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ADHD Parents Together
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I thought as he a got older it would get easier... Not true at all

So my son was diagnosed at 5 and yes they were some rough times. Now he is 12 and his anger, back talking, impulsive crying spells and uncontrollable emotional regulation is so taxing. I often feel like a failure, like my expectations are too high.. but I’m perplexed that he has no behavior problems in school and if a man gives directives he has no problem listening... it’s just me.. the one constant in his life. I feel so defeated and can’t help but to think I’m failing him. Then to top it all, I’m a “yeller” and that only makes things worse. Maybe my lack of emotional regulation is hereditary. Smh.

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Your story hit me to the core. I’m a single mom to a 10yr. old boy. I too am his stable! I really try not to take it personally, I think he unleashes on me because he feels safe doing so. At school he tries so hard to be the cool kid. He has a learning disability, witch adds to his frustrations.

My therapist encouraged me to take my own time out when I need too. Closing and locking my bedroom door for my own cool down periods. I try to talk a lot of things out with him, after he calms down. We start behavioral therapy soon, so I’m hopeful that will be a good resource.

I also spoke to his Dr. about his meltdown periods. We decided to add intuitive to his Adhd. medication. I have to say he seems a lot more calmer. He even told me today that he feels it’s helping him to make better decisions. It’s only been a week, so I feel it’s too early to make a good analysis.

I just encourage you to take time out for yourself. That’s been a bit challenging for me. For what ever reason. I’m very protective over him, I also genuinely worry about what his future holds. Sometimes it’s hard to set all that aside, and truly relax, and take time out.

Work in progress. We all are. It’s not easy. Cut yourself a lot of slack.

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Sounds like my situation exactly!

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Thank you for that! Taking time sounds good! Besides I ask him to do the same when he is upset. Thanks for sharing

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My 12 yr old is the same way he holds it in at school and unleashes when he gets home. Home is the safe place. I also do tend to yell at times. I wish I could offer some advice

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Hello Jordysmom. Your situation sounds very similar to mine. I feel like a failure on most days also. I find myself yelling frequently as well and really have not used any techniques to calm down and approach my son from a different angle.

I believe children of this age are going through lots of hormonal changes. They have difficulty expressing their feelings so they act out through the aggressive behavior and emotional outbursts. Your son might benefit by therapy sessions to get to the root of the problem.

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One thing to remember is that all children (or at least mine and the children of my friends and colleagues) spend the school day trying to keep their emotions in check. Both my kids are prone to meltdowns at the end of the day- all the stuff they have held in needs to get out. For kids with ADHD, the effort to restrain impulses and big feelings takes enormous energy and they have often experienced failure and frustration even when they are trying hard. I try not to take it personally and to say things like "I bet you had a tough day. What can you do to help yourself?". Also, we talk about how hard transitions are for all of us (I am tired at the end of the day and need a few minutes of quiet)_ we all can plan what we need to do individual. Kids may benefit from a snack to get their blood sugar up before anyone talks to them...stuff like that.

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Thank you!

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I am right there with you. Except my son is 15. I find myself stressing out over my parenting mistakes on a daily basis along with the thoughts of “He’s 15... 3 more years”. I worry about his future. But then I think... love him today. The past cannot be changed and the present is what is important. He explodes in front of you because he trusts you. He knows you love him. Does he have a private social worker that you and he can talk to?

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thanks! I am looking into therapy options now! I appreciate your response!

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I also understand how hard these ADHD boys can be, and I have some slightly different advice - from the perspective of a mom whose ADHD son is now 24......first of all, remember that almost all teens are trying to separate from their parents - it's part of the developmental process. Unfortunately, it's almost never easy or pleasant! ADHD kids seem to be even worse, probably because of their impaired ability to regulate their emotions. In addition to this, their meds are usually wearing off by the end of the day, which often causes irritability. And, as other posts mentioned, home is the "safe" place, and they are never trying to impress their parents with their good behavior! Therapy could be an option, but despite several attempts for us, nothing really worked, mainly because kids this age have almost no insight into their behavior. You can see this with your own kid - it's all in the "here and now". He realizes that his behavior is not appropriate, and may say he's sorry, but the next night he will do the same thing! It's SO frustrating for parents. We found that minimal talking was the best option for us.....we just tried to ignore his bad behavior as much as possible. We gave no advice and tried for minimal direction. I am sorry to tell you that this does not usually end at age 18.....our kids are not magically adults then (who is, really??) and this kind of behavior continues for a long time....my son is in college now, lives on his own, and realizes he needs his Vyvanse, but he can still be a real pain at times.

