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Anger Management and ADHD

Ten yr old w adhd and anger issues

I can use some advice. My 10 yr old son has adhd and anger issues. How do I handle those explosive behaviors and how much should I hold him responsible for his own behavior? It is hard for us to “overlook” bad behavior, but if this is something he truly can not help is it fair to ground him for misbehaving? if so, what is a fair and reasonable punishment? We recently started therapy and hoping it helps. Also, can anyone suggest any natural or vitamins therapies to help control mood and anger?


I remember those days.  My now 15 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was @ 10 because of anger and impulsivity. Temper tantrums. Punched holes in walls etc.  If we tried to punish him (took away computer time) it would make matters worse. It was hard on his siblings too.

Honestly, the best thing for us was using medicine. We found (and he now agrees) that once he was able to focus, his anger subsided. We were very reluctant to try medicine, but in our case it was the best thing we ever did. My son is on Concerta, which is a slow release medicine. 

Read Dr. Ross Greene’s book “The Explosive Child”.  It was recommended to us by his doctor and it is excellent.  Also - watch Dr. Russell Barkley’s YouTube video titled “Essential Ideas for Parents”.  It is on this website or you can google it on YouTube. It is an excellent overview by one of the leading experts in ADHD. 

You will also find therapy helps, not only for your child, but for you as well.  We also went to therapy and it helped us tremendously with ideas and advice for helping our son.  Typical parenting tools don’t always work with ADHD kids, so it’s helpful to learn different ways of parenting.

Hope this helps.

Posted by staypositive on Aug 11, 2014 at 4:08pm

Frustration definitely seems to surface as anger in boys this age. It is tough but there are many strategies to employ to help. The following articles all address anger in kids with ADHD and offer strategies for change:

I hear you on not wanting to punish your child for behaviors he can’t help. That was a real parenting downfall for me for a while, as I blamed everything on ADHD. Kids with ADHD still have to be held accountable for their behavior. They have to be taught appropriate actions and reactions. Finding the balance was really tough for us, and looks different for every family. These articles will help you build an appropriate behavior and consequences plan for your son:

I encourage you to work closely with the therapist as well. They are a great source of systems that work for kids like ours.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 12, 2014 at 1:34pm

I use behavior charts and reward systems, I praise a lot for positive behavior.  If he is out of control and becomes violent in the morn I will take away his tv time but if he is good for the rest of the day he can earn his tv time back. I also sometimes have him write sentences. I also try to have him relieve anger in positive ways like using his punching bag, taking deep breaths and counting. I praise him for any attempt in controlling his anger.

Posted by mdasch on Aug 13, 2014 at 2:29pm

Establish consistent calming strategies (at home and at school), reward system etc, as Chelley mentioned.

Also totally second adhdmomma’s definition - impulsiveness leads to frustration and anger…so your child is not an angry child per se.

One thing that helps YOU cope - it helps us - is to remember that on bad days, you are dealing with your child WITH a condition, as opposed to just your child. He probably has lots of internal struggle too, as he feels out of control.

Medication makes a huge difference. I recognize some parents do not believe in it. We do.

Hope things will get better for you soon.

Posted by eso on Nov 18, 2014 at 10:26pm

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