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Old 10-02-17, 04:44 PM
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Impulse control and sweets

Good Afternoon,

My son is 8. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety. He is
A very sweet and well mannered child, the only issues we
Have ever had with him is with sitting still and attention.

He has started sneaking food that he knows he shouldnít be eating without permission, especially in the middle of the night. For example he ate 6 ice cream sandwiches. He is only 52 pounds eating to that extent should mke him sick, I would think. We have discussed making better choices if he wakes up hungry, like making a sandwich or something with sustenance but he always reverts to junk. Always. I started punishing him for the poor choices and to be honest he doesnít seem phased by it. Itís like he has zero impulse control. Has anyone else experienced this? Iím at my witts end.
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Old 10-02-17, 06:27 PM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Yes I do that.

Hace you asked him why he ate 6 ice cream sandwiches? I doubt it's hunger or even appetite unless they are really small.

If they did make nauseate him and he still ate them for whatever reason then I doubt any punishment would make a difference.

Abofher possibility: is he taking stimulants and if yes are they suppressing his appetite during the day?
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Old 10-02-17, 08:15 PM
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Talking Re: Impulse control and sweets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcosta21980 View Post
Good Afternoon,

My son is 8. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety. He is
A very sweet and well mannered child, the only issues we
Have ever had with him is with sitting still and attention.

He has started sneaking food that he knows he shouldnít be eating without permission, especially in the middle of the night. For example he ate 6 ice cream sandwiches. He is only 52 pounds eating to that extent should mke him sick, I would think. We have discussed making better choices if he wakes up hungry, like making a sandwich or something with sustenance but he always reverts to junk. Always. I started punishing him for the poor choices and to be honest he doesnít seem phased by it. Itís like he has zero impulse control. Has anyone else experienced this? Iím at my witts end.
I'm an adult with ADHD and anxiety, and I have history of this sort of comfort/binge/boredom/I-waited-too-long-to-make-something-and-now-I'm- starving eating. Unfortunately, logic absolutely does not work for this; impulse control issues in ADHD have zero to do with what you know you "should" do, so you have to approach the problem differently.

The solutions I've found are as follows:

-Do not keep any of the "problem" foods in your house, period! Having them around, and easy/free to access, is just setting him up to fail. Ice cream, chips, soda, candy, etc. - nope, nope, nope!!! If it's there, I will eat it, no matter how much I "know" I shouldn't, and I'm 35!!

-Or, if you MUST keep junk around, keep them strictly under lock and key, like seriously in a padlocked pantry, so that he has no access to them without your help/permission. Simply telling him not to eat something that is both highly tasty/rewarding AND readily available is all but useless, especially so for those with demonstrated impulsivity problems (kid or adult).

-Offer your son a snack with some protein in it just before bedtime: a handful of nuts or peanut butter, warm milk or hot cocoa are good choices. This should help lessen him feeling hungry in the middle of the night, because the protein helps you feel fuller for longer.

-Plan for the possibility he'll still get up and eat anyway, even with rhe bedtime snack, by stocking your fridge with *pre-made* healthy snacks that are easy to eat: baby carrots with hummus or ranch dip, nuts, rice crackers, fresh or dried fruit, sliced salami or cheeses, etc. Maybe even let him keep a stash of trail mix in his room, so he doesn't even have to go rooting around in the kitchen at night to begin with.

The problem with asking him to make the better choice of something like a sandwich, when he's hungry RIGHT NOW and likely not even fully awake, is that it requires a bunch of involved, ordered steps to accomplish (find bread, find ingredients, find condiments, find kinfe + cutting board, slice ingredients, assemble) which can be very aggravating/challenging when you have ADHD even at the best of times. Compare that to the 1-step, easy instant gratification of "open freezer, grab ice cream sandwich" and there is no conest... None... Even for me as an adult!

So your best bet is to just not even have the problem foods around, keep them as a rare treat outside the house (example: have soda only when out to eat, or go out to an ice cream shop on occasion to have a scoop, DON'T keep a 24 pack of sodas or a gallon of ice cream in your freezer) and make sure thete are always premade, healthy foods available for him (and the rest of the family) to snack on instead. The easier you make it for him to make good choices, the easier it will be for him to succeed. Hope this helps; good luck!
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Old 10-03-17, 08:38 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

You are over thinking this in my opinion. It's not about impulse control it's about a kid being hungry. Even when my kids are fully awake they don't want to be bothered with making a sandwich. Plus, when my kids meds wear off they are starving!

