Child behaviour fracturing family

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Child behaviour fracturing family

Viewing 10 reply threads
  • Author
    • #124574

      My almost nine-year-old daughter’s behaviour has caused many family problems. She is very reactive and demanding and emotional so we have a lot of temper tantrums and aggressive behaviour.

      She was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago. Six months later I was diagnosed with it. Four months after that my partner (her father) was diagnosed with Aspergers. I’m pretty sure he has ADHD too. It’s a lot to process and deal with!

      I’m hating myself because I feel like I should cope better. Today she hit me, bit her sister, shouted, slammed doors and told me I am the worst mother. I also know she needs boundaries and consequences.

      I feel like I’ve tried everything: lots of understanding and empathy and cuddles, being too lenient, ignoring small things and choosing my battles, and much more.

      More than anything I want conviction in my beliefs and parenting (which is hard when I doubt much of what I do, die to my own ADHD shame and self-blame) and united front from her father but he thinks she should do what she chooses. He doesn’t believe anyone should be told what to do or how to do it. This is a common Aspie/ASD belief.

      I know I and her little neurotypical little sister are suffering. How do I ensure she suffers less and the madness doesn’t continue to escalate?

    • #124586

      First off, big hugs to you all! Handling a child with ADHD is a struggle all by itself, but add in your diagnosis and your husbands diagnosis and that is a minefield! Give yourself a break from the guilt; you are handling your own diagnosis and your partners at the same time as your child’s and that is A LOT!

      After her diagnosis, what was the recommendation by the person that diagnosed her? Therapy, medication, etc? What about you and your husband, therapy, medication, etc?

      My son is 9 and is ADHD w/ anxiety/depression. He is on medication (not for everyone I know, but that is what we choose), has had therapy (currently on a break per therapist) and my husband and I both go to therapy as well. Therapy has done wonders for our family. However, we needed to find the right medication for my son before we could give therapy a try, as his brain just would not let him settle enough to get the most out of therapy. We still have small daily battles, but are in such a better place than we were a year ago.

    • #124613

      Violet, I do believe there are times when some level of discipline
      and punishment are needed. A young person, ADHD or not, is going
      to grow up and will need to be able to responsibly and rationally
      interact with the rest of society.

      She needs to understand, without question, that you, and the rest of
      society will not tolerate that kind of behavior. Again, I have no idea
      of how you interact with your daughter, but in my experience an angry
      sounding MOM can generally gain a child’s attention in a big

      Does your daughter have a list of chores or responsibilities she is supposed
      to accomplish on a daily or weekly basis? If she gets an allowance, is it earned,
      or just given?

      Also, does she have activities that keep her busy? A bored child tends to
      pack away all that energy and frustration, and the express’s itself in the
      tantrums, etc. If she’s been busy all day (active physically and mentally),
      is she more likely to be calmer in the evenings?

      Violet, I’m just an old guy who was diagnosed over 50 years ago, so my comments
      and suggestions are based on my own childhood and life experience. Honestly, I’m
      no more qualified at offering advice than any other person, but do try to
      help where I can.

      You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so remember that you can’t go
      through life walking on egg shells all the time in hopes of not upsetting
      anyone. Make the time to take care of yourself!


      • #124739

        Thank you for your kind words and guidance, JLynn37 and Mike. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

        I was very nervous about medication (as I’d believed the common myth that it’s bad for children and I could use solely natural lifestyle changes to help her feel less down and more focused) so didn’t give it to her for six months. However, when I got my diagnosis I tried medication and I couldn’t believe the difference it made: after over four decades of trying to “fix” my brain, I finally felt more like, from what I’ve deduced, neurotypicals do. My mind seemed much clearer and I felt calmer and more organised and, most importantly, emotionally level.

        I then did even more research about medication for children and realised that if my daughter DOESN’T take medication she is much more likely to go off the rails or become an alcoholic or addict or get debilitating depression or anxiety (like my siblings, one whose addiction and mental health issues led to his death, and the other who had major alcohol and addiction problems for 25 years) or just generally be incredibly disorganised and unhappy and stressed (like I have been most of my life).

        From the first day she took a small dose of Ritalin, my daughter became a more mentally stable and happier child. What a revelation!
        Medication isn’t a cure all, obviously. For three years prior to that I’d ensured she hadn’t eaten the foods that we’d witnessed exacerbated her hyperactivity, hyper-emotional behaviour and lack of focus (preservatives, glutamates, some colours and flavours – that makes a big difference), ensured she got lots of sleep and exercise and changed the way we patented her. Of course these all helped a lot but we’re still finding pieces of the puzzle that work.

        I really like your suggestions. JLynn37 – the doctor that diagnosed her ADHD never mentioned any adjunct therapies or lifestyle changes like the ones above we’d been doing for several years. She also didn’t mention counselling so thank you for suggesting it. What a great idea.

