ADHD Parents Together
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How do you discipline an 8yr old with ADHD?

8yrs old diagnosed with ADHD. Very smart but has self control issues. I always use positive reinforcement but it doesn't always work. Looking for tips on what to do when he acts out such as argue, scream and not follow directions.

Thank you!

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I struggle with this. Being stern usually ends horribly, lots of defiance and arguments. I find that when it is something that isn’t immediately dangerous, a cooling off period is needed. If I see Evan doing something wrong, I will say “buddy, come here please I need to talk to you.” I get down to his level and tell him “no I know you probably know this already but doing (ABC) is not ok, what can we do to better next time”. I like to give him the wheel and sometimes let him decide how he should be punished. He can tell me “1 day without games” I can say “that’s fair” or “how about 2 days since it was a pretty big mistake” he usually complies or has a rebuttals (he is the king of rebuttals) but in the end he learns his lesson and it doesn’t cause a scene. Public meltdowns are the worse and if that happens i take him alone to my car or away from everyone. We talk and relax until we can rejoin the group. I have spent many christmas’ and thanksgivings in the car sometimes for an hour.

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Awww. Thank you. It is definitely a struggle but his big heart out weighs any meltdown. It's sad because people don't understand and just assume he's a bad kid.

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I know that feeling so well. My heart grew like 10 sizes when his teacher said to me “Kelly, I love love love love your son, he just gets life and He can get on my level and just talk it out. He is an amazing person and I see it. I do” this was the sweetest thing anyone has said to me at his school. I was so happy to not walk into PT conferences to a teacher who hates having my child as part of her class

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That's awesome! A good understanding and caring teacher sure makes a difference. He use to come home saying "I'm just a bad kid". It broke my heart, I told him "you are not a bad kid, you just made a bad choice!

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I say that ALLLLL the time

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I have the same issue with my 8 y/o. We started using the Chore Card Method. Where he gets no privileges (iPad, tv, toys, etc) until the chore is completed. We have a box of index cards that have specific chores, ones he normally doesn't do. Chores such as organize the tupperware drawer, wipe kitchen cabinets, clean out a specific area. On the back of each card we broke the chore up into smaller steps to help with the anxiety of it. Although I have not perfected this method yet, the threat of a chore card really brings him back to reality and I get the "I promise I will stop mom". I'm guess I need to be more stern and actually issue more chores than I do :-) However, its better than taking something away for the whole day and dealing with a miserable kid all day.

Another thing we do is when he really gets out of control, where he tells me that he knows this is going on. He tells me that he is running races down a hallway full of stuff in his brain. We take a step away from what ever we are doing try to go somewhere more quiet and he does some deep breathing and we talk it out. We do this when he communicates that he knows, but can't stop. This works in the moment but I'm still working on how to prevent these problems before they start.

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Excellent idea!! I'llhave to give this a try. Thank you!

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Great ideas!

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I have tried many different things but for right now, for us, it helps if when I recognize an outburst is coming I sit on the floor with my back against a wall. My son will come towards me, yelling, crying, screaming (or all 3) and I just remain calm sitting there offering only calm. Sometimes it’s not easy! Especially if what he’s screaming is hurtful or he’s kicking me while crying but I’ve found it makes the outbursts shorter and he comes around to calm much faster than if I yell back or if I am standing.

I’ve realized he can’t really process anything I’m saying when he’s in that state but he can get the feeling of anger if I’m yelling and it doesn’t help.

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I think your absolutely right. My husband use to argue back and forth with him. It only made things worse. It's like we adults have to learn self control in order to control our child.

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I have said this exact statement to myself——Control yourself for him to control himself. Stay calm.... my son is 3.5 yrs and will micmic my response. He’s struggling with his emotions. It’s appearing more and more lately. I had my first preschool “you need to come pick up your child” call today. My son can’t handle large group classes... and it seems like the class is filling up more and more. Thankfully his teachers split the kids into smaller groups. But today something didn’t go well...😞 I’m thankful to have found this group site. I am learning lots of technics from all you wonderful parents... thank you so much for your posts, it’s helping me tremendously with creating my son’s environment and intercepting what could be a disastrous situation. I thank you all for the advice and experiences I’ve read on this site.

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I'm new to the group also. It makes you feel good to know your not alone and to be able to get advice from someone who understands. This is what good mom's, dad's, grandparents and guardians do, look for help!!!

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I think positivity is huge! With my 8 yr old son, arguing goes no where. It makes it so much worse. I really think they know that they are out of control but they cant stop it. Even a calm conversation is useless until the situation has diffused a little so I usually ask him to go be by himself for awhile. They need us to give them tools to try to calm themselves down and they absolutely need to see their parents be calm. We have to lead by example.

I love the idea of the chore cards on this thread. When I do punish, I try to do it in a calm, matter of fact manner so as to not inflame the situation more. Here is your punishment, there is no argument about it.

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