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ADHD Parents Together
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How do you cope when...

(1) your child has a tantrum/meltdown over finishing school work that you know s/he is capable of doing? I asked leading questions to get his thoughts down on paper but was not going to do homework for him.

(2) your child claims that giving him/her a compliment about good behavior makes him/her act bad afterwards? I know it's an excuse but hard to deal with.

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I know someone who experience this similar situation with their son and later the mother discovered her son had ADD.. Please get it checked out..

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His psychologist stated ADHD w other outlying diagnoses but waiting to see psychiatrist. Just wondering how others are managing behaviors & what coping techniques are being used.

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Somethings hinder homework. It may seem mundane. It does not catch his interest. So you have to make it enjoyable. Figure out if he has dexterity issues, reading issues like dyslexia, etc. Math might be better tackled in the morning. He will be non-traditional. ADHD comes with emotional dysregulation. So they are overwhelmed, disinterested, anxieties about mistakes, etc. 30 minutes of homework. Don't pressure. Encourage. You might have to write the beginning and let him finish. I do this with my 8.5 year old. I make silly answers and ask him what is the right answer. I tell him to teach me. He engages. You have to be creative.

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Dear Doodley:

I can only speak from my fifty years of experience dealing with this disorder. I had a very difficult time with doing my homework by myself. I would often cry and get frustrated, and then lash out because I was so riddled with anxiety. I hated it when someone would say something like “come on you know this” and then let me sit and stew over it. This would only upset me more because if I knew the answer I would have said it right away.

Knowing what I know now I would have asked my child a question and if they could not answer it right away or within five to ten seconds I would answer it for them or guide them in the direction to it and then explain why the answer is what the answer is and then let them try to explain it back to me. I believe if an ADHD child can explain it back to you then they pretty much have it. However, if they can’t explain it to you then they do not understand it. I think sometimes knowing the answer and working backwards for an ADHD child can be very effective in teaching. It is okay to give the answer as long as they understand the process and how to get there.

I know we are frustrating to work with. Hence, using a calm voice and relaxing body gestures can really ease our anxiety

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Thank you for sharing your experience, it is very helpful in understanding my son better around homework.

Did you also experience outbursts if you did not want to do something thst you were asked to do (ex. Showering, going out to dinner, etc).

Many thanks for your input.

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I had a lot of tantrums and outbursts. This is how I would have handled it today knowing what I know now. I would tell my child in the morning you will be taking a shower this evening. Children with ADHD often need routine and often need to know what is expected and what is going to happen. So now it is the evening. I would remind my child an hour before he will be taking a shower so this way it gives him an hour to prepare. I would then remind him he is going to take a shower in 10 minutes and to wined down what he is doing. Time moves differently for people with ADHD and we are often forgetful from seconds to minutes. Therefore, gentle reminders of the time are important. I would then give him a five minute warning and remind him of the consequence upon his actions.

The consequences upon his actions must be clear and followed to the letter with no exceptions. The reward of him taking a shower will be he gets to play with whatever he is playing with for another hour before he has to go to bed. The consequence upon his action would be his tantrum cutting into his hour of playtime. Meaning if he throws a tantrum for a half an hour then he only has 20 minutes to play after his 10 minute shower. Your child will then learn that throwing a fit takes away from his playtime and that mom is serious when she speaks.

Others may argue no playtime at all but I think it is not the way to go. Show kindness after he takes his shower. Give him the time he has left after his tantrum and I guarantee the tantrums will become less. You are not bargaining with him. Your child is learning there are consequences upon his actions and there are also rewards for good behavior.

Stay firm and do not bargain. Do not be one of those parents that say “I am going to count to 10”. You do not need to do that were threatening. He already knows his consequences upon his actions because they were spoken about previously. You must tell him the consequences upon his actions way before it even takes place. Meaning, tell him this is what is going to happen from now and forever if you do not take a shower at the time I tell you to take a shower. Explain to your child what was stated above.

Remember, this is what I would tell my child.

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Thank you!!!

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Thank you!!! Very helpful. We do stick w/consequences but probably not enough reminders. I like the idea of reward 4 doing what is asked.

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I am having a terrible time doing any homework with my son (13) Yes, most of the time I still do it with him. If I don’t remind him, he wouldn’t do it, he doesn’t see an importance of it. He’s smart, he knows how to do it, he just can’t get himself to actually sit and do it. Thousands excuses, lies, needs to go to the bathroom, thirsty, hungry etc. Then , when he finally sits down, his pencil drops frequently on the floor, his head is on the table, he is fidgeting etc. I am boiling already, but I don’t yell anymore, because it creates even more frustration.

