s a request and communication. He’s not doing it deliberately, he’s completely out of control of his emotions in that moment.

What you’re looking for seems to be a way of quelling the outbursts while ensuring that he follows directions, right? That’s hard. It isn’t a choice to continue acting out once you’ve started. In that moment, I’d say that what he really wants is to be left alone. Trying to calm him down or talking to him is probably making it worse. You’re the source of distress in that moment, not comfort. Hunger often makes it worse, which is likely why the shower order made him fly off the handle.

With regards to public incidents, it’s important to remember that he’s embarrassed by them too. Like I said earlier, he probably wants to be alone, even if he follows you if you try to leave the confrontation. Children are powerless when it comes to parental orders and in truth have little expectation or right to privacy. If you enter his room uninvited, he probably feels defensive and invaded.

Really, the key to these episodes is that compromise is important. The best way to handle an episode in progress is to leave him alone and let him calm down on his own- don’t talk to him, don’t try to tell him he’s being irrational, and especially don’t reach out to touch him. He doesn’t want it.

I’m not trying to say to let him walk all over you, especially when you’re trying to assert hard-and-fast boundaries, but commands that are absolute and make no sense to him are going to upset him.

That’s my advice. Sorry for how long the post is and how the advice may seem to fly in the face of what you’ve been told or how you feel, instinctively, that you should handle it. Good luck and I hope this helps.