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Avatar universal

Out of control 6-yr-old

I am at the end of my rope and ready to send my son away to any boot camp that will take a 6 yr old.  He is such a loving child at times... very caring, tender, and loveable.  And the most adorable little boy.   But then you watch him in action.  My son, Nicholas, has recently been diagnosed ADHD.  His brother is ADD.  Nicholas has had what I thought was the "terrible 2s" from about 18 mos until early 5.  It seemed they would never go away.  Then, he started school, and I thought he'd adjust, but he seemed to always get in trouble for his inattentiveness and his impulsivity.  In 1st grade, his impulsive behavior landed him in the principal's office an average of 3x a week... everything from touching kids (not in a mean way) to screeching in class, dropping his pencil and looking around, and doing anything to get attention from classmates and the teacher.  He was also suspending for fighting on the bus (with his brother), but a fight is a fight.  One month later, I had him examined & he was diagnosed with the ADHD and put on Focalin XR 15mg.  What a world of difference... for a few months.  His impulsive behavior is back.  At home, he pushes buttons with everyone, argues about everything, and refuses to do his homework.  I attempt to deal with the behavior in stages, starting with a timeout on the steps (where he'll display his anger and throw things off the steps, shoes from the floor, and anything else he can find).  He is told the timeout doesn't begin until he is still and quiet.  Then, it escalates because he cannot be still or quiet.  He is then sent to his room for his timeout (he hates being by himself).  Then, he'll stomp, bank on his door, throw things.  Then, his 5 minute timeout is extended to 30 minutes.  Then, priviledges are taken away... and it goes on, until he finally gets it and calms down.

As of a few weeks ago, we started a "smile chart" for periods of the day.  He earns a smile when he follows the house rules throughout the day.  He gets a sad face when he does not.  4 straight smiles earns him back his game system.  One sad face loses it.  He hasn't had the game system back for more than 1 day since starting the chart.  Now, it seems he doesn't care about it.  So now, I'm using computer time as the priviledge.  He loves webkinz, so he has to earn his computer time through the smiles.  One sad faces loses that priviledge until he earns a smile again.  So far, he hasn't had webkinz for a few days.

Basically, he argues, displays anger through throwing things, hits, gets easily frustrated (seems to have no fuse), lacks respect for adults and lacks respect for other people's belongings (& his own), does not respect authority, does not care about consequences, antagonizes his brother (who is very mild-mannered), and is extremely impulsive (seems to have no filter in his brain).  

Just this week, he is on a new medicine for his ADHD, but these problem go back a few weeks, so I don't relate it to the switch.  The medicine he's on now is Concerta 54mg (comparable to 20mg of Focalin XR).  He metabolizes his medicine faster than its effective timeframe, so he needed a 12 hr medicine.  It's too soon to see if it's working, but so far, I'm not seeing a longer effectiveness.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
My message was sent prematurely, and I was trying to "edit" it... but cannot.

I only wanted to add that I am hoping to get some advice here as to how to handle this behavior... any ideas would help!!!  His behavior is consistent with the "pre-medicine" behavior, on a lighter scale.  He seems to be regressing, not progressing.  I do not know how to handle him.  

My husband and I are self-employed, but one of us always here to put them on the bus and here to get them off the bus.  We are here for homework and sit together as a family for dinner each night.  Nicholas is very very smart... almost too smart.  He is a straight-A student in school and very bright.  He reads very well, is excellent in Math, and now that he's behaving better in school, the teacher commented he's such a pleasure to have in class (very helpful and caring).  I can't get that at home.

Is it the competition having a sibling only 2 years older?  The sibling is a very good kid... never loses his priviledges because he behaves very well.  Is it that Nick sees that and thinks we are favoring him?  We try to explain the differences.  He even said one time, "why do you love Steven more?".  I explained we love them both the same, but Steven get to stay up later because he earned it by behaving good today.  

Other info I forgot to mention:
*sneaks snacks
*still wets bed at night (wears overnight pants)
*lies when it's obvious what he did
*shows off around other kiids
*is extra hyper around other kids (cousins, friends, at parties, etc).
*no respect for privacy (opened bathroom door on another kid using it because he needed a tissue... didn't knock on closed doors)
*had a normal birth
*as a baby, he was very demanding of attention but we figured it to be the 2nd child syndrome (competing for attention with older sibling)
*potty trained (daytime only) at 3-1/2 yrs old

Please help us!!
13167 tn?1327197724
This might address just a tiny part of the problem,  but might help some.

Rather than making him sit still or sit alone as a consequence,  when you first notice he is spinning out of control,  have him jump on a trampoline.  You can get those small exercise trampolines at Walmart - but get a good one.  

This child seems to have boundless energy - and allowing him to bound around will help far more than forcing him to sit still.

I have a neighbor with an extremely difficult child,  and they put in a full size netted trampoline in their back yard and it has worked wonders.    That child gets on it,  and "flies".  Very cool,  very soothing.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Thank you! I appreciate your advice. He is a very high energy little guy. The only I'm concerned with is whether it might send a mixed signal that when he misbehaves he gets rewarded with fun time.  I suppose could offer that time when he gets home from school as an effort to avoid the behavior by allowing him to vent any pent-up energy.

Thanks again!!  
Avatar universal

I am wondering what you have been doing since you posted and if anything has gotten better. My step son is almost 6 and we are going through a simular thing. He is getting in trouble at school everyday for not listening and being to aggressive, he wets his bed every night, he lies all the time, and when you ask why he always says "i dont know", and yesterday he pooped himself at school (a lot not a little).. I am at my wits end, and clueless!! My husband and I have tried talking to him, grounding him, star rewards... EVERYTHING and nothing works, if you have any suggestions please let me know it would be so appricated, Also everytime we ask him to do something 5 mins later we are like did you ...(i.e brush your teeth)? and his answer is always O I forgot!!! Please help if you can thank you and I hope everythhing is okay by you!!
Avatar universal
We are still the same. But we are trying to work with him as the afternoon (3-4:30) outbursts & frustration seem to be concistent with him coming down from the Concertta. We continue to struggle with all the other things but are trying to handle him with less yelling on our end.

I continue to think his recent behavior is medicine-driven, perhaps a side effect. So I have a call into his neurologist. I am also looking into the Total Transformation & Total Focus. I am hoping to find someone with a real-life experience with that program.

Have you had your child evaluated?
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