Discipline and Adhd

Updated on March 12, 2007
M.B. asks from Beaumont, TX
14 answers

Hi, I have an 8 year old with adhd, he is driving me crazy, He throws these Huge fits when he does not get what he wants or get it the way he wants it. He is constantly saying, "it's not fair" about EVERYTHING! Anyone have any advice on how I should handle this? I know that yelling, spanking, and even arguing with him does no good. I am running out of patients when he pushes my buttons so pleeaaassee help!

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answers from Houston on

Hello M.,
There is a place in Houston called A New Way. They are alternative and they do individual as well as family work/therapy. I hesitate to say therapy bc again they are alternative. But what I can say is that they are loving, compassionate, understanding, and when the child needs to get it out via tears and tantrumming they let that happen too with the belief that when the child recvs good attention towards their distress they get to the original thing that is making them act out, discuss it, and ultimately change.
hope that helps! Good luck!
A. -mom to Dominic (9) and Julian (6)

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answers from Shreveport on

Hey M.,
I just wanted to write, mainly b/c I know what its like to have ADHD. I grew up with it. They found out when I was like 5 & almost failed Kidergarten...LOL Who fails that right? Anyway, Just a little about me, I used to take ALOT, well to me it was, of medicine. I took 60 mg. of ritalin a day. 30 in the morning 20 @ lunch & 10 mg when I would get home from school just to help me do homework. I didnt take as much in the summer, but b/c of my attention span I did take 20 when needed. I dont take any now, but I need it b/c my attention is still Gone for lack of a better word... My brain is always going in diff. directions.
So there is a little about me.
I remember my mom having some of the same trouble that you had with me.
You know have you tried just Ignoring these fits. I know its hard. But my mom tried. The thing is its hard to deal with "being different". And with me ADHD it was hard to always have so many things going & coming from my mind, & dealing with it & trying to concentrate. Just everything can be overwhelming & thats his way.
Like I ended up having a little anger issues with dealing with things. Maybe having someone to talk to or something he would be able to get his frustrations or something.
If you or he need someone to talk to Please feel free to email me.
You know actually any of you moms that just need advice ???'s or anything about this subject You guys can email me also. I would be happy to talk with you about it coming from someone who still struggles with it at times.

Take Care sweetie~
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fayetteville on

Hi M., this situationm can be unnerving for lots of people. The most important thing I can say is be consistent. He desperately needs this in order to function. Do what you say you're gonna do, follow through every time. Give him some quiet "me" time especially for homework and things that need his concentration. If he's trying to do something and there are other kids running around or animals making noises etc he will not be able to concentrate and listen to him. Sit down and talk about what he thinks he needs to be able to behave better and what he need from you. You might be surprised, kids are very intelligent and he may be able to give you some insight into how he feels. You could also start a reward chart for your kids so that he is able to see the positive choices he is making and can get a small reward for those choices. Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My son has add and I wasnt diagnosed till grown. I grew up frustrated and thinking whats wrong with me. Ga I must really be uncaring and not very smart. My thoughts travel and I'd feel this way because someone can be talking to you and before I'd realize it I'd be thinking of something else even when I'm trying to say my prayers at night. Anyway meds helped me stay focus but I really didnt like the coming down part. So I quit taking it and my doctor told me that I could control my diet and that has helped me and my son without taking meds. I use honey and molasses natural sweeters instead of sugar and I stay away from trans fat. Take one salmon capsule Take alfalfa tablets, vitamin b6 and eat more foods with vitamin b and one tablespoon of flax per day. Limit dairy and get your calcium from other sources like fruits and vegetables. Eliminate the sugar and use natural sweetner. Do this for 18 days and see if you see a difference. My doctor states that eliminating transfat is the leading factor is reducing adhd symptons. Transfat sabotages your body from making dha the long chain fat needed for brain health. depression responds to the same protocal as adhd. Other sugar subs are barley malt syrup, maple sugar and syrup, we mentioned honey , blackstrap mollasses, fruit juice concentrate, stevia. Of course you can't do the sugar subs if your diabetic. I know this sounds extreme but it helps me and my son and noone has considered putting him on meds anymore. I dont even have to stay on top of his game to get him through snack to homework to bath then read then brush your teeth. He monitors everything for the most part on his own now. I didnt know what I was going to do because my daughters are both very focused and organized and he's the youngest. His sisters don't get it how he can be so quote unquote uncaring. I understood where he was coming from so that helped tremendously also. goodluck and God bless keep us posted what ends up working for you and yours.

