Do you have a intense background with pediatric bipolar disorder?
I respectfully disagree with the answer you gave to Cynthia. I have bipolar disorder and my 9 year old son also has BP. Disciplining a child with BP is extremely different than disciplining a child with ADHD. Let's start with 'limit setting' which is a major trigger for children with BP. A simple 'no' can set this child off. So, out of concern for her child I would recommend a different strategy. A strategy geared towards preparing this child for a future of symptom management tools by explaining that he/she is 'responsible for his/her actions'. In this way, the child is not being 'punished' for having BP, but rather being taught tools for taking responsibility for the illness. Just a suggestion.
I'm pleased that you offered your perspective. Behavior management is always a challenge, and there are many ways to address behavior. One of the things that I try to convey to parents of children who display Bipolar Disorder, and yes, we have many children in our clinical practice who display Bipolar Disorder, is to use their judgment about what issues they might want to address. Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child is very instructive in this regard. It could be that a parent might 'settle' for some behavior, while setting limits on others. I do not encourage the notion that a parent should avoid straightforward, responsible limit setting due to concern about how the child might react to the limit setting. Children who display volatile behavior can have an unwitting coercice impact on parents. That is, parents can be swayed and avoid intervening when they fear that a child might respond with upset.
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