Add and Adhd

Updated on August 29, 2006
K.C. asks from Vicksburg, MS
15 answers

my youngets child is misbehaving at school and I dont think his meds are working like they should. How do you disclipline a child who dont care if you take everything he owns away from him? He has no favorite toy or game. spanking does no good with this type of child. and time out dont either lol. I am at my wits end with him and I dont want to up his medicine and make him into a zombie.

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So What Happened?

Sorry this is about a year later-- I did take him to a doctor for a reevaluation and the dr. put him on adderall and he is sooo much calmer and can focus at school. As for giving him attention I think I give him too much if I go somewhere he has or insists he go with me but sometimes I tell him no this is momma time. And if we are at home he is right up under me most of the time especially if I am doing something like cleaning our my closet lol.Now my other son has been on concerta 18 for two years almost and I think he has finally outgres that dosage he just cannot be still and gets defiant at times. jumps around like he has just ate a bowl of sugar. I am gonna have to call the dr. and get his meds uped to see if that will help him before he starts getting in trouble in class.

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answers from Atlanta on

How about going th opposite way with him. Ask the teacher to start an incentive program with him. Maybe give him a sticker everytime she "catches him doing good". Then at home you can come up with a reward system. For example when he earns 10 stickers he can pick what the family has for dinner, when he gets 15 he gets a day out with mom, maybe to the movies. You can creat a sort of menu of rewards and hang it on the frig. I have been teaching for 10 years and this seems to really work with ADD and ADHD children.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Knoxville on

This is not meant to criticize, but comes from hard personal experience. When I stopped compounding the school criticism of my daughter, there was a noticeable improvement in her behavior and our relationship. Before, when she'd come home with a note that said "late homework, missing homework, not following directions", detention or some other consequence or criticism of her distractible, forgetful ADD nature, I would lecture her, ask "why" and "how could you after blah, blah blah...." reminding her about how she had to do better, etc.because I felt like, as her mom, I was responsible for "fixing" her so the teachers would be appeased.

The busier we moms get, the shorter our tempers, the less tolerant of mistakes, the quicker the spankings. Children who get to where they don't care about what's taken away usually have had so much experience with getting in trouble, it probably doesn't faze them anymore. It's probably not a "thing" he wants, anyway, but more time and attention from you.
I'd reconsider adding more children into your household, as it will only stress both you and your son more. Try for one week to not criticise him for anything he does (except violence, of course)and point out all the things he did right, and I bet you'll see a calmer, happier child. It is remarkable how much we as adults dwell on the negative. And teachers are no different. They are overworked and want the quick fix: put hime on meds (or more meds), threaten, punish, whatever is the quickest way to get them to comply and be quiet. No matter that we are are crushing their spirits and their self-esteem -- as long as we get them to shut up and behave "NOW"...

I know money is an issue and you'd like to stay home, but after years of struggling with the guilt of working and not being able to provide MY vision of what a "good mom" should do, I finally realized that my daughter's idea of a good mom had nothing to do with home-cooked meals, clean laundry, even toys, etc. Kids are VERY forgiving of all that stuff. -- She just wanted me to forget the chores, all those OTHER people we feel so obligated to (and judged by), be less cranky and play a game with her.

Good luck, and I hope this helps put some things in better perspective.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

My sister went through the same thing with her boy. The Dr. tried to say he was ADHD and tried to put him on medication. Luckily my sister refused and went a different route. She took all artificial flavoring and coloring out of his food. Gave him a whole food supplement with fruits and veggies called juice plus and gave him flax seed oil. She also put a probiotic in his juice or milk ecveryday to reduce yeast overgrowth in the body which can lead to hyperactivity. Anyway, my nephew is 15 now and never had to be put on medication and did just fine. Please beaware of Dr.'s who are quick to put your child on meds. Everything else should be done before meds are even an option. I have been a health educator and for 4 years now and I have seen drastic changes in my clients that have just changed their diets and added a few supplements.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

Have you tried rewards? They tend to work better than punishments with a lot of kids. You can pick a couple behaviors to target, and earn stars for doing them every day (having a good day at school, following directions, using inside voice, taking a bath, etc.) Then stars can be traded in for small things like inexpensive toys, ice cream, or other treats. I had a star chart for my son (who also has ADHD) when he was four and was having trouble getting ready in the morning. He could earn stars for being dressed by breakfast time, eating breakfast within 20 minutes, and brushing his teeth neatly. Every time he earned 3 stars he got a treat. Once he was earning 3 pretty regularly I upped in to 7. It really worked! However, it may only work for a few weeks and then you'll need to change the behaviors. We still do reward stuff with him now at 6 1/2 when problems crop up - we just don't use a star chart.

My favorite behavior management books:
1-2-3 Magic by Thomas Phelan
Parenting the Strong-Willed Child by Rex Forehand and Nicholas Long

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on


Maybe he needs a check up with his pediatrician or doctor who manages his medications. Has he gone through a growth spurt lately?

