Hi I am new and I have a child with ADHD and ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by So stressed, May 6, 2010.

  1. So stressed

    So stressed Guest

    Hi, I am new to this. I have a 7 yr old son with ADHD and ODD. I am looking for some suggestions on how to handle the extreme disrespect and defiance that I am encountering. I must admit that I lost my cool the other day and allowed him to push me over the edge and he got his mouth washed out with soap. We have just started seeing a new family therapist but you know how it takes time. I am just at my wits end and I feel awful that I dread spending any time with my child. I also have an older daughter who is 12 who takes alot of the brunt of his misbehavior. I should add that to complicate matters I am separated from my husband. We share 50/50 custody. The kids stay 1 week with me and 1 with him. He ofcourse tells me that he doesnt have the same problems with our son that I do.
    Any suggestions on discipline or reading material. We have been fighting this battle for some time and I have tried many different types of positive reward systems and we are on our 3rd therapist.
    I must appologize if I am doing this wrong, like I said I am new and I dont know what all the abbreviations stand for. Like difficult child?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    So stressed!
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good Morning Stressed,

    the only thing you could have added to your first post was a profile signature like you see on the bottom of our posts. It gives us a little background and family information that is helpful in remembering the details of a member's difficult child/situation.

    Couple questions - Your son is 7 - how long has he been diagnosis'd with adhd? Has he been on, or his he currently on, medications for adhd? How does he do in school? Does he have any buddies?

    Are you on your third therapist because the others haven't done anything or they couldn't do anything? It's not unusual for our children to behave differently around the other parent - married and in the same house or living separately. Doesn't make it any less frustrating though....

    I know, that for my son, a combination of medications, some accoms at school, a good therapist, behavior mod, and a very structured schedule at home (i.e., home from school, chill time, snack, set homework time and space every day, structured bedtime routine to relax and calm, etc.) slowly but surely made a HUGE difference in his attitude, behavior and ability to deal with his challenges. I started the phrase Free Choice Friday here on the board years ago when I first came here in 2003. Friday was such a relief for difficult child and me that if he had a successful week (and that was not measured by perfect behavior) that he got to choose what he wanted for dinner and what programming he wanted to hunker down and watch Friday night. It was Free Choice for our house to celebrate making it through another week!

    There's not going to be one thing that works for any of our challenging kids. You'll have to take a little from here, and little from there, to find out what makes a difference with your boy. But joining this board of been there, done that parents and our community of support is a great step in the right direction!

    Welcome to the board.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Stressed,

    Glad you found us-it's a very soft place to land and you will find much support here. You asked about reading materials; one really good book is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Sounds like things are very hard right now; one thing that really helps me to be able to deal with my difficult child (Gift from God-the name we refer to the child who brought us here) is when I am taking care of me. For me that means exercising and trying to eat right. It also means finding "me" time. In addition, I started seeing a therapist-many of us do as raising are challenging children is very difficult.
  4. So stressed

    So stressed Guest

    Hi Sharon(s), Thanks for your response! I think I set up the sig thing. I guess we'll find out. My son is on Adderal XR 10mg. He was diagnosis'd about 1.5 yrs ago. I always felt there was something different with him, extremely aggressive. Everyone just kept telling me "he is a boy", "its a boy thing", "he will grow out of it", "your too easy on him", "you baby him", "you dont follow through with discipline". I work the night shift so admittedly I am tired alot. We are on our 3rd therapist because we weren't getting anywhere with the first one (female and he seems less affected by women), the second one was actually an RN that worked with troubled boys and was the charge nurse in a local psychiatric facility here and he terminated our relationship because he didnt feel as though my ex was taking things very seriously. He said that he was very concerned with how things were going to turn out. We will be having a second appointment with our 3rd therapist on Friday and am going to be scheduling an appointment with a new psychiatrist for medication evaluation. I dont feel as though his Adderall helps much. Some but not much. He does ok in school, very smart according to the teacher but very passive aggressive. Has friends but is not the first choice of children to play with.
    You are absolutely right about things being very hard right now! I keep telling myself that I am going to call Child protective custody on myself! (lol, sort of!)
    I will be going to purchase the Explosive child today! Has anyone read The Defiant Child by Dr. Doug Riley?

