Need relational help!

We are new to the group and I am needing some help. I have a 12 yr old (7th grade)daughter who is self-diagnosed with ADD/ADHD as well as my husband. My question pertains more to my daughter who I homeschool. We are just battling it relationally with me getting frustrated when things are half done or something is blatantly in an obvious spot, yet she doesn't see it. Her room is a constant mess...the sad thing is I do more yelling and getting frustrated than anything else. This is really damaging our relationship but I don't know how to get it in check for ME. How do you as a parent handle it? How do you stay calm and be patient? I am the type that everything has a home and a place, I don't like clutter, I am very organized and I like to be able to control things. I don't want to ruin our relationship but I need help in how to change myself. Any suggestions PLEASE?

22 Replies

  • Hi, I wrote a book that might help: Parenting teens with ADHD: parenting and mindset strategies to take you from CHAOS to calm. Here's a link.

  • I do the same thing, getting frustrated and yelling. I feel like I get frustrated easily but it's really because it's stuff they should know. They DO know bc it's been said a million times! Mine are not teens though...

  • Thank you, I'll take a look at it.

  • Joyce, my husband doesn't want to medicate my daughter or himself. Will your strategies work with a child that is not medicated? It looks like your book has to do with our own thought process, that's great because that's EXACTLY what I need! BUT did you still medicate your son while you worked on yourself or no? I guess what I am also asking is what other strategies besides medicating are there and that will work for both kids and adults?

  • Hi Cori, yes they absolutely work regardless of whether she is on medication! My son was off medication for a lot of his teens. The main focus of my work is to help parents cope and feel better regardless of what their kids do--we can't control others but we can control how we think about things, which in turn affects how we feel. It's not easy sometimes but worth the effort. I also believe in making sure your relationship with your kids is strong since rules without relationship = rebellion.

    Let me know what you think after you read it and if you want more info, help or free resources, my website is

  • Great, thanks! LOVE resources!

    I don't want to be oppositional but rather just trying to navigate my next course of action. I don't know if you can see everyone's input on this thread, I am thinking you can. Can you give me your input and thoughts on the behavior/reward system for ADD kids. Is that the best approach to helping these kids is this the course I need to follow?

  • I believe that kids, especially teens, should be allowed to experience the natural consequences of things--To help them get ready for the real world as adults. Along these lines, I really like the Parenting with Love and Logic parenting techniques. There are classes all over the US as well as a book. They're not specific to ADHD but still apply.

    There is really no right or wrong as long as you're consistent and implement things from a place of calm and confidence. No matter what techniques you use, it will help to be in a calm mindset.

  • I've heard of those books, I can look into that as well. Thanks. Have you heard of Scott Turansky from Biblical Parenting, we have his books too. They are not ADD books but they do talk about planning your time.... would those work? I guess I feel like I need to the tips in order to teach her HOW TO manage time or anything executive function related. I haven't read it yet, but how does Parenting with Love and Logic work if it's not specific to ADD?

  • I recommend therapy for you and her. I was the same way with my daughter yelling all the time. Our therapist is helping us to understand what is going on in her busy mind. And how we can't parent our child the way you parent a child without ADHD. Our therapist has also helped us set up a token economy where she earns chips for each daily chore or behavior completed. She can then purchase electronics time, treats, treasure box items etc. with her earnings. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you. I'm so worried about going after it from a behavioral angle vs a heart angle. I don't want her to start to do things ONLY in order to get a reward. We have always opposed that way. Is that the ONLY way to help those with ADD/ADHD?

    I was also going to try to go to support groups, do you think that would be helpful, I've never been to them before. It's the finances that bother me about a therapist. If there is no other way, then we will definitely go that route.

