Running out of patience..

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This topic contains 58 replies, has 39 voices, and was last updated by  Penny Williams 2 years ago.

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  • #59714


    My 9 yo son that has adhd has recently become more defiant as in saying NO for things I ask him to yelling at me telling me he’s not going to do something and just really mean verbally..but 5 min later when my patience is worn out comes and wants to talk nicely or cuddle..He also is just lying alot and getting into cabinets and things that have nothing to do with him..I see him doing these things ask him why did he do this or that and he lies about it or it turns into a yelling match…Is it just the age ? Is it school starting?? I don’t know but I am getting pretty worn out by it..and Im fully stressed all the time..any suggestions?

  • #59715


    The yelling and aggression sounds like my sons’s behavior when something is causing him anxiety. In my experience it’s not what I’m asking him to do that is the source of the lashing out, but it’s his anxiety about something, often unrelated, that’s causing the outbursts and defiance. When I can get to the root of the problem and address that, the behavior problems usually handle themselves. The other behaviors sound like impulsivity taking over. My son is highly impulsive. We manage with medication and often a ramp up in impulsive behaviors means it’s time to revisit the meds. Hang in there!

  • #59727

    Penny Williams

    Kids with ADHD tend to lie more than others. You have to remember that it’s not a character flaw, though. There can be a variety of reasons behind it from trying to express how they really feel to simply wanting to avoid getting in trouble.

    The Truth About Your Child’s Lies

    What to Do if Your Child is a Chronic Fibber

    One thing I always try to remember in parenting my own son is that behavior is communication. Dig deeper and look at the reason behind these behaviors, so you can make improvement.

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

  • #59746


    Here I am now, at 38 years old and have just finally been diagnosed with ADHD. However, not yet treated.
    Everything you described regarding your sons behaviour is everything I remember being screamed at for in my youth.
    I was never able to find the words to describe how I felt,so my go to answer was always “I don’t know”.
    Realizing many years later, the feeling of being misunderstood is what devastated me.
    I sincerely felt my parents didn’t love me because I only brought disappointment.
    I could go on and on but, to spare gruesome details i’ll just say….first that you are doing awesome! As a parent now myself of two teenage girls, I can’t imagine the pain and frustration I put my parents through.
    ….and please don’t take this as though I’m assuming you haven’t tried….
    But, any information you read about ADHD emotions, sit and talk with your son as though you totally understand how he feels. seriously, even if you have to fudge it a bit.
    Just to feel that someone you love understands you, may make a huge difference. I know for me that once an outburst had started, i had already been bottling emotions and needed to exhaust them. Afterwards, i remember feeling really terrible about my actions or words and just wanted to feel loved.
    I truly hope that helps a little bit at least.
    Oh! That’s about the age I was when I found that i am pretty artistic and creative…it helped me find moments of peace. Have you found your sons hyperfocus?

  • #59917


    He wouldn’t be coming to me for cuddles five minutes later because he would still be in time out for being inappropriate before. You need a structured discipline/consequences program to counter his impulsive disrespect.

  • #59921


    @genntlyginly while I agree in consistent discipline and consequences for unacceptable behavior, I don’t believe that alone will not solve the issue. I find most kids, neurotypical or otherwise, who act out are doing so for a reason, not just to misbehave. ADHD kids in particular are behind in maturity and very sensitive and those two characteristics can make for explosive behavior. They are easily triggered but don’t have the maturity and/or coping skills to manage strong emotions so they act out with aggression or anger. The behavior is a symptom of the problem, not the root problem and I have found at my house when I see this behavior and start to dig deeper I can usually uncover the trigger, help my son resolve that and minimize the outburst and inappropriate behavior. Consequences are important – a common phrase at our house is “it’s ok to feel (insert emotion here) but it’s not ok to be rude and disrespectful” but repeated punishment without addressing the true issue won’t fix the problem.

    • #59995

      Penny Williams

      I agree 1,000%. There’s always a REASON behind behavior. Behavior is communication.

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

    • #60035


      If you look for deep reasons for misbehavior, you set yourself up for a path of failure and self-blame. ALL children must be taught to be good, and virtually all kids will test limits. The frequency and intensity of limit-testing varies with personality and self-control.

      The triggering reason for a screaming fit might be that the child is tired. Is screaming an appropriate response? If the child is six months old, absolutely. If the child is two, possibly–it depends on what is within that child’s ability to handle and how close to the end of the child’s reserves he or she is. Is the child six? Unless the child is severely mentally disabled or very autistic, absolutely not. Being tired is no longer something that it’s the adult’s responsibility at that point to manage.

      If your child is being rude and disrespectful, it’s because when the child was particularly stressed, he or she lashed out in that way and was not corrected then, so it became a habit. It doesn’t matter why a child is being nasty. If a child is mature enough to understand that this is inappropriate, he is mature enough not to do it. It is not the world’s responsibility to make sure a child or adult never experiences discomfort or tiredness. It IS a parent’s responsibility to teach your children to react appropriately to those stressors, within their current ability.

      I get sick to my stomach when I see parents of children who escalate even to quite serious violence who still put the blame on the child’s disability and the circumstances when really it’s just that the parents are failing to teach their child correct behavior AND enforce it.

      A disrespectful child will be likely to become a disrespectful and rebellious teen who is likely to become an unemployable, selfish, and mean adult who is unable to have healthy relationships. This board is full of people dealing with adults like this or who have suddenly realized that this is who they are and they are struggling to fix it. Now is the time to head that off at the pass. And approaching disrespect as a result of circumstances versus the result of a child making bad choices is precisely the way to prevent a child from taking responsibility that is necessary for healthy growth.

