What is the best way to deal with a child that is 11 years old and has ADHD.

Ana - posted on 02/05/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




I have a fantastic son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6. I feel i am the worst mother in the world because i can't seem to understand or help my son. It seems the older he gets the more challenging he becomes. We have done a fabulous program at a university for 8 weeks in the summer and it seemed to have worked so great. He finished the program and was controlled with his emotions, his temper and his defiance. But its been very difficult lately. He has become more aggressive and confrontational which scares me very much. I do not deal well with being challenged by a child non the less my own. I find myself having to walk away from him because i am scared of my reaction. He is such and intelligent person, he is loving, caring and a mothers perfect child, until he gets this way. if you tell him not to back talk to you he tells you he isnt back talking he is standing up for himself because under the consitution he has the rights to do so. I dont know what to do or how to deal. He goes to a psychiatrist once a week to talk. But it isnt working i see things getting worse. My daughter who is 9 is suffering and she cries when ever there is an outburst, which seems to be very often. I know he is pushing us to see how far and how much he will get a way with but i have come to the point where i dont even want to be around him. I dont want him near me. And that scares me that is my child and i will give my life for him and i am hating myself for feeling this way. But i dont know what to do.


View replies by

Chaya - posted on 02/09/2013




Keep him busy with physical activity, that is swimming, football, whateve rhe fancies. It will help him burn energy and keep him healthy.

Ana - posted on 02/05/2013




Ariana, Thank you so much as i sit here at work crying reading your response. We have tried it all from the greatest things he loves which is his electronic to wrestling outings that he loves to go to. We have consequences and we i have to say threaten him more with putting them into play then actually following through. I have always told him and i make sure he knows that no matter what his behavior is my love for him will never end. But that his behavior is unacceptable. By aggressive i mean he will stand in my face and will not backdown when i tellhim to step away. He just entered Middle school and he is extremely intellegent and has alwasy been in the Gifted programs and currently in a magnet school maybe thats why i find it so hard to understand if he is so extremely intellegent why can't he understand that his actions are unacceptable especially to his parents. He feels we violate our parental rights and he will tell us that. My husband is much more passive and understanding and is the one that works very well with him to try to diffuse the situations. But you have made some wonderful helpful points that i will put into place. I have also looked up a contract for him and I to both sign. In which we can work together on improving our ways and it will have specific consequences for each action accordingly, Including my own, in which i feel that his ways are because that is the way i deal with bad situations I scream. I also want him to keep a journal about his feeling and emotions both good and bad. My husband has asked about an insident that happened yesterday which is what compelled me to find this forum andi am grateful for it now. I said to him 2 days with no electronics and a report about respect towards parents. I dont knwo if these are good ideas but that is my son and i will do what i need to do to make sure I help him get through this and at the same time help myself better understand and not feel like a failure as a Mother.

Ariana - posted on 02/05/2013




You may do better with giving him a consequence for 'backtalk' and other things rather than arguing. You could write out what backtalk is (so he can't argue with you) and the consequence for it (sent to room, something he likes taken away, whatever you feel is appropriate). That way if he decides to backtalk instead of arguing you simply say you are backtalking. You can decide whether a warning is appropriate or to just give him a consequence right away. If he does it frequently and you've explained what backtalk is. it may be better to simply say, you backtalked to me, you know the consequence, or this is the consequence.

It is actually really appropriate for you to walk away, that's great, it means you aren't allowing him to push your buttons and make you lose control. The downside is that then you're frustrated and he feels like he's gotten away with it, if you have a punishment for it you can walk away and still enforce a consequence so you stay calm and he still has to learn that what he did/said was inappropriate.

Also what's happening can becomea vicious cycle, he acts out, you pull away, he doesn't feel like you want to be around him as much which makes him act out more etc. Even though he must be very frustrating you should try to make a special outings or activities with him that have nothing to do with his behavior. His behavior is getting out of hand but he still loves you and needs to know you love him no matter what. So if you feel like you're pulling away from him due to his bad behavior you should try to set up a 'special outting' with him once a week, where you go do something together no matter how he's acted, even if he's grounded etc. You can explain this to him that it's your and his special time no matter what (you can do it with your daughter too so she won't get jealous, or do each of them every other week if you can't go out twice a week, if you have a spouce they could take the other child on that week but if not just figure out what works best for you).

Even so it's ok that you feel this way, it can feel like a personal attack, you just have to remind yourself that it isn't. He's pushing limits and trying to push your buttons and that's actually normal.

I would try this with other things if you can, don't let yourself to get drawn into arguments, if he does something he shouldn't simply reinterate the rule and give the consequence, if he argues walk away.

Do you have consequences for the things he does when he acts out? Are they important to him or working? Of course you have to try and teach him what he's supposed to do and work on calming techniques etc. but ultimately he is responsible for his behavior. Do you work with the therapist at all to figure out what would be helpful to him?

Also what do you mean by aggressive? If he is physically agressive, or acts like he is, I would have a VERY severe consequence. He would be grounded and not allowed to use any of the things he might like (internet, videogames, TV etc.) to show him that violence is not acceptable. Don't know if that's the type of agression you meant.

Are there other specific behaviors that are bothersome or just defiance and backtalk in general? It sounds like you're doinga lot to work with him so far, I would try to keep up with discipline and continue try to not let him push your buttons or get you upset. Make sure you try to stay 'soft' and keep his behavior seperate from your love for him (even though I'm sure it's hard to be around someone who's acting out all the time). It isn't about you, just remind yourself of that. Keep trying to connect with him (obviously not in the middle of an argument or when you're both super mad, but when things have calmed down a bit try to let the rest of it go).

Good luck!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms