Out of Control Son

Updated on March 16, 2010
A.M. asks from Seattle, WA
19 answers

im seeking advice on how to deal with my 16 year old son at the age of 8 he was diagnosed with ADD he was always a handful but the last few months he is getting worse he is starting to bully his younger brothers and sister he calls them the worst ever names as well as myself he has broken every window in my car put holes in doors wont even go to school any more iv tryed all sorts of things but nothing seems to work im more afraid he will hurt one of the smaller ones he does not even say sorry anymore when he brakes anything im starting to think he does not care what he says or who he hurts any ideas anyone please

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answers from Chicago on

You son may have been miss diagnosed and is not add at all. You may want to go and have him evaluted with a different Doctor. To many children that are diagnosed with Add and are actually bipolar. Children you can look on line for the systems of it. If Children that are add are on the right medicine they should not act that way. I have both a child with ADD and Bipolar. I hope that this helps you.



answers from Boston on

Pediatrician and psychiatrist right away, school guidance counselor next, law enforcement and social workers last but certainly if necessary, don't delay.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Sometimes a 16 year old needs a taste of tough love. If he lifts a finger towards you or your other children call the police.
Does he have a job? He needs ot pay for the damage he is doing to your house.
ADD is not an excuse!!! With or without it he is being a menace that needs to be stopped. Sometimes we need to bring in the authorities.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi A.. You didn;t say if your son was on medication? My son also had ADD and we went through some of the same things you are going through. He did not want to go to school, he fought it. He would not listen to the teachers and would get detentions(which he wouldn't go to) and then suspensions. We talked with the school and set him up with a special state funded program. We had several meetings with the councelors, phycoligist, teacher and my son. The school was very good. He was in a sustained classroom. He did not change classes as that is when he could cut class. When he did not listen and didn;t come to detentions they would send him to a VERY STRICT school for a few days ( HE HAD TO GO). It was very hard. He would be disstuctive to himself and in his room but never anyone else., he was just loud and mean to the family. We too called the cops on him once.
I'm sorry to be going on and on I just know what you are going through and wish I could help more. We even hired a private ADD teacher to come to our house. We did it all and I will be happy to tell you he is 21 now and a WONDERFUL person. He is off all meds, has an apartment (still needs to grow up) but he is doing great. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think your sons age is the WORST. So hang in there. If you want to talk to me any further or have any questions please feel free to contact me through mamasourse and I will get in contact with you Good Luck

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answers from Minneapolis on

Being a handful is one thing - what you're describing is something totally different.

You say it came on in the last few months.... can you think back and remember if anything could have happened to set him off? If it really did just come on you need to find out what the trigger was.

Have you spoken to his guidance counselor? Maybe he/she may know something that happened at school. Does he have a facebook page?? Get on it and read EVERYTHING. Talk to his 'best friend', etc.

You need to check your insurance to see if you have coverage for family therapy and get him to it ASAP. You also need to go as well as the younger ones so that they know this is not OK . Good luck.

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answers from Chicago on

He definitely, definitely needs psychiatric intervention - and likely an inpatient stay in a childrens' psychiatric unit. I used to work at one such facility, and the kids being admitted had exactly these types of behaviors. What message are you sending if there are no consequences? For the safety of your other children, yourself, and this child, please intervene immediately. He is exhibiting warning behaviors, and you will have a hard time reconciling your feelings about not doing more if he injures his little brothers or sister, or himself. His young mind is in complete turmoil and he needs someone to help him.

Breaking windows in your car?? Refusing to go to school?? Honestly you're lucky nothing else has happened yet. Please do something TODAY.

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answers from Cincinnati on

it sounds like a very difficult situation. Have you tried psychology? what do you feel is triggering his behaviors?
if you truly feel like he might hurt someone you may want to strongly consider admitting him to a pediatric psychology unit as soon as possible - https://secure.childrensmemorial.org/depts/childpsychiatr...

I would at the very least call the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and talk to them about your situation - To contact the professionals at Children's Memorial Hospital, call ###-###-#### . Ask the operator if there is an psychiatrist on-call. If not ask them how to handle the situation (e.g. he may need to go through the emergency department). If you feel that he may harm himself or others right now (which is what it sounds like), you may want to consider calling them tonight.

Good luck and i hope all goes well

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

ADD doesn't cover what he's doing. Your son has some serious anger issues. Something traumatic might have happened to him, or he might be struggling with a mental illness. Still, regardless of the cause, the behavior is unacceptable. At 16, children need to feel the consequences of their actions or will only escalate. It sounds like you are concerned for the safety of the smaller children. If you genuinely believe this to be a danger, then it might be good to remove your son from the situation while he gets help. A military school with plenty of structure and consequences might be a good option, or an inpatient facility if it's a mental health concern. There are also schools for out-of-control kids. It sounds like he's too out of control to handle by yourself, so even if you keep it him at home, involve his teachers, school counselor, a therapist, and yes, the cops. DCFS might also have some resources for you but approach them with care since you can lose control of the situation quickly with them, and you don't necessarily want him in foster care or a facility you don't care for. Good luck with your son. It's agony to have an out of control child, especially when there are smaller children watching the example, and also feeling the impact of his rage and being harmed emotionally and physcially. So hard to balance everyone's needs against your son's needs. I wish you well.