    • #60058


      Gentlygenli I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m sorry…do you have a child that has ADHD? I have had a constant struggle with my child that has ADHD and learning disabilities and I too tried to parent like you and it didn’t work which made me more frustrated. Children aren’t robots and they all don’t learn in the same way. Nor do they have the ability to learn in the same way. It is a fact that a child’s disibility can hinder their behavior. I’m assuming by your comments that you don’t have a child that has been classified. Its extremely ignorant assumptions. Perhaps you may want to educate yourself. My stepson has ODD and until I educated myself I thought the same way as yourself. That negative approach and response doesn’t work.

    • #60090


      Your tactics may work for neurotypical kids, but not for kids like my son who has ADHD and social anxiety disorder. If I followed your practices, my child would be so beatdown, his self-esteem so low, that he wouldn’t believe it when I say I love him. I know this because I tried your way, and all it got me was an angry kid whose behavior didn’t improve and a sad child who never thought he did anything right. Read “The Explosive Child” and educate yourself.

    • #60099


      Nikki I completely agree with you. As stated in my comment above to gentlygenli. I am reading the explosive Child it’s a great book and gentlygenli can maybe learn something from it. The reason why more parents are coming out that their kids are having issues as for the simple fact that years ago it wasn’t diagnosed. ODD for instance was something that was unheard of. When my step son was diagnosed with ODD I was told that there wasn’t enough information on it and it’s ignored. I was told that he also had ADHD but that would be a walk in the park compared to the ODD. Prior to the 70s kids with disabilities didn’t really have any choices and society deemed these kids as trouble. At this day and age it’s no longer. So it’s not a thing of the past. And it’s not about raising a child the right way yes that definitely has to do with it. But you can try to teach your child the textbook way and nothing you do will work.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  kimmy0.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  kimmy0.
      • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  kimmy0. Reason: Spelling errors
  • #60039


    Yes, a child needs to be disciplined after displaying inappropriate behavior. However, if they are not taught the tools to redirect themselves, talk it out, or whatever mechanism works in that individual situation, the issue will continue to escalate.
    You cannot assume that a child of any age knows better. Yes,they may in fact know but, they may not care, or be adamant about being heard with words they don’t yet have to explain to you what’s going on.
    Setting boundaries, solid rules, and exactly what the disciplinary action will be at a time of peace, when everyone is calm. Not right after an outburst.
    Be sure you are clearly understood.
    Then always, no matter what, calmly follow through.
    Now they are very aware of the consequence to their actions.
    No need to remind them of why they are being punished….they know.
    Instead – help them discover and learn tactics of redirection.
    Consistency is key.
    It will take time.

  • #60044


    I’m pretty sure @gentlyginny we agree on the need for discipline and expectations that are consistent and firm when it come to unacceptable behavior, but I feel like you’re missing the point I’m trying to make and it’s an important one to me, so I’m going to say it again. If your child is suddenly having frequent outbursts, is short tempered and or is acting out in ways that are not normal behavior for them something is going on and until you find that “something” and address it, you’re going to continue to see misbehavior no matter how swift or severe the consequences are for their actions. I’m not talking about a hungry child, a tired child, an over stimulated child etc. If your child is having issues with a peer at school, if they are struggling with a new project/assignment at school, if they are worried and anxious about a change in their routine or their household, etc it will heighten their anxiety, it will put them on edge and it can elicit a response from them that is over the top, unexpected and inappropriate to something as simple as being asked to put away their dishes or finish their homework. The response is not always related to the situation at hand and if your child repeatedly lashes out in a way that is not typical for them and you fail to dig deeper to find the root cause you are doing them a disservice. Certainly at age 9, particularly an immature 9 as children with ADHD often are behind in maturity, they do not have the coping skills to deal with strong complex emotions the same way you or I would. Punishing them for behavior repeatedly without helping them solve the issue and teaching them ways to cope will only result in them becoming more angry, more frustrated and giving their self esteem a huge hit. It’s not excusing behavior or coddling a child when you are helping them problem solve.

  • #60048


    My apologies, I did read it as the outburst was not a sudden change in behavior, but a symptom,if you will, of a known ADHD diagnosis.

  • #60051


    You may not be dealing with constant arguing and rage/super emotional filled opposition as we were last year with my 8 year old son, but we ended up with an ODD diagnosis to which the super low dose risperidone made all the difference. He is SUPER intelligent, highly impulsive (and on Intuniv for that), and on low dose Adderall for focus. We are consistent with discipline for disrespect, talking back, lying, sneaking iPads, etc — but it was the constant arguing even with teachers and principals that led us down the path of ODD diagnosis. Not sure that is helpful, but thought worth sharing.

  • #60053


    I completely agree with the poster who said anxiety. For some kids, anxiety comes out as defiance and opposition. Mine is one of those. And while I agree that kids need discipline, you cannot punish away a chemical imbalance or mental condition like anxiety and ADHD. It does not work.

    Ross Greene, author of “The Explosive Child”, believes that “if he could do better, he would do better.” This is a theme that recurs in all the ADHD literature; Dr. Ned Hallowell says something similar, as does Dr. Russ Barklay. Kids WANT to be successful. They want to be good. Sometimes they don’t know how. Instead of punishing them for what they don’t know and can’t do, it is usually more constructive to try to teach them skills to help them learn how to be successful. It can also help to flip our viewpoint.

    Example: My daughter will argue anything. There is a drawer in the bathroom she sometimes leans her weight on, and she broke the drawer in our old house so I am concerned she will break this one. If I remind her not to put her weight on it, she will either stop or argue that she isn’t (in this case I know her anxiety is acting up). If I argue back with her, she will keep arguing that she isn’t doing it, because in her mind she can’t handle knowing she is screwing up again. Even if I tell her she isn’t in trouble and I just want to remind her, she can’t always handle it. Lately we have flipped the script. I tell her that she doesn’t think she is doing it, but she knows I think she is because I told her to stop. I suggested (not in the moment; later) that she ask questions when that happens. “I’m not…am I?” Instant defuser. She is no longer arguing but asking. She is no longer on the defensive and I am no longer annoyed that she is arguing. If she forgets to ask then I start asking questions: “I wonder what will happen if your body leans too much on that drawer? What do you think?” Now she is in charge of the answer, and I worded it in a way where I didn’t highlight her mistake and gave her a chance to correct it without even ever being “in trouble.” It’s a win win.

