Need help


New Member
Hi all,

I registered here a while back and didn't think we quite belonged, maybe I was wrong or maybe we are just hitting a rough patch.

I am mother to a now 10 yo daughter, when she was in 2nd grade we got a ADHD and ODD diagnosis. I knew the ADHD, but not the ODD and quite frankly have always thought that was wrong. Lately though.... hmmmm.... it's been um interesting. She's had a lot of changes in her life, her father just had a new baby, but in all seriousness she seems to love the baby and it is not bothering her one bit.

However, I can't seem to get a "happy" kid with me, she's angry at me or something I don't know. Everything is wrong, food (even her favorites), the way I wake her up, the way I tuck her in (when she requests it), the way I look, whatever happens to be going on it is wrong.

There doesn't seem to be these problems at her father's house, I keep wondering that I am doing something wrong.

*note for all of you, Father and I share custody however he gets slightly more time than I do. Right now is when she gets a majority of the time with me and less time with him.

Now I know I had a siggy here at some point, I'm off to see if I can update it with whatever information that might need to be added.


New Member
Kids take it out on the parent they feel the safest with typically. If she knows no matter what, you're always going to be there for her, she is going to relax and take it out on you. Before my husband and I were married, my 3 difficult children would always use him as the "punching bag". He got all of the grief. Something is wrong, but she hasn't figured out how to verbalize it yet so she is just angry. You're getting it because she knows that no matter how she treats you, you're still going to be there for her. I'd seek counseling for her and possibly for all of you, your ex included, if he'll work with you on it for her sake. She needs to find an outlet to get it all out of her system. I hope things get better for you and her both!


New Member
Unfortunatly with-out a CO counseling isn't going to happen and without money for a lawyer (I still owe the last one $20K) I can't get a CO. Ex is unwilling to recognize she is having such issues.

What I really need is to figure out how to help her the best I can on my own.

I know she's acting out on me because she knows I will love her and be there for her no matter what. I also know that perhaps I had on rose colored glasses with her original diagnosis, maybe I was wrong maybe she is ODD like the original doctor said.

She excessively argues (as noted somewhat above) with all adults, especially females (but not so much with her father, I'm not sure why either).

She refuses to accept rules or directions for anything she doesn't want to do it then turns into a HUGE struggle. Her birthday party was a HUGE embaressment and it was just family there.

She often is annoyed, as a matter of fact I can't think of very many times she isn't annoyed by something (especially lately)

NOTHING is EVER her fault

Anger seems to be her forte lately, but it is often her choice of emotions with everything. When you'd think she'd be sad she gets angry, any intense emotion tends to bring out anger.

She refuses to see when she is wrong if she is "getting back" at someone. It is always their fault and they deserved it. For instance she will still bring up an incident from 2 years ago where she was almost suspended from school for an altercation (in 2nd grade), she often says "remember that time when..." and then justifies it still. Why? Why after the punishment was doled out, the issue has been dead, and over with for 2 years does she still have to justify her "rightness" and why can't I get her to see she was wrong?

Her mouthiness never ever ends, you can say the slightest thing and mean it nice and all of a sudden it is attitude and defiance. I want to smack her all.the.time. I want to throw my hands up latley and give her to her dad and say here, she's yours call me when she is ready to be nice. I woulnd't do that but man I feel like it latley.


New Member
Oh, and if I have to hear one.more.time about how if "that were my kid" I swear I'm going to scream and go off, it won't be pretty.


Active Member
Why would you need a court order? Who has the insurance? I'm taking difficult child 1 to therapy against ex's wishes.


New Member
Because our court order states we must both agree to such treatment or we must use the court to decide. I don't have the exact wording... but I would be in contempt of court if I went against his wishes, as would he if he did the same. If we don't agree on a treatment and we can't come to some sort of agreement then we must use the court. Since I am the one that wants it, it is up to me to file ($100+ just to file the motion itself, then I'd need to supbeana (sp?) he old therapist who has refused to testify anyway, based on the fact he was sued for it before even though he says she needs the therapy. Then the attorney fees that is a $2500+ retainer and $270/hour, and this would take quite a bit of investigating on the attorney's part to get all the required evidence that our daughter needs this. Ex will walk in and say I can't handle her, she doesn't act that way with him blah, blah, blah... make it all look like my fault and either get his way or he will use it to "prove" that I shouldn't have so much time with her since I can't control her.


I would recommend the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. That would be a great place to start.


