ADHD Parents Together
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Not a good night

My 13 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago. We’ve worked on medications/dosages and thought things were going pretty well this school year. Recently, however, he has been slipping. I’m getting emails from teachers, we’ve had a conference, etc but he doesn’t seem very motivated. Today I got a call from the school about his behavior. I was uncertain about how to handle it because I didn’t know if he’d actually done what he was accused of (the school only had hearsay from kids, no real evidence). Once home my husband and I talked to him and he denied it. We were cautiously optimistic that he was being honest, but then heard from his friend’s parent, who was honest about the situation. He was very defiant about the consequences of his actions, and got into a argument with my husband. We feel really at a loss. Taking things away doesn’t work, we’ve done that time and again. I hate feeling so hopeless about him, but sometimes it just feels so bleak. Has anyone tried a coach with any success?

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Unfortunately, you are entering the teen years and adolescent boys with ADHD can be a real challenge. One of the first thing you need to do is to make sure you and your husband are on the same page, because you're going to need to stick together for the next few years! The second thing is that ADHD kids tend to lie A LOT! For a long time I was so worried that this was terrible character flaw in my son, but that really isn't true. I believe they lie for several reasons: first of all, they are impulsive and live "in the moment", and second, ADHD kids are frequently punished and they lie to avoid punishment! It has also been my experience that punishing for lying does not work. In fact, any type of long-term, or really harsh punishment can backfire with them. A coach might work, if your son "buys" into the fact that he needs some assistance. Teenagers have limited insight into their behavior, so serious therapy doesn't work very well.

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Thanks for your response: it’s nice to know we’re not alone in this! We’ve contacted our local counseling center and are going to meet with someone who deals with ADHD in teens. Hopefully he can provide some good insight!

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