help and advice needed


New Member
OK, So I am new to the site and have a daughter who is testing out patience every day. She is on Ritalin ( over a yr now) and is doing great in school, but once home with us and her brother she annoys ALL the time, irritates on purpose and is starting to get rough with her brother... slapping and teasing.. etc.
Her doctor is now considering ODD in addition to her ADHD and we are at wits end!!! For my parents, whom she spends time with regularly and other people in our family she is " a loving, happy child who is just a little enthusiastic".. but once home she knows how to " push our buttons" and we have tried all kinds of dicipline. She doesnt care about being punished and losing stuff.. she could care less the consequences. She throws temper tantrums and talks back and is disrespectful. We could use some advice and to just know that there are other parents going thru what we are. Thanks for the help.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Hello and welcome to the board. :grin:

In doctor, do you mean pediatrcian or fam doctor or a phsychiatrist? If you and doctor are suspecting something more than the ADHD it might be wise to have her evaluated by a child psychiatrist or neuropsychologist.

Have you read the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? Many parents here find it helpful.

You've found a wonderful place to land with people who care. I'm sure others will be along to add their welcome.



New Member
Frustrated mom -
first of all a big hug! <hugs> I'm fairly new here too having just found these boards this spring but you've definitely landed in a good place for support!

One question I have is what type of Ritalin is she on? Long acting? Or does she take the generic every 4 hours? Does she take a step down dose in the afternoon? I know for mine, he was rebounding really hard after his long acting wore off mid-afternoon and he was a horrific bear until we got him on a step down dose to help him in the afternoons and evenings.

The other question I have is whether or not you've had a sensory processing/sensory integration evaluation completed for your daughter by an Occupational Therapist? Many children who are diagnosed AD/HD also have sensory issues which can overload them at school. By the time they get home, the child can't tolerate much at all and everything can seem to set him/her off.

Finally, have you tried any positive reinforcement systems? Punishment (aka negative reinforcements) only stop the immediate behavior and can often lead to lying, stealing, cheating - there's usually limited or minimal carryover of learning from having something taken away. Positive reinforcement, done unexpectedly, e.g. praising immediately when you see the behavior you want tends to have a more beneficial effect in the long run. My son does great on a token economy system, he's been diagnosed with AD/HD and ODD, but it can be a lot of work and requires that I'm on top of the ball and very structured and very consistent for it to work. Thankfully I've been able to be so and it's been a big turn around for him behavior wise.


Well-Known Member
Oh, boy, does that sound familiar!
Our son is ADHD and ODD. He is much better now (he's 10) but he's always a challenge.
I just take it one day at a time.
I know everyone here will recommend the Explosive Child by Ross Greene and I do, too. I also like John Rosemond. Consistency and consequences are paramount.
In our case, our son didn't respond really well until he was on medications, but it calmed him down enough that he was able to understand the consequences and learn.
I'll see if I can find some older notes to give you ideas.
Good luck!


New Member

While I was reading your post I was wondering whether she's on the extended release, or not. I know that Ritalin usually lasts for only a certain amount of hours and, with my son, I could tell the drop off point, drastically.

Something that helped (when Ritalin still worked for my difficult child) was an extra, very small dose of Ritalin to administer either immediately after school or right before he left as to overlap a bit so there was a bit more "sane" time, at least, through dinner.

My son is another who was never affected by positive OR negative reinforcements. I'm still going a little loopy with trying to figure out his puzzle of a brain, but little by little, he seems to have calmed down a bit.

A big thing that helped me was his journal. It went with him everywhere, and everyone (teachers, my husband and I, camp counselors, etc...) wrote the negetive AND positive things that stood out that my difficult child had done throughout the day. I started giving my difficult child a goal: to get one less negative and one more positive, everyday. It worked for a while, but faded (as everything kinda does), but I think, in the long run, it'll be good for him. Also, you can watch to see if you notice any patterns in behavior. This helps a lot when visiting the psychiatrist, to remember any incidents and such.

I wish you the best of luck. Keep us updated! You really did come to the PERFECT place for help. <3 :salute:


New Member
Thanks so much all of you!!
She has a clinical therapist for behavior and also a child phsychiatrist who specializes in behavior disorders ( who also happens to be a family friend)
We just switched her to the extended 20 mg tab of Ritalin once a day... the problem we run into is that if she takes anything after 2PM she is up til midnight.... bedtime is ALWAYS a challenge as she has NEVER been a sleeper... even as a baby she can survive on 5-6 hours a night. My husband and I have been married since April but together for 3 years, ( we have known each other for 10 yrs) and difficult child's BioFather is exactly the same way.. we know where she gets her genes... but husband was raised STRICK family of 6 and I was raised laid back.. spoiled.. weathly family of 3 girls.. our parenting skills are being challenged.. and therefore our marriage is being challenged because we are having a hard time with RULES... my easy child's get certain rules because they can handle alittle more " leniency" and difficult child always seems to get in trouble!! We are in meeting again with doctors to see about changing medications ??? I dont know... just tired of fighting with her about everything!! Thanks for the advice and I will run out and buy the book today


Active Member
You and husband both need to be on the same page.

I was raised strictly; my husband's parents were more lenient. But I can tell you - being heavy-handed with these kids will make any ODD a lot worse.

You BOTH need to read "The Explosive Child". There is also some discussion on this in Early Childhood, if it would be easier for husband to read. I don't know what it is, but some blokes just seem to have trouble wrapping their brains around books like this, although they would do anything for their child. Or step-child.
I wrote a summary of the book for husband - writing it helped me understand it better, too. I also explained it to him and he's seen it in action.

Someone mentioned a journal - we called ours a Communication Book and it helped a great deal.

Also something I highly recommend - see if your husband will post with you, or at least lurk through your ID on this site. It's made an amazing, positive difference to us and we thought we already communicated well - now it's amazing.

Good luck, there is a lot of support and ideas here.



Having a difficult child is definately challenging. My difficult child is ODD, much worse when he was younger. The more we tried to discipline, the meaner he would get. Praise he ate up, but didn't help his behavior. He had me in tears within a few hours of waking. Hard to remember you are the adult when you find yourself fighting with a child. I understand each child is different, and each child responds differenly. Experience with my difficult child is to take absolutely everything away. No specified time. He earns it back, one at a time.
How is she at school? Do you have an IEP in place? Are you the specific target? Siblings?
Many wise parents here who have been there done that. I can say difficult child is so much better. But..that could change in a minute. Hang in there.

About sleep. Upon recommendation from the wise warriors here, we have recently discovered how well Melatonin works. difficult child's sleep seems to be just like yours. Not even as a baby!
Melatonin is found by the vitamins at the store. It is wonderful.


New Member
Thanks for all your wonderful advice. She has been through the Core evaluation at school and was found to be a genius.. brain wise, she is ahead of all the kids in her class intellectually, which doesnt surprise me. She is going to end up a rocket scientist or in the " looney bin" LOL
But she really does fine with other people, it is at home with me and my husband and her siblings that she is a mess. She only has a few rules in place at school.. she must sit in the front of the class because she has severe eye strain and also because she needs to be up close to the teacher.. but other than that she didnt need any other " help".
We are tired and frustrated but I guess that we will manage.. nothing seems to work. the therapists we work with give us all these things to try and even taking away stuff.. well, like I said.. she could care less.. she just doesnt care about anything.. no appreciateion, no apologies, nothing... very frustrating!!