Discipline and behaviour

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    • #55216

      My son who is 13 not only had adhd but he also has high anxiety which causes him to act out and do things without thinking. This happens when he’s on his medication and off his medication. He has this one friend that he goes to his house every single day. He already broke their lap top and he replaced it with his own money and apologize for it. They forgave him. Well the other day he took a bite out of their pool cuz him and the friend were fighting. He’s now grounded. We talked and he kinda understands but hasn’t stop the behaviour. So my question is how long should his punishment be and how can I help stop this behaviour so he understands it’s unacceptable

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Nessa.
    • #55226

      What’s the situation with his father?

      • #55266

        His father is physically there but when it comes to being a parent, he more like his best friend

      • #58603

        Whelp, that’s going to be 90% of the issue, I’m sorry to say. 🙁

        Sounds like someone else needs to grow up first, or his kid doesn’t have much of a chance. I’d ask him if he actually loves his kid or just likes that his kid makes him feel good about himself, because so far it’s the second–couched however it needs to be to be effective and not to burnt-earth sort of thing.

        • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by gentlygenli.
    • #55253
      Penny Williams

      Hi @Nessa!

      Unfortunately, traditional discipline strategies usually don’t work for kids with ADHD. His brain doesn’t stop and weigh consequences before taking action most of the time. That’s why he ends up doing things he shouldn’t, and regrets them. This is impulsivity. Your discipline could be helping — he might make these mistakes more often without it. But, what more can you do to help him not do things he will regret and that get him into trouble?

      You’re on the right track with natural consequences: you break it, you pay for it.

      In addition, I suggest that you work on anger management and frustration tolerance skills. That’s where he’s crossing the line with his behavior. Here’s how I addressed changing this type of behavior (my son was younger, but the same general systematic approach works at all ages):

      “How I Helped My Son Stop Hitting Classmates”

      Make sure you are modeling and discussing appropriate behavior when you are angry or frustrated as well.

      Here are some discipline strategies that work for kids with ADHD:

      Your Free Expert Guide: 50 Tips for How to Discipline a Child with ADHD

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

      • #55375

        I already do all that. I feel like it’s not getting through to him. I’m just trying to find a solution so he doesn’t loose any friends cuz of it and parents might not be as understanding especially if don’t have a child who’s adhd

    • #55281

      Nessa, you are very much not alone in the comment you made about his father acting like a friend. For years we haven’t been producing fathers who are positive mature male role models, and who can also spend enough time with their children. This places a burden on mothers and society in general. Boys especially need a kind of discipline that’s done in a caring and positive way, and most people have never experienced a male figure that can deliver on those qualities.

      I copied this from an article that has some suggestions.

      Many of today’s fathers did not have positive role models to show them how to be a father, so they are not there to show their children what it means to be a father.
      No matter how great a mother is, she cannot replace what a father provides to a child. Irrefutable research shows that mothers are typically nurturing, soft, gentle, comforting, protective and emotional. Fathers tend to encourage risk-taking and to be challenging, prodding, loud, playful and physical. Children need a balance of protection and reasonable risk-taking. If a positive male role model isn’t around, there is a void in this child’s life. Children without positive male role models are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, premarital sexual activity, do poorer in school and participate in unhealthy activities.

      Studies have shown that involvement of a father or a positive male role model has profound effects on children. Father-child interaction promotes a child’s physical well-being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others. Furthermore, these children demonstrate greater ability to take initiative and evidence self-control.

      How can you make a positive difference for these children?

      Encourage positive male role model involvement in your child’s life if you’re a mom.
      If you’re a non-custodial dad, make the effort to visit with your children more often. You can also be very intentional about teaching them important life lessons.
      If you are an educator, encourage fathers to be more active in the classroom.
      You can influence the lives of children in your community be being a positive male role model.
      Faith-based institutions and programs can bring fathers together with their children.
      Additionally, they can encourage male role models to engage children in their sphere of influence.
      Business leaders can encourage employee involvement in community efforts with children.
      For example, you can promote mentoring with organizations like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, youth groups, Boys Club or Girls, Inc.

