S.T. asks from Phoenix, AZ on September 12, 2010
Son with ADD Has Violent Temper
My son is 5 1/2 he is not on meds, and he is also in Kindergarten, at home when he does not get his way he gets really violent, even when he is put in a timeout chair, he will throw things, kick things, he will hit me, throw things at me, how do I handle some of his difficult behavior, I have tried timeout chair, and also having him go sit in his room to calm down but yet he wont stay there either, he has very little listening skills. Just need some advice on what to do, and he does not have this behavior in school, the only thing he has had issues at school with is htting. Thank you for your advice.
P.M. answers from Portland on September 12, 2010
Two things: If children are exposed at home to many common products, especially scented or "chemicalized" ones like air fresheners, fabric softeners, household cleaners, glues and solvents, mothballs, or food additives like artificial colors and preservatives, their brains can, in effect, short out so only the more primitive areas are active, and rage or despair are common effects in sensitive children.
Many ADD kids have been shown to be sensitive to these exposures. I've participated in group testing and watched kids go from calm to screaming within four minutes after a tiny amount of some chemical was squirted under their tongues. And a recent very large study in Britain verified that kids who are already prone to hyperactivity become measurably worse when the food additives are given to them.
Second, I would really want to focus on the listening skills, and that is often a two-way process; parents benefit from learning how to be more effective listeners, too, and how to coax the best from their children. There's a fabulous book that can help you with this called How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. I've recommended this book in recent months to a few families with one or more "problem" children, and have seen some pretty amazing positive changes.
4 moms found this helpful
M.R. answers from Columbus on September 12, 2010
Not knowing what your treatment plan is, I would ask you, what does his psychiatrist say? What does his Play Therapist say? What does his Cognative Behavioral Therapist say? What are they telling you about his progress in Social Skills Classes? Have you had his speech evaluated, and discussed this with the speech therapist? Have you had an occupational therapy assessment and discussed this with the occupational therapist? These are the people who can help your son, and you, based on his case.
It is not uncommon for a child to save their worst behavior for home, but that he is violent at school at all should give you cause for concern, and you need to speak to both your private therapists (listed above-look into getting one of each if you don't have them) and speak to the school about getting a behavior plan and some therapy in the school environment. If he has yet to have an evaluation from the school, write to them and request it. His educational need would be violence and behavior issues, and his suspected disablity is ADHD. You should provide them with your private evaluation, and if you do not have one from a Developmental Pediatrician, you should get one as soon as you can. If your son already sees a psychiatrist who has made the diagnosis, ask for a referal to a neuropsychologist for an psychoeducational evlauation. If your pediatrician has diagnosed the ADHD, then get to either a Developmental Pediatrician or a psychiatrist-neuropsychologist as soon as you can, and begin to access all the forms of therapy that he needs to make progress.
3 moms found this helpful
C.S. answers from Milwaukee on September 12, 2010
I'm an adult "ADDer"..and was literally just putting my baby to bed and reading one of my favorite ADD books...Driven to Distraction. One-if you haven't read it I would reccomend it. It deals with all different levels of ADD.
One thing it reminded me of is it always good to get a second opinion-if you haven't done that maybe that would be good. ADD doesn't usually react one way at home and another in public...from what I understand if it is an impulse control issue he won't be able to help himself regardless of where he is..so that makes me wonder if it is ADD or something related.
Again-if it is an impluse control issue, you aren't going to be able to control it. I'm not sure why he's not on meds-if you are trying to treat it without that's great, but speaking from experience, my life is better/happier/healthier with meds-and the impulse/anger issues I had could not be controlled otherwise. It's chemical and really out of your hands.
I hope this helps.
3 moms found this helpful
N.K. answers from Albuquerque on September 13, 2010
There is a great book called, "Beyond Time-out" - I can't remember the author though off hand. They talk about dealing with different behaviors and I don't know if it would fit your situation, but you might want to check it out - has some helpful suggestions on dealing with out of control behavior. I wish you the best.
G.D. answers from Flagstaff on September 13, 2010
I'm sorry. My son went through something very similar and didn't break the cycle until about 4th grade and he did have tantrums at school. After much research, and my son requesting help, I did decide to medicate for add which helped him greatly. He's in the 8th grade now and all teachers and myself can tell if he hasn't taken a pill. As far as the violence, it was horrible, he'd have these crazy tantrums and was out of control. I found myself holding the door closed while he beat against it because I needed space from him. I would tell him that when he calmed down I would open the door. These episodes could last up to 1/2 an hour. When he was doing well, I'd try talking to him about these episodes and tell him that he was out of control and that he needed to start to notice before he lost it. I could tell when he was about to go there and remind him, he had a choice of how he wanted to handle the situation. I started to hold him until his tantrum would leave. This was horrible, he would try to hurt me and tell me how much he hated me and was going to hurt me. I think this helped yet was ugly to experience. I would end up in a sort of wrestling move telling him that he had to get control of himself, and then I'd let go. It was pretty amazing to watch him climax to weeping to being calm. I would have a mantra of I love you and I'll let you go when you are calm...All I can say is that he hasn't had a tantrum in about 4 years now and is maturing slowly every day. Give him attention when he's doing great, remind him how much you love him and let him know that this behavior is not acceptable. Good luck.
E.S. answers from Phoenix on September 14, 2010
There is something called Counterwill (a term coined by German Otto Rank). It descibes the rebellion seen at all ages. Canadian child psychologist gordon nuefeld saya that counterwill is expressed different ways (some more obvious than others). It is a natural instict in all kids, it is there to protect the child from being influenced by those he/she is not attached to. The problem is our kids today have many competing attachments...friends, media marketed characters, teachers, etc. A child can feel more attached to someone at sometimes, and less at others. You might try establishing connection/friendly communication as much as possible before giving "direction". Direction that involves choices for him to make can ease this sort of problem too. I know this does not address the violence...but maybe just cutting down reasons for opposition in general may be of help. Good luck!