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Parents of ADHD Children


Do any of you all have advice for having patience with my 4yo? I’m almost positive she has ADHD. I have ADD and cannot concentrate or remember anything to save my life. Her’s manifest itself in a different way where she is sooooo hyper allll the time, she has a hard time listening and staying still, and she throws tantrums over the smallest thing. I have a low tolerance when it comes to misbehaving, but I do not want to spank her. I find myself yelling at her constantly and I’m turning into my mother! That was the last thing I wanted to turn into. She doesn’t understand ADD/ADHD at all was constantly yelling and criticizing me and I feel I’m doing to same to my daughter. It’s breaking my heart, but I don’t know how to find patience when it comes to her.


I can say this forum has helped me so much!  Most the people who post on here are so knowledgeable and it is so nice to not feel alone.  With my son who is now 7 I have moments where I am very patience (like when he has a complete melt down b/c he has to write a sentence for his homework) and moments that I am not the mother I want to be (like when I told him to go play outside yesterday and he decided to roll himself and the dogs in the mud 15 minutes before we had to go to a school program. . . ) From my research I “try” to not engage in power struggles with him, remember he honestly cannot sit still, he really did forget I asked him to put his shoes on 2 seconds ago etc. . . Working with his doctors, using meds and behavior modifications I’ve read about and trying to have a mostly positive reinforcement system has really helped.  I find ‘time outs’ can be good for both of us if a situation has really escalated.  And a friend of mine helped me redefine ‘time-out’- it’s his cool down time.  So he often will play with his guitar or keyboard while in his room- and I take deep breathes and defuse myself.  Then we come back and try again.  And hey you’re doing great- only good moms worry that we might be bad moms.  Truly bad moms never stop to notice!

Posted by ericabaylor on Nov 08, 2013 at 2:11am

Yes, it’s rough!  Those who do not have an ADHD kid have no idea.

Talk to her pediatrician.  Tell them exactly what you wrote here.  They should be able to give you referrals, etc.

This site is helpful.  I also really like  Trust your gut—-keep digging for help.

Good luck!

Posted by Pdxlaura on Nov 08, 2013 at 4:19am

Have you tried meds for yourself?  Meds aren’t just for the kids.  I know adults who are unable to deal with their ADHD themselves and take meds so that they can function easier. 

If you aren’t interested in meds, then I suggest you find yourself a behaviour therapist to help you develop strategies to change the stuff you want to change.

Good luck.  It’s tough no matter how you look at it.

Posted by Wynka on Nov 08, 2013 at 4:40am

Don’t beat up on yourself. There is always time to change course.

I would suggest you try a couple of things. First tell her how the day is going to go and what you expect from her. We often expect that children should know how to comport themselves in a given situation and at this age you can pretty much assume she does not.

For example, when my kids were little and we were getting ready to go somewhere I’d lay it out for them. “We’re going into the grocery store now. I want you to hold my hand in the parking lot. It’s dangerous and cars can’t see little ones but they can see big mommas. When we get in the store we’re going to get just a few things. You can walk with me and help me get things off the shelf but I don’t want you to touch anything else, OK?”  Like that. All through the day - we are going here, this is what I expect from you.

Don’t leave her behavior to chance. If you aren’t explaining in detail how you want her to behave she has no other option BUT to try and see what she gets into trouble for.

And, I’m sure you’ve probably heard this already, high praise when she behaves the way you want her to. “That was really awesome! I asked you to not touch anything before we got in the store and I never had to tell you again! I love how you follow directions”

The counter to that is you stay calm when she misbehaves. Just think of it as you being animated when she does good and bland when she does bad. We inadvertently teach our kids to misbehave when we get suddenly super alert and paying attention to them they do wrong. Particularly children with ADD who you know can need a lot of stimulation. Parents getting upset and angry even yelling is brain stimulating. That is why people with ADD tend to create drama - it is brain stimulating in a boring world! 

I hope you can work in some of these changes. These little tweaks in my behavior had a large impact onyx ADD daughter (and husband too).

Posted by YellaRyan on Nov 08, 2013 at 4:54am

This is exactly what my wife is going through with our daughter. I’ll let her know about some of what’s been suggested here (though she’s undiagonised ADHD). I already see how our 8 year old ADHD daughter has low self esteem (like my wife). That was something I never wanted to happen, but with the way kids and teachers and even us at times (as her parents) make her feel, it’s was bound to happen.

Posted by not2day on Nov 09, 2013 at 10:06pm

Our daughter has meltdowns over little things. We are seeing positive results from using Omega-3 capsules and magnesium for calming.

Posted by Ninearrows on Nov 10, 2013 at 5:58am

When my son was too small for medicine I told the doctor, “Someone in this house is going on medication.  If he cannot, then I will. I cannot be the mother he needs if I cannot control my own reactions to his behavior.” So, I got medicine for myself for about five months and we got through the worst of his ODD (opposition defiance disorder) together. When I calmed down (chemically induced), he started to improve. Then he got big enough to go on medication himself, because he truly, truly needed it and I really could not ask the rest of the world to medicate themselves to deal with him. All he ever heard was, “No!” and that is not a good way for a child to live. All I can say is get yourself the help you need. It will help your child. (You know, put on your oxygen mask first…)

Posted by Candy Slice on Nov 17, 2013 at 8:20pm

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