Struggling with F11yo ADHD - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Struggling with F11yo ADHD


And before anyone pounces down my throat, yes I know she is struggling too... This whole scenario of distance learning and the pandemic is hard on all of us, and we are in a great place compared to many.

With that said, more and more lately I am finding her lying and just being overall deceitful about things - I'm at a loss as to what to do next. I listen to the podcasts, read the books, go to talks - all the things and I try all the suggestions. Short of ignoring her behavior though, I am not sure how to get through most days. Most recently, she's been caught with TikTok on her iPod - an app she has been specifically told she is not to have. She got it somehow through shared purchases from her brother - and has been lying about it since September. In one instance, specifically saying "oh, I found out I can get it when I'm 12... so I don't have to wait till 13 anymore!!" yet she already had it.

What concerns me most outside of the lying (which I know most kids do) is her lack of empathy - the impulsive behaviors that don't seem to be helped with meds - her calculating choices and statements that ultimately get her in trouble - yet she isn't learning from the consequences or doesn't care if there even are consequences.

She's my SD and we've had her in our home for 3 years now... I know it's not going to get easier - but tonight my husband said that maybe she just needs to go live with her Mom - who has helped create this situation and isn't doing a damn thing to help resolve it. I have fought that suggestion before b/c I don't think that living with her Mom is going to help her, if anything, it may worsen the issues... at the same time, hubs knows that he doesn't want to live in a house where his wife is frustrated with his daughter more than not. I just don't know what to do differently for her - what path to try next. Counseling doesn't seem to be helping. Meds do what they can during school, but feel almost absent otherwise. She has few friends, and none who are her age or older. We are her people, and I feel like I am letting her down. Fuck.

24 Replies

Do you have a good relationship with her? Does she feel comfortable talking about feelings and emotions with you without fear of judgement?

We have a difficult relationship... I am not going to sugar coat much of anything - which is a total opposite of her Mom. I know she will talk with me, but she also knows I am going to be honest if she asks me a question. Most days are so difficult that I don't want to chat or hug - which I know is hard for her. I have to remove myself or I may say something I will regret. I am learning to be better about my empathy as well...

Sending warm thoughts your way. ❤️ Having a child with ADHD is a challenge and every day it’s hard to know what to expect. My daughter has ADHD and I do as well. We are VERY emotional thinkers and feel deeply about any event that others may not have an emotional response to. This goes with any emotion: happiness, sadness, excitement or anger. I can tell you right now that sending her to her moms will only make her feel worse (unwanted...) even if that isn’t your intention. I am also a school counselor so I work with a lot of students who have ADHD and poor relationships with their parents. Be patient with her and with yourself. Every day is a new day, try and just get to know her... make attempts to spend time with her (on her terms of course). And let her know as often as you can that you love and care for her. There’s no quick fix when dealing with someone diagnosed with ADHD. She will have it for the rest of her life. All you can do is support her and try to help her learn appropriate coping skills to manage her emotions. Don’t be so hard on yourself either... trust me, even though I have ADHD I still get overwhelmed and frustrated with my daughter.

Yeah, very helpful to remind that I need to be easier on myself too... I know sending her to live with her Mom would be so hard on her... Our house is just always waiting for what her next reaction is going to be and it is affecting us all in different ways. My husband has it too as does her Mom and Brother... family affair for sure.

We're having some of the same experiences with our 7 year old! It's the lying and impulse and lack of empathy. No matter how he is punished for bad behavior it does not phase him at all. 5 minutes later he'll be doing the same thing he just got in trouble for and then trying to lie about it! I don't really have any advice for you because we aren't doing a good job handling it either. I just wanted to say you're not alone and we're beyond frustrated with the same kind of behaviors too.