New Member
Thank you... I think I might actually have the book somewhere in my myraid of books among some box somewhere. I'll look for it.


New Member
Ditto on The Explosive Child.

I remember my daughter at 10. She was pure misery to be around. She was going through a pre-pubescent stage. Honestly, she was easier to deal with once her cycle started and her teen years were no joy. At least then her anger, complaints, etc. were only once a month rather than non-stop.

How is she behaving in school and with her stepmom? If she's having problems with either or, preferably, both, maybe you could have a united front to convince your ex that your daughter needs counseling.

It must be very difficult to not be able to make decisions you know are right for your daughter. You have my sympathies.


Active Member
Kari, Heather beat me to it about the book.

Re the money side of things - if you can't find the book in a hurry but are sure you have it, or know you haven't got it but can't afford a copy yet, IMMEDIATELY do one of two things:

1) Get it out of your local library; or

2) Check it out online, including the discussion we have on this site in the Early Childhood forum. The forum is discussing the book especially from the point of view of handing difficult pre-schoolers, but really, looked at in that light it would be a worst case scenario for you, since your daughter is older and should be able to cope with more.

It's a darn good book, and frankly, the best option short of therapy. It changes the way you have to interact with her, because things aren't working (for a whole range of reasons that really don't matter in the short term).

It's a way of coping. It's also a different way of parenting which is, I feel, less stressful. A lot less work than what you're doing now, because simply clashing heads is darn hard work.

What you need to do, and this should help you, is try to work out what is pushing HER buttons. DO NOT assume it's you. I doubt very much that it's you, primarily. You could be unwittingly making things harder for yourself, especially if you're trying to be firm, because the discipline methods which are so recommended and which work so well for most kids, can be disastrous for some.

I saw a glimpse of a Dr Phil show today - "Mums ask the experts" type of thing. I only saw the first 'case' - a mother whose toddler daughter is a screamer, has been throwing tantrums since incredibly young; the mother was blaming herself because she didn't bond with the child properly, etc etc.
The experts' responses were, basically, "Don't blame yourself. You have a child who happens to be very needy and she would have been like this anyway - from the history you give, you backed away from bonding BECAUSE she was demanding from the very beginning."
They went on to insist - spanking won't work, especially with a strong-willed child. It only makes them worse because you're using force and thereby teaching THEM to up the ante and use more force in turn. You need to find a totally different direction to get under the skin of such a child, rather than keep banging heads.

The book will help. And no, I don't get dividends - although I think we really should come to a sponsorship deal on this site!

Ross Greene's website on his book also gives the first chapter. Read it - I bet you will recognise your daughter.

One problem I had with the book - I had to get most of the way through, before I could find out how to cope. The newer edition isn't so bad with it, and the discussion on Early Childhood deals A LOT with HOW to manage, and implement it. But perhaps the reason the author makes you wait, is so you can REALLY get a feel for how his observations mesh with your child.

You read the info, then adapt it to your own situation. Use what works, discard what doesn't. Deal only with the problems you CAN fix, and only a small number at a time. And back away if trying to deal with it is causing meltdowns. Soon you will have fewer meltdowns and you can up the ante, as she copes better.

Along the way, you will learn to understand her better. Also along the way, she will see that you are trying to help her and SHE will then begin to understand better. And it is THAT understanding that begins to open doors in her own mind, about where her feelings are REALLY coming from.

It's not a cure. Not is it quick. But as you see progress, ANY progress, you also feel hope. And when you feel hope that is when improvement really begins.

But Kari, this is nobody's fault. Certainly not yours. As someone suggested, she feels safe enough with you to let her full frustration really show. She knows you will love her no matter how beastly she is being. That is actually a great compliment to your power as a mother. OK, it doesn't feel like a compliment, but it also a lever that you will be able to use - she wants to please you, somewhere in there. No kid chooses to be bad. It's the ones who feel they have no choice, or whose impulsivity is not controlled, or who have a poor tolerance to frustration or difficulties understanding especially when they're stressed.

We're adults. We've slowly learned as we've grown up. We all had varying degrees of success with this, but we've had the advantage of more time to get used to the world and its demands on us.
Our children haven't got this luxury - they're still learning. And even the smartest of our difficult children have trouble with this, for a wide range of reasons. As you learn what those reasons are, you become the helper, to support that child as they learn to recognise their own obstacles and step over them (or knock them down). But they clearly are not able to do it without our help. And for a while, they won't recognise that help.

But it does come.

