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Old 12-17-12, 09:06 AM
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Violent at home

Been reading this and many other ADD/ADHD forums for a couple of yrs now but first time posting.

Our son is 8 and was diagnosed with ADHD and anger issues appro. 2.5 yrs ago. We have gone through two doctors and we're seeing results at school but having a hard time at home.

The real problem is he goes to school where he's in a special program with teachers and therapists that are trained to handle special needs children so he does very well there. He shows very few signs of anger or aggression but the moment he gets home he becomes uncontrollable and violent.

He is currently getting his meds twice daily. Once before school then again around 4pm when he gets home. These violent outbursts can be triggered by something as simple as not letting him have desert because he didn't eat dinner or not letting him eat candy before dinner. He'll often go into fits of rage over losing a life in one of his video games.

These fits can include hitting himself, walls, tables, us or anything else that gets in his path. He often times throws himself on the floor and begins kicking anything around him including us when we try to stop him.

The problem is only amplified by his size. At 8 yrs old he 4'10" and close to 100lbs so he's the size of a teenager with twice the strength. His mother is now right afraid of him as she has been hit and hurt multiple times. When he's angry he is well beyond my control as I'm unable to hold onto him to stop him from hurting us or himself. Leaving him alone only makes matters worse as he feels we're ignoring him.

We're at our wits end. I'll post more info about the meds and dosage when I wake up a little more.

Right now I'd just like to know if anyone else out there has been through this and what actions you took that were successful.
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Old 12-17-12, 11:15 AM
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Re: Violent at home

Welcome to the forums.....I am not the person you want to hear from ( not a parent, and not any experience with violence in anyone ) ...but there are some stickies at the top of the list of threads in the parenting section by DizFizz......he is a specialist ....and has some great essays on children and ADD ....be sure you read those .....

and sorry about this dis-jointed reply ,,,,my brain is extra foggy this morning .....
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Old 12-17-12, 11:26 AM
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Re: Violent at home

John,

Something you might consider, taking your son for a more specialized evaluation.

The best are usually connected with a major teaching hospital or university.

Here are some in Illinois

llinois

Southern Illinois University (Carbondale)
The Clinical Center
Program Notes: Serves children, adolescents and adults
Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago)
Department of Child Psychiatry
Program Notes: Serves children
University of Chicago
HALP (Hyperactivity, Attention Deficit, and Learning Problems) Clinic

Program Notes: Serves children and adolescents.
Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (Jacksonville, Lincoln, Springfield)
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

Program Notes: Serves children and adolescents.

Source: http://www.help4adhd.org/treatment/prof/centers#il

You can click on the blue and it will take you the sites.

Good luck,

Dizfriz
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Old 12-17-12, 11:26 AM
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Re: Violent at home

Are you working with a behavioral and/or occupational therapist? Not just for him, but for you - you need to work with a professional who can get to the bottom of what's triggering these rages and learn how to change your own behavior and responses to help him avoid them or lessen their intensity.
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Old 12-17-12, 02:16 PM
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Re: Violent at home

I'm so sorry your family is going through this. He may be releasing stress and frustration that he's held in all day at school. I've seen this happen with my own child where he was good at school but once home in a "safe" environment he let it all out. It can be hard work for AHDH kids to control themselves at school and then they are exhausted when they get home. I agree with Amtram, a professional can help you learn the tools to work with your child at home.

Please keep us posted!
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Old 12-17-12, 11:54 PM
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Re: Violent at home

Quote:
He is currently getting his meds twice daily. Once before school then again around 4pm when he gets home. These violent outbursts can be triggered by something as simple as not letting him have desert because he didn't eat dinner or not letting him eat candy before dinner. He'll often go into fits of rage over losing a life in one of his video games.

These fits can include hitting himself, walls, tables, us or anything else that gets in his path. He often times throws himself on the floor and begins kicking anything around him including us when we try to stop him
((Hugs)). I'm not sure if anything I'm saying will be helpful to you (mostly b/c I don't really know what to do, but I wanted to let you know that you're not alone).

I used to lose it at home as a youngster, too. Maybe not quite to the extent that you mention, but it sounds eerily familiar.

I wasn't on meds, but I would hazard a guess that his meds are in the process of wearing off just when he gets to a safe place to unwind.

School is incredibly stressful, and he's *had* to behave and be on for 7+ hours, and then he comes home (transitions are hard to begin with). . .

