ADHD - the tantrums. How do you deal with them.

[deleted account] ( 11 moms have responded )

My 7yr old has such severe tantrums he can't calm. And we know that yelling only makes things worse. But I just don't know what else to try. He sits in his room with his favorite stuffed animal but still goes and goes with the tantrum.

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Kerri - posted on 09/18/2009

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Oops! I might have posted this in the wrong spot, so I'm reposting it...

I have had way more experience with temper tantrums than I would ever wish on a person. My son used to throw them all the time. I got some good, but rather difficult advise from a therapist once that seems to really work. She said to just let him throw his fit as long as he isn't hurting himself or others, kinda like Elizabeth said. The first night I put my foot down, it took him over 2-1/2 hours to calm himself down. The next night, it was about and hour and 15 minutes, the third night it was about 45 minutes, the fourth night it was only 10 minutes, and by the fifth night, he was able to control himself and avoid the tantrum altogether. Things went okay for a few days, and he started trying to push his limits again. I stuck to my guns and he calmed himself down very quickly without having to go to his room. This was almost 2 years ago. He's 11 now and still has his moments, but he's getting a LOT better at sending himself to his room to calm down on his own if he is getting upset or frustrated. Some of it comes with maturity, but I think a lot of it comes with consistency and hard work (on the parent's part!). That first week was hell - I had to walk outside the house numerous times to keep control of MYSELF, but the progress was unmistakable. Good luck!

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Crystal - posted on 11/26/2009

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We had to add 1/2 pill of Abilify in the mornings to his Adderall and went to counseling to learn some childrens' yoga techniques and positions.

Michelle - posted on 11/25/2009

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We have a anger pillow that he can hit or bite or scream in to. Also I have found that if I wrap him in a light weight blanket and sit and hold him in my rocking chair like I did when he was a baby he calms down faster. Most of the time he needs to get it out though. He also has the option to go outside and beat the cactus with a stick as we live on 200 acres and have alot of prickly pear cactus.

Tammy - posted on 10/15/2009

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I have a 10yr old them the same problem. I have to just let him go to his room, vent, and then he can calm down alot sooner. If I don't make him go off to be by himself it can go on forever! As he's gotten older the blow-ups have gotten worse but shorter. He and I both have a better understanding of what's going on and now he doesn't fight me when I say "go to your room and calm down". He understands that it's not to punish him but rather to keep him from getting punished by staying and continuing to scream and fight. Your child is a 7yrs old and is probably old enough to talk to while he is at a "calm state". Not during or after a; what we call a "meltdown". But rather while your child is in a good mood; talk to them while making dinner together or something you both enjoy. Let them know that you don't like it when the two of you fight or when he has a tantrum. Let them know that you understand that there are times that they have a hard time staying calm and they get very angry. Talk to them and ask them "what can I/we do to help?" You might be surprised at the response you get. Maybe come up with some suggestions. Let them know that the next time they are having trouble with a tantrum (or however you want to phrase it) that they maybe should try this(whatever plan you two have come up with). Make it a positive situation that you want to help and don't want to see them in trouble. Plan on having "backlash" within the first few tantrums but remain calm and remind them that you know they are struggling and they need to go calm down and then you can work it out. I hope this helped and I wish you luck.

Jill - posted on 10/06/2009

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My oldest son was just diagnosed before the school year last year. His tantrums were more like crying meltdowns. He is now on Strattera and is doing well, but the teacher just called and said in the last 2 days he has had some tiny meltdowns at school, but they let him have time to himself, and it seems to calm him down. What I do at home, is either give him some space, or talk to him in a calm voice and give him choices, like you can play out side if you either clean your room or put the dishes away or pick up the toys. Our Dr says giving choices makes him think instead of just acting out.

Tara - posted on 09/23/2009

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Thank you for sharing, i've been dealing w/ this for 6yrs now & none of my friends children do any of this. So now i feel some relief knowing it's not just my son and some one else understands my FRUSTRATIONS..
Unfortunately i'm disable and my son & I live w/ my parents and they are not on the same page... They don't understand how important consistent routine & punishment means and will help the everyday TANTRUMS..
So thank U again..

Megan - posted on 09/20/2009

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Dealing with tantrums is almost harder on us parents to keep our cool. We have calmed the tantrums down quite dramatically instead of a couple a week we may have one once a month now. We were at our wits end til we spoke with his counselor. Be Consistent in everything you do especially discipline. If we are out of routinue for more than one day or something big happens we are doomed for a tantrum not the next day but in days to follow, its like he holds it all inside until he explodes. So we prepare ourselves mentally for that day and just wait for it to happen. My step son knows exactly what the rules and punishments are and on any given thing if he does something wrong, I make him tell me what his punishment is just to re-itrate it.

For tantrums it has turned from him getting into trouble to the explosive meltdowns. So in turn we have made it to where he has his typical time out in his room for 6 minutes (or whatever age he is) He has the option to do that immediately and be done. For every minute he takes to get to his room thats another minute added to the timeout. If he decides to throw anything including himself on the floor thats an additional five minutes. And as the parent I calmly stand there looking at my watch warning him of the time and nothing else. He knows the punishments and the consequences if he feels the need to hit anything he has a couple different pillows on his bed for that. If he is crying uncontrollably I get him to hold his breath for 10 seconds and blow it out and do it again and again until he has calmed himself down to talk to me and tell me really why he got all worked up for. Its alot of patience on your part and calmly talking and holding and loving your child even when you just want to yell back. Good luck!

Elizabeth - posted on 09/17/2009

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I know just how you feel b/c we have the same problem with our son. We would try time out but that doesn't work with our son, he thinks its a joke. I have to the point of just letting him scream it out as long as he doesn't hit anybody. Not really a fun thing to listen to and it really grates on your nerves but what else is there to do. He won't calm down until he is done anyway. It is very hard to live with a child like this, believe me I know all about it.

Kerry - posted on 09/16/2009

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my son has just been diagnosed with adhd at the age of 6yrs. i find that asking him to look at me while i'm talking to him helps.....use a very strong voice and really mean what you say. i also take away fave toys and treats to re-inforce my rules. i am not sure how you deal with your son when he gets into it, but i find the first signs of a tantrum are the 'eyes going blank'. when this happens i talk it through. it's what helps my son get through it xx

Penny - posted on 09/10/2009

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If you get an answer for this let me know too. My son is 12 and all he does is throw fits and tantrums. Sometimes gets angry enough he'll punch things and screams and i cant calm him either. Im still doing the "child restraints" but he's getting to big for that soon.

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