Teens and Blurting

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    • #59382

      All four of my sons have ADHD, two have the Inattentive/Hyperactive kind, and two have the Inattentive kind. They all have issues with impulsively blurting out things that are either inappropriate, socially unacceptable, rude, or hurtful. Often they are trying to be humorous, but do not seem to have a filter of what is appropriate humor and what crosses lines that should never be crossed. For example, my oldest once yelled out as the children at school climbed on the busses, “you’re all going to die!” He has a tender heart and meant no one any harm, but thought it was funny to say this because, in his mind, everyone is going to die someday, so it seemed funny to him to say this. Of course, the school took it as a threat, and there was an investigation. In a worse situation, my 10 year old was leaving the house to get on the bus this morning and my 16 year old yells out to him as he is leaving, “I hope you die today.” I was horrified. He stated that it was “a way of joking with each other” and that his 10 year old brother had just told him “I’ll be at your school today to stab you”, jokingly. He said he was responding in kind and “we joke with each other like that all the time.” I grounded him and explained that we do not ever joke like that because that isn’t funny or a joke. When I left the house this morning he was complaining that I am stifling his “opinions and humor” and that I’m making him “ask your permission before I speak”. I get that he feels I’m trying to control him, but someone has to! Any suggestions on how to get through to them both a guiding principle that can reduce or stop this type of blurting?

    • #59568

      Perhaps learning time & place? I’m not saying what was stated was correct, but maybe knowing where not to say inappropriate things could be a start? It doesn’t punish the offense, but it might make him pause on his own. It’s a filter of a different sort that he might not find as stifling or restricted. Then he might learn what not to say as he gets older.

    • #59583
      Penny Williams

      It’s important to teach them the possible consequences of these types of “jokes” as the reason why you don’t tell them. You don’t want to parent through fear, but you do want to outline the facts of what can happen if this behavior continues. Today, one of those facts is juvenile detention when you’re making threats of harm to others on school property. I personally would also talk about how horrible the reality of what they are joking about is, and that joking about it makes the experience of victims seem unimportant (which it’s not).

      Here’s help with impulsivity of speech and blurting:

      Parent-to-Parent: How Do You Prevent ADHD Impulsiveness in Your Child?

      “I Know! I Know!” Self-Control Solutions for Kids Who Blurt Out

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

    • #59930

      Grounding seems like an extreme response, and I’m a pretty big meanie. You seem to be lot more hurt than the kid is. Just tell him not to joke about that, and strike one privilege for the day if they do.

      It’s really not that terrible!!!

      The school administration are idiots. I’ve had completely unprintable things yelled out bus windows at me by high schoolers when I run outside that would make a construction worker blush. What he said was a lot better than that!

      All teens are morons some of the time. Some are morons a lot of the time. Your job is to help them outgrow it!

    • #60067

      I think you did the right thing. Boys can be mean to each other but it is your job to teach them your family does not work that way and you are not joking. If he feels controlled, so be it. You are setting the standards of acceptable behavior. He can be free when he pays his own bills! God forbid he say something like that at school as he gets older. It will be a lot more serious than an investigation! The school may suspend, give detention, call police, order a psychiatric exam – they take these things very seriously since there has been violence at school. Once I got a call in first grade because my child made a shooting finger sign at another kid – they were playing cops and robbers! The schools have zero tolerance AND we live in a litigious society.
      I would also explain from a softer perspective about love, respect and that family is forever. One day parents die. Siblings need each other and childhood can be so much more fun with a close relationship.

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