For me, I was trying my level best at school, and home was the place that I could break down if things hadn't gone as well as I'd liked. Or, it was the place where the straw that broke the camel's back happened (I'm *still* somewhat prone to overreacting and cursing when playing video games, to the point where I will still play when it's not fun anymore, just because I want to beat the game, so I totally get that trigger).

I don't remember a whole lot from that time-period with regards to what helped me out, but part of it was having a bean-bag chair or other soft thing that I could beat, instead of the walls, etc. . .
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Old 12-18-12, 03:56 AM
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Re: Violent at home

Stop giving him stuff, if he starts kicking hitting and whatever because he wasn't allowed dessert , tell him he'll not have TV and games too... Tell him he will be locked for 2 days if he continues... Tell all of this calm without screaming.

You need to show him that you're not competing with him for the power... but be clear that you already have the power and that he'll only lose if he continues with this actions.

You need to establish the command , you can't go back on what you tell. you can't lie to him either otherwise he'll feel manipulated.

Be straight on your commands , be true on what you said, be calm on how you say (you are the superior why would you be screaming), don't show weakness in front of him and never let him go over you without a penalty, he needs to understand who is in charge.

If all of this fail even after he has done so much stuff wrong that he is only allowed to go from home to school and from school to home, without games , dessert , sugar , tv , internet , only having books, then you need to get professional help.

Also there must be a good cop and a bad cop but the good cop can't change the punishments established by the bad cop.

And last but not least remember , most of childs are copycats, so if you say that you're going to start a diet or something like that in front of the child , you can't go back on what you said.

Good luck.
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Old 12-18-12, 07:44 AM
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Re: Violent at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetCode View Post
Stop giving him stuff, if he starts kicking hitting and whatever because he wasn't allowed dessert , tell him he'll not have TV and games too... Tell him he will be locked for 2 days if he continues... Tell all of this calm without screaming.

You need to show him that you're not competing with him for the power... but be clear that you already have the power and that he'll only lose if he continues with this actions.

You need to establish the command , you can't go back on what you tell. you can't lie to him either otherwise he'll feel manipulated.

Be straight on your commands , be true on what you said, be calm on how you say (you are the superior why would you be screaming), don't show weakness in front of him and never let him go over you without a penalty, he needs to understand who is in charge.

If all of this fail even after he has done so much stuff wrong that he is only allowed to go from home to school and from school to home, without games , dessert , sugar , tv , internet , only having books, then you need to get professional help.

Also there must be a good cop and a bad cop but the good cop can't change the punishments established by the bad cop.

And last but not least remember , most of childs are copycats, so if you say that you're going to start a diet or something like that in front of the child , you can't go back on what you said.

Good luck.
For children with adhd negative punishment is often not effective. Positive reward s tend to work better. Besides even if the OP takes everything away the child will still hit himself or others. I suspect there is more than just adhd going on.
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Old 12-18-12, 01:41 PM
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Re: Violent at home

It's true, but it's awfully hard to think of ways to praise and reward good behavior when you're constantly anxious and on guard for the bad behavior. That's when an outside viewpoint can be particularly helpful.
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Old 12-18-12, 02:27 PM
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Re: Violent at home

I've found many helpful ways to deal with opposition on the empowering parents website (empoweringparents.com).

I've also read some of James Lehman's books. He is deceased now, but his website is still active. I think his wife took it over. James was a troubled child with adhd and his advice is very straightforward.
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Old 12-18-12, 03:17 PM
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Re: Violent at home

John8530,

We are dealing with much the same thing at our house.
My granddaughter is 11, dx with Atypical Autism and Anxiety.

She has a long history of the schools not doing well, except for one
special ed teacher in 2nd and 3rd grades.

She is 5'1" and weighs 125#, and when she hits or kicks it really hurts.

Last night was a bad night, eventually I was able to get her involved in
a tug of war using a towel, expending a lot of energy and turning it into
a game that the whole family enjoyed.

Doesn't always work, finding something to distract her.

One thing we've found that leads to emotional upsets is being hungry.
We try to make sure there's a choice of good snacks for her to eat as
soon as she gets home from school.

And after being expected to sit quietly and pay attention for several
hours, it helps if she can be active and play for awhile before asking her
to do anything else.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetCode View Post
Stop giving him stuff, if he starts kicking hitting and whatever because he wasn't allowed dessert , tell him he'll not have TV and games too... Tell him he will be locked for 2 days if he continues... Tell all of this calm without screaming.