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answers from Fayetteville on

My daughter is 7 and is also ADHD. I feel your pain. If you find any solutions, let me know. Right now, we are trying ocupational therapy for my daughter. It is going good and is teaching her to self monitor her activity level. You may look into it yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

None of my four children have ADHD, but I grew up with a brother who has it, among other problems. I completely understand what you are going through! There were a few things that helped my Mom when she was dealing with him. First of all, a rather strict routine might help - he needs to know what comes next during the day. Ex. If you want him to turn the TV off before dinner, start saying, "It is almost dinner. The TV will be turned off in 20 minutes." Five minutes later say, "It is almost dinner. The TV will be turned off in 15 minutes." And so on.... Also, when you talk to him, get down on his level and look him straight in the eyes. Say what you want to say in a calm, authoritative voice - if he starts to argue or throw a fit, walk away. Wait a few minutes and go back to him and repeat yourself. And, PRAISE HIM ALL THE TIME!! He needs you to focus on the good things that he does - even if it is as simple putting his plate in the dishwasher - acknowledge that. Also, when he has homework or a project to do, make sure that he has a quiet place with no distractions to do it. He also needs a lot of one-on-one with you (not the easiest with three other little ones who also need your attention) Medication also helped my brother, but that is a personal decision that you need to discuss with your pediatrician.

Remember - he doesn't WANT to be this way; he WANTS to be good, but his poor brain won't let him.

Anyway, these are things that worked for my Mom and they might work for you. I know that with 4 kids it is hard to deal with this. But, with consistency it will become easier (like second nature) and things to get better. My brother is now 24 and a professional artist - who still deals with his ADHD.

Good luck and God Bless You - He chose YOU to be the Mommy to this special little boy for a reason.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi M.

My daughter is 13 and has ADHD. Traditional disciple doesn't work with ADHD kids. What works with your other kids doesn't work with ADHD kids. What works for me is talking with my daughter and explaining to her that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Using psychology and reverse psychology worked well. Even video taping her and letting her see how she acts helped. Instead of sending her to her room, I made her sit on the couch and talk about her feelings. Grounding her from the things that she likes to do because of her behavior and attitude helps reduce the outbursts. Yelling only reinforced her frustration. Remember that their brain is going about 100 miles an hour and they jump from one thought to another in a split second. Even at 13 my daughter still has problems trying to process all of the information in her mind. She really expresses herself through editing pictures and creating powerpoint programs. Find something that he will be able to express himself and all of the thoughts that he is having. Use tools to help him organize these thoughts. Encourage creativity. These kids are very smart and creative. Each in their own way. Find something that he likes to do and let him create in his own way. These kids need routine and schedules. Anything that deviates from routine throws them out of wack and usually disrupts the entire family. There is a lot of information out there to help with these ADHD kids. Also be careful with public schools. Because of disruption in class, they may be labeled as dumb, troublemakers and could get lost in the school system unless you have understanding teachers. If grades are bad, then he is bored and school is not challenging enough. Find extra things that he can do at home to help him learn at his pace. My daughter is reading and comprehending on a college level (she is only 13). This will take alot of understanding and patience from you. I understand working 2 jobs and going to school so you can give your kids everything you want them to have. Remember that your kids need you too and ADHD kids do require different attention than kids who don't have ADHD. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

God bless you sweetie!!! I don't know the full extent of what you are going through because I only have 3 children and none of them have adhd but all us moms feel like our kids drive us crazy from time to time. You are doing a GREAT job!!! Especially by yourself, working 2 jobs AND going to school!! You rock out loud, girl! Of course it feels like you have no patience...You are going non-stop!

All I can say is be firm but calm with him. If you tell him something, it is LAW and stick by it. Don't yell back, if you can help it <smile> and try to tune out his tantrums. Does he have activities after school to let off steam? Is he on any medication for his adhd? I don't know how you feel about that but in SOME cases, medication does help. However, only you and your child's pedi know what is right for your son.

Hang in there!!! You are doing great and drop me a line if you want to vent.

God Bless,

Chris H.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jonesboro on

this is ironic, we posted the same problem on the same day. Do you think it might be cabin fever? and school is getting tougher? So they'll be prepared for the next grade? I dunno but any help I would appreciate as well. YOu have alot of responses to yours I haven't got one yet. But, I'm thinking they'll think sense we posted same thing same day I'll read yours which is true.
Good luck with yours and I'll keep all our little ADHD kiddos in my prayers.