    • #124740

      Mike – I think you’re right about being tougher with our daughter. I’m absolutely too soft. I’m constantly trying to implement more appropriate consequences and boundaries but am struggling with that because her father doesn’t agree however, since his diagnosis and the counselling we’re having together, we are getting better at understanding each other and coming to agreements about parenting.

    • #124741

      JLynn37 – I will look into adjusting her medication too.

      Mike – She doesn’t have an allowance and I’ve tried to give her chores but again, her father doesn’t agree, so we’re lacking consistency. She’s pretty busy and active but you’re right: the more busy she is and more energy she’s expended, the calmer she is and quicker and easier it is to get her to sleep hence she has a longer sleep and a better next day.

      Mike – how old were you when you were diagnosed? I’d love for you to also share you best tips for adults with ADHD, please? And, btw, totes not an old guy. 60 is the new 30, and 70 is the new 40!

    • #124743

      Violet, I appreciate the kind words, but in my case it’s not so much the
      age, but the mileage. As for the story, my family has been after me to
      write a book about it. Might happen “someday”, but in the meantime if
      my life experience can of help to someone else, then I’m happy to share
      what I can.

      Here’s the highly abridged version:

      If I recall correctly (odds are good) I was diagnosed at age 7 or 8, and
      did take Ritalin for several years, and it helped tremendously with my
      school work, etc. At around 12 years old I asked my parents if I could
      stop taking it. I know it made me “different”, and I wanted to go through
      life being the “real me”, and I’d just have to learn how to overcome
      the challenges.

      The next 40 years were rather tumultuous.

      Started taking medication for the ADHD again about 2011.

      If there was anything I could change in life, I’d go get those 40 years back,
      and would never stop taking medication. If I had, without question my life would have
      been far different due to being able to think through a decision before a [usually wrong]
      choice was made.

      Odds of that happening aren’t too great, but then again, I can still be a dreamer. 🙂

      My feelings on it were that the rest of the world could care less if I’m ADHD,
      or not, so I best learn how to find ways to overcome my issues if I’m going to
      have any chance for success. Did OK in some areas, and in others it was a complete

      Hopefully, you and her dad can agree to some type of punishment for the bad behavior.
      I’m not taking “corporal” punishment at all, but a “time out”, or losing a favorite
      object for a week or two. I believe what’s most important in all of it is that she
      knows and understands why she is being punished. She will learn that her bad actions
      have consequences, and appropriate/good behavior is rewarded. As she gets older, those
      “bad action” consequences that life dishes out will be much more serious. She needs
      to begin learning her “behavior boundaries” now, as it will definitely be much more
      difficult to establish those boundaries when she reaches teenage years.

      Gonna repeat what I suggested in my first post:

      You’ve got a lot on your plate right now, so remember that you can’t go
      through life walking on egg shells all the time with hopes of not upsetting
      anyone. Make the time to take care of yourself!

    • #124759
      Penny Williams

      Being “tougher” won’t change her brain. Her brain simply works different, and it’s lagging behind with many skills, like frustration tolerance, self-awareness, emotional regulation, etc. The path to improvement is to set clear expectations that also take into account that she’s 2-3 years behind in these skills, and to work on building these skills with understanding and compassion.

      Remember, your child isn’t giving you a hard time, she’s HAVING a hard time.

      Your Child Is Not Giving You a Hard Time. Your Child Is Having a Hard Time.

      I am a huge fan of Ross Greene’s CPS model and it’s the foundation of what I teach parents as well. I recommend you read his book, “Raising Human Beings.” Implementing his approach will change your lives and your family.

      Time for Plan B? 10 Tips for Dealing with an Explosive Child

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

      • #124918

        Penny, I always appreciate the hard-won wisdom you share with those of us struggling to raise our ADHD kids. However,for some reason, your comments always show up with each sentence cut off on the right side when I try to view them here on the forum page. It’s frustrating to not be able to see everything you wrote. Has anyone else experienced this? I have no problem viewing the complete comments of regular participants. Perhaps your moderator status uses a different input format that causes this problem? I’ve done everything I can on my end to try to rectify this. Hoping you can look into it on your end. Many thanks, Ann

      • #125240
        Penny Williams

        We are looking into this. It’s not cut off for me so I’m not seeing it.

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

    • #124935

      AnnW, I am seeing the same with Penny’s message being cut off on the right side. Denise

