20044847 tn?1539205032

Will my patience ever grow with my 9 yr old ADHD son?

My (soon to be) step son has ADHD and we recently got him started on medication. The medication doesn't seem to be helping much so we are going back to the Dr to get a higher dosage or a different medication. I understand that a lot of the things he does aren't his fault, such as acting without thinking and being disrespectful when he doesn't mean to be. I get an email from his teacher atleast once a week saying things like he was very disrespectful to her and he throws tantrums in the class. But when he is close to getting a pink slip (when he has been warned on many occasions about his actions and has to bring a slip home for us to sign AND he misses a recess at school), he shapes right up. His teacher told me he will turn his behavior around when he knows he is getting close to a pink slip or missing recess but if he knows he can get away with it without having to bring a pink slip home, he will not try to improve his attitude. When he does get in trouble and I talk to him about it and talk to him about why it's not ok his response is always "I know" and hes very rude about it. I am confused because everyone I talk to says that ADHD makes him this way and it is not his fault, but why does he act this way when his teacher says that he can turn his behavior around when he wants? I know a lot of this is not his fault, but I still find myself getting so frustrated and mad at his behavior especially when he tells me he knows what he is doing is not ok, and he continues to do it anyway. Are there any suggestion that can help me with this??
9 Responses
Avatar universal
I was told my son had ADHD in 1990 when he was 9 years old. He was put on ritalin and then dexidrine and finally in high school adderall. None of these drugs did anything except teach my son about drugs! At home he was in the middle of a crappy out of state visitation to my ex who used my sons emotions to torture me until my son got old enough to stop going.  I was newly remarried to my current husband and we argued a lot and very cruel things were said to me and my child. We eventually went to therapy to solve how we spoke to each other and our daughter.  Im saying all of that to say this.. Im 60 years old and me and my friends dont remember ADHD, or peanut allergies or Autism.   I know your patience gets exhausted and frankly the school system would rather label a child to make their jobs easy. If I had it to do over? I would eliminate all junk and fast food, structure my childs life for consistency, put him in a meditation class and counseling, not on those drugs! My son is 36 years old, cant seem to complete anything, is an alcoholic, lives with us with with his daughter. All the progress he makes in life is incremental and its like trying to raise him all over again! Children labled with ADHD are often gifted in some way and you child probably is as well.
189897 tn?1441126518
    Well, all studies have shown that putting a child on stim meds and behavioral counseling is the most effective course - so Susan was right about part of what she said.  All to often, parents, especially in the 80's and 90's, were lead to believe that the pill was magic and it would do all the work for you.  
   Being the CL here ..http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175... for quite a long time has demonstrated this to me many times.
   But back to your question.   The thing is that a child with ADHD does things impulsively (without thinking), and if they are young enough will regret it afterward.  As they grow older and more hardened, this begins to change for the worse.  So what he is doing is pretty typical.  
      So, yes, if he has had warnings and is thinking about it he can change for the time being.  But, impulse (which the correct meds can really help) will soon cause him to screw up again.  Unfortunately, his teacher does not have a very good idea on how to work with ADHD kids.  For example, the last thing you do is to take away recess from them.  I have several very good links on that if you need them.  His teacher should spend more time thinking about his triggers, then sending pink slips home.  Frankly, I was in education for a long, long time.  And I don't remember ever having an ADHD kid being disrespectful to me - and I always got them all. So part of the problem is what the teacher is doing - or not doing.  And I do have plenty of helpful advice for that.
  From our earlier posts, it looks like your son has been on meds about a month or less?  Standard practice for doctors is to start low and go slow - waiting for parental feedback on how it is working.  Of course, one problem is that if the parents don't know what to expect, this feedback can be not real accurate.  This link should help with that...  http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/212/slide-1.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=march
   So definitely do talk with your doc about changing your medication.  And don't be surprised if it does take several changes to hit it right.  It is the only safe way to do so, as this avoids over medication.  I can provide links on how to tell when you do hit the right amount or go over if you are interested.