The kid obviously has a need, and you aren't working with him. Take him to the grocery store and buy him things you can both agree on as midnight snacks. For my house it's lunchables, P3 wraps, honey buns, and containers of ham and or roast beef. Yes, sometimes I find an entire container of roast beef, minus 3 slices, in my daughters bedroom but that is why I buy the small containers.

Work with him, don't try to make him stick to your rules, it's only going to frustrate both of you.
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Old 10-03-17, 10:44 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Please stop punishing him for eating things that the adults who have total control over the grocery scene keep stocking and making accessible.

Learn how to prepare healthier options together and only stock what is acceptable to eat and that actually nourishes your bodies.

It may cause the rest of the family to have to choose healthier items, too, unless you're willing to put all of that stuff under lock and key and out of sight.

A good chance for the adults to lead by example through their own choices and help work WITH him to create tasty nurturing stuff that's not harmful.

Win/win vs. continually setting yourself and him up for failure by fighting a losing battle.
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Old 10-03-17, 10:58 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcosta21980 View Post
I started punishing him for the poor choices and to be honest he doesnít seem phased by it.
Oh, perhaps not in a way that is visible to you, but believe me, associating judgment, punishment, food, and parental love is creating an environment where ďphasedĒ will be the least of it.

Lead by example, engage in dialog to see what his motivation is...it might just be hunger...and more than anything, encourage and reward positive behaviors, do not punish undesired ones.

Due to the nature of the mammalian nervous system, operant conditioning with positive reinforcement works a treat with both dogs and human beings.


Cheers,
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Old 10-03-17, 04:16 PM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

It’s funny how many assumptions are made and how judgmental people get. It was clearly noted that I have had discussions with him about eating things of sustenance in the middle of the night. And yes he gets punished but it’s something like not getting his treat after dinner because he already chose to eat it then...I am not hanging the kid upside down by his toenails for crying out loud. He is rewarded for good behaviors. And there will always be consequences for rules broken.... that is just the way I run my house. My question was more about if it was common place for ADHD people to experience a craving for carbohydrates or sweets? Is there any correlation between meds and cravings? I appreciate everyone’s opinions And next time I will ensure my questions are framed better because I wasn’t looking for parenting advice.
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Old 10-04-17, 08:33 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcosta21980 View Post
Itís funny how many assumptions are made and how judgmental people get. It was clearly noted that I have had discussions with him about eating things of sustenance in the middle of the night. And yes he gets punished but itís something like not getting his treat after dinner because he already chose to eat it then...I am not hanging the kid upside down by his toenails for crying out loud. He is rewarded for good behaviors. And there will always be consequences for rules broken.... that is just the way I run my house. My question was more about if it was common place for ADHD people to experience a craving for carbohydrates or sweets? Is there any correlation between meds and cravings? I appreciate everyoneís opinions And next time I will ensure my questions are framed better because I wasnít looking for parenting advice.
ADHD people crave food when their medicine wears off. Easily accessible, don't have to mess with it (like making a sandwich), mass quantities of food is the craving. The easier the better, the more filling the better.

Last night I heard sounds outside of my bedroom at 11:30pm, it was my 15 year old making an entire box of fish sticks, an ENTIRE BOX! I obviously need to go to the store and get more easy to eat items, but he did eat them all. He has permission to use the stove, I'm sure your son is not old enough to use the stove, but it sounds like he's eating what's available.

I've also been known to buy my kids milkshakes in the morning with their breakfast on the weekends. Both my kids can't maintain their weight due to the meds, so what's the harm in some milkshakes? And what's the harm in some ice cream sandwiches?

If you are dead set on the sandwich thing you could make two every night before you go to bed and put it in the fridge for him....this will be a lot of wasted food if he doesn't wake up, but he's more likely to eat the sandwich if it's made. You may have had conversations with him about eating certain things at night, just like you have had conversation with him about doing his homework, turning in his homework, try to focus....etc. You can either work with your son and his glitches and compromise on what he can eat in the middle of the night, or you can have a very tough next 10 years. The "My way is the only right way" doesn't work with my son, we have to find a compromise that he TRULY accepts, or it's just a waste of time because he will do what his instincts tell him to do.
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Old 10-04-17, 09:14 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcosta21980 View Post
Itís funny how many assumptions are made and how judgmental people get. It was clearly noted that I have had discussions with him about eating things of sustenance in the middle of the night. And yes he gets punished but itís something like not getting his treat after dinner because he already chose to eat it then...I am not hanging the kid upside down by his toenails for crying out loud. He is rewarded for good behaviors. And there will always be consequences for rules broken.... that is just the way I run my house. My question was more about if it was common place for ADHD people to experience a craving for carbohydrates or sweets? Is there any correlation between meds and cravings? I appreciate everyoneís opinions And next time I will ensure my questions are framed better because I wasnít looking for parenting advice.
hmmm...you did inquire on an ADHD forum. I know I must have missed your clearly noted bullet points.

