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Parents of ADHD Children

Stressed out in Kindergarten and Impulsive

I have a five-year-old boy with a very tender heart. He also has impulsive ADHD and has struggled with a language disorder. He began school early while he was still four because he is very intelligent. So while school work is very easy for him, the social side of school is very challenging to say the least.

He is doing great at home. We have our issues but we get through them and he is, for the most part, a happy child. He is on medication and we have been trying out Daytrana, but I really think the big issue right now is his heart.

At school my son feels sad and angry. He doesn’t show patience with the other students. He is bossy and corrects everyone, even adults. He hits and pinches other students when they say something unkind to him or sometimes if they aren’t doing what he wants. His teacher wants to help him but right now we are both out of ideas. Today she told me that, in the past, she has spoken to the class about how they should react or not react to him. I see her reasoning but this also seems to make him more of an outcast.

My son’s language delay and his hyper-focus on some details has made him awkward already around his peers. He doesn’t seem to grasp at all that if he wants to make friends, he has to first be a good friend (no hitting, pinching, bossing).

I think right now I just want to know if anyone else has ever been in a place/situation like this.


I have been in the situation where kindergarten was very difficult. However, that was before we had our son officially diagnosed and although I knew he had ADHD he was not medicated or getting the help he needed. Kindergarten is very challenging for ADHD kiddos because they are often “behind” in social skills. Their inability to control their impulses makes it difficult to share, take turns and listen.

You said your son was very intelligent. If you feel he is ready for Kindergarten intellectually but not socially have you tried getting him some help with his social skills and behaviors?

Behavioral Therapy was really helpful for us. Once a week my son and I went to a counselor who “played” games with him which helped him build skills in turn taking, listening, etc. She also helped me a great deal in terms of having ideas for helping in situations where he was having trouble at school. Just watching what she did with him helped me to see positive solutions to his problem behaviors that I could suggest to the school.

One last suggestion, see if there is a place at school he can go to when he is over whelmed. My son was put into a special behavioral program that had extra staff that helped him get through his emotions. He was able to go to a separate classroom and one of the special teachers there would help him calm down and talk him through his troubles. Once he was calm and collected he could return to his classroom.

Posted by MaryAnn_29 on Nov 09, 2013 at 6:47am

I agree with MaryAnn, he would benefit from all her ideas.  Even though he is intelligent, he is still only five.  And so are his peers.

Sometimes it’s not about intelligence, it’s about what is best for your child at that time of their life.

There is alot of pressure to get our kids in school, reading, extra-curricular activities, etc.  Follow your instincts, protect his heart, give him all the tools you can.  Good luck!

Posted by Pdxlaura on Nov 10, 2013 at 2:54am

Hi adrianb1982!

My son had similar issues that surfaced in second grade. He didn’t know how to handle his anger and frustration appropriately and had zero frustration tolerance. He was hitting kids every time they did something he didn’t like—even if they did it to one of his peers and not him. He even hit someone for not following class rules. He just didn’t know how to react appropriately.

We buckled down and took on this challenge head on. Hitting was not ok and he felt terrible about himself every time he hit someone too. It was an impulse in the lack of frustration management skills.

Each and every time he lashed out that way, I had the same conversation with him, it went something like this:

ME: Why did you hit Joe?
SON: He was mean to Sara!
ME: Hitting is not an acceptable way to show that you are angry or to show someone you don’t like what they did.
SON: I know. :-(
ME: What are some acceptable ways that you could show Joe that you didn’t like the way he was treating Sara?
SON: Tell the teacher?
ME: Yes! What else could you have done?
SON: Use my words to tell Joe he shouldn’t be mean to Sara?
ME: Yes! What will you do next time you get mad at someone?
SON: Use my words and tell my teacher.
ME: Awesome!

If he had trouble coming up with ideas, I’d lead him to them, but never tell him what he should have done. He needed to think it through and come up with the alternatives so he would internalize them. If I had further ideas he didn’t come up with, I’d share them with him too.

It took about 9 months to affect change, but we did. He’s never hit anyone in school since then (almost 4 years now), and I don’t expect that he will. We had to be super consistent with this for it to work. And we had to have his teachers do the same thing as well, each and every time he had an inappropriate reaction out of anger or frustration.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 11, 2013 at 8:14pm

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