View Full Version : Need help teaching hands off approach to handling situations :(

07-11-16, 05:39 PM
Any practical advice/tips to get your kiddo to not immediately go to hitting/kicking someone when they wrong him/hurt him/make him mad? He is very impulsive and has poor self regulation (via the doctor's diagnoses). He's 5, will be 6 in a few months. I always tell him we don't put hands on other people and that we use words, not our bodies to express how we feel. But that's always after the fact, when the meltdown is done and he's not amped anymore. Looking for practical things to do in the moment besides physically restraining him (when I'm near him- I can't stop him if he's at camp or school) or shouting at him to stop and HOPING he hears me. :( I feel like such a failure as a mom.

07-12-16, 10:26 PM
I can relate to your son's experience as a child. I think you understand parts of your son's emotional impulsivity well. Here is example of treatment approach that I continually find extremely helpful to consider.

1) The parent takes active responsibility for the relationship
Technique: Invite the child
Goal: Fostering the child's self-acceptance

The parents enthusiastically and genuinely invite the child into relationship.

They do not issue declarations of love; they demonstrate day by day that they want the child's company.

They think of things to do together, or they just "hang out" with the child, with an attitude of active attention.

When they are with the child, they are fully there, not just being dutiful, putting in time.

They have active energy that radiates toward the child.

They make sure they have space in their lives for the child.

Being wanted and enjoyed is the greatest gift the child can receive.

It is the basis of self-acceptance.

ADD children, without exception, harbour a deep insecurity about themselves.

It is essential to demonstrate to such a child that his very existence is appreciated.

The parent may put out this message verbally, but if she does not live the message by a commitment of time and energy, the child will receive mixed signals at best.

Whenever possible, the parent does the inviting.

That may be a chore.

A highly insecure child can be exhaustingly demanding of time and attention.

Understandably, the parent may long for respite, not more engagement.

The conundrum is that attention given at the request of the child is never satisfactory: it leaves an uncertainty that the parent is only responding to demands, not voluntarily giving himself, or herself, to the child.

The demands only escalate, without the emotional need underlying them ever being filled.

The solution is to seize the moment, to invite contact exactly when the child is not demanding it.

Or, if responding to the child's request, the parent can take the initiative, expressing more interest and enthusiasm than the child herself anticipates:"Oh, that's a great idea. I was wondering how we could spend time together! I'm so glad you thought of it".

This will take the child by surprise and make her feel that she is the one receiving the invitation.

Woo the children, as one would woo anyone with whom one wanted a relationship.

-Gabor Mate M.D., "Scattered", chapter; "Wooing The Child", (1 of 5 principles), p 153-154.


07-18-16, 04:18 AM
I can relate to your son's experience as a child. I think you understand parts of your son's emotional impulsivity well. Here is example of treatment approach that I continually find extremely helpful to consider.

-Gabor Mate M.D., "Scattered", chapter; "Wooing The Child", (1 of 5 principles), p 153-154.


I dont think this is helpful for this situation because it seems to address something that the OP is not doing enough of or doing the right way and it wont help in the heat of the moment,

OP- I get it really I do. My son was diagnosed at age 3.5 and began meds at age 4. Does your son take any medication?
Medication really helped my son with physical impulsivity which usually involved his sister. All of my kids have adhd and had their share of rough moments.
When my son was pre-school age I did have to restrain him to prevent him from striking out at someone or more often me.
Once he started school the key was to make sure he had an IEP or other accomodations in place- tools he could use instead of his body.

This involved formal evaluations, doctors, etc.
He was allowed fidget toys at school, gum to keep his mouth and brain going at the same pace.
Out of school sometimes I would have to physically move him away. This doesnt mean dragging him by the arm and yelling, but sometimes I would pick him up and move him away from the situation and talk to him.

Consistency was key. If we went shopping and I told him if he could have a treat if he was able to make it through the store and check out with me- the minute he started to throw a fit I would stop what I was doing an leave. Ive told many customer service people while holding a yelling kid that I was sorry to leave my cart but there was nothing I could do. The few times that my husband and I would eat out when the kids were little, if they started up we would get the check for whatever and leave. This meant leaving some places before we even had our appetizers. The point is, the child cant always control himself and the best thing is to give him a place where if he does lose it, you will not be judged by other ignorant people watching you try to deal with it.
It means that your son will know that what you want him to do is more important than what you think you need to get done.

This took a long time to work and I had to deal with being looked at as a bad mom and having a bad kid.
Those people can go f**k themselves because I have great kids now.

Little Missy
07-18-16, 08:02 AM
:goodpost: This right here, or up there. ADHD or not. I firmly believe this is the only way to make a point with a child. You remove them from the situation.

Little Missy
07-18-16, 09:24 AM
The only time I would woo a child is if they are inconsolable.

07-19-16, 03:39 PM
The essential thing is that tiny hundredth of a second in which the action begins. Learning to extend that to two hundredths of a second, so that the conscious mind has a chance to say "wait".

Teaching after the fact what should have been done, or reminding at the beginning of the day, really have no effect - those lessons are things he already knows, he just has no way to do them.

It's like going into a dark unfamiliar room. You know you should turn the lights on, but if you can't find the switch, then "I should" is useless.

Things that resemble meditation or mindfulness in their general approach might make a difference.