answers from Shreveport on

Hey, M.! I feel for you! I have a 13 year old who has adhd and my brother also has it. My sister has add without the hyperactivity. Are all your kids boys? Is he the only one with adhd? My two younger boys are too young to tell. I'm praying that they don't because I feel like I just can't handle another one. My son moved in with his dad when he was 12 and they are having just as much trouble with him as I did. So, no we haven't found any solutions to the bad behavior or at least nothing that works with him. We feel like we've tried everything. He's off his meds because he developed tics. His dad never wanted him on the stuff in the first place, he felt the risks were just too high. He is seeing a counselor, though. I guess that's going ok because he hasn't run away yet this year. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this and if you do find something that works with him let me know.




answers from College Station on

Hi M. i don't know what you are going but i have heard that a vitamine that you can get through Mannatech is very good it might be good if you would find a meeting somewhere to find more information here,is a # 1-800-281-4469 my mom is a distributer,and she swears by it. it is worth looking into. This is an all natural vitamine with aloe
Good luck



answers from Anchorage on

I don't have a child with ADHD, but I teach elementary school and between this year and last have had several students with ADHD (diagnosed before they came to my class, with the exception of one). Some students responded to therapy but some kids needed medicine. One of my students last year was a terror up until January. Then his docter put him on meds ( I don't know which kind) andhe was a whole different student. Instead of being out of control and violent he was calm, got his work done and seemed like he was actually comfortable in his skin. This year he qualified for the gifted program which he had been previously excluded from because of his behavior. I know a lot of parents are skeptical about ADHD meds. However, if your child needed Penicillin we wouldn't think twice about giving it to them. I'm not saying medication is right for your son, but it might be worth a conversation with your pediatrician. There are several different types and not all of them are right for every child. But by working closly with your docter you may be able to find a medication and dosage that is right for your son. Good luck!



answers from Little Rock on

I also have a seven year old daughter who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. She is driving me crazy, too. We are considering medication for her on a trial basis ( our appointment with her doc is today). If it helps, I will be ever so grateful!

I will be the first to agree that spanking, yelling, begging and arguing does NO good. Goodness knows I've tried them all! One thing I have found that has seemed to help is to remove the television. Katie got grounded from the TV for a week for sassing me. Then she got grounded another week for the same thing. She hasn't watched TV at all for five weeks now. I have seen a minimal improvement in her behavior, but I will take ANYTHING at this point! I am sure you know what I mean!

Another thing I have done that seems to work is to get on her level, look her straight in the eye and calmly tell her what I want her to do. I am not very good at this, but when I can control my frustration it is somewhat effective.

Hope it gets better for you! PM me anytime if you need some sympathy! :)



answers from Austin on

Hey M.,

We went through the same thing with our 8 year old son. Life was CRAZY!! However, this is what we have done and now at 9 years old we and HE are making noticeable improvement.

First, I created a reward chart. We went to Michaeals and pickout poster board and cools stickers that reflect his personal interests. Then I made a spread sheet on excel that includes a 1,2,3 point system. 1=poor, 2=pk, 3=great. Our chart has 3 categories: 1 - Expected behavior (happy attitute, make bed, brush teeth twice a day, pick up clothes/toys, finish home work, complete task with out being asked, ect.. 2 - Extra Credit (being nice, sharing, reading outload to family, extra chores, feed pets, etc...) 3 - Bad behavior (arguing with parents, being mean, tempertantrums, these are all -5 or -10 points. It is a good idea to have areas where it is easy to make points to help them see success. Had have prizes at different point levels.

Big THING - therapy. We found a family therapist after research the internet through phycology today (I think). Anyway, read some bios and find someone who matches your personality type. Our therapist is in agreement on the reward chart beleives that most children need incentive and reward to learn to do the right thing and make changes. He says that most children will not improve with yelling and spanking and that they just learn to argue more.

Also, we realize that is not our sons fault. We have not taken an approach that HE is the reason for therapy. We realize that he has learned to be impatient and intolerant from us. We are really good people, but he has picked up and absorbed every bad habit we have. We have told him that WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER and we are all going to benefit by learning new ways to communicate.

Also, we have our son in an after school karate program. This gives him time to do some school work and excersize. The karate really helps him learn how to focus and be respectful. Our therapist encouraged us to do this prior to starting meds. So far we don't need the meds, our son is learning to make a difference.

If you want you can e-mail me direct and I'll send you a copy of my reward chart. I also looked up reward charts on the internet.

Between the therapy, reward chart and karate we can see the improvement of our son's behavior from week to week. Week 1 - 4 arguments and 1 tempertantrum, Week 2 - 3 arguments, ...Week 5 - 1 arguments. Our son actually makes his allowance this way and finally cashed in on a prize. He regresses sometimes, but the therapist says this is normal for ANYONE.

As well, I am going to follow some of Susan O's advise about the diet. That sounds like great advise!!


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