Physical Aggression

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    • #63458

      My daughter has ADD, primarily inattentive. She is 11 and her emotions and anger have gotten so much worse in the past year, despite therapy, different meds (she is currently not taking anything) and reward systems. She is a tall girl, close to my height (5’5″) and has taken to being physically aggressive with me when she gets angry. She grabs my arm, will block my way, and kicked me this morning. Her therapist says that it needs to stop, but I can’t get her to listen to control herself no matter what I do. Anyone else deal with this? I am getting a little scared.

    • #63590
      Penny Williams

      Ross Greene teaches us that “behavior is communication,” in his book, The Explosive Child. So, what is she trying to communicate when she’s getting angry and lashing out? Frustration? Overwhelm? Poor self-regulation that needs strengthening? Feeling misunderstood or like her input isn’t being heard? These are just a few of the many possibilities.

      Start by noticing what is going on and what environment she’s in when this happens. Address any triggers you discern. The only way to change behavior is to work on the reason WHY behind it.

      I can tell you, starting puberty, especially in girls, is tough. It’s a very confusing and emotional time for kids.

      Here’s more insights:

      Exaggerated Emotions: How and Why ADHD Triggers Intense Feelings

      When His Anger Overpowers Logic — and Love

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

    • #64340

      I am an educational advocate who advocates for children who have learning disabilities or any other condition which impacts them in school. Ask the school district to do a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation on your daughter. Make sure they do a BASC and BRIEF. The BASC deals with evaluating behaviors. The BRIEF deals with executive functioning skills. People with ADHD/ADD can have difficulty with their executive functioning skills. Both of these are questionaires you will complete and at least by two of her teachers. The psychologist who does the psycho-educational evaluation will this information to help determine how your daughter is being impacted in these areas. If you have any questions please feel free to call me at 404-988-4411. You can also view my website if you like:

    • #64341

      My daughter started to become the same way at about the same age. She too was tall and while not as mature as her friends, she was growing up (hormonally) much faster than other girls. She was always the tallest child, but eventually stopped at 5’4.

      I can’t tell you how to handle her, but I can tell you what I have dealt with over the past 4 years (she is now 15). She has always been quick to explode since a child, but I never realized that she was ADHD until she was around 9 or 10. She has slammed more doors putting holes in the walls, blocking me, and just being aggressive when she was angry with something I wouldn’t let her do or if she was going to get into trouble for something she did. I tried putting her on ADHD medication, but she didn’t like the way it felt and I feared making her take meds against her will. So I didn’t keep her on them.

      Long story short, I just refused to raise my voice, react or feed into it. I just walked away, went outside, or locked myself in my room until she would calm down. Shutting down internet and her cell phone. I would only threaten police interference if needed. They want you to react – misery loves company. I can’t tell you how many times I would hear the same story – “I hate you, I hate living here, I want to leave”. I would tell her she could walk out the door at anytime, but once she leaves I have an obligation to report her as a runaway. Each time she would stop and go back to her room. I am still fixing the door frame from the last slam.

      She refused to talk to a therapist saying she wouldn’t talk, and she was right. Each time I tried to take her it was a waste of time and money. Eventually, she would come around and apologize. Even then it was difficult to discuss, in fear it could heat the temper all over again. But each time, I tried to discuss the situation just to lead by example. A few months ago, I realized it wasn’t ADHD, but her extreme anxiety issues. I got her in to see a psychiatrist who put her on Prozac temporarily (safest for children under 18). For my daughter, it wasn’t her ADHD that was the explosion, it was the anxiety of getting in trouble for something she did (which was the trigger point for her aggression). Similar to starting a war to divert from the issue at hand. She is getting better and is starting to get to that place where she is understanding that her reactions will create loss of privileges at an age where she is starting to care about things like driving, cell phones, freedom, dating, etc. I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but we still have a long way to go. She is a good kid at heart and is well behaved outside of the house. I hope this helps you realize you’re not alone and it is so hard not to over react, but see if you can find if there is a common trigger and remember the good in them.

    • #64346

      Millysmom: I am raising my grandson, a child with ADHD, executive function disorder, OCD, DMDD (a mood disorder similar to bi-polar disorder), an explosive disorder, and a couple more similar disorders. My grandson was neglected as an infant and toddler. Anger has been a never-ending issue since he came to live with me at 3 years old. This year he turned 12 years old. Life is getting harder and harder for me to live with him. More than a year ago my grandson would be doing great for a long period of time, then he would become volatile. He was aggressive and angry during these volatile episodes. At one point he kicked new piece of furniture (bending the leg way in) and then broke that leg off the table. I was laying on my bed. He came over by me with the table leg raised over his head ready to bean me with it. Several times during the year he pinned me down in on my bed during these episodes. He has taken medications and we have been in counseling for a long time. We did find out one of the things that would set him off and that was watching certain things and playing certain games on U-tube. Things improved for a while but the serious aggression has returned with a vengeance. My grandson will not let me leave the room, he tells me to shut up and when I do he gets really angry when I won’t answer. He circled my arms to my sides and refused to let me go almost toppling me to the floor. He wouldn’t let me go until I told him he was going to miss his bus. My grandson’s counselor has told me that my grandson needs to be held accountable for his actions or things will only get worse. The other night he hit me over the head with something hard. I ended up calling the police. The officers talked a long time with my grandson and I. I have been told that if I don’t follow-through with contacting the police when my grandson is doing these things to me that he will eventually kill me. Don’t let your daughter continue to abuse you. Help her by realizing you can’t continue to take the abuse and then call for help from the authorities. This was not an easy thing to do but we have to realize we aren’t helping them by continuing to allow them to abuse us.

