How do I deal with the pressure of raising a child with add???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bigmama__31, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. bigmama__31

    bigmama__31 New Member

    There is so much information to give. My son Dylan is 4 years old. He is in preschool but not doing well with any of it. He constantly is put in time out for screaming, yelling no, pushing, biting and the list goes on and on. I try so hard to keep structure in the home but I am at my wits end. He is on respirdal (mood stabilizer) and I am still exhausted. If he is around just me (no dad or other family) he is well behaved. Dad walks in the door and **** literally hits the fan. He is so defiant. What can or should I do???:sad-very:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    The first thing you can do to help us is to do a signature like I did below. Then you can help us by answering a few questions. in my opinion it sounds like more than ADD going on.

    1/Who diagnosed him? Has he ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist?

    2/Are there any mood disorders or substance abuse on the family tree on either side? Has he ever taken medications other than Risperdal, and how have the medications affected him?

    3/How was his early development? Did he talk on time? Did he like to be held and cuddled? Was he overly sensitive to noise, touch, textures, light? Can he transition well from one activity to another? Does he relate normally to his same-age peers? How is his eye contact with strangers?

    4/Any traumas in the family? Both parents together? Any siblings?

    Welcome to the board, but I'm sorry you have to be here.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome to the site. Your son sounds like a very troubled handful, and I think perhaps needs a more thorough evaluation. A lot of our kids get a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD to begin with, but further down the track if there's something else underneath, it does become more obvious.

    His father being a trigger doesn't help. I do understand that one. The factors often are -

    Kid gets tired at end of the day (especially a kid on risperdal). Kid's coping skills are lowest at end of day, espeically a pre-schooler. The kid has been holding it together as best he can all day, he needs to let it go and relax, at least in his own space. OS his behaviour is likely to be worse.

    husband gets home. He's had a long day, he's tired, he's come home to his castle and things are NOT peachy-keen. He wants order, he's the man of the house and by crikey, he will HAVE order. So he starts slamming his fist on the table and demanding peace and quiet. This will make any kid jumpy, especially one who is angry, frustrated, afraid, anxious, depressed.

    A difficult child needs gentle handling especially at the end of the day. You can still be firm, but there are different ways to parent and to manage your child, that don't use CONTROL so obviously. The child needs to feel some measure of control, or he will spiral out of control. However, you and your husband are trying to use control to manage things.

    As a result - "light blue touch paper, stand well back."

    Similar things are probably happening in his day. Again, he can be handled diffferently. Instead of always saying, "No" to him (see where they get it from?) the child can often be directed away from what they are doing wrong.
    Example: Instead of saying, "Johnny, stop trying to rip off Brenda's head, it's hurting her," you can say, "Johnny, please put Brenda down and come here to me." You can use other methods as well - "I want you to tell me what has happened," or "I have something here to show you." Or you can walk over to him and distract him into a different activity. I also learned early on to ask other kids (not te ones involved in a dispute) what they saw. From what they told me, I often got a more accurate picture of events.

    If you have a kid who is constantly frustrated and angry, they need an outlet for this. I used a jogging trampoline, but there are a wide range of good activities for a kid to vent his anger. Modelling clay is good, especially if you show them how to slam it down on the table (all good sculptors do this with their clay before they begin to shape it).

    A book we recommend here - "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. If you hop over to the Early Childhood forum, you will find the stickies there have some discussion on this book and how you can apply it to younger kids. These posts are mostly based on the 2nd edition of the book, the 3rd edition is even better and is actually quite different in some respects. But the CPS method (Collaborative Problem Solving) is one you could even use on husband. I use it on government departments, with more success than anything else.

    Read the book (or the stickies). Maybe sit and talk to your husband about what frustrates him about your son. (make sure your son is not in earshot for any of this).

    My husband is a member of this site now. He and difficult child 3 still clash at times, because nobody's perfect. I do think a lot of the early problems especially, were due to husband's expectation that Dad is the head of the household and will be respected always. Unfortunately, that doesn't automatically work with difficult children.

    I also mentioned the need for further, detailed evaluation - the reason for this is, if there is another underlying disorder (such as Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) for example) this can mean that different methods are very much needed.

    The discipline techniques that you and I grew up with (and our husbands) were fine for us, they did us no harm and in fact taught us how to live a good life considering other people and being model citizens. The trouble is, these same methods can actually make some kids worse, simply because their brains are wired differently. Think back to your childhood - can you remember kids who kept breaking the rules, being difficult, shouting a lot, always in trouble? There are other methods that would have helped these kids. because increasing the strictness neer taught any of these kids one scrap about self-discipline, self-control or consideration of others.

    The flip side to this, the way to eventually manage kids like ours - is to teach them self-discipline and self-control. And often surprisingly, they are better able to learn this faster than expected, often for the same reasons the traditional methods fail.

    So there is good news in this. Also, you can use CPS methods on easy child kids too. That is the really good news.

    It does take a little more energy to do tis when you're tired. The answer is to lay groundwork while you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and then you will find things working much better when you're tired, than they would otherwise.

    For us, it made our lives easier. This isn't a method where you feel you have to study a iuni course, or take copious notes, or spend hours planning and preparing materials - nope. It's much easier than that. But it does take a change in mind-set. But the book helps explain all that.

    It doesn't help everyone, a couple of people here have tried it and given up. But they are the minority. I'm not saying it's their fault in any way - sometimes it's just the way it is. But if traditional parenting methods can help 60% of kids, and CPS can boost that to 90%, I'll take 90% and keep looking for something to hep the remaining 10%.

    Stick around, we can help here.

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Bigmama, welcome.
    So sorry about your 4-yr-old. He is a handful!
    Have you read The Explosive Child? I think it will help you and especially your husband ... since you said once he comes it the door, the *** hits the fan. You can create new paradigms and new parameters.
    What are your son's triggers? Bright lights? Sounds? Touch? Foods? Certain people? Transitions?
    Transitions were a big one for my son. OMG, the tantrums we endured when he was younger. He is much, much better now.
    I don't know much about putting pre-schoolers on risperdal. It doesn't sound like he has improved much. Have you tried a stimulant? If so, what happened?