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ADHD Parents Together
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6 yo son pushing me to my limit

My 6 yo son was diagnosed with ADHD in October this year, so we are very new to the whole diagnosis. Today was not a good parenting day. We took a family trip to Ikea and it seems like things are so much worse in public places. I know from what I've read structure helps, routine ... But what do we do when LIFE happens and were out and about. He constantly pushes me to my limits... talking back, defiance ... it frustrates me beyond words. HELP!!

4 Replies

My son is the same. He will scream at us and hit us in public places and although mortifying the best advice I’ve gotten so far is to stay calm. I know my son feels bad about himself and is often saying he is stupid etc. Try to model the behavior you want to see from him. When we react to them and have our own tantrum they learn nothing. I know life happens but unfortunately if you know you are putting him in a situation he won’t succeed (an over stimulating place like IKEA) don’t take him. I refuse to take my son to certain places because I know the outcome will be terrible. Hang in! You are not alone!


Yes I understand how difficult this can be. I have had a lot of success with “pre loading “ my son before these excursions.

We go over what is acceptable and what is not before we venture into someone’s home or a store etc. I do it with kindness and proactive words. I teach him the language at home and I do my best to live by it as well. They learn from us.

Instead of “I want you to behave or be a good boy.” “We say, please remind me...what are the most important things to remember before we go inside?”

Say hello, take off my shoes, ask for permission before I touch something, bring my best self to help mommy” etc....

I ask him to repeat the list until he knows it off by heart. I ask him to explain to me what the boundaries are befor we go anywhere.

I have learned the hard way that threats do not work with these bright kids. At least not my son. Just a simple “if you are unable to bring your best self we can always leave and I’m ok that” ....smile. I sometimes will give this warning if I see things are about to go sideways.

I always thank him for being his best self at the times when I’ve asked for it but most importantly at the times when he least expects it. It builds his confidence and we all need validation.

I try to gauge his tolerance and take a realistic approach before I take him anywhere. I try my best to not push him to his limits.

Praise praise praise with lots of hugs and love ❤️


I love that!! We do that when he goes to a friend's house ... what do we need to remember? Our please and thank you ... etc.

We did end up going to Target the next day, and did exactly that... He even said "I remember what happened yesterday, mommy".

Parenting is HARD!!


Yes indeed it is! Raising a child with ADHD is a joyfully excruciating experice.

Hang in there, we all need each other ❤️


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