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Hi Jordys Mom! I sent you a message! 😊

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Medication helped my grandson all through grade school. Then suddenly when he was 11 in middle school everything went to pot. Not only was he angry but aggressive and throwing things.

Took several medication adjustments And seeing a behavioral therapist that he loves going to. Not only does she talk to him but also plays games that have been modified for therapy.

He is on intuniv, Welbutrin and seroquel. Hes still has teen age mood swings but they are so much easier to deal with and his teachers say it's been an amazing difference.

He is now 13 so you can see it's taken some time

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I just went to parent teacher conference with my fourteen year old yesterday. His grades are great - all As. His behavior at home is horrible and most of it is directed at me. I had a counselor onces tell me that it's quite common for children with ADHD, boys in particular to treat their moms disrespectfully. They don't know why. It just is. So it's important for us as moms to let go of our mom guilt and know that we really are doing the best that we can. As someone said in an earlier comment, take breaks. We need them. :)

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Wow, that's interesting about ADHD boys treating their moms disrespectfully. My son is awful with me when his dad is at work (dad is a firefighter, so gone for 24 hours at a time) and hubby makes me feel like a failure because he doesn't understand why I can't control son while he's gone. But now I'm wondering if it's because son is so afraid of his dad that the only time he *really* feels like he can "let loose" is when hubby is not here, which means I get to get to be son's literal and figurative punching bag...

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It has taken years for my husband to really see how my son treats me, so I understand what you are talking about in terms of your husband thinking that it's you. It isn't you. My husband is a lot bigger than me as well, so I think there is also that reservation there that maybe it isn't a good idea to get dad mad. I think it helps to know that it's actually common for these kids to treat their moms that way so you know it's not you creating the problem. You shouldn't be carrying guilt around that isn't yours to carry.

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My daughter is 8 and she takes it all out on me. Her behavior at school has been fairly good until this year ther has been a couple issues. She doesn't want to go to school and now she is not doing her work at school. The teacher says she is refusing to do it or to participate in things. I know she loves me and she doesn't mean the things she says to me; but it still hurts a lot. I feel ya all.

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Your post is exactly the way I feel right now. As he cries in the background because I won’t him play with electronics. Just when I think things are looking up we go through a bad spell. I am going to try to have some more behavioral therapy. Maybe someone that can come into the home. I have my son on Adderall which seemed to work for a while but things are starting to go south again. I am a teller too but I see that only escalates the situation. The best advice I can give is try to stay calm and walk away. The more we let our emotions get the best of us the worse the situation becomes

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For my son a few small changes after school have helped a lot. No joke, getting a three row car is one of the biggies - I give him his own row (we call it the ‘third row lounge’) after school and I’ve discovered having that chill out space on his own on the drive home from school makes a surprisingly big difference. He sets it up with books and I provide a cool water bottle and snack with protein. And then we don’t really talk much until he has had 15-20 min to read and refuel. My younger uses the second row : )

Even without this type of car, my learning is how much he needs space to transition, though even he doesn’t realize it to name it (with a smaller car there were daily sibling fights and pent up anger as soon as he came in the door).

Oh and screen time. Pretty much any day with screens correlate with the days with more anger/fighting. I minimize it as much as I can. Right now we are low I know compared to many - 20 min per kid, 2 days per week, and they are allowed to watch each other’s time. My son used to beg for more, but we discovered it wasn’t the amount of time as much as it was knowing he could count on having it, so scheduling it so he know which days and which times took away all of the begging surprisingly fast.

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Screen time is the worst double-edged sword for us. The #1 thing son wants to do is use technology, and he's frighteningly talented with it. But then he uses it inappropriately, and gets himself into trouble. We're trying to figure out how to channel his passion for technology positively, but he can't control himself with it, and when we "police" it, things get ugly. It's especially tough since he gets an iPad for school.

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Oh yes. I've been hoping that as my son got older and "matured" things would get better, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getter farther away. He started on Adderall at the end of 2nd grade and is now 12 and in 6th grade. I'd say his maturity level is around age 9-10, but as he's getting bigger, stronger, and more aggressive, I'm getting more scared for what it will be like when he's a teenager if we don't get him on a healthier path. We're hoping behavioral therapy will give all of us the tools we need to have a happier family.

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