ADHD/Aniexty and discipline

My daughter is 12 and was diagnosed a few years ago. Recently she started falling off in school again, bad grades and not turning in homework. I am not sure if the hormonal shift of the tween years has effected her ADHD at all. She takes medication for her anxiety but not currently for ADHD. I got stuck in a cycle of blaming the diagnosis when things go bad. But I need to hold her accountable also. However last night I took everything away from her phone, kindle, her after school outings with friends and she just doesn't care. She had failed a test and her teacher was kind enough to give her an opportunity for extra credit by completing a brief project during lunch, she chose not to show up for it. In addition to not handing in the homework she lied to me about doing in the same class. I had to punish her but is it really effective when she doesn't care about it. Anyone else experience this? Any things that worked with your kids?

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  • Hi,

    I know it's hard. When my son was your daughter's age, I went through the same thing. (I talk a lot about it in the book I wrote that's available on amazon (Parenting teens with ADHD: practical parenting and mindset strategies to take you from chaos to calm"). The thing is, she may act like she doesn't care when you take her things away but she really does. She is likely putting up a front as a form of rebellion. When I had to do with my son was take a step back and figure out some natural consequences that could happen where he would learn the hard way that his decisions had negative results (like having to do summer school, or saying that I would only be continuing to pay for a phone for him if he got a certain GPA that he and I agreed on) and then I stepped back and let him experience those things. I also saw how important it was to have a strong relationship with him because Rules without Relationship =rebellion. When all you do when you're around each other is argue and fight about this stuff, it makes it likely that she will just hide more and avoid you.

    It's hard to find the balance but if you keep in mind that it's your job to prepare her for adulthood AND that the best way for her to learn is "the hard way" through natural consequences, you will hopefully see like I did that she will get there...but on her own time and in her own way. More control on your part usually doesn't help her and only winds up driving you crazy!

    PS you might also want to check out the Parenting with Love and Logic program. Love and logic.com

    Hope this helps!

    Joyce Mabe, Parenting Coach, website: parentcoachjoyce.com

  • Thank you, the balancing act is the hardest.

  • First, 12 is a really difficult age, and she might get better in a few months.

    Second, accountability for ADHD kids is a difficult balance. You need to have standards and stick to them, but at the same time, the standards have to be based on what SHE can do, not what the typical child her age can do. If she's 12, the part of her brain that controls organization, staying on task and managing time only works about as well as an 8 or 9 year old child's.

    I agree that she probably does care, but she may feel overwhelmed and ashamed of asking for help. She may be rebelling because not trying feels easier than trying and giving up.

    Focus on small tasks, with small punishments or rewards.

  • Thanks. After I wrote this I thought about it again. I didn't want to back away completely from the punishment so I gave her a few days to earn items back. I also didn't want her to think I gave super quick. She buckled down and got all the work done she had fallen behind on. I know it was a struggle for her and she was exhausted but it needed to be done. I met with her teachers and principal yesterday and they have made some amendments from how the IEP stares her work should be handled based on what they see from her. So we are trying a new route. They know a different side of her than I do so hopefully this helps and o can go back to not having to discipline for school work.

  • I'm currently going through the same thing with my 13 years old daughter, is not a good experience but we have to have faith in God

  • I'm trying but some days it is quite difficult.

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