I think being the middle child can be very challenging. Can you think of a way where she can excel at something? Doesn't have to be fancy, but something that sets her apart from her siblings and lets her work get her noticed. Could she get involved in a community activity or volunteer? It's hard with the pandemic, but there may still be things she can do that require conscientiousness and effort and allow her the chance to feel good about her actions. In our city there is a group that has taken to beautifully painting (or writing quotes on) simple rocks and leaving them for others to find. It’s simple, but brightens others day and has become very popular. Sounds like she needs a niche to call her own.

I had to think about this reply a bit... but truly, while she has interests of her own, she is so much more likely to just follow in whatever her brother is doing. Then tries to take control of it and makes him mad... he walks away, then she does too - bc she wasn't really interested in it in the first place except for his being there as well. Fun right? She rarely will spend time doing anything on her own - and I am not able to be a body double all the time. When I can, it's awesome... but otherwise, she won't stick to something (except electronics) for more than 10 minutes. Sigh.

Just curious what your objection to Tik Tok is? Most young people are on it including my grandkids. I think you can monitor what content they see but most of the videos my grandson wants me to look at are just silly. My one grandson periodically vents to me, yelling about what he doesn't like about his life. He does not want advice, it makes him angry. So I just let him vent. He wants to be at my house more than his because I listen, his mom just criticizes.

Our objection is mainly that she was not supposed to have it and lied about it for months... Her videos were rather silly - but her maturity shows us that she isn't willing to control herself from posting/making videos when she should be doing something else - like school. I know for sure there are videos on there that she SHOULD NOT see and isn't mature enough to truly understand - maybe thankfully - if she were to come across them. We also don't like her drive of finding things that will make her look older and exposure to this sort of stuff doesn't help. She's 11 with a very naive/immature understanding of things and I see no reason to rush it. 😑

My 11 yr old son is very similar in a lot of ways and things have gotten worse since he started school from home. I was able to put restrictions on his phone so can't play during the day. He is obsessed with TikTok but I was able to restrict the content some and that app won't even work during school hours now. I was also able to restrict it so he could only use that app for an hour a day. I'd love to be able to trust him to do these things on his own but that's not going to happen, hence the automated restrictions.

RCJH8610 in reply to anirush

I agree. My daughter who is 8 has Tik Tok... I monitor what she sees and she knows she can only post on private. My husband and I will occasionally do tik tok dances with her 🥴 It makes her happy. I know there’s a risk for any child having social media but I feel as long as we are vigilant and open it should be ok. We also don’t let either of my kids have their devices until they have completed their school work. I use it as an incentive. They get their devices once they’ve completed all their live classes and done the assignments for the day. It’s worked like a charm 🙏🏼🤞🏼

I'd love if it were this easy... we do take their devices generally... however it's so frustrating how often they'll sneak it. And then blow the trust of even having it by making videos during class - zero impulse control when bored in class lol

It is hard not to be angry, when they lie and no matter what you do they sneak and deceive you. Try to keep in mind that they can not help themselves. THEY CAN NOT HELP THEMSELVES. Until they learn self control with small things you will need to control the big ones. Get some apps like google family link and a filter like questudio on your internet. Then try to be reasonable and respectful of your kid. This is a crap time for them and having some safe social outlets is important. I wish you ther best of luck it is a difficult road but you are an adult and you can do this.

Does she live with her mom at all? You said you are considering if she should go live with her mom but does she ever go to her mom's with a shared custody arrangement? Or would going to live with her mother be like moving in with a stranger?

She does, she is there every other weekend and for any long break from school. They've only lived with us for the last 3 years - so going to her Mom's wouldn't be too shocking, yet I am very very concerned for what it would do to her mentally.

Hopefully, no one is "pouncing down your throat" here. If someone does, report them. This is not Twitter. This is a community of people who are here to support and help you. I hope you find the help you need. Your daughter sounds like my friend's daughter. Their problem was that the meds wore off leading to miserable evenings at home. His daughter takes Concerta which is extended release but it ran out around 2:30 pm. They requested and were prescribed a second does which she takes around 2:30pm amd this gets them to bedtime. Maybe try that. Be well. Good luck to you.

