Speaking before thinking

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    • #107669

      I am in tears out of relief knowing I am not alone, but also knowing that this condition is so cruel sometimes.

      Last night we were at our pastor’s house and my 10 year old son said to some kids “I could get a knife and stab you!” because they were being too loud. He is not a violent child, but he doesn’t think before he speaks. When I said something to him about it, he said “Well you didn’t come in and help.” I said “You need to leave the room and come get me.” and explained why what he said was wrong, etc.

      Later he told the pastor he was the best pastor.

      His words are impulsive. But in this case, they are scary words. How do you handle these impulses and also make sure they will not lead to something physical.

    • #107690
      Penny Williams

      Often, our kids work off instinct because they struggle to stop and think. Our primal instinct as humans is survival. And our kids with ADHD and sensory issues often feel under siege just walking around in this world.

      You can change this behavior with a lot of work, consistency, and time. You should have a conversation with him about this each and every time it happens.

      Parent: Tell me what happened. Why did you say, “I could get a knife and stab you!” ?

      Son: They were being really loud. It was hurting my ears. They wouldn’t be quiet.

      Parent: (show empathy) I know loud places are really overwhelming for you. Do you think it’s ok to tell someone you could stab them?

      Son: No.

      Parent: What do you think you can do differently next time you get (overwhelmed, frustrated, etc… whatever he said it was that triggered him)?

      Son: Come get you?

      Parent: Yes! What else? (It’s important that the child comes up with options on his own, you should not tell him what to do but facilitate him coming up with more appropriate options)

      Those are all good options. Should you tell someone you want to get a knife and stab them?

      Son: No.

      Parent: What will you do next time you feel __________?

      Son: (Should list the alternatives back to you)

      Parent: That sounds like a great plan.

      This will take months of having this conversation every single time, but it will work.

      A therapist could help with this as well.

      To Master Anger, First Understand It

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

      • #107747

        Thank you!

        We are working on it. I am glad to see what you suggested is what we are trying.

    • #107860

      My son used to say similar things when he was in grade school. He was particularly annoyed by loud noises and loud kids. He took it on himself to be the enforcer of quiet on the schoolbus, even though no one asked him to and he wasn’t really capable of enforcing anything. I was worried he was going to get in a physical altercation. At a minimum, he alienated himself from the other kids. I suspect now that he was overwhelmed by the noise and didn’t know how to handle it. I think it may have helped if we had taught him to withdraw from the situation or given him headphones to wear when he couldn’t. I like the advice Penny gave here.

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