Since my son is 13 and he really likes to play his PS4, now I just say “if you don’t do it, you won’t play” and it works. The more time he wastes, the less he plays. Self motivation. Good luck in finding the right method. It’s not easy.

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Thank you, I have tried that as well.

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I also found a lot of ways to waste time such as what you mentioned above. I found it easier to study at the library versus at home because I didn’t have all my toys and games in front of me.

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Thanks

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In order to find and look for help, you need to want to accept that help either from others or apply own techniques. My son , in his opinion, doesn’t need help, he doesn’t recognize those situations when tools like: flash cards, to do lists, elimination of distractions would help him. I think he is still not mature enough. I hope he will reach that point, when he will start helping himself.

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I've come to realize, it's also embarrassing for him, esp since his twin sister does not have ADHD. This also makes him act out.

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I'm going through this as well with my 9 year old. He hates homework and it's become such a battle. He gives up easily and I have to sit with him the whole time. If he gets frustrated he may get angry and break hos pencil or run off to his room and bury himself under the covers and refuses to come out or sometimes like yesterday he gets a lot done and is proud of himself and in good spirits. It makes it tough because each day is different but it causes a lot of anxiety and stress. I hate the constant battle and negotiations trying to get him to do it.

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I had a lot of tantrums and outbursts. This is how I would have handled it today knowing what I know now. I would tell my child in the morning you will be taking a shower this evening. Children with ADHD often need routine and often need to know what is expected and what is going to happen. So now it is the evening. I would remind my child an hour before he will be taking a shower so this way it gives him an hour to prepare. I would then remind him he is going to take a shower in 10 minutes and to wined down what he is doing. Time moves differently for people with ADHD and we are often forgetful from seconds to minutes. Therefore, gentle reminders of the time are important. I would then give him a five minute warning and remind him of the consequence upon his actions.

The consequences upon his actions must be clear and followed to the letter with no exceptions. The reward of him taking a shower will be he gets to play with whatever he is playing with for another hour before he has to go to bed. The consequence upon his action would be his tantrum cutting into his hour of playtime. Meaning if he throws a tantrum for a half an hour then he only has 20 minutes to play after his 10 minute shower. Your child will then learn that throwing a fit takes away from his playtime and that mom is serious when she speaks.

Others may argue no playtime at all but I think it is not the way to go. Show kindness after he takes his shower. Give him the time he has left after his tantrum and I guarantee the tantrums will become less. You are not bargaining with him. Your child is learning there are consequences upon his actions and there are also rewards for good behavior.

Stay firm and do not bargain. Do not be one of those parents that say “I am going to count to 10”. You do not need to do that were threatening. He already knows his consequences upon his actions because they were spoken about previously. You must tell him the consequences upon his actions way before it even takes place. Meaning, tell him this is what is going to happen from now and forever if you do not take a shower at the time I tell you to take a shower. Explain to your child what was stated above.

Remember, this is what I would tell my child.

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Well said. Thank you

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Pretty much everything Jorliss said!

Though my kindergartener with adhd hasn't really had homework yet, we used to have a battle every morning of getting ready for school. Here's what helped us - you can see if any techniques can be adapted for you:

1. Visual cues!

2. Analog clock & timers!

3. Incentives!

4. Break down the tasks, either verbally (if you'll be there to remind him) or write it down.

5. Calm specific praise

Basically, I drew w/ dry erase on the face of an analog clock at which points he needed things done. If he got it done on time, correctly, without prodding, he got to pick whatever he wanted for his lunch snack at school (he loves snacks!) For the first time he was ready w/ 30 minutes to spare.

As for th compliment - we actually have noted too that sometimes praise can lead to acting up. Not sure if this is exactly what you are experiencing, but this helped us: So, we've had to tailor our approach to praise. It's got to be calm, specific & sincere. If I say "Whoa Buddy, you finished xyz- that's so awesome!!", he gets over excited (or knows it's bs) & gets extra symptomatic. But if I just casually say "I like how you did xyz" or "thanks for finishing xyz", then it helps the behaviors I want to encourage without overstimulating him.

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Thank you, very helpful tips.

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Yes to both and I discussed during my son's IEP reducing homework. This helped for awhile but now we are at a point where no homework is getting done. As a single parent who works full-time I am exhausted. We nixed reward charts a few weeks ago because he got the attitude that I don't need to make an effort anymore since we've been spending all this time with his cousins' doing fun stuff and he didn't need a reward to get it. He stopped following all routines morning and night to the point I have him go to bed in his school uniform so "I" can function in the morning. Right now I am not worried about homework and schools/teachers need to understand.

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