Out of control 11 year old!


New Member
I am the mum of an 11year old son who has ADHD and ODD. I would welcome any advice on how to control the negative aspects of his behaviour as he is nearly twelve and does not seem to understand that there are consequences to bad behaviour and as such I fear that he will also end up developing a conduct disorder and ultimately spiralling right out of control. My son is an intelligent, muscially talented and fortunate child who is the only child in the family but for some reason, he has little respect for myself despite trying all of the usual behaviour reward schemes, ignoring bad behaviour and focusing on the good etc etc!! His father and I divorced when he was five and both of us now have new longterm partners who also get a lot of abuse and verbal backchatting from our son depsite our partners showing remarkable support and love. I am finding it more and more difficult to focus on Lewis' postive attributes as whatever I do, it is never enough..help!! He is prescribed equasym 40mgs and we are currently discussing a change to Strattera due to issues with behaviour at school after 2pm...he is also in the process of being allocated a Social Worker due to behavioural issues at school. Thanks for listening and its great to find other people who feel worn out at times.


New Member

you have found a place that has really helped me a lot.

first everyone will tell you to get the book THE EXPLOSIVE CHILD
that has some good techniques for dealing with-meltdowns.

i would also search the archives and read other posts as there is a lot of info around the site.

good luck and hope the warriors can offer you some help!


New Member
Does he have an IEP and behavioral plan at school? If not, I would write a written request for the school to do an evaluation on him and set one up. Once you have one in place, you can do a functional behavioral assessment and work on a plan to help with his behavioral issues.

I think that these kids need lots of structure at home, and I have found a collaborabive problem solving arrangement like Ross Green suggests in the explosived child, or in his book, collaborative problem solving, can work well.

I have found that often behavior is dependant on the medication. Once the correct medication is given, then it opens up more room for working on some of the behavioral issues in a collaborative way.

It can be a challenging road. Others will be alone with more advice.


Well-Known Member
Hi, Samantha. I see that you're from the UK and I know nothing about your healthcare system. Here in the US, ADHD/ODD is often a misdiagnosis for early onset bipolar, and ADHD medications can make it worse. I don't know if your doctors will diagnose or medicate that there, but I'd look into it, if you do have that option. I know many BiPolar (BP) kids don't improve on stimulants and Straterra. If he has an undiagnosesd mood disroder or high functioning autism (two common diagnosis. here), in general the kids are hard to discipline until they are treated for their disorder. At any rate, glad you found us.


New Member
Thanks for your reply.....funnily enough I have wondered whether Lew could have a mood disorder... I am a trained mental health nurse and have noticed certain bipolar elements to Lewis' presentation but unfortunately the medical model takes presidence in the UK and doctors are loathed to listen to any opinions that may have a diagnostic element to them so currently the ADHD/ODD diagnosis remains static! I will continue to monitor my son and will fight his corner all the way. Thanks again.

Regards Samantha


New Member

I heard someone recommend this book. It has good reviews on Amazon, but I do not have it myself. People on Amazon were also saying that is was good for mood disorders as well, and also for parents.

Teaching the Tiger A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students with Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Samantha,
Glad you found us. I can understand how hard it is to stay positive when we receive so little positive in return. I try to remember that my son has a mental illness and that helps. You will find much support here!


New Member
Hi & welcome to the board! I found this board on Monday night & I have to say it was very comforting to me. My son actually has similar positive traits & we have no actual diagnosis for him, except for 'Adjustment Disorder'.

I have the book 'The Explosive Child' that everyone recommends & I am reading it with a different view than when I read it before. I tried some of the techniques yesterday with Amazing results! Read it throroughly...I am almost finished with it! As it says in the book, you've done the consequences & the positive reinforcement & has any of it worked to change the behavior? I figure, I've got nothing to lose at this point!

You will find much encouragement here. Explore the boards & read the posts. There is so much knowledge & understanding here.

I wish you the best =)


Active Member
The book has been updated - try get the latest edition
here are some links that may help

Here are some links to various articles that may help. We need to learn to be problem solvers if we want our kids to be better at problem solving. We need to create a happy , relaxed atmosphere, lots of music , be less controlling and flow with the kid, lowering the rope. There is no magic bullet , education is a long process . I highly recommend a older brother , buddy-tutor etc



Myrna Shure http://thinkingchild.com/

Alfie Kohn - Unconditional parenting http://alfiekohn.org

When discussing parenting you may look at 3 areas

1 influence , control and relationship - our influence on our kids and this will become very apparent in the teenage years which can start 11+ depends really on the quality of the relationship and trust. Limit setting is most effective and becomes more of a self discipline when understanding are reached , the kid and you have examined and empathized with both your concerns , inductive learning than deductive learning. Relationship is not just sharing moments of success , praise , warmth , love but rather communication, dialog , feeling understood , giving a child a voice , respecting her as individual. Education and that is what parenting is all about , the word discipline comes from the latin to teach , hence the word disciple , a student etc ,

2 Values - The kid uses thinking and understanding , and will integrate the values you are trying to teach, make them his own in his individual and unique way that gives expression to his personality and uniqueness. Here articles by Alfie Kohn - intrinsic motivation and reward vs what’s in it for me motivation.

3 Life and various cognitive skills
The way we talk with our kids is the greatest educational tool we have . We teach the life skills of getting along with people, problem solving skills and cognitive skills such as executive functions , language processing skills, cognitive flexibility, social skills, emotional regualtion skills. Educationalists are becoming more aware that teaching kids how to think is more important than giving information.

Our relationship with others = empathy
Our values - prosocial and being a contributor focusing on internal motivation and reward
Our life skills
are some of the important gifts we can pass on to our kids.

If we become proactive parents, working on the front end , rather than reacting to situations that go wrong , we can develop a relationship that will ensure cooperation for both the child and parent’s emotional growth, development annd happiness. We have to focus on all the time with our kids , not only when things go wrong.



New Member
I need help I am a mother of 3 daughters my two older daughters have never really given me any real trouble if they were told to do something they just did it and never questioned why. However, my 11 year old daughter who a few months ago was one of the best kids, very quite always did what she was told, received good grades in school has all of a sudden turned into a nightmare not sure what happened there has not been any changes at home to bring this on. The teachers at school have even notice the changes. I am at my wits end I feel like I'm losing my patients as well as my mind...please help any advice?


Welcome jazzy. Sorry you had to find us but glad you did. You might want to start your own thread instead of ressurecting a very old one. You might get more responses.

Anyhow, can you be more specific about the behaviors she is displaying? Is there any history on either side of her family with any kind of diagnosed or suspected mental health issues? Has her circle of friends changed? Has anything happened to her that might be behind it such as bullying, abuse of ANY kind from anywhere, etc? Have you asked her about her behavior to find out what might be behind it? Will she talk to you or someone else? Has she talked to her sisters at all? Since it's so sudden, I would be more inclined to think something has happened.

You might want to consider having her see a therapist or even a child psychiatrist to try to figure out what might be going on. Other "experts" will be along to help also but you really might want to start your own thread.