  • #60055


    I have been disciplining my child since birth I I was raised in the 70’s I know very well about discipline and respect and I expect the same from my child regardless of his diagnosis BUT I have learned different ways of handling his fluctuating moods..I noticed he usually is only defiant to me or his grandma which are the rule makers and enforce them..with others including his Dad he doesn’t push the limits but his Dad is fun weekend Dad and doesn’t enforce rules..his coaches..teachers..other parents he is respectful and listens..Things have gotten better after reading some posts on here and by me sitting in a quiet room with him and going over things instead of us getting in a yelling match..making sure he understands that no matter what he does with his anger in the end he is still going to have to do what I have asked him to he has gotten upset went in his room slammed the door gathered himself together and comes out or I go in after about 15 min we talk and life goes on instead of me verbally coming at him so quickly after he is angry that leads into never ending argument I feel Im letting him think about it himself and then approaching him

  • #60057


    My son is 15 now but did the same. I started promoting honesty by saying if you tell me the truth now, there won’t be punishment. It works. I then talk to him about why he should not do what he did and just as important, what the proper choice would be. I talk to him about how to think through the choices, since he lacks executive functioning. It teaches him how to think. I then also remind him that I love him no matter what, that he can always tell me the truth, that the lie adds to the problem. It has taken a while bit I do see the change. It works! It also helps that he is a bad liar so he really can’t get away with it!

    Disrespect is a deal breaker. It’s time for “lose what you love”! No Ipad, cell phone, etc. for 30 minutes. Continuing to act out adds time — 5 minutes for every comment. Now you can sit in the room with a pen and paper to occupy your time (writing assignment: “I will speak respectfully to my mother” 15 times? He hates writing). Maybe a day with the electronics locked up in the car’s trunk. Never cave in because it will just be harder next time. You have to make him see being respectful works better that being disrespectful. Wait for him to cooperate and point it out, thank him, hug him and tell him you are proud.

  • #60060


    Our son is 8. Like you we were at our wits end, we have tried discipline and consequences, but we were getting nowhere. The explosions would come out of nowhere and we couldn’t identify why he was having them. They are far worse at school. We started working with his school and we identified that his issues were anxiety related as BRLK stated above. We had a full neurophysiological assessment completed and identified he suffered with disgraphia, social pragmatic disorder and ODD, along with ADHD. We did not want to use medication so we decided to start Neurofeedback with him and started to see tremendous results. His temper decreased, he began to do things that use to be a struggle, like brushing his teeth! After 20wks of treatment we began to use Collaborative Problem Solving with him ( Basically show lots of empathy to let them know you understand and encourage them to reveal the true issue, reiterate the issue to let them know you hear what they are telling you and then collaboratively problem solve. At first you may have to gently suggest ideas, but we found within a short space of time he started coming up with solutions and following through with them. We also us MaryRuth liquid vitamins, Barleans Mango fish oil (taste great!) and L-Theanine liquid supplement, which helps increase calming alpha waves (works for our son, but could cause focus issues in other kids.) We took a break for summer from Neurofeedback, but will start up next week and can’t wait. We plan to do 40 session total. Sorry this is long, but hope it helps!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  AwesomeSon.
  • #60062


    I know from my own son at that age that *nothing* seemed to work until he was medicated for ADHD. The right medication was like giving us a solid foundation on which to practice good parenting. Before that, his overwhelming emotional and impulsive responses made establishing even the most minimal expectations and enforcing consequences completely unbearable. There were no negotiations, reasoning, behavior systems or punishments in the universe that would have worked. We didn’t try it, of course, but I’m sure someone could have literally beaten the boy every time he was defiant and raging — and he’d still have been defiant and raging. He was truly out of control and seemed to feel really bad afterwards for how he’d acted, going — like your son — from “hating” us to loving us again.

    ADHD researchers and expert Russell Barkley, MD has a book called Your Defiant Child written for this age group. It might be the best $12.70 on Amazon you’ve ever spent; I highly recommend it. I’d also recommend watching his YouTube videos on ADHD. The critical element is not listening to other parenting advice and following a program tailored specifically for children with ADHD, who do not respond to rewards and punishments like neurotypical kids do.

    I remember how incredibly stressful that time was, and I honestly wondered how our son would ever function. Four years later, he’s doing awesome, though! You would not believe that kid at age 9 is the boy we have now at age 13. Have hope and keep looking for answers! I hope the book and videos help!

  • #60066


    The same thing happens with me,whenever I am in home my son yells and cries consistently about some body discomfort and becomes very cranky….first i thought maybe because of stimulants or hunger or tiredness..but he is uncontrollable even after working on yhat….unless i send him to some classes…there he is ok….but again in home the same irritability and yelling is there,till i send him out to play.So these 3 days i arrange my household help to be with him and i purposely went out and now the feedback from her is that he was absolutely calm,not irritable and she thinks whenever i am there he acts out.
    Another thing during his outburst he will find something which he is not comfortable with and shouts now he wants a toy car as compensation.Since last month he is demanding for a toy car..though i used to give cars to him ,now i have stopped.So yesterday night when he asked for a toy car when he was tremendously yelling when i intrrupted him while he was playing some mobile game and demanded a car as compensation of my intrrupting;out of frustrations i immediately agreed and suddenly he became composed ,active and enthusiastic . Again i am in doubt whether subconsciously am i giving him the reason that every time he yells and totally tries our patience and find some excuse he will be getting a car as compensation?