Thanks! She actually already does take a "booster" of Guanfacine at about 4pm. It helps sometimes with the hyperactivity, but nothing else. And some days it's as if no med she has taken has done a damn thing.

Hi. As you know, these kids often have other things in addition to ADHD. I hear a lot about kids with stories like your daughter's also being diagnosed with ODD. I am unfamiliar with how well meds work for that diagnosis, but it may be worth exploring the diagnosis and treatment options. Status quo will certainly get old fast. Sounds like it already has. Good luck to you and your daughter.

Yes, we've inquired about ODD, and were told "well since she doesn't say no to everyone, it isn't likely ODD" ...I don't know what it would be... however am well aware that other things generally go along with ADHD. Daily life is very difficult.

She sounds so much like my older sister (now 55). It seems like less was known about the treatment of these issues when she was a child and, in either case, our parents were ill equipped to deal with it. It was extremely hard to live with her and we were all relieved when she went off to college. The fact that you and her Dad are looking into options and seeking treatment for her at age 12 is a good thing and makes me confident that she (and you) will be ok. Divorces and step parent and biological parents disagreeing makes everything harder as does a pandemic which removes our ability to to be apart from family residing in the home. It really seems like you are doing the best that you can. My suggestion is to make sure that you have a quiet place where you can go in the home to relax and just have quiet sometimes. If you celebrate Christmas and do not yet have noise cancelling head phones, it may be a nice gift to suggest that your husband buy for you. I have some Bose and love them. For me, when all else fails, quiet is therapeutic. Be well.

lol! I have Bose ones too... a gift I hadn't asked for years ago, yet use all the time! Sorry your sis didn't get the help she needed when she was younger... I know even when I was young - they didn't see it for girls. We were just chatty or class helpers... I learned to cope with my difficulties, and seems (from my own stepdad's stories) I was the easy kid. lol! Having the split houses like we do is hard for her, and I know it's hard... she doesn't adjust easy and eventhough the rules/expectations here should be etched into her brain... they aren't. Frustrating. I do excuse myself to my room after dinner a lot... by that point in the day I am usually done. Kids start bed routines at 8 and I will reappear after bedtimes for them :/

My son has tourettes syndrome, ocd, anxiety, adhd and sensory processing. Everything he does is based around impulses and urges which because of his age 11 he finds hard to control.We had the exact same problem with tic toc not for as long because he has urges to snitch on himself and will tell me 🙈🙈 I know its not great, what she has done and the defiance but it is normal at this age anyway. All children crave attention good or bad and tell porkies, unfortunately. Your daughter will find it increasingly difficult because she will probably act on inpulse. My son will do anything as soon as it comes into his head as if he has no filter. Don't give up, she will come right plenty of love, nurture and lots and lots of draining conversations, repeating the same thing but she will get there with your support. I hope this helps. Don't be so hard on yourself, I agree tic toc is not something I want my child on especially when he is a vulnerable child it isn't appropriate

Hi there, I think one of the previous poster’s suggestions on focusing on relationship building (even when you don’t feel like it) is really important as is helping her with emotion awareness. Even 10 mins a day just for her could help- try catching her doing things right no matter how small. If she doesn’t have friends, she will be highly aware at 11 of her differences/isolation . Are there any virtual groups for kids with adhd in your area or social emotional learning specific groups for kids?

All of our outlets and opportunities to help us cope in normal times are on pause right now- it’s sometimes hour by hour not just day by day. You’re doing amazing- take the time for your self care- but also try and tap into compassion for her even when you least feel like it. I know getting my son’s diagnosis did help me a lot in trying to understand his feelings leading up to incidents. Also having a professional who specializes in adhd to work through education and specific strategies unique to my son was very helpful. Books and videos and peer support are all great things but working through issues with a seasoned and adhd specific professional not only helped my relationship with my 8 year old but it also helped normalize my own frustrations and feelings.

I think your SD is lucky to have you in her life- you’re doing great and hang in there.

PS I totally agree with boundaries on social media and you need to do what’s right for your family.

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