You need to show him that you're not competing with him for the power... but be clear that you already have the power and that he'll only lose if he continues with this actions.

You need to establish the command , you can't go back on what you tell. you can't lie to him either otherwise he'll feel manipulated.

Be straight on your commands , be true on what you said, be calm on how you say (you are the superior why would you be screaming), don't show weakness in front of him and never let him go over you without a penalty, he needs to understand who is in charge.

If all of this fail even after he has done so much stuff wrong that he is only allowed to go from home to school and from school to home, without games , dessert , sugar , tv , internet , only having books, then you need to get professional help.

Also there must be a good cop and a bad cop but the good cop can't change the punishments established by the bad cop.

And last but not least remember , most of childs are copycats, so if you say that you're going to start a diet or something like that in front of the child , you can't go back on what you said.

Good luck.
You're right, power struggles don't work.

But neither do parental power trips and punishment.

Best to reward good choices and let natural consequences follow bad choices.

Good book for this: How To Talk So Kids Will Listen - And Listen So Kids
Will Talk. I forget the authors right now. Check Amazon.
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Old 12-18-12, 03:36 PM
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Re: Violent at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccom5100 View Post
I've found many helpful ways to deal with opposition on the empowering parents website (empoweringparents.com).

I've also read some of James Lehman's books. He is deceased now, but his website is still active. I think his wife took it over. James was a troubled child with adhd and his advice is very straightforward.
Ccom, I like what I saw there. Very practical advice and tips for handling oppositional/defiant behavior, and how to minimize the power struggles. (and lots more; I'll read more when I have the time) Thanks for posting...
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Old 12-19-12, 03:17 AM
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Re: Violent at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
You're right, power struggles don't work.

But neither do parental power trips and punishment.

Best to reward good choices and let natural consequences follow bad choices.
Heh, I don't know much, I had some old styled education based on a leather belt and maybe it's part of the reason why I am so messed up today , but at least I can tell right from wrong.

I don't really believe only in rewards without punishments , IMHO without the bitter you don't value the sweet.

If a kid disrespects the father in front of guests screaming as a wild animal in the middle of the dinner because he/she wants something sugared, and the parents don't do any kind of punishment how will the kid be prepared to face problems at school? how will the kid react when a bully comes to get her? If the kid don't learn how to react when things don't go as planned at home , the kid will not know how to react in the world and will get all depressed when facing something that he/she never was prepared to...

I never bullied and when had problems with bullies I faced them and solved my own problems , I always respected the people older than me and helped the weaker but yep, maybe I am wrong and this may be a highway for a violent messed-up successful young adult like me.
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Old 12-19-12, 12:20 PM
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Re: Violent at home

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetCode View Post
Heh, I don't know much, I had some old styled education based on a leather belt and maybe it's part of the reason why I am so messed up today , but at least I can tell right from wrong.

I don't really believe only in rewards without punishments , IMHO without the bitter you don't value the sweet.

If a kid disrespects the father in front of guests screaming as a wild animal in the middle of the dinner because he/she wants something sugared, and the parents don't do any kind of punishment how will the kid be prepared to face problems at school? how will the kid react when a bully comes to get her? If the kid don't learn how to react when things don't go as planned at home , the kid will not know how to react in the world and will get all depressed when facing something that he/she never was prepared to...

I never bullied and when had problems with bullies I faced them and solved my own problems , I always respected the people older than me and helped the weaker but yep, maybe I am wrong and this may be a highway for a violent messed-up successful young adult like me.
When parents punish, the child often feels bullied, and then finds someone
that he or she can bully (or kicks the dog) so he or she doesn't feel weak.

I'm not saying the parent should not use discipline, but punishment is not
really effective for any child, and even less so for a child with ADHD or ASD.

All it does is make them resentful.
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Old 12-19-12, 09:58 PM
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Re: Violent at home

I have found the use of natural and/or logical consequences the most effective approach. If the child has a tantrum and makes a mess, the child cleans it up once they are calm. If they don't clean up their toys, I do. But I keep them for a time. If they don't eat an adequate supper, they can eat the leftovers later if they are hungry or a suitable substitute but no junk. If my son "chooses" not to go to hockey practice, he also "chooses" not to play his video games that night because the practice was a committment he didn't honor. That kind of thing. We just lots of positive reinforcement for the good things he does and try to minimize or avoid attention for the bad things. We tried the punishment route and all we got was an anxious depressed child. Not saying that's how it always is but that was our experience.
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