  • #60074


    I have a 15 year old who was and still is defient
    altough less after treatment started this year. Look at the link above, also from Dr Barkley. Since I was
    Only diagnosed 2 years ago, I made a lot of mistakes
    in my parenting. Yelling does not help, it makes it
    much worse and at the end of the day you are the one
    that will be blamed, just like me…

  • #60075


    Ask people for help. Ask if family, or friends, could care for your child for a while, have him stay over, or if they could come clean your house with you – whatever helps you de-stress a bit. People helping you will not only remind you you’re not alone, which will comfort you, but will also serve to lower that base-line stress level for the next confrontation.

  • #60077


    I have a 8 years old kid with ADHD
    … ADHD kids lie much more than average .. The reason behind that is that they make a lot of mistakes due to lack of self control .. so .. they believe that they are bad .. and wish to be good.. They lie to beautify their picture in front of others.. Remember that they get criticized so much every day.. this maximizes their tenancy to lie .. Try to ignore small mistake as much as possible.. Be proactive not reactive ; ensure you are feeding him always with the code for conduct and good manners not only when he make mistakes .. but always.. and keep reminding him -be patient- .. Be a good example ! Make sure you don’t lie before you ask him not to 🙂
    Regarding Defiance, your kid is under pressure .. maybe he gets orders more than he can cope with .. maybe his ability to get things done the right way is limited. .. he might be in need of coaching how to get things done right.. Remember that ADHD is self centred.. They do not tend to help others .. this needs coaching and patience .. also they do not tend to learn anything serious other than having fun..
    Maybe your kid is suffering of rejection by school teachers and students .. maybe neighbours also .. Help him build good relationships and love himself .. Expose him to activities that unleash his power and talent .. Help him explore himself .. this well raise his self confidence which is the till gate for acceptance… Help him by teaching him good communication skills .. it takes time but it works.. Listen to him .. Try to understand what he feels and think about himself and others..
    Also be thoughtful that ADHD people get bored quickly .. not easy to complete any job .. Give him breaks .. Agree with him on the breaks .. ADHD people are sensual.. They need love and touch.. get close to him .. show love .. hug him a lot .. tell him that you love him repeatedly .. let him open up and have his say ..

  • #60083


    Your post is so timely and hits home for me hard. My daughter is almost 9 and was diagnosed with ADHD (heavy on the “H”) three years ago. I struggle with those exact mood swings, explosions, whatever you want to call them every single morning. Punishments do not work. When she is in that state of mind, consequences have no meaning. She knows the consequences and just can not help herself. She yells, defies me, calls me names, throws things, etc. Just as quickly as it started, it ends and my sweet, kind and loving daughter is back. It’s so hard to keep up with the mood swings. Once she takes her meds her mood stabilizes, but the first hour or two of the day is almost more than I can handle. I wish I had the answer, but I hope that knowing that you and your son are not alone helps a little. Reading your post gave me great comfort knowing our problem isn’t unique. I’m going to read the books that some of the other posters recommended. Good Luck!

  • #60086


    I feel your situation. My son was also very defiant from age 7 to now 14.
    Many times I got so angry and so stressed as well. I yelled and he yelled back.
    It was so unhealthy for my health. About 2 years ago it has gotten much much better. He listens more and has less angry outbursts.
    We talk a lot about his school, what is going on in the world. I am so happy now.
    I follows all ADHD advices such as good diet with plenty omega-3 supplement. Tried neurofeedback therapy also.

    I don’t have a magic recipe for what happened but I think I had to become more patient and expect less of him.
    That reduced the stress level. I involved with him after school by becoming an assistant soccer coach for his team.
    I think that brought us closer. I think the key is to improve on one little thing at a time and not get frustrated by set backs.

    Everything is not perfect. I still get frustrated and angry many times when he doesn’t seem to get it but we are at a point where we can talk with out yelling.
    So please be patient. Work on yourself first. Try always to be gentle in your manner and hope that as the child grows up he will be more understanding of what the parents are trying to do.

  • #60088


    Ajsd – two things here:
    1) know that when you say:
    “I noticed he usually is only defiant to me or his grandma which are the rule makers and enforce them..with others including his Dad he doesn’t push the limits but his Dad is fun weekend Dad and doesn’t enforce rules..his coaches..teachers..other parents he is respectful and listens”,
    this is what happens with EVERY child… Children are most defiant and disrespectful with the family members they have the greatest bond with (usually Mom). Basically, they act out against those they know will truly love them no matter what they do – the parent-child relationship is the ONLY one that is unconditional (every other one is conditional, including spouses, and I only include fathers IF they are as equal to the kids as the mothers). They don’t act this way with others for fear they will stop loving or liking them. This is why children, who might seem crazy at home, are called “angels” at school or other people’s houses. It is normal. It also begins to escalate around age 9 or 10 (my joke is that kids stop being fun and cute at this age – I am a teacher & mom of 2).
    2) A lot of children with ADHD also have co-occurring disorders. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of these. My oldest child has both, and from age 8 to 15 was very difficult to deal with a lot of the time. If you truly suspect this (read about it here on the ADDitude website or other respectable sites – no Wikipedia), document your child’s behaviors and consult the pediatrician or doctor handling his ADHD. It is possible he has it, or it is possible it is a stage, is this age, or has seen someone at school act in this manner and is “trying it out”.

    Either way, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a lot of help out there! My oldest is still a bit negative (her ADHD is Impulsivity) and disrespectful at times, but we have great communication so I just call her on it and she tries to watch her behavior. Also, know it is just the behavior that is bad – your child is still a good person. Remembering that will help you in your most frustrating times and will give your child the self-esteem he needs to not feel like he is a horrible person.

    Hope this helps. No judgements here. Just help, as this is what these posts should be about.

  • #60089


    Hi been where you are. Strongly recommend Green’screen book The Explosive Child made so much sense and saved my kiddo who is now 16. The normal more discipline approach mever worked with my son. Green was a life saver! Good luck!