   Also, I would tell his teacher that you are trying meds.  Get her opinion if he is doing better.  I don't know if you are trying extended release meds or not.  If not, she may be the only one that notices the difference as they wear off fairly quickly.
    Sorry this is so long, but this really is a complicated situation and you are just starting the journey.
     Oh, sleep is very important.  If he is not getting enough (not uncommon) he will get cranky during the day.  You might ask his teacher if he is more disrespectful at particular times of the day.
     And, make sure no citric acid products (orange juice) before his meds.  A good high protein breakfast is also very important!
   Ok, I have probably overwhelmed you enough for the day.  Let me know what kind of info you need.  Best wishes.
189897 tn?1441126518
Dang, I forgot to answer your main question.  Yes, your patience will grow if you are able to understand ADHD and how it effects your son.   I should be able to find a pretty good link for that.  I will be looking.
973741 tn?1342342773
It's hard to parent out of the box kiddos.  I know first hand.  My son has sensory integration disorder which is ADD/ADHD's cousin.  Medication is not a treatment used in sensory integration disorder but instead occupational therapy which we did for six years.  One thing they told us in OT is that kids who are battling neurological issues are their WORST at home.  They 'keep it together' at school and then fall apart behavior wise at home, their safe place.  Understanding this helped me.  One thing that helps is to ensure plenty of rest/sleep.  Also eating as healthy as possible.  My son's sensory issues affect his eating in a negative way in that he has texture issues and avoids a lot of food and good luck making him eat it . .  so we work on this a great deal.  And lastly, physical activity is really essential for neurologically delayed kids.  Does he like any sports, physical activities?  Things to try=== swimming (perfect balance of heavy muscle work and deep pressure), karate, kick boxing with a bag in the garage/basement, gymnastics, jumping on a trampoline, basic floor work such as push ups, pull ups, crab walks, etc.  I can't tell you the improvement we see when our son has a healthy 'diet' of these activities.  LOVING structure also helps.  Let me know if I can offer any more help. good luck
Avatar universal
Yes! You will learn to adapt to his behaviors and how to control him. I have ADHD and was very impulsive. I repeated the same thing over and over and felt helpless to stop it, but with the proper behavior therapy and medication I was able to keep my behavior in check. My little sister also has ADHD and I have become much more patient with her after learning the best way to handle her. My advice is just to try whatever and see what works best! You have plenty of time to grow with him and figure out the best way to control his impulses and behavior.
Avatar universal
Look, so, I'm a teen, with ADHD. Been diagnosed around nine years now, and eight of those nine years, I've been on Ritalin.
Ritalin takes time to take affect, and you need to pay attention to what your step son says about it, since it's considered tame amonst ADHD meds regarding side affects.
Behavior issues usually come from the way a child is brought up. I'm the daughter of a psychologist, so for me, it was always an attitude of "You may suffer from learning disabilities and ADHD, but that doesn't excuse behavior issues nor bad grades when you can do better."

I'd highly suggest adopting that attitude with your son, let him know that he can do whatever he wants, but his actions have consequences.

As for you? Well, my parents are patient people, I'll give you that, and no one in my family has quite adapted to my strangeness.
It takes time, and lots of it, but the more you speak with him, the more you can help him, emotionally.

Professional help is always best, and there really is no shame with getting it, therapy is espiecally productive for ADHD children.

We're wired a bit differently, and it takes time to understand us, but use your resources and invest in your child, and you'll both get better.
189897 tn?1441126518
some very useful parenting tips are in this link - https://www.additudemag.com/the-single-most-helpful-strategy-in-raising-your-adhd-child/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april&mc_cid=a5ec4578c9&mc_eid=34d357d554
Avatar universal
I have grown up with ADHD and I was put on  Ritalin and my doctor adjusted my  dosage till it was right for me and it made a world of difference for me so it actually depends on the person and  consistency is a big factor for child learning how to behave and have a strong psychology profile.
189897 tn?1441126518
Nicole, This is a really good link that I think you will find useful.  https://www.additudemag.com/behavior-punishment-parenting-child-with-adhd/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=april&mc_cid=e53872b895&mc_eid=34d357d554
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