Teen ADHD Lying, Stealing, no respect for others

Sue - posted on 05/09/2016 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I see so many stories similar to my own on the lying and stealing. But I don't see any real answers on what to do - where to go. What have others of you done to achieve success in dealing with these issues? Where do we start? With a psychologist - but hard to find one that is truly effective. So it is up to us. The 'stealing candy and cookies' (even when Hidden) is out of control - and then Lies about it when there is no one else here to have Taken it all. The blatant disrespect and defiant behavior - someone told me is 'typical' of teenager. Being told that DOESN'T HELP.

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Sarah - posted on 05/09/2016

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Some kids with ODD seem to not be invested in anything and therefore it is hard to find a consequence that is effective. For example my son, whom I discussed earlier, covets his screen time immensely. Taking away the limited free hours he gets really works to get him to modify his behavior. He wants to be able to use that computer! Examine your child's life and try to find that currency- there is probably something you can take away or limit. Otherwise, another method is to increase the amount of an unpleasant chore. This will only work if your kid has the sense that when you assign chores they have to be done. If you already have a child who does not believe they have to obey you then you run into physically forcing them to perform the task and that can be nearly impossible and certainly not effective anymore. You are punishing yourself in that case. You run into the question of: What will I do if he does not do the punishment work? How old is this child?

Sarah - posted on 05/09/2016

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Sadly it is true that teens often do go thru a phase like this; my own 14 yo just had a run of swiping snacks and energy drinks that he discovered. I even found the wrappers and cans in his room and he insisted it was not him. He said his sister framed him, which is ridiculous. For the lying, I start questioning everything he tells me. So even if he is telling the truth about something I tell him it's sad that I cannot believe him. It helps, at least for him it stopped the behavior. My consequences for taking something and then lying about it are way stiffer than being honest when confronted. I tell the kids up front, think before you respond to my question because if I find out that you are lying you will be way worse off than if you just come clean. For all four of my kids this has helped them to be honest with me.

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Sue - posted on 05/09/2016

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He is 14. We are having conversations about consequences today. He seems very sorry and has been complacent in accepting those for now. He knows he was 'caught' and he knows he has to follow our rules here. And yes sometimes we all have to suffer along with them with restrictions, eh?

Thanks for all the thoughts and encouragement - we will see how long it lasts with the consequences he was given before I have to take away the computer - THAT would be horrible for him.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/09/2016

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You still haven't said what your doggone consequences were in the first place.

Consistency is key. ESPECIALLY when you're starting with a kid that spent so much time in the foster system! He should already be in therapy/counseling, and seeing a behavioural therapist.

So, what ARE your current consequences?

Sue - posted on 05/09/2016

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He does have diagnosis (severe) ADHD - and is in special needs classes at school. Also more recently, ODD.

Yes, before there were "labels" we all chalked it up to "teenage behavior". When he came to us he was a total Mess (from CPS, abusive foster homes and over-medicated) and we have dealt with all of that. But the lying and story telling has been consistent and excessive - at home and at school. We have told him over and over he makes it very difficult for us to believe Anything he says anymore because he's been caught in so many lies. Telling the story about 'The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf' made no difference either. The consequences are the question - my previous ones have obviously not made a difference. Do they need to be more and more severe? I don't know. I am going to do away with anything "Sugar" in this house for sure, as I saw someone suggest in another post. I guess we need a trip to a good therapist because it has created a huge amount of added stress and animosity here .

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/09/2016

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Why does everyone use the blanket excuse of ADHD when their kids start to display normal (if irritating and disturbing, its no less normal) behavior?

Does your son HAVE a diagnosis of ADHD, or are you using that blanket because his actions aren’t what you approve of? You want solutions. Good. What have you tried to date?

Consequences? Consistent consequences?

Jodi - posted on 05/09/2016

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If it is only stealing candies and cookies, it has nothing to do with ADHD. You need to stop making assumptions that any negative behaviour is to do with the ADHD. This IS actually normal teenage behaviour (I know you don't want to be told that, but.....well... too bad.....that's what it is). If you don't want things taken, lock it up. Implement consequences and discipline (eg. removal of privileges) for lying and disrespect.

You didn't really mention what you HAD tried regarding discipline.....

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