I am a mother of two ADHD kids, 14 and 9. There are a lot of different conflicts that we have to deal with of course, but the main problem we have is with the nine year old who we are on the point of deciding to have examined to see if something else (ODD, CD) that might be the problem, or just that we are not being consequent enough with our parenting strategy.
I have seen your pages in the internet and like the sound of the commonsense advice, but since my husband has been unemployed for the last two years, we are really tight on money and I am reluctant to invest on something that I am unsure of. There are so many parenting tips and tricks and in the end no one is sure of anything anymore. If you think that your book would help up, I would be grateful for a return e-mail with some information how I can pay for the Your On-Line Parent Support and book, I have no credit cards.
My youngest son has ADHD with hyperactivity. He has been the black sheep of the village we live in for the last five years. There has always been trouble with him whenever he is in a social situation, i.e., bullying, hitting, smart mouth etc. In Kindergarten, the situation was under control, however, in the first grade he was unfortunate enough to get a teacher who doesn’t understand the symptoms and doesn’t know how to deal with ADHD kids and in the end L was banned to the cellar for most of the time he spent in school in the first half of the year. Because I already had experience with this teacher, (she pulled a few really fast ones on my older son in the third grade, i.e., wrong books to do homework, or homework incorrectly corrected) I was able, with the help of our Psychologist and Family Doctor to push the school into transferring him to another class after the X-mas break and things improved immediately. He was able to stay with this new teacher for the second grade also, and although there were always problems on the playground, in class everything was fine and he made marked improvement.
L has been playing hockey since is 4 years old. His older brother is also an ice hockey player (in the team for 7 years) and L grew up next to the ice rink. He is the real talent in the family and has been playing 1 to 2 levels above due to this talent. However, this fall, L moved to the third grade, new school building, new teacher, and new kids on the playground and to top it all off, a new head trainer. This is all too much for an ADHD kid to deal with and despite the Concerta) 36mg. + 5 mg. Ritalin in the morning, we are having a phase where I freak when I hear the phone ring because I know that it’s either the teacher or one of the mothers calling to tell me that they had problems with L again. Since the beginning of the hockey season, he has been suspended from training for one week and was not allowed to play any matches for two weeks. Then things settled down until one day we had a match where he checked a kid, and the trainer from the opposing team grabbed him, pretty roughly on the arm, and yelled at him. Three weeks later, we had a match against this team again, and L flipped this trainer the bird right in the middle of the match. Now he is suspended, indefinitely. No training, no matches. This was his life, he thought of nothing but hockey and now he can’t play. And now he’s driving us nuts at home and at school.
His major problems are: he can’t lose, at anything, football, hockey, card game etc. He flips out or “blocks” and then no one can touch him or talk to him. This makes things hard for the trainers who are coaching the matches and have 12 other players to worry about needless to say the teacher. When he is in this state, he refuses to listen to anyone, including me, until I give him a homeopathic medicine, after about 10 minutes, he is back to “normal”. This blocking can happen in the school and then I receive the phone call that I have to come and get him. Mostly happens when he thinks he is being treated unfairly, by fellow students or the teacher. At other times, he will swear at other kids, throw stones, or hit or push them when things don’t go his way.
He gets frustrated easily, allows himself to be provoked at the slightest, he always has to have his way, will yell, scream and even lie to get his way. He will steal when he sees something that he wants from his brother or other students in his class. This week he stole another kid’s homework and wrote his own name on it and when he was caught he lied and said that the other kid’s handwriting is the same as his and he couldn’t tell the difference. Then he stated that the other kid needs to change his handwriting. This morning he ruined my two best, newest, most expensive knives, and lied about it. In the end the story came out that he was playing with them as swords (I don’t believe it) and that’s how it happened. (It’s Sunday and he was up and about before the rest of the family, this is normal for him.) I imagine he thought he was going to get into big trouble and that’s why he lied, but the lying was worse than what he did, in my eyes.
I don’t have one piece of furniture or a wall in the house that isn’t marked up, scratched or gouged. And I have a lot of problems with the older son, who is also ADHD, because I have to spend so much energy dealing with the problems from the little one. My husband is on the point of breakdown, and wants to send him away; because he can’t deal with it (he doesn’t know the half of it, because I don’t always tell him everything). My husband is the type of person who thinks if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist (i.e. ADHD) and grew up with an authoritarian father so that’s how he would like to raise our kids. Despite talks with the doctor and the therapist, he doesn’t really understand ADHD and is always looking for a reason, or someone to blame it on, like myself, or my parenting etc.
My childhood wasn’t exactly rosy either, but my strategy is more like I wouldn’t want to do to the kids what my parents did to me. I am not exactly lenient but don’t want to hit the kids (this has happened, to my shame, in a backlash when the nerves are overstretched) but punishment in the form of chores or house arrest, no TV or Playstation are the only things I can think of. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
I am constantly using my energy to think up new strategies or surfing the internet to find tips and tricks. As I said, the insurance doesn’t cover all the therapy possibilities (we are thinking about Neurofeedback) and so I have to find something that doesn’t cost money. The whole family is suffering under these circumstances and my marriage in really on the rocks because I don’t have any energy left over for anything, not even myself.
Please write back and tell me what you think. I hope you have a good suggestion. I live in Switzerland so you can’t really help from that distance, but any leads would be a great help. I tried to send you this mail over your link, but somehow the link got broken and I don’t think you received this. If you did, then sorry for the duplication.
Thanks for listening.
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The parents I work with have tried very hard to address their child’s emotional and behavioral problems on their own, but with little or no success. And it seems the harder they try, the worse it gets.
Every Monday night at Madison Superior Court [Div. 2], I meet with a group of parents who are at a loss on what to do or how to help. We meet for 1 hour each session for 4 Mondays.
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