  • #60091


    Same as alix.ehrhardt, our son, turning 8 now, was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder, and prescribed risperidone. It has helped a lot so far! The extreme anger and reactions to situations that triggers negative response has reduced in occurrence a lot. I now feel I can handle it better when it comes, since is does not feel like ALL THE TIME anymore. If it is ODD, and not treated it can get worse, the fact that you land in a shouting match with him on a regular basis only feeds the ODD. I landed in that trap too many times to count. Sometimes you are already stressed or the rope of your patience has been chewed on by the dog and before you know it, you are losing the match as well!

    I also find that sometimes it is better to ignore the situation and send him to his room(even though the neighbors might think he is being turtured), I chat about the extreme behavior afterwards and ask him what he thinks a better reaction would have been…. This I manage on my good days!

    Hang in there, you are not alone!

  • #60094


    Good evening your not lone my son is 8 years and old and we have the some issues that you are having with your son we as a family disscuessed
    Not to try a argument with him like he is taking control we walk a way it will get easier and then he comes around

  • #60096


    Hi,I am having simular issues with my 10 year old son. He has started to have mood swings. When things don’t go his way he gets angry and act out by screaming and jumping around. The last time it happened he hit at the wall, saying he is angry. These comments has been helpful. He has been taking Adderall for almost a year. I took him in to see his doctor. She has now prescribed Vyvance. I will start him on that today. This has tired me out. He will apologize for behavior saying he doesnt know why he does that. He doesnt act like this in school. So I am trying to figure out the issues. I discipline him by taking things away,having him earn it back. I understand there is a reason he is acting like this but he also has to understand there are rules at home he has to follow.

  • #60098


    @dreana not to be off topic, but Adderall made my son angry and aggressive. He only took it briefly when he was 8yrs old. For him it started immediately when he started taking it and stopped when we took him off it. He’s been taking Vyvanse instead for 3yrs and we have not experienced that behavior. He still has the occasional issues that all kids do but for him Adderall clearly was a bad choice.

  • #60109


    I haven’t read all the responses, but I will ask you – have you tried 1-2-3 Magic? It worked great to stop my son from the yelling/bad behavior. It’s limit, for me anyway, was getting him to actually DO things that needed to be done, like homework and chores. He’d start trying to yell just to be sent to his room to avoid them, and there was nothing he cared enough about that taking it away, or letting him earn it, worked. Sadly, at 13, it’s still mostly that way. He’s gotten marginally more responsible as time goes on, and I have mostly stepped out of the homework gig, because for some reason he’ll do it better for other people than for me.

    The one thing I did learn is that yelling back just made things worse. I have to stay calm, at all times, even when I’m seething inside. The other thing I’ve learned, from a professional, is that you never, never, NEVER argue about the lies or try to catch them up. You simply have to say, “I don’t believe you” and move on. If they argue about it being the truth, another calm “I don’t believe you” and move on. Sometimes it takes a dozen or more repetitions of this, but eventually it works. The other thing I’ve learned is to not give him a chance to lie. Instead of asking, “Did you brush your teeth”, simply say, “Go brush your teeth again”. Or instead of saying, “Did you do your homework” say, “Let me see your homework”, things like that. It is complicated, because there are some situations that don’t lend themselves that easily to cut and dry ways of avoiding the chance to lie. Sometimes, for instance, you have to ask about something that happened in class or what a teacher said. Ideally, these teachers will be writing down all needed information, but I’ve never found a teacher that is in complete compliance with that. So, in those cases, you have to sometimes go by the crazy things your kid says until you can actually talk to the teacher. In those cases, I’ve decided it’s best to act like I completely believe him until I know otherwise for CERTAIN. If, when I find out for certain, it doesn’t match up with what he told me, I will address it simply. “Yesterday, you told me XYZ. I talked to Ms. K, and it’s really ABC.” I don’t remonstrate for lying, I just let him know with that statement that he didn’t really get away with it. It does help calm down the lying a little bit. It’s not a complete fix, but when lying becomes less of a way to get out of something, or to distract from an undesirable task, it does happen somewhat less frequently. I will also say that between 8 and 10 were the biggest years for lying. I don’t know why.

    • #60121


      DDDaysh – Thank you for your response. Really makes a lot of sense to me. I really appreciate practical solutions, wanted you to know your post is quite helpful. I would also highly highly recommend The Explosive Child for anyone with an ADHD child. It really helped me (neurotypical, cannot understand ADHD) to gain insight on my child. So completely frustrating for me and him, but I’ve seen the light. At least a little bit, and I’m trying. And I’m a better person for it.

  • #60119


    Dr. Greene’s CPS model can be very helpful in helping kids with challenging behaviors. I didn’t know how to attach the webinar with this message so I copied and pasted the webinar title here.

    Free Webinar Replay: ODD and ADHD: Strategies for Parenting Defiant Children
    In this hour-long webinar-on-demand, learn tips for comforting your defiant child, reasoning and talking to your child, strategies to help you and your child problem solve and resolve frustrations, and more from expert Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.

  • #60131


    Our son just turned 8. We have been where you are and know how hard it is for everyone. We would receive daily calls from the school, they would have to clear the classroom because of his explosive behavior. He would scream, call people names, be disrespectful, hit, kick, throw things and his favorite word was no. He would also hide under the desk and refuse to participate in group activities. Writing was an impossible task with complete meltdowns and he was totally ostracized by his peers. It broke my heart. We had seen Drs and therapists all with differing opinions, but I knew we had to do more than we had been to help him and so the detailed research began.

    The first thing we did was have a full Neuropsychological Assessment completed, which determined that he has dysgraphia, Social Pragmatic Disorder, ODD, along with ADHD. This allowed us to clearly work out a path to help our son. We met with psychiatrists, neurologists, phsycologists and therapists. We did a lot of homework on all the different options. We were desperate at this point and we picked up the prescription for medication prescribed by the psychiatrist, but we decided that we only wanted to use medication as a last resort, so we came up with an alternative plan.