A discipline method that is not producing an improvement in behaviour could be failing for a range of reasons. But if it IS failing, then stop doing it because you're not achieving anything positive. You need to understand WHY it is failing and find another way around it.

An example - difficult child 1 is now 23. He wants to become more independent. To do this, he is taking control of his own appointments (with disability employment agency).
And what is happening? He missed his last two appointments.
After he missed the first one (for which he'd relied on his memory - bad move) he entered the next appointment into his mobile phone's diary. The phone duly reminded him the day before, as he'd programmed it, but the reminder this morning was missed because difficult child 1 had put his phone on the charger, at the other end of the house.
If he had put the reminder on our home computer's calendar, I would have been able to remind him. If he'd talked to his father about it to organise a lift to the appointment ("on your way to work, dad") then once again, we'd have helped.
I told difficult child 1 this and his reply was, "But then I wouldn't be independent - I'd be relying on you again and I have to learn to do this for myself."
I'm trying to help him understand - "No man is an island" (John Donne) which means, even I will liaise with other family members simply to make sure that as a group, we are coordinated. That is a hallmark of true independence, when you communicate with others and share information that can help you liaise with others.

difficult child 1 is never late for appointments, and forgetting is what has happened because he has pushed for a level of independence he's not yet ready for. He will still need a little support, to help him over the next hurdle, and to help him develop his own more foolproof method of remembering appointments.

Through all of this I never said, "You fool! How irresponsible!" because I didn't need to, he was beating himself up about it badly enough. No punishment could be as bad as what he was giving himself. All I can do is support him on his way to independence, at the rate he can handle.

He's actually highly intelligent. It's just that he has short-term memory deficits as well as problem coping with stress and anxiety. If he snarls at me and I can see it's anxiety, I ignore it for the moment and deal with it later, once he's calm.

Kari, there is help. There is hope. For many of us, we've either been there or we are there too.

Keep us posted on how you go.



Kari, irritability and anger can be a symptom of anxiety and/or depression. So there may be a diagnosis that needs further exploration and treatment. When was the last time she had an evaluation? Furthermore, Adderall can exacerbate anxiety, as well as cause depression and mood swings. How long has your difficult child been on Adderall? Hoave things worsened since she started it?


New Member
Oh Marg, just your reply alone has given me so much hope. I'm digging through the books tonight, if I can't find it I will buy it, we are leaving on vacation Monday so it's a perfect time to read. I'm positive I have it now because there was a blurb I distinctly remember reading on Amazon.

Your post, and then the evening we had today have me in tears. All day was brat kingdom... then tonight she tried on clothes for our trip (she got a bunch of new ones for her b-day this past weekend), this normally is not fun... but today she was all excited because most of it fit (normally things fall right off of her and they need to be fixed) and she said "mom, this is JUST like a fashion show" I then shared with her stories of my friends and me doing fashion shows at sleep overs and stuff when I was her age. We had a good conversation with no attitude for the first time in a long time.

I can't even begin to tell you how much this child demands, she is 10 years old and I still can't keep a clean house when she is here, she is like a tornado it is unreal.

Thank you for taking the time out to really respond to me.

I think I have this idea in my head that ODD children are in juvinille homes or constantly suspended from school and I sit there and I go that isn't my kid, or they have HUGE problems with authority and I say "that isn't my kid"... however I'm starting to realize that is part of it sometimes and sometimes it is my kid just not that bad (as in juvi, and suspensions ect... for lack of something better to say).


New Member
The Adderall is the first ADHD medication that actually made any difference... some of the behaviors are better since begining it but none of them are worse if that makes any sense. She has been on it for at least a year (or more) now.

Last evaluation was 2 years ago, getting a new one will also require court intervention, unless the prescribing doctor recommends it.

Concerta was the worst of them, they caused a HUGE increase in mood swings, and some violence.


Well-Known Member
I am having PTSD just reading your posts. So much of it I have gone through!! Even with the ex not seeing the behavior. I was fortunate to have full custody so I could pursue any medical avenue I wanted.

Honestly, the BEST thing we have done is to share visitation 50/50 split. My difficult child has even admitted not being able to be around any parent for any length of time. After about 3 days she starts getting edgy and therefore so do her parents (me and dex).
When she is not with you - be sure to take care of yourself and get as much peace and relaxation as you can. It helps to deal with the other days of stress.

Adderall stopped the phone calls from school - immediately. If she misses a dose (dad leaves it up to her to remember her medications :crazy:) the school calls as difficult child is acting up, talking out of turn, not paying attention, getting detention, etc.