Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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RE: "Our son does improve for a while, but then all of the sudden he will get back into this rebellious stage..."

Hi D,

I'm going to respond to your email point-by-point. Please look for these arrows: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Our son does improve for a while, but then all of the sudden he will get back into this rebellious stage. He has a really hard time communicating and getting along with his father.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Is father a lot like son with respect to temperament? Does father use an authoritarian mode (i.e., my way or the highway approach) in relating to your son ?

We all live in the same household, but now he says he wants to move out. He is 16 and will be 17 in December. He is a Junior in high school and does very good in sports.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> I think it would be good to begin having regular conversations with your son about how exciting his future is going to be. Begin the conversations with questions to your son like: "Are you thinking about college?" "If so, where do you think you might like to attend?" "What career field sounds interesting to you?" "When you get a full-time job and can afford it, what kind of car are you going to get?" ...and so on.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The idea is put a positive spin on this idea he has to move out on his own. You may even want to spend some afternoon with him shopping for an apartment ( e.g., call some landlords, meet with the landlord at the apartment so you and your son can see it and can talk about how much it will cost HIM to live there).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Play along though "moving out" is a viable option. Begin building his confidence in being out of the "nest," because sooner rather than later, he will need to be "out on his own."

He was abused by a baby-sitter when he was about 5 yrs old and just recently told us when he was going to a counselor. We made a terrible mistake and one weekend when he was out of control and didn't come home all weekend, I was very distraught and forced him to go to counseling with his father and I. This pushed him over the edge and now has refused to go to counseling anymore.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Counseling is just another "traditional" or "conventional" parenting strategy that has virtually no "bang for the buck." If your son is truly suffering from post-traumatic stress, counseling would be a good thing. Otherwise, counseling is not recommended (and you're hearing this from a counselor by the way -- me).

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Your son probably feels a lot of shame about the abuse. But he may also feel as though he's being punished (in the form of counseling) for something someone else did ( i.e., the abuser). All your son really needs to understand is this:

(a) the abuse was not his fault,
(b) the abuse did not turn him into a "gay" person (if the abuser was male),
(c) the abuser is mentally ill and needs help, and
(d) sex abusers don't stop with one victim -- he most likely abused others too.

Our son has ADD and at times refuses to use his medication. He is a very nice looking young man, he's a good athlete. He has to work as his school work but is a very smart kid.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>Please review the sections of the Ebook on ADHD. I'm not a big proponent for medication for ADHD. As you will discover, ADHD kids grow up to be highly functioning adults -- more so than the average adult -- because they have a lot of energy and drive.

He now says he can't live in our home with his father. His Dad is more of the disciplinarian but has tried to back off and let me be more in control because of our son's attitude towards him.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>If dad would "lighten-up" a bit -- and if you, dear mother, would "toughen-up" a bit, you and your husband will be more on the same page, and your son will not easily play one against the other (which sounds like what's going on here).

He also has talked about suicide so I am afraid of pushing him too far.

>>>>>>>>>>>This is 90% manipulation, 8% feeling sorry for himself, and 2% depression. Don't be fooled.

I'm very concerned about him and don't want him to move out and I have even offered to move out of the house myself and get a different place to live for him and I and his sister.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>You're allowing the tail to wag the dog here. If you move out, YOU will soon become the "bad guy" (instead of your husband) and your son will continue to manipulate you with threats of running away and suicide. Moving out will solve EVERYTHING for about 2 weeks ...then the problems will be worse than ever.

Any help or advice you could give me would be so appreciated. I just don't know what else to do.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Before you or your husband make any decisions about anything, the two of you should discuss it first and decide collectively what to do. A weaker plan by both parents will be 10 times better than a stronger plan made by only one parent.

>>>>>>>>>>>Put a positive spin on everything. Review the section on ADHD in the Ebook. Do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Toughen-up a bit (i.e., don't be afraid to impose consequences for your son's poor choices).

>>>>>>Please keep me posted ...Thank you.

Mark Hutten, M.A.


==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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