    We started Neurofeedback and within about 8 weeks started to see results. It was also the first tangible thing we had where we could see what was going on inside of his brain, his frontal lobes were on fire! We could see the different areas of his brain and how unbalanced everything was. Slowly things started to shift and we were able to see his brainwaves change in real time. He was able to calm himself quicker, sit down and complete homework without a complete meltdown, (we break it into 10 min sessions with his buy in) brush his teeth and take a shower without a million reminders even read a book on his own. The outbursts started to decrease. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a huge improvement. We had 20 sessions then took a break for summer (it’s expensive and not covered by insurance), but the results stick.

    During the summer we started using Colaborative Problem Solving ( (mentioned above under The Explosive Child by Dr Greene) and using phrases like, I will allow you to play on your DS for 10 mins if you do finish your dinner first, do you want to take the trash out now or in 10mins, giving him more options and working with him to find solutions instead of consequences, which were getting us nowhere. We still insist on respect and manners.

    He is limited on screen time and is enrolled in sports activities. We added vitamins and fish oil. Our son struggles with taking tablets so we use Mary Ruth Organic liquid Vitamins and Barleans Mango Peach Omega Swirl – delicious and can be added to smoothies! We also use liquid L-Theanine by Svasthya, which helps increase calming alpha waves in the brain, it works for our son, but can cause focus issues in others. We cut out all harmful food additives and increased Water, protein and salt (read up on this, low salt causes emotional irritation) in his diet. Breakfast protein is really important, go to Pinterest for a huge selection of options for breakfast, snack and lunch for school. We also started to add in meditation/mindfulness, not sitting still, but walking and having him look around and find say 10 insects or 10 plants. Plenty of outside activities and exercise. Our summer was amazing! Very few outbursts, a lot of cooperation, limited talk back and refusals. The stress level in our home went away and we started to laugh again! Best of all kids are knocking for him to go out and play! ❤️

    Back to school and some anxiety started to kick in, but we are working closely with the school and they are helping with social skills for him. We are also working with them to use Collaborative Problem Solving instead of consequences and have a detailed IEP in place. So far, so good! No calls in three weeks. Yah!

    Next week we start back up with our Neurofeedback and we are very excited to see more positive results. I also plan to add Mary Ruth mineral supplements and once he has finished 40 sessions of Neurofeedback we will stop and we are going to start music therapy with coordination exercises.

    Our hope is that all of the things we are doing are to help him build the neuro pathways he is lacking and set him up for long term success.

    Hope some of this helps. Stay strong, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  • #60138


    My 9yo son with ADHD has had similar issues with defiance and oppositional behaviors. He’s been taking 27mg of Concetta for a year now and has been taking a daily dose of Barleans Omega 3 supplement, both of which have helped his emotional swings stabilize significantly. Highly recommend Dr Barkley’s “Your Defiant Child” and also Kirk Martin ( has a great program that addresses defiance and oppositional behavior. Mindfulness and short meditation have also helped give my son more tools fo self-managing his frustrations. Remember, you know your kid best-keep trying by things until you find something that works for your child and your family!

  • #60144


    My 9 year old has ADHD, ODD, PTSD, mood disorders so we deal with all kinds of issues every day. I never know what kind of day we are going to have. the best thing i can tell you is schedule, schedule, schedule. i literally have large cork boards on my hallway walls with everything that is expected as far as things that need to be done every day from hygiene to chores and school. and there are checklists for all of those tasks that he checks off and also a column for me to verify that it was done. If we have a good day where effort was put in then rewards are earned. If not…..then we talk about it at an appropriate time. This kid as a 4th grader can literally do the work of a 6th or a 7th grader but some days has trouble functioning at the level of a second grader if that. It jumps around that much. I just never know. And he will argue till you are blue in the face and just walk away. He just won’t quit.

  • #60186


    I have yet to read here that any of this behavior could be environmental. My Grandson was diagnosed ADHD in kindergarten. Dad was verbally, emotionally and times physically abusive to his mother. Dad was in and out of prison. Dad’s discipline was inconsistent and often times very childish like. My Grandson is 8, and he is academically successful, in the school’s gifted program and very creative. Mom left Dad and is working on a more positive and non violent home atmosphere. Grandson realizes his father’s behavior and does not want to be around him. He still has outbursts and some anger. Now therapy needs to be in order here. I feel as I have seen home life with my daughter’s family that my Grandson’s anger and defiance may have been learned from his father. Anyone else want to chime in here?

  • #60214


    It can be extremely hard on you. Make sure that you are giving yourself some attention. Make it a point to do things that rejuvenate and replenish you. You will be better able to handle the storm. Sometimes, the tantrum will just not go on or get as bad because you are composed; because you had that coffee with a friend, soak in the tub, scenic drive, movie date, whatever. On the whole, even without tantrums, children of all kinds and sizes can be draining. We would do good service to them by giving ourselves some attention. Love them but love yourself too. 🙂

  • #60220


    That sounds like how I was as a child. And I now know I got very angry and screamed a lot because I’d feel like people were against me for some reason, and that nobody was listening to me, so I’d lash out. Then I’d realise what I’d done later on after I calmed down a bit so I’d start being nice to my parents and saying sorry because I really didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I remember I used to scream things like ‘I hate you’ to my parents when they tried to make me do something I didn’t want to do. But I definitely did NOT mean that, I was just very overwhelmed and felt like nobody was on my side.
    As for the lying, I used to lie because I felt anxious that people wouldn’t understand my true reasons for doing things. But that can be different for every child.

    I think in my case it could have been something like mild Oppositional Defiance/meltdown but I never got any official diagnosis for that – it was just always considered an additional aspect of ADHD to my parents. It got better as I got older (medication helped me calm down also) and I realised what had been going on in my head, so I was eventually able to discuss it openly with my parents and apologise properly.

    So yeah from my perspective, it just sounds like he doesn’t know how to cope with the intense overwhelming emotions (because he’s still a kid and hasn’t worked it out yet). So it helps to be as patient and understanding as possible (though I know it can be hard in the moment). It’s hard for me to give advice from a parent perspective but I thought it might help to know perspective of a child (now young adult) who was this way once.