      My grandson had a neuropsychological testing that included the BASF and BRIEF done.

    • #64513

      No, you’re not alone in this. So glad I saw this post, because it so applies. My Son is 12 y/o with ADHD and on Concerta. While my Son has not gotten physical in any way, he has made an enormous change and not for the better. I can only attribute this to his hormonal changes as he has developed very quickly. The trigger I see in him is whenever I say NO to something he wants. Could be a game he wants, a meal from a restaurant after I’ve cooked or something that I think he’s not ready for yet. More recently he wanted a cell phone. Other triggers are when I ask him to do daily things such as bathe, do homework, go to bed or lower his voice or change his attitude as he has become quite rude in his responses, as well as cruel in his remarks both to me and his Grandmother. While I understand from other parents that at his age, the changes his body is going thru may explain some of this, it does make it difficult for a parent to control certain situations, especially when you’re a single full time working parent who has an elder parent to also deal with in the home. This is all made worse when he spends time at his Dad’s house every other weekend where there are no rules and he is allowed to do and have mostly everything he wants. This directly contradicts his daily life in my home where there is routine, rules to follow, chores, responsibilities as well as rewards when they are deserved. I find my Son has become very manipulative as well and often puts parent against parent, knowing that it will cause an upset. I’m trying to work with his Dad to find a happy medium, but my Son’s behavior makes it very difficult to find peace and harmony in the home and make our time together enjoyable. I have tried making my thoughts known to him and when he goes into a frenzy, have walked away to avoid conflict without having to back down as a parent and that seems to work and once he figures out he’s not going to get his way, he does apologize, but that doesn’t last very long and I find it’s just a manipulation he uses to try and finesse what he wants out of me even though I’ve made that decision already and then it starts all over again. He does things on purpose to annoy and upset those around him. My next step is to find a good child/adolescent psychologist that may hopefully help all of us during this very difficult time. Please know that there are many of us going thru the same exact crisis and sometimes talking about it to either a professional or others with similar issues, does help. Anyone who has any other solutions that have worked for them, please post here. Thank you !

    • #64567

      Thank-you so much to everyone. I always feel like the odd mom out in my group of friends so it feels somewhat good (though sad) that I am not alone. She had neuropsych testing just last week, I get the results Thursday and am anxiously awaiting them. I know that she is frustrated, but she will never talk about it with us or with her therapist. I tell her all the time (as does my husband) that we are here for her, we will let her talk about anything that is troubling her and she just always replies with “I don’t know.”

      “The trigger I see in him is whenever I say NO to something he wants. Could be a game he wants, a meal from a restaurant after I’ve cooked or something that I think he’s not ready for yet. More recently he wanted a cell phone. Other triggers are when I ask him to do daily things such as bathe, do homework, go to bed or lower his voice or change his attitude as he has become quite rude in his responses, as well as cruel in his remarks”

      This is my daughter word for word. Her physical aggression is not nearly as bad as her verbal, but same thing. Our psychologist is fine (she also has a psychiatrist), but they are only as good as they can be when she refuses to acknowledge that she does this stuff to them or just plain won’t talk about it. I honestly never knew ADHD could be so draining.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Millysmom.
    • #65671

      Take the time and ask the child what is triggering their response. Sometimes you have to do it when you aren’t in the situation. It’s usually something else that is making them upset. Talk to them when they are calm and see if you can find out. Also make sure they aren’t taking too much Ritalin or whatever they may be taking. Sometimes they think more is better but it also can amp up their frustrations. A specialist in the field had my son taking so much that he was a totally different person. I couldn’t believe he would prescribe so much for him. We were out of there in a flash!!!

    • #65698

      Good lord thank goodness I found my squad..I am going thru the same thing but I have a 9 year old with ADHD and ODD that just reared its ugly head.. I have been told Im a bad mom..he hates me etc etc have had things thrown at me and doors slammed all day long..the new thing is leaving the house and walking dow the street if I follow him he runs so basically I sit and watch him so cars don’t hit him..I am broken down emotionally and still try to have a smile at my high pressure job I have..we are trying therapy again..I have read the books etc and my child doesn’t even care if he doesn’t get rewarded for something he just does without..Then if I tell him no and try to explain to him why he goes off in a rage and the neighbors think Im abusing him..I am working with his drs on meds and therapy so hopefully we can find an answer..but its nice to know I am not alone

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