Fights between multiple ADHD siblings

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    • #78057

      I have several kids with ADHD. The amount of conflict is high. So much lashing out and impulsive and mean behavior over the pettiest of irritations. It is so wearing and stressful. Sometimes it is hard to even enjoy them.

      Please help me curb the fighting. I’ve tried so many positive parenting things, bonding activities, etc. I’m exhausted and burned out. Help!

    • #78063
      Penny Williams

      Unfortunately, even neurotypical siblings do a lot of fighting. Adding ADHD to the mix means adding impulsivity (no holding back) and a need for stimulation that can show up as picking fights and such.

      Why We Crave the Drama That Sabotages Relationships

      Family therapy or some professional social skills help might be necessary, to teach your children to specifically get along with each other. If there are activities they all enjoy, do those as much as possible and then have them do some individual things alone in between. No siblings can stand to be together every moment.

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

    • #78079

      Thank you for your response.

      We do have a therapist that works with our family. She specifically tries to help with these issues. And yes, we do the other things you’ve suggested. I admit I’m not feeling very hopeful. What do you do when you’ve tried everything you can think of and things are still so unkind and tense? Do you just require they be as quiet as you can? “No talking unless you can be kind?” And then when they just can’t hold their words inside, THEN what?

    • #78294

      Following…. my 2 older ADHD kids fight CONSTANTLY!!! I am at a loss also 😭 We r fairly in our diagnosis and just started meds 3&6 months ago. When meds first started it was night and day, no more fighting, finally getting a long and playing cooperatively. In the last bit that’s change and seem to be going rapidly backwards. It disrupts our whole house – it’s so much!

    • #78328

      My ADHD kids are 11 (girl) and 8 (boy). They really dislike each other most of the time. I also have a neurotypical girl between them in age. I feel so badly for her when her siblings create a loud and negative environment.
      Leah, I must have said “No talking unless you can be kind” every day this week! It’s gotten me nowhere. I’m mostly writing to commiserate with y’all because it is so tough to witness, especially when nothing I try gets us to a happier, calmer space.
      Once when my 2 were at their worst I made them walk around a small pond holding hands. It was probably about 1/4 mile and I could see them the whole time. It was in the evening and I said they couldn’t come back in until they did it. As expected, they finished the walk as friends. Of course the next day they were at it again, but we got through the previous night before things escalated to unacceptable levels.
      We just got a dog that they both love, so next time they’ll be walking the dog together.

    • #78860

      Thank you for your understanding replies! It means so much that others “get it.” Yes, Jess, it disrupts the whole house so much! Besides the stressful environment it creates, it also regularly gets in the way of us accomplishing things in any kind of timely manner because we get derailed by so many fights.

      You know, Lenette, the comment about the holding hands… that jogs my memory. A couple times I’ve put the kids together in their dad’s shirt or had them put one arm around each other’s waist, so that each child only had one hand free. And they had to work together on a job using one hand from each child. It worked beautifully. Oh, at first, there was even more fighting and worse attitudes that drove me to desperation to think of the solution in the first place. But after a bit, they figured out that they’d have to work together and they did. We even ended up with some laughter. Ok, I need to use this more often. Thanks for jogging my memory!

      And to both of you… I’m thinking of you both now as I go through my days with the kids. Hugs to you both!

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