Need advice/ideas

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Need advice/ideas
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 7:36am
I have dealt with ADHD in my son for nearly 4 years now. He was diagnosed at age 5 and is going to be 9 this summer. I think the worst part of it this past year, has been the accompanying ODD (oppositional defiance) characteristics. We are going back to a psych. person for help in a few weeks. But I wanted some advice from other moms. I have been paying close attention to the posts here describing rewards for compliance etc. with chores/or for homework. I love all those ideas and am in the midst of creating a chart for him here. He will have to earn things as well. But how as a family do you handle the ODD features on a daily basis? I find myself so stressed. He gets mad at the dog if the dog runs by him and trips my son accidentally. Just makes him so angry. He gets so mad sometimes over such trivial things. And the other night he had drawn a picture to put in a care package for one of our troops, and the day after I shipped it he remembered what a great picture it was and wanted it back! He obviously can not get it back but spent half an hour crying over this. It seems like things are difficult and then we figure them out- and handle them ADHD wise-- but this other stuff tires me out completely. I would appreciate any ideas, anything at all..that you do to cope. If i say the sky is blue he says it's red. (Though he's done this since he was 2!--argued with me) If I help him with homework he will disagree about something as if I don't know the answer! Just makes me crazed. Any help would be appreciated.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 03-29-2003 - 10:00am
I wish I had some simple answers for you. I have the same problem with my son. We went to psychologists that gave us some ground rules for dealing with him.

1. Never argue with him

2. Answer NO. Then if he asks why say because I said so and don't discuss it again

3. Let him cry for an hour if he wants...he'll get over it.

The philosophy behind this was to reinforce the fact that you are the parent and he is the child. My son was literally running the show (in fact I've slipped a little and it's coming back)

This does work for my kid. I don't know if you can try some of this but the psychologist told us that the more control he thinks he has the less he will listen.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 5:49am

Sound advice from the Psychologist!

I would add - help him understand that "its ok to be wrong sometimes"; take opportunities to show him you value his opinion; give him control/choice over issues which you can.

A useful strategy to help him cope with any strong emotion goes something like this:-

1. He expresses a strong feeling (anger at loss of picture)

2. You respond by naming the emotion & sympathising(I can see how angry that made you)

3. Understand / validate that emotion (we all get angry when something we wanted has gone)

4. Find solutions (eg draw a new picture) or ...

5. Change the feeling (think how much the GI's will enjoy the picture)

You probably do all these but seeing it set out as a 'strategy' you can adopt can prevent it driving you crazy next time.

I find humour can also help break the tension of those oppositional moments. Saying something funny when he expects a row can totally disarm him.

All the best.