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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Angry teen

Hi,

I have a 14 year old boy.  He is increasingly going against our instructions and is very rude.  When he is rude (calling us names or swearing), the consequence is that he cannot have computer time for that day.  He gets very upset and angry by this consequence.  We have a password on the computer so he cannot get in unless he asks our permission.  He now somehow can get into the computer and plays games (such as Minecraft).  We have used the computer as a reward - when he does some homework, he can have time on the computer.  I have used a timer for his use on the computer.  When his time is up on the computer, and the timer rings, he still ‘pushes it’ and continues to plays.  He gets angry when I ask him again to get off computer.  I have even turned the router off to stop him playing computer.  Though I give him warning about this, he gets angry when the router is turned off.  He has use of the computer after school, as I said, as a reward.  I am now seriously considering him not having use of the computer Monday through to Friday, and he can only use it on Saturday and Sunday.  I am very tempted to pack computer away and may have to earn it back.  But the computer is for the family, it is not just for him.  As he is becoming more verbal, and somewhat threatening physically, what are your thoughts?  I am fed up with his rudeness and threats.  Help.

Thank you

Replies

Ah screen time. I have found it pretty scary with my son when he gets angry about getting off of the computer. I have found that patience and standing my ground are the most effective ways to deal. Counseling? Physically threatening? Not okay. If you ever feel that afraid for your safety…you make a call. Married? Get dad involved. This does not sound like a good scene. Just make sure that you are safe and that he can calm down. I don’t know your history. What meds is he on? The teen years. Ugh…If you need to talk I’m on! Stay safe and keep those rules up. Kids really do like structure even though they butt up against it.

Posted by jenyerhot on May 14, 2014 at 1:28pm

Being over emotional is fairly common with ADHD. I’m by no means justifying his behavior, but I would assume he’s right in the middle of something in his game when the timer goes off. We have had the same issue in our house. And I hate for them to work at completely a level or something to only have to abandon it right before they accomplish it. That’s their perspective, although it doesn’t excuse his aggression.

I strongly recommend you read the book, “The Explosive Child,” by Dr. Ross Greene. It will change this dynamic for you if you implement his advice. He also has a website that discusses his plan at http://LivesInTheBalance.org.

There are some articles on ADDitudeMag.com that may have some helpful advice in this situation too:
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10700.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/10491.html
http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/771.html

Lastly, before mandating a computer ban Monday-Friday, talk to him about it (when you are both calm). Let him know the battles over the computer are not okay. Let him know if they continue, you will be restricting computer use to weekends only. Ask HIM what would be helpful for him to adhere to the guidelines and stay calm during the week—let him know you recognize it’s frustrating to have to stop in the middle of something, and you want to work together to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement. 

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on May 14, 2014 at 4:32pm

Our boys LOVE ‘stay up late night’ on Saturdays.  We watch a movie and have snacks. 

Whenever there is a problem with electronics time or behavior, ‘stay up late’ night is taken away. Sometimes the cell phone is taken away.

What else does your son like to do that could be a lost privilege if not obeying computer time or behavior is not acceptable?

We fortunately have a built in timer, which I decide how much time is spent on our computer, so the computer gives time warnings in 5 minute increments and when time is up, the computer shuts off.  Where we have the problem is the game consoles.  If only these game companies can put timers into the game boxes, life would be much easier. (not an advertisement or endorsement but we have a mac; each person can have their own login-they each have their own time but only authorized users can change parental control settings)

Posted by pricemama on May 14, 2014 at 7:22pm

Oh these kids LOVE the electronics dont they?Physically threatening needs to be dealt with ASAP! Following thru no matter how much the child objects,in my opinion is crucial and it can get ugly because they want what they want!My son has been told that computers,cellphones,kindlefires and xboxes are PRIVLEDGES and not rights!We gave him those and we take them away when he has broken important family rules,or has been over the top disrespectful.They reappear after a certain period of time depending on the offense.In our house this has been effective with our 15 year old son,but it is exhausting!

Posted by keeks on May 14, 2014 at 9:48pm

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