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Parents of ADHD Children

so strong willed

i just don’t know what to do anymore my 6 year old daughter is so strong willed and gives me such a hard time that I’m out of ideas… She’s like a sassy defiant teenager in a 6 yr old body.


I too have a strong willed daughter.  I went through it as well.  I took away everything she had.  Every single play toy and movie.  I put up a behavior chart and started praising her for her good behavior.  That was a way for her to earn back some playtime toys etc.  Hope this was helpful.

Posted by Ms. Irish on Jul 10, 2014 at 8:36pm

thank you for your suggestion.  i have tried that, not every single toy but the ones she prefers as well as her touch and have made a behavior chart that she and i understand but i feel she just overlooks it as she see her father every other weekend and says ill just have daddy get it & he’s just not on board with all of these techniques.  Its so frustrating!!

Posted by tinabmia on Jul 10, 2014 at 8:47pm

Yep. Have you ever heard of oppositional defiant disorder? That is what my son has. He is nine and even though he knows that he should do what I am asking, he fights me. Ritalin helps him think before he shoots his mouth off. He is also seeing a therapist, a guy in his case, who, on a weekly basis, reinforces the notion that he should listen and cooperate with my requests. He also sees someone during the school year, who told me to work on the way he speaks to me over the summer. She said instead of punishing him for being rude, which happens a lot, I am supposed to give him the chance to speak to me again. Its getting better. I also try to maintain a strict routine and don’t spring any task on my son. It usually helps to give him a five minute warning. I don’t yell or scold, but if I assign a task, I stick to my guns and make sure he completes it. If he

I attended a webinar last month that also suggested that if your child is to the point of threatening you, you should take your child to a doctor and try atypical low doses of antipsychotic medications such as risperidol.

That’s what I’ve got. Hope it helps.
Sue H in PC, Ohio

Posted by SueH on Jul 11, 2014 at 11:37am

Honestly, this sounds just like my daughter. She turned six in April. But we just had a huge discovery: artificial food coloring like Red 40 make her irritable and nasty and when she gets a big amount in her system, she gets violent will have a severe tantrum for an hour and then fall asleep for at least two hours.

I used to be the person who rolled her eyes when someone mentioned food or dyes as a possible trigger for behavior. We have never, ever had the kind of food I think of when I think of dyes: Fruit loops, pop tarts etc. But we did occasionally get the bright red popsicles, lollipops, candy, etc. and lots of dyes are found in meds and in foods like Doritos (again, something we got only on special occasions).

I ended up taking all my kids off of sweets (we are still off now) to see if that would help—a healthy jumpstart to the summer. When my daughter found a red tootsie pop in my purse leftover from months before, I let her have it. Within an hour of eating it she was tantrumming. I thought I was going to have to call the police it was so bad. Then I realized the last severe meltdown she had like that was in Florida weeks before after eating red popsicles.

Since taking out all artificial dyes we haven’t had one meltdown like that. She’s not perfect—she’s still a kid after all, but she’s much, much, much less defiant and irritable all the time and gets over her anger much more quickly.

You might want to look into it as artificial dyes are illegal in Europe for these very reasons and this has been really eye opening for us.

I should mention that I couldn’t figure out why one month, Adderall worked great for her and the next month why it made her so angry. Well, the first month the pills were white but the second month the pills were bright blue!

Good luck! I feel your pain.

Posted by EAM on Jul 12, 2014 at 2:14pm

@Mrs. Irish—We tried taking everything away from our son and have him earn things one at a time when my son was 5, before he was diagnosed with ADHD. No matter how hard he tried, no matter how much he wanted his toys, he could only earn one or two and over a week or so. His ADHD prevented him from overriding impulses, but we had no idea he had ADHD until a year later. The diagnosis made this baffling experience make perfect sense. Taking everything from him and struggling to earn it back actually did more emotional and self-esteem damage than he was already experiencing.

As Sue mentions, it could be ODD.

It’s best to set up a very structured behavior plan, including goals and rewards, and be consistent with it. Here are some great articles on behavior and discipline for a child with ADHD:

When our therapist mentioned the I-2-3 magic system, it really helped. I was constantly counting to 3 will little efficacy on behavior. Once I implemented her suggestion to leave 5 full seconds of silence between each number, counting began to work like magic. Many individuals with ADHD have a slower processing speed—the 5 seconds between every number accounts for that and gives our kids the opportunity to process and respond before we get to “3” and the consequence.

Listen to Ross Greene’s webinar on parenting defiant children as well (, his book, “The Explosive Child” changed our family.

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 14, 2014 at 1:07pm

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