My youngest brother who is 20 years younger than me has a variety of behavior disorders including ADHD. They have had him on different strengths of medication and have had to change his meds a couple of times to get the meds and combination that work right for him. They noticed some changes when he went through growth spurts, the meds didn't seem to work well.

I don't know what meds your son is on but often a blood test can reveal if the meds are at a level in his system that allows them to work as they are supposed to. If not maybe it is time for an adjustment or change.

Also, my mom and I talk often of ways to control my brother's behavior and such especially during the summer when he is on his 'drug holidays'.

We saw a show Dr. Phil did on various meds and behavior disorders in children and the focus of the show was different ways to help or control these problems with and without meds.

Now I haven't read this book, but my mother did and she liked it. She and I are both nurses so if she did like it it must have helped her. Also, my brother seems to be responding better with some of the new tactics she is trying and his new meds.

Good luck to you, this can be such a tricky issue.

The ADD Answer: How to Help Your Child Now--With Questionnaires and Family-Centered Action Plans to Meet Your Child's Specific Needs
by Frank Lawlis, Phil McGraw

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tuscaloosa on

Welcome to the life of a parent of a child with ADD! my son, who is now 7, had the same "problems" from preschool to the beginning of first grade. It took many tries to find the right doctor and meds (structure and diet also help). Finally, we found a combination! Dr. Skiwski, here in Columbus, specializes in ADD/ADHD and he began to set us on the right track. The meds that seemed to work (Concerta) were used for 1 1/2 years until my son developed a twitch, unfortunately a side effect from Concerta. Now he takes Focalin, witch is just as good. Do Not use Straterra! It is like water, no help what soever! How old is your son? Does he go to school yet? I am asking because in my son's school, he has a guidance counselor and goes to "Magnolia" which is a program the state's Community Counseling Services runs. You should ask your son's elementary school if they offer that program. Also, cut out sugar as much as you can!! Sucrose and Fructose! If he does get sugar, make him eat protien (EG:nuts, bacon, ham, eggs)with it. The protien helps make the sugar levels more balanced instead of one big rush. It will take time, but he'll get in the swing of things! my son did, we have a few hiccups now and then , but he is so much better! If you need anything, please email me at [email protected]

Good Luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I am an elementary school teacher and mother of two young children. My experience is that if you take away "everything" from children and are constantly condemning them, they begin to believe that they are "bad" children and cannot do anything right. It breaks my heart to see children who have become discouraged at such a young age and basically give up trying. Both at home and school, children need positive experiences and need to feel that they can succeed. You may need to talk to your child's teacher and set up a meeting with the counselor. Hopefully, the teacher will work with you, but you must be your child's advocate and ensure that a plan is worked out so that your child can be successful. Set small goals that your child can attain and provide incentives for appropriate behavior. As your child's behavior improves, you can set bigger goals. Also, it's ok to tell your child that you have decided to make some changes and then give him back his toys/games and create opportunities to earn more rewards. Don't give up hope! I have seen a lot of children turn around with lots of love and a positive approach to discipline.



answers from Memphis on

Hi K.,
I am the mother of a dianosed ADHD child.He has been on
Concerta for since the 2nd grade and seem to be a totally different child when he is on his meds. It broke my heart to put him on the medication initially, but the school system was trying to place him in Special Ed. I know he was a very brite kid, he is nervous as heck,but he is a good and very brite kid if you can keep busy.

Well anyway we still had to implement an award system to give him incentive to be as good as he can. You know these kids get labled as BAD KIDS because people won't take the time to meet them where they are. His 2nd grade teacher was the greatest. She put her own system in place for him at school she gave him treats and allowed him to do things like run errands or even longer play providing he did all his work first. My point is he was moved by incentives. It may be concidered briving but it is a good action followed by a reaction. You decide wheter that is going to the show or petting zoo a new game or whatever. Try it and see what works for you and check out your options at the health food store, try to alter his diet and also don't let people dump on him, he has a disorder and it's like telling someone with an insect bite not to itch. That is crazy, they have no more control over there condition that a grown person not having compassion (my point is it is a out of control situation) if that makes sense. Don't let people make
him feel worse. Fight for him and make sure he recieves many praises. Make him feel good to be good even when he is driving you up the wall. Be patient and give him his moments of your direct attention.

P.S. It gets better as they get older, I have weened my boy off his meds He is currently in the 5th grade and he don't like how the meds alter his personality. He was much more focused while on his meds but he has a stinky personality when he is on them. I find he is doing fine so far and hopefully he can stay off. He says he don't like when he is busy and keeps getting reprimaned all the time, so we constantly encourage self control when he feel everyone keep telling him something.
I try to help him to realize he is the only one that can controll him self.