    • #125074

      Hi Violet, WOW!! You sound like a VERY strong woman even if you aren’t feeling like one.
      I am so sorry to hear of all the action happening in your life/household, and there will
      Be a light at the end of the tunnel, it will take time, but you will see it. I have
      Two boys 11 and 14 who were both just diagnosed within the last four months as well as me
      Also having Adult ADHD! It’s been a real party
      Here, especially this summer! The things
      That we are trying is essential oils,
      Crystals (shungite, black tourmaline,
      Amethyst, labradorite and Rose Quartz
      Have helped a lot too. The first two crystals
      Help with grounding and protection and
      With EMFs. We turn wifi off at night which
      Has helped with sleep. We all sleep better
      And feel more rested in the morning. Salt
      Lamps help with EMFs too, but also clean
      The air. We threw away all of our personal
      Products like shampoo/rinse, soap and a
      Big one was toothpaste! We use a remineralized
      Toothpowder that detoxes the mouth, reverses cavities and polishes our teeth like we
      Just came from the dentist! I also threw
      Out all our chemical cleaners and air
      Fresheners and diffuse or make cleaner
      Using essential oils. I am NOT crafty,
      I like convenience but I want to help my
      Boys more. I’m also checking into the
      Neuro-Feedback that PlayAttention has
      Introduced me to. We are a one income
      Family and I’m going to see if the disability
      Program, offered here in Canada, will fund or help us to get it to help improve their
      Executive skills. I’m also trying desperately
      To get it into our local schools to help
      Other students that are struggling and will
      Continue to struggle through their lives!
      This program would give at risk children
      this important information, that they most
      Certainly won’t get any other way, into their
      Lives, making what I think, a SIGNIFICANT
      Impact and difference in and on their
      lives! I have been learning everything I possibly can about ADD/ADHD and how to
      help our boys to be successful and boost
      their self esteem. There’s a website I
      Just found called Totally ADHD Rick Green
      is the guy it’s about, but he makes it
      interesting as he’s a comedian as well as
      has ADHD himself, and full of great information.
      I am struggling too as I have just gone on
      ADHD meds myself for the first time in my life,
      and I’m feeling somewhat less anxious
      and scattered. So it’s a bit of a gong show here
      too. I swear my husband (their dad) has
      It too, but of course he doesn’t see it
      at all! Lol I’m very discouraged some days,
      Plus I just had my 4th bowel resection
      Last August and a total knee replacement surgery
      Three months later, so still recovering
      From the knee surgery. But knowledge is power and I told my boys that. I said learn all
      you can about ADHD so you are informed
      and not a victim. Having this doesn’t mean
      mean a death sentence or anything bad!
      it is something we all have and is like
      having blonde hair or brown eyes! It doesn’t
      have to ruin your life. Find what interests
      you and make a goal to learn all you can
      about it and see if it’s something you
      really want in your life. Baby steps can
      turn into the greatest things in life. When I
      Give time outs, I put a TED talk on (if I can
      Find something that they just did then I use
      It as a teachable moment, or it’s just funny
      To me to watch them squirm because they HAVE to
      Listen to it. It’s amazing what they have learned.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by MamaBear2.
    • #125077

      I have started shopping at our 3 health
      Food stores here and when they have their 20%
      Off sales then I can get the more natural
      Shampoos/rinses, underarm deodorants,
      Ingredients for dishwasher soap, laundry
      Soap, toothpowder,essential oils,
      Reusable straws, grew some tomatoes,
      Purple peppers, squash and cucumbers.
      Tomatoes are the only thing that has
      Produced anything as of yet. We’re
      Using olive oil and coconut oil now
      And can use them as carrier oils with
      The essential oils so they don’t burn
      Our skin. We are also trying to have smoothies
      Every morning too. Our 11 year old
      Is on supplements and in a study at
      Our university and our 14 year old is on
      ADHD Medicine, his third try. It’s been
      Such a struggle getting them diagnosed
      And then learning all of the changes
      And implementing them that I feel like my head
      Will explode. So adding in some adults
      Who can’t be bothered to learn about
      This disorder, is last on my list.
      I don’t have time to educate, then
      Re-educate them because they can’t seem
      To want to learn because then THEY
      Have to change their ways. They are
      Missing out/missed out on two awesome boys
      and I feel sad for the 4 of them People
      Make their own choices and then they
      Have to live with the consequences.
      I have zero patience for people who
      Expect everyone to change just for
      Them and then act like a victim! Your girls are
      Obviously old enough and mature enough to
      Make those connections, and as sad as it
      Is, it is what it is until they buck up
      and stop making everyone uncomfortable
      Because they don’t understand. You are so right
      About if it was a visible disability
      They would treat her differently! Maybe
      Your youngest got ADHD from one of
      them? Lol I am not special nor am I
      Boasting about anything, and I hope
      That comes across. I like Mike, like to help if
      I am able, that’s all. I believe and
      Have believed since pregnancy, that
      It takes a village to raise our babies
      And I still believe it, maybe even
      More now.

    • #125121

      as a therapist with 8 kids, some of whom have ADHD and having inattentive adhd myself, there is so much more to dealing with it than JUST parenting or medication. although parenting is especially important, just to do that is going to differ with each child. what each child needs is consistency. decide what your boundaries are and where you need to draw the line with your child, write them down and what the consequences will be and go over this with your child, in a very matter of fact way. explain that when they act a certain way, what you as a parent hear is that they really want negative consequences. There are potentially negative or positive consequences to everything and it is their choice what they receive. Make this clear. then FOLLOW THROUGH! this is the most critical point as it teaches them that others will do this as well, in job placemment and as well as with their own children, who will be your grandchildren.

Viewing 10 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.