      • #55374

        We are not together and he does have uncles that he adores and looks up to but they’re 4 hours aways so always seeing them doesn’t happen. I do have a boyfriend who he sees does a lot of “make roles” and if more interactive with him and teaches his stuff that his father hasn’t taught him like basic stuff like mowing the lawn and using a hammer. I know his dad not being there as he should would have an impact with him but I try. Plus he still lives at his mother place who does most if not all of the parenring

    • #55442

      I agree with ADHDmomma that natural consequences are best. Whatever he does, he needs to feel the sting of the repercussions of his choices (and not be shielded from them) and he needs to be responsible to make any wrongs right, whether it’s through money or some other way, which is sounds like he’s been doing.

      Unfortunately for him, if he continues this behavior, one of the natural consequences might be just what you said you fear: losing friends and encountering parents who may not be as understanding. There isn’t much you can do to keep that from happening–you can’t change his behavior for him. But, maybe those kinds of hard consequences are just what he needs in order for him to really see the importance of learning new skills and making different choices (and being willing to get help, like taking medication, going to counseling, working on etc.) Better he learn now at his age that “if I do x,y,z I will lose friends and make adults really angry” than to wait til he’s an adult and suffer worse consequences than this, like making a boss mad or alienating a spouse beyond repair.

      In terms of how long you should ground him for this latest issue, you might want to approach it in a different way by calmly saying, “It seems like you are not able to control yourself over there. Until I see evidence at home that you’re able to manage yourself better, you will not be able to go over to friends houses.” (i.e., you explain that you are removing him from a situation that he is not prepared to handle– not so much as ‘punishment’ but really just because he obviously can’t control himself in that environment so as a protection to him and to the other family, you have decided it’s best to wait til he’s “ready” to be over there again. You can tell him that when he proves he can manage himself better, i.e., when you see at home that he is much better able to manage his moods, impulses, etc. then you will allow him to go back over there.) In the meantime, you could allow him to spend time with friends at your house when you are home to keep an eye on things and intervene if things get out of control.

      Hope this helps!

      Joyce Mabe
      Parenting Coach, school counselor, author, mom of adult son with ADHD
      website: http://www.parentcoachjoyce.com

      • #55580

        He’s already on medication but he tried to make excuses like he mean to me anyways and they don’t really like me. But if that really is case he wouldn’t constantly wanting to go there. This happened under his father and grandmother care and to find out he hasn’t even apologize or anything yet. I know he feels bad but it’s like he just not getting it and it his 1 friend who he was around all the time. I feel like he got to comfortable and he just figures he will be able to go back there again like No big deal

    • #56936
      Jen relate

      I can relate to what you are saying. One other thing you need to remember that at 13 puberty also is now playing a big part in the way your son is. His emotions are all over the map.
      Your are doing a great job. This is a hard time for them and us. Keep up the great work that your are doing and remember that all your hard work will pay off as he gets older

    • #56953

      I have been in your position. My son is now 24 and I can only tell you that THIS TOO SHALL PASS! He won’t be making these frustrating choices forever. It was very difficult to separate his behavior from the wonderful child that he is…and even more difficult to separate my own sense of failure as a parent from his behavior. But, none-the-less, we learned and progressed.

      I realized that if his behavior is out of control, he’s not recognizing his own cues to frustration early enough. We really worked hard on becoming aware of what began “the spiral”…and then learned to take responsibility for the actions following. You may not be able to change the circumstances surrounding you, but at least you have a CHANCE at changing your response. It’s a muscle that’s difficult to develop when you have an impulsive streak, but IT CAN BE DONE. It’s a collaboration between you and your child, helping him to become more aware of himself and his choices. If YOU are frustrated with the outcome of his behaviour, just imagine the frustration and embarrassment he may be experiencing (although well hidden to save face). He needs you on his side, helping him to tackle this “monster” called ADHD and wrangle it into subservience!

      We found Ross Greene’s book, The Explosive Child, to be extremely helpful and a counselor (savvy to this approach) in our area that supported us as we navigated this challenge as a family. I believe he has a new book out called Raising Human Beings.

      Best to you and your family as you make your way through!


    • #56985

      Nessa, I feel your pain. You may consider teaching instead of just discipline. When everyone is calm – e.g. the next day, ask him to role play what happened, and what are the different options for how to react. Do the proper response ten times. It’s breaking a habit (explain that), so it will take patience and repetition. I tried discipline for years, but only this seems to work, as non-intuitive as not using punishment sounds. I think it has to do with a delayed ability to think about consequences. I’m not advocating no natural consequences – teaching him the skills can be as important. Good luck. Susan

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