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

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My son has been moved to a group home...

Hi Mark,

Further to my e-mail, my son has been moved to a group home dealing with kids in the juvenile justice system this weekend. We had the opportunity to pick him up and transport him (4 hours). It went pretty well, he was looking forward to getting out of the institution type setting. He will be there until May 30. We (me and his father/husband) are supportive of him, but we definitely want things to be different. Your online book so far couldn't hit closer to home. We are allowed to take him out on a weekend pass this weekend for 4-6 hours (we have to drive for 2 hours to get there). I have to admit I'm a little nervous and want to enjoy our time together without getting into conflict. I have been working through your book and am at the "high energy kid".

I was reading the part about medications for ODD & ADHD. He is on 2 types of medication and has been for 3 years. I've always been uncomfortable with it. My son does want to go off of it when he comes home and he's said he knows that at some point he has to learn to manage without it. While he was in the juvenile jail, they were going to try taking him off of it entirely and see how he manages, but they decided that this program would be more beneficial for him and didn't want to take him off once moved and have him possibly crash. Any suggestions on how to assist him on this or exploring it while he is there?

We were thinking of seeing a movie and going out for something to eat. He would like to go to the mall and have us buy him something - ie. sunglasses which he doesn't need as he has 4 pair at home. I told him I would talk to his father and of course my husband told me "have the balls to say no" - you don't need to ask me because you already no the answer.

I guess that's my issue - he always comes to me and I do have a hard time saying no especially when he "gets in my face". As I won't be able to complete the entire book by the weekend, what would you recommend in dealing with any conflict that may come up?

Also, how would you suggest handling a situation where he hangs up the phone on me because he "doesn't" like that I've said no and got mad. I had told the staff he was not allowed to smoke (he's receiving treatment). He phoned me angry and tried everything under the sun for 10 minutes (he's quit for 6 wks while in the juvenile facility and wanted to) to change my mind, but I did stick to no without getting in too much of debate. I just hate that anger and manipulation. Its easier to say no on the phone. He doesn't seem angry anymore and still calls home.

Also, my husband isn't terribly interested in reading this book and is tired of always everything focused on our son, but like I've said to him, eventually he will come home and I don't want to continue doing things the way were doing them and for the miserable life we were living. I get the rolling of the eyes and "I don't want to talk about it right now". I know I can't change him, but how does only one parent make changes and have things change. He's at a point where he would like to throw the towel in and makes comments like "he hasn't made any changes" "he's just pulling the wool over everyone's eyes"

Thanks for your help and I'll keep reading - I wish I knew this 3 years ago.



Hi E.,

Re: Any suggestions on how to assist him on this or exploring it while he is there?

I need to know exactly what medication he’s on before I can make a recommendation here. There are some drugs that you must be extremely careful with when it comes to “weaning off.”

Re: what would you recommend in dealing with any conflict that may come up?

I guess you haven’t got to the part of the program that talks about “self-reliance.”

In short, if you’re going to work the program as intended (which I know you want to do), your son must EARN everything. Thus, to buy him a pair of sunglasses goes against the grain of this program and is considered to be over-indulgence (a core issue and huge contributor to the problem).

Re: he hangs up the phone on me because he "doesn't" like that I've said no and got mad.

Pick your battles carefully. Ignore it. Move on.

Re: but how does only one parent make changes and have things change.

My good guess is that your husband is being a hard ass in response to your being too soft. If you will toughen up a bit, your husband is likely to soften up a bit. Also, keep in mind that a weaker plan supported by both of you is much better than a stronger plan supported by only one parent.


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