    I definitely recommend practicing self care when you get the chance, because I wish my mum had done the same for herself more when I was being difficult.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  natasha745.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  natasha745.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  natasha745.
  • #60243


    Natasha 745
    Appreciate your input. Yeah, I just didn’t quite think that he is overwhelmed, my God, what he has been through makes sense. Suffering maybe in silence. He’s not one to discuss issues unless you ask him. Because of his intelligence I just give him the benefit of the doubt that he is handling things. He finds happiness in the last 6 months since Mom took them and left Dad in his computer and video games. However peeling him off of the computer can get rough with him not cooperating. He is a very loving child otherwise.

  • #60244


    Good point to take care of me. It’s so easy to get lost during stressful times.

  • #60314


    I just found this site today looking for “answers”. My daughter will be 11 in October and has been diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety disorder when she was 6. It has been a very bumpy ride for my poor girl, who once described how she felt by saying she “had crackers in her head.” And although she has gotten better over the years and I am so proud of her daily, she has begun to struggle again. Within the past 2 years she has lost BOTH of her grandmothers who she was extremely attached too. Not to mention her father and I got a divorce 5 years ago and she hasn’t seen or heard from him in 3 years. Frankly, that kind of loss would be hard on any child. And trying to get her to express how she feels is very difficult. Some days she just cries and says she doesn’t know why. Over the past year and a half she has struggled. I have a very wonderful man who has 2 children and the kids get along perfectly, to my surprise. However, her and my boyfriend do not. Some days everything is fine and they get along wonderful. But some days she had one of her “fits” as I call them and then they are just yelling at each other. He loves her deeply, but it hurts him when she acts out,i.e. yelling at him, disrespecting him and tells him to leave, when she gets mad. I assure him that he shouldn’t take it personally and that she does love him and doesn’t mean it when she says it…. but this is all new to him. He doesn’t always understand. I’m constantly feeling like I’m in the middle. I(we) are trying to find ways to better our families situation and how our new family members can better understand and help her. These two wonderful people can’t find there way together and it breaks my heart. Any suggestions on blended families and how we can bring us all together and help her learn to manage and improve her condition. Neurofeedback therapy? Regular therapy? She’s on medication but maybe I’m doing it wrong?? Does anyone else blame themselves? I feel helpless. Thank you in advance for any information.

    • #60499

      Penny Williams

      When dealing with a blended family, it’s important to get all family members on the same page. Creating a “family mission” together can be a great place to start.

      Family Mission Statement

      Here are some additional strategies for building strong families with ADHD:

      12 Ways to Build Strong ADHD Families

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

  • #60569


    You have no idea how great it feels to know I am not alone…Seriously some days I fear the neighbor is going to call CPS on me because of the way my son yells and slams doors. I appreciate all the feed back I have made contact with his doctor about what has been happening and that we might need to revisit some things ..he has been on 36mg of Concerta and I really don’t want to up it but I been hearing alot about Vyanese and Risperdal ? He already takes a very small amount of Prozac every other day and we started that last year and it was like a whole different child…I mean basically school was great the teachers and RSP teacher could not believe this was the same kid from a year before but its like we are going backwards now I rec’d a email today he walked out of class and refused to do work which he never did last year..if he needed a break he asked for one but it was far and few between. I keep hearing the same thing about the age 9 guess this is just a hard age with ADHD…I mean he literally will tell me to my face no I am not doing my homework and walk away I am trying to wrap my brain around WHY he doesn’t want to do it when I offer to help him …I offer to leave him alone…I cut the homework in half to modify it and still what should take about 45 minutes leads to 2 hours of up and down yelling throwing pencils on his desk etc etc…When they tested him they couldn’t believe how smart he was and how he just excels at things he probably shouldn’t ..I said well of course a test on a computer is nothing for this kid its the classwork and homework … I don’t know where to go on any help for that …We have been to therapist all they say is how sweet he is, he barely says anything to them and that he is very “H” in the ADHD and that’s it …I wish I could find someone that specializes in school and homework… Someday’s I feel like I need medication to get thru the day ..LOL .. Again I appreciate all the feedback its so nice to get different opinions..PS I do have all those books I ordered them when he was small guess I need to read them now ..PSS I checked into a Neuro Assesment it would cost me $3900.00 I asked his Dr to see if there is another way ..

    • #61033

      Penny Williams

      Amphetamine-based medications (Vyvanse, Adderall…) should not be taken with Prozac, so be careful of that. Very few doctors are aware of this potential drug interaction.

      ADHD Insights: Prozac, Paxil and Amphetamines

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

  • #60570


    Thaf sounds so similar to what we were dealing with before we got the ODD diagnosis and added the smallest dose of Risperidol to our existing Intuniv and Adderall. It was life changing…. less arguing with us and at school, less offen having bad attitudes, less anger. Definitely worth exploring. For us, it was a short questionnaire with our pediatrician that oversees his meds.

  • #60593


    It’s not easy to accept that there’s something not quite “normal” about your child. But a child who senses his parents’ resentment — and their pessimism about his prospects — is unlikely to develop the self-esteem and can-do spirit he’ll need in order to become a happy, well-adjusted adult.
    Spanish to English

  • #63032


    Sometimes I scream because I’m scared and frustrated and everything is closing in and so I start screaming and I run to my room to cry. I exhaust myself crying, and then I need comfort from my parents even though I was just screaming at them. it’s not intentional disrespect, it’s an expression of uncontrollable emotion.

    At least for me, that’s the case

    • #63388

      Penny Williams

      Thank you for sharing that insight @carlandrea! It’s so valuable for parents of kids with ADHD (like me) to hear insights like this. It helps us understand our kids better, which helps us be more effective for them.

