Don’t know what to do.


New Member
Hello everyone, I’m new to this so please cut me a little slack.
I’m a foster sister. The children have been in mine and my parents home for 2 years now. Before this situation, we had a very close relationship with the children and their mother. The children in my home are a 9 yo boy and a 6yo girl. They have 2 brothers placed in another home. About 3 or 4 months after their placement here, their mother passed away. This October will be 2 years since her passing.
Now the little boy is a lot. Some days he makes me cry because no one knows what to do with him. He is very manipulative and has been the whole time he’s been here. He’s been diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, ODD, Anxiety, and depression. He’s constantly throwing these huge tantrums and everyone in the house seems to tiptoe around him. Trying their hardest not to set him off. Because once you do, there is no going back for hours. Personally I can’t stand to be around him sometimes, but if I voice that to him, it’s another tantrum that the whole house has to deal with. He won’t listen when you tell him to do the simplest things. He won’t stop until he gets exactly what you want. My dad is almost completely withdrawn from the little boy at this point and my mother is at a loss. If we can’t keep him, CPS will remove the little girl from our care as well. Now we all have a bond with her and the little boy has proven to be abusive towards her. He’s just recently pushed her down a flight of stairs. I just need some advice.
I posted this in another forum, but I’m hoping it will get more views in this one. And one thing I forgot to add was that the little boy is always blaming someone else for his wrong doings. I don’t know what to do


Well-Known Member
Foster children have all kinds of professional help available to them. If he is not receiving help, he needs to be. Did his mom have a history of drug or alcohol use? During her prenatal period? Did she die because of substance abuse? Genetics? Family history? Does he have regular visits with his other brothers? Please contact his support worker/case manager and ask for help. Also see if foster care would arrange respite care so your family can have some down time and recharge your batteries.

Does he have an IEP at school? Does he have the same behavior there? Basically, until you can get professional help I would suggest finding an activity or sport that he can feel good about, at home, try to give him some one on one time, without waiting for him to act up. Look for small glimpses of good behavior. Try to get him involved in activities at home...a craft, baking cookies, Legos, etc.

This child has been thru more adverse effects in his short life than most adults have. Please reach out for help.



Well-Known Member
Sadly, these things are very common in adopted children. He needs a good therapist and medication. Maybe activities or some type of hobby would help to a certain degree. I agree with the suggestion about respite for you and your parents.


New Member
Thank you for your reply! He has been in therapy and has been going to a psychiatrist the whole time we’ve had him. He’s on Intuniv and Stratera for his ADHD and anxiety. He also has regular visits with his brothers. And yes there were instances of substance abuse in his mothers life.

He does have an IEP and we’ve even switched him to online school because he seems to focus more if he’s on a device (i.e. laptop for school). But when he was in person he was exhibiting the same behaviors. Throwing a tantrum over the smallest of things, hating the word ‘no’, making everyone else suffer because he didn’t get his way.

He really likes soccer, so for his birthday he got cleats, 2 balls, and a goal. And the other kids try to play with him. But when he doesn’t get his way, it’s bad news for everyone.

We have tried literally everything you’ve mentioned. We tried alone time with him and it only makes behaviors worse afterwards. We’ve tried positive reinforcement. But once again, it gets worse afterwards. We’ve tried rewards, taking rewards away, time out, talks, but he won’t stop.

Last night before I made this post he was doing fine. But his sister was getting in trouble and his “name” was mentioned. His name was never mentioned. But because he can’t be wrong it was 3 hours worth of screaming, crying, and completely ignoring what he was told to do. Keeping the whole house up for hours when they all had school in the morning.

I really just need a break and so does the rest of the house. I can’t even be in his vicinity without my heart racing and my body sweating. But we don’t know what to do.
FosterSis, I just wanted to reach out and wish you the best. It sounds like an incredibly challenging situation in which you are doing the best you can. It's not easy to manage and unfortunately there may not be much you can do. As Crayola13 mentioned, improvements are probably going to come from continued therapy and finding the right mixture of medications to get his behavior under control. Unfortunately, medications can require a lot of trial and error. Do you know if he has tried many up to now?


New Member
Well we’ve experimented with different medications a couple months after he was placed here. And the Intuniv seemed to be the best fit for his ADHD. After a while the tantrums and stuff like that weren’t going away, so the psychiatrist put him on Stratera, which was to help with the ADHD as well as anxiety.

We’re currently in the process of getting his dosage upped, but it has to make its way through the courts. So it’s all kind of at a stand still. I just don’t know how much more I can take. I don’t know
FosterSis - it sounds like you're making progress toward finding the best fit for him. It may require a bit more experimentation and adjustment and I hope you can work with his psychiatrist as quickly as possible to get to an optimal solution. If anxiety and depression are a serious issue, you can always ask about adding on an SSRI which is a popular choice to help with that.


Is there a psychologist who specialises in children with behaviour issues who you can contact who will come into the home and see what goes on ? A bit like family therapy and coaching. I have seen it on TV documentary in the UK, but our system is different to US. They have had good results with challenging behaviour.