I know everyone is different and age is a factor.My nephew is off his meds too (12) and they are doing okay to say a few years ago they would have been put out the school because of their nervousness. My son's 3rd grade teacher was trying to put him in Special Ed. and when his dr. upped his dosage he became a B+ student. He was a totally different kid on his meds. But like I say he has been in school 3wks. and so far no problems. I hope it continues to be that way.

Stay Encouraged



answers from Knoxville on

We have an 11 year old who has ADHD. The 1-2-3 Magic method (by Thomas Phelan) really works for her. She was 10 when we started, and we thought she might be too old, but we were pleasantly surprised. Of course, now we are dealing with puberty too, which makes things a bit more difficult, but her behavior is still MUCH better. Good luck!




answers from Atlanta on

I have a friend that started her child on NRG an Herbalife Product and took all sugar away, except on rare treats. She said he completely turned around. Also she sat down and explained consequences to his actions and spent more time praising him.... when he was bad she only made him sit in his room away from her and then spent quality time away from the house with him as long as he behaved. I do know an Herbalife Distributor..... his name is Joel @ ###-###-#### and he can tell you the products she used. Hope this helps... my cousin is a teacher and she said it is diet related most of the time and that it had been proven..... I know my grandson was on Ritlein (sp?) at any rate by age 20 it had led to him havin a stimulate addiction and that is a proven fact as well.
D. Jenkins



answers from Atlanta on

Hi K.,
I tried a different approach with my child. I tried using rewards for good behavior instead of always punishing.
I don't mean money, candy, etc...I mean "Would you like to help me cook dinner tonight?" Then you have to have a good day at school and we can make something fun - pigs in a blanket, mashing potatoes, stuff that looks and feels fun to do. I also tried rewarding with coloring pictures together, reading a story together, dancing to music together. Anything that he may find fun but doesn't necessarily involve spending money. Now for big things, yes we do McDonald rewards - went the whole the week with no bad marks in school. Those type of things.
I hope that helps.
Where is your home daycare at?



answers from Chattanooga on

adhd is often misdiagnosed or not properly diagnosed. it is one of those things you have to rule out many other things and then that is what you are left with. anyhow the book edison trait is a great book to read. also fish oil, omega 3 supplements and a multi vit. with magnesium in it. there are liqiud omega supplements for kids you can find on internet or sunkist makes a fruit chew , like a starburst , in orange flavor. these can help alot along with strict routines, divergent thinkers totally need these. the internet is a great source of info and amazon has lots of reveiws on add books that are helpful in choosing the right one for you. stick with it.


answers from Memphis on

Kimberly....along with all the other ideas, let me add two.

The best book I have ever read about child discipline is called Home Built Discipline by Dr. Raymond Moore. If nothing new is there...just reading an easy read book that encourages you to stay warm and loving is good food for a weary mom's soul.

Those that have advised nutritional help are giving you good advice. I work for a wellness company; we have many testimonies of greatly improved personalities and abilities in ADD/ADHD children when given proper nutrients. I would be glad to share those with you...

But - beware. Finding supplements that are quality supplements is a challenge. I have had 18 years of taking "quality" supplements that made no difference (I just knew I needed them)and now almost fifteen years of taking quality supplements that have turned my life around.

And not all natural is good either. Someone mentioned NRG - please feel free to correct me, but that product threw my blood sugar awry. It is a natural product - packed with a big dose of natural caffeine!




answers from Dothan on

hello K.!

my son is adhd and is a twin. i would go back and do an adhd "check up" with his doctor. it often takes many different doesages before the right one comes along. my son is currently taking concerta and has adjusted it many times over the past year. i was afraid of him becoming a zombie too, however, she said we would know right away in a day or two if they were and could switch it to another doesage the next day. special diets sometimes work, but are really unrealistic in everyday life. and i know my son feels so miserable when he is not on meds due to the fact he cannot focus at all.

another thing we have worked on is a very strict schedule. school, home, school work, play time, dinner, no tv after five, bedtime at seven, etc. (this is what works for us.) and computer over stimulate my son so badly that i just have to turn it all off, even though his twin sister would love to keep playing! i make it up to her later by doing an activity with her. we have also found that one on one sports (as we call them in our house) such as swimming, tennis, gymnastics and dance have all benefited my son greatly. he has always had trouble on a team because if the rules didn't always go his way, tantrums would sometimes follow that were misunderstood by the coaches. and you are right, spanking and time outs only help to a certain extent!

my son still has many problems. however, he is working through them. adhd children are special kids, in so many ways. i really hope i have helped. please e-mail me, from one adhd mom to another at [email protected] luck!

take care~lee



answers from Tuscaloosa on

I fortunatly do not have a child with ADD or ADHD but my friend does. I know that she tries to control his diet. Many items mostly high sugar, simple sugars with high white starch, and those with certain dyes. Maybe the snacks and or lunch at school is affecting him. You might look at this web site.

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