Help! Disciplining an ADHD/ODD 6yr. old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dcwsaranac, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    I love the boy, I really do. I just can't figure out what to do with him.

    Recently diagnosed. Just got up to full dose of Metadate and ADHD issues are greatly resolved.

    Now that we've peeled back that layer, we are really seeing the ODD.

    Here's where we are at:

    Planning and organizing everything as best we can.

    Reminders with counting when he needs to do something but is resisting (pick up, get dressed, etc.). 3 = 5 minute time out in designated spot.

    Outbursts of an inappropriate manner (hit, kick, throw, swear) are immediate time out.

    When giving a time out, he is told why and that the time will start when he is in the spot.

    After time outs are served there is no further discussion unless he asks to talk about it.

    As the ADHD medication has become more effective, his defiance has grown. Before he might protest, but then go into the time out. Lately, he just grabs a book, or toy and goes to play. When he is reminded that he needs to take his time out, he challenges with, "like you're going to make me," or a similar statement.

    Then the real fun begins. Here's how it's gone the last few times:

    I walk to him and attempt to touch-ground him.
    I tell him that he needs to go to take his time out.
    He jerks away and runs.
    I walk after.
    He begins screaming.
    I take his arm and try to walk him to the time out spot.
    He starts thrashing.
    I carry him to the time out spot.
    He begins kicking, punching, or head-butting.
    I restrain him.
    He starts crying, but continues to try hitting or kicking.
    After 5-15 minutes, he relents.
    I release him.
    He does the time out.
    We go back to normal.

    I feel that somewhere I am missing something. It shouldn't be escalating this quickly.

    Any advice on how to stop the excalation while not allowing him the power of disobediance?

    Any recommended reading? I've watched the 1-2-3 Magic lectures and read Parenting with Love and Logic. I've adapted parts of both, but I can't see where either of these can help much more in his case.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

  3. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    Thank you. I will.

    FYI - I noticed a mention of positive reinforcement near the beginning and realized that I made no mention of our positive disciplines.

    We make a point of praising all good things done without our asking/telling.

    We are sure to thank him when he repsonds positively to our instruction.

    We also reward good behaviors with much desired computer time (webkins) and quarters for good behavior notes from school that can be used to purchase books from school.
  4. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    Is there any way the medication. could be irritating the ODD behaviors?

    If time outs don't work, how does he react to loss of privileges? If the time out plan is something that has recently been implemented, you might want to stick with it for a while longer yet as it can take some time for them to "get it". My difficult child hasn't ever really seemed to get it but we continue to do the same thing because we need a time out and it gives "us" a little breather. I have to have her do time out in her room or in a room where I can lock the door if she won't stay there. Then, when she's calmed down, we start over. She either gets a time out, a loss of privilge, or both...usually both because we start with a loss of privilege (electronics) and it inflames the situation and we have to have her be somewhere alone so she can calm down.

    Ross Greene's book is good because the goal is to help them learn to negotiate and become a little more flexible instead of just exploding. We're not able to work on this with our difficult child because she's SUPER concrete. We're working towards it though.
  5. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    I know exactly what you are feeling. For us, time-outs = immediate escalation for my 4.5yo boy. He absolutely cannot do them unless I physically hold him in place (which leads to kicking, spitting, biting himself, etc.). So I've dispensed with time outs, and you may have to to. Not every child responds to that particular discipline method. I second the recommendation of Greene's the explosive child. Good luck!!
  6. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    Time-outs are something we've used for a long time. Same for counting. They are the only tools that have worked.

    I certainly plan to read the book, but want to note that I see him as defiant, not explosive. He doesn't just pop. He decideds that he wants his way and quitely insists on doing what he wants to do regardless of rules or instruction. Things escalate only when he is pressed to correct his behavior.

    I feel like now he can think (Metadate), but some of his thinking is driven by the ODD.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A few questions.
    Who diagnosed him?
    Are you certain he has the right diagnosis?
    Do you have any mood disorders, neurological disorders or substance abuse on either side of the family tree?
    Did he ever have any speech delays? Poor eye contact with strangers? Inability to socialize appropriately?
    Stimulants only work if the child has ADHD. If he maybe has a mood disorder, say, that is misdiagnosed as ADHD/ODD, then they can make him worse.
    Does behavioral therapy really work for him?

    Welcome to the board!
  8. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    Diagnosed by psychologist at local mental health facility about six weeks ago. Reviewed and prescribed by psychiatrist at same facility four weeks ago. Have seen remarkable improvement in ADHD behaviors. We have avoided telling him exactly what this medicine is supposed to do for him. He told us last week that he has "time to think now".

    No family history in immediate family (though I'm beginning to wonder if I don't have undiagnosed ADD). None in Grandparents, one cousin.

    No early medical issues. No missed developemental milestones.

    We have not discussed behavior therapy with psychiatrist or psychologist, yet. I have an appointment tomorrow and intend on discussing these things.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Don't worry about the explosive vs. defiant stuff when it comes to the book--it's helpful for either as well as for inflexible type kids.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A lot of those behaviors sound SO familiar! I have stopped physcially restricting my son; he is almost my ht and wt now and it's too scary, plus he loves the fighting--I mean, he doesn't "get" that I'm his mom and there are even bigger repercussions for fighting--he acts like I'm a kid his age in a street fight. So, following all examples like yours, nearly to the ltr, we have, over the yrs, now gotten difficult child to leave the rm for a Time Out, and when he does not, I simply tell him "It will only get worse," or, "No play time with-Henry" (his best friend) and he immediately goes to Time Out. You have to MEAN WHAT YOU SAY. One of our worst failings was not following through and letting him outsmart us, because we were always on the go.
    I would suggest no more physical restraints, and just finding one big fat kapowie activity or item to take away that will show him you mean it. Expect a few meltdowns--big ones--until he knows you mean it and then all of a sudden, it will click.
    Good luck! :919Mad:
  11. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...


    Thank you. I questioned the use of physical restraint myself. It is a technique that I was taught when dealing with troubled teen foster boys. I never thought I'd use is on a six year old, but it was automatic when he got physical. (throwing things didn't count)

    I tried something new tonight that I read somewhere here: If he started to argue (and he did several times) I simply told him that A had to be done before B could be done. I hestitated, but by golly, he did what he was told.

    I'm all for avoiding the altercations, but please answer me this: What do you do if he does get phyical with you?