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

  • #65649


    I am not a parent of a ADHD child, but as a teacher I have spent 180 days for 42 years – 31 in a traditional high school and the last 8 years in an all day, one teacher, one room classroom with the same students all day all school year working with them while they do online classes where I am the teacher of their courses, I have learned to deal with crisis behavior immediately by containing the behavior, redirecting the behavior, and helping the student learn to control the behavior.

    Here are two methods I have found effective.

    When a student has an emotional storm and starts screaming, I have used this procedure. I smile and nod and wait for a break and then say, “I am sorry you feel that way, but I do not feel that way. You are a challenge, but I am glad to take on that challenge and glad to have you as my student.” Off the student would go again. Again, I smile and nod and wait for a break and then say, “I am sorry you feel that way, but I do not feel that way. You are a challenge, but I am glad to take on that challenge and glad to have you as my student.” I use the same behavior and the same words over and over until the student stops. Remember Eric Berne’s “Games People Play” and transactional analysis. Everyone has a Parent, Adult and Child inside. For two people to communicate Adult to Adult is best. When a person is acting as a Child, the Adult role will not work. You can try the Parent role, but too often it does not work. Never, and I mean never, resort to being a Child. Your Child is better at acting as a Child, and wins by bringing you to the Child level, and your child is reinforced by winning and will continue with this behavior. While in an emotional storm, if my student said, “You are not not listening to me; you are not reacting to my words.” I would smile and respond, “I am listening to you words, and I am listening to your loving heart. I am responding to your loving heart and not your words.“ Remember: no audience; no performance.

    Help your child learn to extinguish certain behaviors. Here is how I helped a student extinguish a behavior that had caused disruption at school and at home. The student would make a guttural grunting sound over and over. I asked the student in an Adult to Adult way to stop the behavior. The student explained that he could not because he was simply clearing his throat. So I asked him to go outside and sit on a bench with me. He continued to make the sound so each time he made the sound I said, “You are choosing to make that sound. That is your choice.” I repeated this exact statement over and over after each sound. The student argued that he did not have a choice, and that he had to make that sound. I continued to repeat that exact statement after each sound. The student became more upset as I repeated the statement after each sound. Finally, the student said, “How long do we have to sit out here?” I took out my phone set the timer for five minutes and said, “When you can go five minutes without making that sound once, we can go back in.” I started the timer. I only had to restart the timer twice, and the behavior was stopped. I have only had to show my phone to the student once to stop the behavior in the classroom. Now, what is going on? Albert Ellis’ rational emotive behavior therapy argues that events (external and/or internal stressors) do not cause a response (internal and/or external). Events trigger a Belief System which is learned, and the Belief System triggers the Response. The learned self-defeating belief system must be identified, challenged and replaced with a healthier one that will promote emotional well-being and goal achievement. See So repeating the same words over and over such as, “You are choosing to make that sound. That is your choice.” Help the student learn to substitute a new belief system in place of the old belief system that triggered the guttural grunting sound response.

    Helping a student learn to extinguish a behavior by learning a new belief system is like helping a student learn to talk, to walk and other complex behaviors. Take baby steps where the student can achieve success. Let them savor the success and slowly build on that success. Let them take baby steps.

  • #65702


    Please tell me that I am not the only one who does not enjoy being a mom more times than I would like to admit. My son is only 6 and has been diagnosed with adhd and he is so defiant. I have a shared parenting with his dad so of course he is not as defiant with dad because he fears him. We have started him on viarin and it is only the beginning and I don’t see any difference at all. My ex is very much a pain in the butt, would like to use other words but probably can’t. Even though the Dr that tested him said that some meds will work, at this point he is against it. I am waiting on the results on the genomind but do I need a legal ok with dad to put him on something when with me? He is extremely impulsive and I fear that he can endanger another child or himself. Dad and his parents are helicopter parents, so he is not given much leniency to be trusted even though they say differently. This is so stressful. Please any suggestions will be FABULOUS!! THANK YOU!

    • #65835


      I had a similar issue with my son’s biological father. He was just in denial that there was any issue whatsoever. Getting a diagnosis with his involvement was painstaking. Not knowing what state you’re in, that state’s laws, or the wording of your current custody paperwork, I can’t say what you need legal wise. However, I can say that I had wording put into our custody paperwork that said we would both follow the recommendations of medical and mental health professionals. So even when bio dad completely disagreed with me, the doctors, the assessments and the treatment plan, it did not matter.

  • #65825


    Can anyone suggest work place accommodations, in an operating room environment? I have at least 5 rooms assigned to me pulse blood testing I do as needed. I am a anesthesia technician and L P N. When I get many calls for equipment or to clean a room for the next case from multiple rooms I get over whelmed because the department is not very well organized and there is not very good team work. I get reprimanded when my frustrations shows through. My supervisor knows I have adhd and sleep apnea that has a physiological effect on me that causes me to sigh a lot. This is interpreted as “attitude” and I am hearing impaired from my military service. This is also a reason I was placed on final warning. I have no history of progressive disciplinary issues, I have a clean record and I am always on time I am not a chronic call in sick. Can anyone make suggestions on accommodations with out causing undo hardships, People ( doctors, nurses, ) don’t get it. any help I would appreciate.

    • #66255

      Penny Williams

      Please start a new thread for this so members can see it to respond.

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

  • #78270


    My 8 year old has ADHD and ODD.
    We are currently seeing a doctor for help on this.
    Our biggest struggles at home are dinner. He goes from 8yrs to 2yrs in a matter of minutes with his food. Constantly, using his hands and not the utensils and using his clothes as napkins. Not staying in his seat always needing an excuse to get up from the table or cause a disruption.
    HELP..does anyone have any suggestions for this??


    • #78384

      Penny Williams

      You will get more responses if you start a new thread for this topic, so I encourage you to do that.

      As for the mealtime issues, try tackling only one lagging skill at a time. Reward when he does well with that one skill. Also, allow him to eat standing up or to sit for 5 minutes and then take a movement break before coming back to the table.

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

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