answers from Merced on

My brother was the same way. He had to go through some major counseling, and is on a ton of meds. After a while though the meds would stop working so well. The doc was saying that his body was becoming immune to the everyday doses. Have you taken him to a doctor about this? A psychiatrist will be able to see what the issue is and run some tests to see what type of meds he will need. The problem with this is that there will more than likely be an issue with a type of "zombie like period." The docs will say this is normal, because they don't want to change meds or dose of meds. Don't listen to them though, if this happens then the meds are working too well, and need to be adjusted. I think the hardest part about all of it was getting him to go in the first place, and then start taking the meds. He was extremely against all of it until my mom had to sneak it in the food for the first week or two and the meds started to work.



answers from Appleton on

Call the police if he is that destructive. He needs to be held accountable BUT also needs mental health services. Try to reach out to the school and work with them on a plan of action. Just dont make excuses for him, it will only make the situation worse. He needs to KNOW this is not okay.



answers from Peoria on

As others have already said, how your son is behaving is more than ADD. What your son needs is discipline and love. Don't make excuses for his behavior the police won't care about ADD in a few years. Maybe you should consider sending him to a boys home that has experience dealing with troubled youths.



answers from Chicago on

I would suggest taking a really good/close look at what he is eating. I have found w/ my kids that certain foods- especially gluten can cause super emotional outbursts. A good, clean diet of organic fruits and veggies would definately be a good place to start.
I would also suggest getting your son on a probiotic asap. We use the Renew Life brand. I hope that helps.



answers from Bloomington on

My advice....therapy and tough love.

Therapy as there are obviously some anger issues going on here that need to be addressed as ADD never equals willful destruction and hurting people. Tough love in that he must be held accountable for his actions which may mean involving the police (willful destruction of property) or the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) (safety and well being of the rest of the family).

You didn't mention it but I hope there were dire consequences for the broken car windows and punched doors.

While this isn't as bad as what you describe; my youngest daughter was 16 when she went through some very self destructive behavior and was ultimately arrested, along with a couple of her friends, for shoplifting. As difficult as it was, I sat back and allowed the wheels of justice to turn forcing her to deal with her actions. Despite the fact that her "cohorts in crime" were not additionally restricted by their families, she was restricted from friends and a plethora of other activities for a period of time. She balked and she made life miserable for the rest of us but we "stuck to our guns". She is now eighteen and has changed her life around (while her former friends continue to get into escalated trouble). She, in a sense, paid double and possibly triple for her actions but in the end it was worth it.

It is always difficult to see your child get into trouble and as parents we don't want to see them hurt by their own actions or those of others. But I believe there are times, like the one you describe, when we have to make hard decisions and ultimately force the child to face his or her actions, alone. Unfortunately, that usually means bringing in the authorities and stepping out of the picture. This is not to say, you should abandoned him, but you love him from a safe distance and pray that he finally "gets the point" before he does irreversable damage to himself and / or others.

My heart goes out to your and your family during this time and I pray that everything works out.



answers from Portland on

I agree that he needs therapy, quickly, and possibly medication as well. You're describing a serious problem, and it's obviously more than you can handle by yourself. There are all sorts of mental illnesses that can emerge at any time during a child's life. And all sorts of negative experiences that can trigger destructive behavior.

Blessings to you. This must be a real worry. Don't wait – if you can't afford professional care, call your local mental health department to find out what resources are available.



answers from Chicago on

sounds like more than just ADD. I would see a psychologist and get some type of diagnosis. The whole violence thing is very disturbing.



answers from Chicago on

I am sooo sorry you are going through a ruff time with him. It seems as if you will have to get some assistance from a medical professional, before he does something that involves some illegal activity. I know it sounds harsh, but if you don't want him to be involved in something that will hurt someone and the police are called. Because he is so out of control, and hurting his sibling, you need some physical assistance.

You mentioned he was diagnosed at 8, was he on any medications or seeing a Dr. for his condition? (not trying to be nosy) Is his father around or some other male figure to assist you and your other children, when he gets violent? You don't want anyone to get seriously hurt, his brother or sisters, yourself and your "son" from one of you guys trying to defend yourselves against him.

My step-son has been diagnosis with ADHD and I heard that he punched the wall at his mom's because he was sooo angry. He is on medication and he has more good days than bad. I will keep you in my prayers



answers from Seattle on

When he is violent call the police. You have put the safety of yourself and your younger children first!

Second, get him mental health services ASAP! I am a strong proponent of counseling, but if his behavior is dangerous to your other children or you, inpatient treatment may be best. If you can afford it, look into private residential treatment/school otherwise you will have to find out what kind of service you can receive with your insurance/state mental health programs. At this age you might still be able to commit him for treatment, even if he is unwilling - it depends on your state laws. Once he is 18 the options run out and he will likely go down a dark path.

It's hard to face the possibility that your child has mental health issues... however give his age I urge you to act fast, your time is running out.

Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

Are you the birth or adoptive parent of this child? I mean no offense, but do you know anything about his birth mother's habits during pregnancy? It sounds to me like your son may have had prenatal exposure to alcohol. If that is the case, you and your family could benefit from learning about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Someone with FASD can look normal and have a normal IQ but have behavioral problems such as: anger, a poor memory, poor impulse control, not learning from his mistakes, not connecting cause and effect and more. Traditional parenting practices don't work with kids who have FASD. For more information see my web site: www.jancrossen.com there are additional resources on the "Links" pages. Good luck and take care of yourself and your other kids.

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