ADHD Parents Together
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Emotional Immaturity

Hi all, I am new to the site and I just started to doing more research on ADHD as I am fairly sure that my 7 year old son has it and we are currently working on evaluation. When I say fairly sure I mean our pediatrician, teachers and multiple family members and friends have all looked at assessments and symptoms and he ticks all the boxes in a moderate to severe way.

So I have been doing a lot of research as we make appointments and have discussions and in one of the books I was reading the author made a comment about emotional immaturity. She wrote about the section of the brain that works on emotional and self-control seemed less developed or slow in developing for kids with ADHD than in other children. This made me really think about my son and how he responds to things and at 7 I can see how he often emotionally responds more like a 4-5 year old than his true age. He does not have any learning disabilities and has no trouble with his school work outside of that he can't focus on it for more than a few minutes at a time. However, his emotional control often leads to tantrums or tears more online with what I saw from him as a preschooler than what I see in other 2nd graders. Has anyone else noticed something similar?

The idea has me changing some of our methods to those I might have used as positive reinforcement or repercussions when he was younger. Shorter time or actions before earning a reward and quiet time outs not as a punishment but as a chance to get his emotions under control without everyone else watching.

I'm hoping in throwing this out there to those who've been dealing with this for a lot longer that I can get some feedback to see if the idea makes sense.

Thanks :)

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I can sympathize! I am new to this as well (with a 7yr old) so I'll be following this thread. THANK YOU for putting it out there.

L.

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I too can sympathize. My 7yr old son was recently diagnosed and I feel that he too is not age level with his maturity. It’s so frustrating at times.

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My 7 year old son is the exact same way. He is definitely emotionally immature, but he is absolutely brilliant. He is in 1st grade as his birthday is in October, and we missed the cut off date for school. He reads at a 4th grade level, and excells in everything academic. He is also a wonderful athlete. So it is very frustrating to me when he acts the way he does. I see him sometimes as older than 7 because of his abilities; and I have to constantly remind myself that he is only 7. But when it comes to emotions and sometimes behavior I have to remember that he is around 5. It’s draining at times, but we are getting help from doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, and parenting support groups. It can be dealt with; you just have to keep your morale up and keep trying.. which some days can be difficult. Don’t hesitate to message me 🙂

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Thank you! I'm thinking of putting his structure and discipline matters back to how they were when he was 4-5. So at 7 with my daughters I could talk about poor decision making and, if necessary, a repercussion or punishment that was age appropriate. With my son, I can talk all I want, but when the moment comes to make a decision or choice, all of his understanding of consequences goes straight out the window. I'm going to try going back to a detailed behavior chart for him to help reinforce what he needs to do and a reward system based on short-term goals. He doesn't do well with an overall report on his day, can't focus on his behavior that long, but a thumbs up point system based on 20 minute class or activity time periods seems to help him remember to control himself better. If I think of his behavior in terms of still being in Kindergarten from on impulse and emotional control stand point then how I deal with him is different. It is exhausting though!

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Hi ENA2018

It seems that our story is kind of similar. My son too is very bright for a seven years old, math, reading, but when it comes to behavior and building relations with classmates, he is still struggling.

Some days, he does really wel, and others he acts impulsively or says silly thing to classmates, which of course the kids make a huge deal out of it. Some kids are cool and they are more accepting of minor slips or mistakes he makes, but most kids are not nice. We are doing all that we can to help him, medicine, dr specialized in child development, psychologist, and IEP support at school. I was wondering if there is something else we can do for him?

Thanks,

N

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I think that what you’re doing is the right track for sure. My son has more of an issue getting along with peers outside of school. He does just fine with them in school so that’s where I’m confused. For us, we’re really working on social skills in counseling as well as parenting strategies to help him be who we know he can be. Is there a counselor in the school that could help your child interact with peers in a private group setting? That way they are in the school environment.

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It is typical for kids with ADHD to be behind in their emotional developments compared to kids their age. Unfortunately, that's how it is.

My seven year old son is a bright kid but sometimes he behaves like a five years old and he thinks it is funny. I keep reminding he shouldn't do silly things because other kids won't respect him and make fun him, and this has been affecting his self esteem and confidence.

I think positive reinforcement is the right thing to do because ADHD kids don't do well with punishment and negativity. Constant praise for good deeds and encouragement is the best in my experience.

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Yes, I've run in to the same problem with him getting picked on and feeling bad about himself. My husband usually does the "other kids won't like you if you do ..." but I think that's only hurting him because to him, he's just being himself, so our son is getting told that he won't have friends if he acts like himself.

I'm working on creating a behavior chart with small rewards so he gets positive reinforcement for his good behavior. Anyone have any ideas for some small and free rewards? I don't want to offer him toys all the time, it would not be teaching him a good lesson.

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I have found, with my son, that he gets really obsessive about something and can't stop talking and thinking about it (right now it's Minecraft) and that seems to irritate the other kids around him when he can't think of anything else except his current obsession.

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