    Thank you for your support and info. Hopefully I am doing this right.

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sounds like you're on the right path so far.

    On the subject of "You're too easy on him," what he needs is consistency, as well as what other people might see as a light touch.

    A quick summary of how the Explosive Child book works - it puts a lot of control back onto the child, in terms of them needing to learn self-control. But you are the guide, the facilitator, the person the child learns to come to for support and assistance. You stop being the authority figure and lose "because I said so," and it becomes, "We need to think about this. If you do X, then Y will happen and that may not be good. Let's see if we can find a better way for you to get what you want, and still do it safely and the right way."

    You need to make a list of what you want to change about his behaviour. Prioritise the list, put at the top the dealbreakers.

    Then look at the list again - you've probably got about a dozen things in the dealbreaker column. And they have to be moved to a "we'll work on the top three" column.

    The dealbreaker column - the only things that you can have there, are immediate safety and school attendance. Ini our family, even school attendance is not on the list because we use a form of home schooling.
    For example - if you know your child is likely to have a meltdown if you lay hands on him, but you don't want to see him flattened by a truck, you will grab him if he's about to dash onto the road in front of a truck after a ball. Grab first, explain later. But if you're in a paddock somewhere and he runs off after a ball that is rolling in the grass, let him go. Only go after him to bring him back, if he gets in a situation of immediate danger.

    Similarly - we often find ourselves standing blocking the doorway saying, "You're not going outside without your coat." And this will provoke a meltdown and oppositional response in a kid whose main aim is to get outside to play. Once it gets to this stage, the child is LESS likely to come back later and admit to feeling cold. But if you either let the child go, then have the coat at the ready when he comes back (he has no reason not to - he hasn't lost face) then YOU have won - he is wearing his coat, plus he learned the consequences of going out in the cold without his coat (you get cold).
    Or you can say to him, "Which coat do you want to wear when you go outside? Do you want your red one or your blue one?"
    This gives him choice and a feeling of control, but it also gets what YOU want, which is him wearing a coat, any coat. And you have become the facilitator for him, not the obstacle to his play.

    With you and your husband separated, this complicates the picture. But what your husband does, really shouldn't matter here. You do the right thing and your relationship with your son should improve. Of course other people not on the same page will lead to the oppositional behaviour continuing, especially with those other people. But if you make allowances for him being grouchy soon after you get him back, and give him the space to re-acclimatise to you, things should begin to turn around. For you. And when your husband complains that things are getting worse for him, lend him the book.
    it's also possible that his dad lets him do whatever he wants, which would be why they get on with no problems. This would cast you as the ogre and disciplinarian, which aggravates the ODD stuff for you. So change your methods and mind-set following the book and this should begin to turn around for you.

    One thing to bear in mind - your son is not trying to be a pain. He undoubtedly wants to be seen as good, as helpful, as someone you enjoy being with. And when it clearly isn't working out, it upsets him too and he gets grouchy feeling, "Why bother?" That is when you really see the Mr Hyde emerging.

    These kids do try to hold it together at school or with people they feel less secure with. It's the ones who they feel safest with, who see the worst behaviour, as a rule. And it's not always directed at you, nor is it usually meant as "I hate you," Even if that's what the kid says. These kids get very frustrated, very angry, very impulsive. The world is a confusing, contradictory minefield for them and they need a guide to help them along the path. You are that guide.

    So you don't have to be the ogre. Not at all. There are other ways to still get what you want. But you may have to modify what you want, to expectations more achievable for him, at least for now. baby steps.

    It really does work, and it can work fast. But it's not a cure. He needs to change himself long-term, and this will need expert help. He will be trying to get it right, but it comes much more difficult for these kids.

    Stick around, let us know how you're going.