I'll eat just about anything if I'm hungry and its there. I go through people's refridgerators to see what they have that I never buy so I can eat it.

And, just because I feel so strongly about it: punishing, admonishing and reprimanding a child for eating whatever was easiest and available is downright shameful.
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Old 10-04-17, 09:17 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

But I only have no impulse control for GOOD sweets. No cheapy sweets. I'm a sweet snob.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:19 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Ok, so I take him to the store and he picks out his snacks. He picks brownies. I give him a brownie with dinner, right along with the food. I read that putting all foods on the same playing feild will eventually make sweets less taboo. I made sure he ate before bed and this morning I go to wake him for school and he’s covered in pure sugar, his bed, his floor, everything covered. He took the container meant for baking or coffee and went to town. I don’t even understand how that is enjoyable. I am starting to be convinced it’s the Focalin. Has anyone else’s child been on Focalin and had major sugar almost irrational sugar cravings?I feel a little lost.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:21 PM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

My kids and I all crave sweets/junk food, and have poor impulse control, so it doesn't matter if we know we shouldn't eat it, we just gotta have it and nothing else matters!

That is the main reason I don't buy most of that stuff and when I do, I don't expect it to last very long. I hide the things I don't want them to get into. I have a problem with keeping my 5 yr old out of the fruit. We have to keep it refrigerated since we live in a hot/humid area and there's only do many places you can hide things in the fridge. He can easily eat a whole container of berries at once. Yeah, fruit is healthy, but I would like it to last awhile and for the rest of us to get some! He's getting better about it, though.

If you think his meds might be making it worse, you should probably talk to the doctor about it. I've never heard of that.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:25 PM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

I did call the doc. Waiting for them to call back
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Old 10-06-17, 09:13 AM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcosta21980 View Post
Ok, so I take him to the store and he picks out his snacks. He picks brownies. I give him a brownie with dinner, right along with the food. I read that putting all foods on the same playing feild will eventually make sweets less taboo. I made sure he ate before bed and this morning I go to wake him for school and he’s covered in pure sugar, his bed, his floor, everything covered. He took the container meant for baking or coffee and went to town. I don’t even understand how that is enjoyable. I am starting to be convinced it’s the Focalin. Has anyone else’s child been on Focalin and had major sugar almost irrational sugar cravings?I feel a little lost.
Oh were to start.

1. I have to ask what your glitch is with sweets? You are actually having a plan about making them less taboo? Why are they taboo? Kids are kids, I'm at a loss as to what the purpose of this is UNLESS your kid was morbidly obese at age 8
2. Perhaps this sugar is a rare commodity thing you have going on in your house is making him want it more? Forbidden fruit and all that.
3. My daughter did the same thing with flour once. It wasn't to eat it, it was to play. You are right that eating straight up granular sugar is going to loose it's appeal really quick, but are you sure he just wasn't trying to play with the forbidden item?
4. If it wasn't you, you would laugh. I can only imagine waking my 8 year old daughter up and her being covered in sugar. Of course I would moan and there would be a lot of WHY, WHYYYYYYYY!!!! But in the end I think I would find it amusing.
5. If you are that concerned with sugar change the program to applesauce, fruits, smoothies made with frozen yogurt...etc.

We went to my mom's house about 5 years ago, so I had a 10 year old and a 3 year old then. She made pork chops and served it with applesauce. My kids were SOOO confused why dessert was being served with dinner, my mom thought it was pretty funny that I gave them applesauce and fruits for dessert and they didn't complain.

Last edited by Caco3girl; 10-06-17 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 10-06-17, 02:38 PM
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Re: Impulse control and sweets

Dear god I feel like people like to find reasons to tear people down! I donít have a glitch with sweets, I just stated that I gave him a brownie with his meal! My issue and concern is he is getting up at 1 or 2 in the morning and binging on sugar. I use the term taboo because his behavior of sneaking it makes me feel like HE thinks itís taboo. My kids get a dessert every day should they eat decent food first. They are by NO MEANS deprived of sugar. I truly donít understand why people canít see why I am concerned about it but rest assured this will be my last response because I no longer find this thread helpful
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