  • I didn't like the idea of a reward system either. I read Taking Control of ADHD Russell Barkley. He said ADHD kids CANNOT self motivate and they need external motivation. Frequently. I have set up the system the way that was recommended in the book and they like it. They want to earn the points, but they, especially my 8 year old is still so forgetful. I still have to say " don't you want to earn some points? Don't forget to do this or that". It has also been used as consequence by taking points away. As far as your relationship, I try to spend time doing something he likes to do with him. It's not easy, but since there is so much correction and discipline making time to bond helps with balance

  • As you probably already know, there is absolutely no way to get her to do something she does not want to do. They need motivation. You have to completely change your way of thinking. I see what you mean about the reward thing. But what you're not seeing is that the list of chores/behaviors is training her brain to focus on a specific task and/or behavior, which builds confidence in her ability to complete something. Believe me most of the time she's not not doing something to anger or frustrate you, she really can't focus long enough or even see whats right in front of her because of all the other things surrounding that one thing she should see. And these are not big extravagant rewards, more like a piece of candy or stickers, pencil and eraser etc. Or if she does really well an ice cream.

  • Deenice, that's the other thing I need help with, trying to figure out how to parent a completely different way from what I have been doing for the last 12 years. I don't even know where to start and how to do it! I DON'T KNOW how to think that way. :-(

    Does the rewards work on the executive functioning and training her brain that way?

    You are totally correct! All she wants to do is please me. I know this is not on purpose but I don't always come across with the best responses to her :-(.

    Where do I need to start first?

  • I'll take a look at that book too, thanks. I would need to be careful because I also have a 9 and 4 yr old and I really don't want them doing a reward system. Neither of them has ADD, as far as we can tell right now. I need to think about that.

    Yes, you are right, I do try to do "date nights" with my daughter and spend some special time together. We need to get our hearts connected.

  • Nothing wrong with wanting order or control in your home I totally understand that but sometimes especially with the children that we have we have to turn the cheek I am not saying to welcome the mess because that is very difficult to swallow what I will suggest if you can get a cleaning person to come in maybe like a Saturday just to deal with her room but let her be part of it she can be able to pointout to the person OK that is dirty laundry that is clean laundry maybe the person could also do her laundry for her just her that will allow her to take a little responsibility in how she keeps her room and maybe you can have this person come in every other week it should not cost a lot for just one room in your home that will help both you and her because Remember kids with ADHD are wired differently so what we think my come about easy for us simple instructions it is a great task in they mind so be patient with her and do this to even help your Your sanity sometimes we look at our kids looking normal speaking normal and we think they’re thinking is normal also but it is not on is harder for some of us to understand that than others so hang in there and keep in mind love conquers all is better to have a Happy home over a clean home

  • Hi, I use to be that parent that would always be yelling at my son for not following my rules. I recently started reading more on Add/ADHD and I realized that yelling is doing no good. He wasn't getting any better. So now I choose my battles with him. It's so hard not yelling but I learned to calm myself down. Also every time I talk to him I always do it in a calm voice even tho inside I'm upset. As parents we have to remember that they're the way they are Bc of Add not Bc they want to.

  • That is my goal, I am going to need lots of prayer on this one to just hold my tongue! It's the "how" that I am wrestling with.

  • This is where we struggle. I am doing the reading and trying methods but my partner is still under thought that its defiance. How have you navigatedbthis divide? Its pulliing us apart!

  • Thanks PoohTabb!

  • CoriR

    I also get frustrated and raise my voice when my Son does not listen. I like organization myself! As far the clutter, I would let your daughter know that the clutter is not fixed your privilege s will be taken away!! The next thing I would do is put her in public schools and have her evaluated for an IEP... That way u and your husband can have peace for most of the day!

    Hope that Helps

  • A reward system has been the only thing that has worked for my five year old in school thus far. In the past, he has been violent and aggressive at times, and he would throw a doozy of a tantrum almost every day. Then, they started working on a system where he collects stickers for completing a job, and he's allowed to choose an activity, etc, after earning X number of stickers. Since then, he's shown remarkable improvement.

    The reward system is not supposed to be permanent. But he needs help starting somewhere. And that has worked for him. He does not have the executive functioning yet to know when to stop, when to start, and how to remember everything all at once as we do. We also have my son on medication, though. We're also working with a psychologist who specifically provides parent behavior training. It helps us learn how to understand our son's thought processes and work to support him while also holding him accountable.

  • Thank you pwb78

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