Thursday, May 10, 2012

Follow-up to 13 year old with ADHD and anger

The parent in the previous post wrote some examples of what precipitates her son's outbursts but asked that the specific content of the examples be confidential.  What follows are my thoughts about her son's situation:

It sounds like the precipitants are when your son is rough housing, speaks impulsively what his on his mind instead of censoring what might get him in trouble, and when he is goofing around instead of staying focused on his work in school.  I see a lot of these behaviors in kids with ADHD or who tend to be somewhat impulsive.  They are not "bad" kids, just somewhat quick to act without always thinking ahead of the potential consequences.  You want to help your son learn to think ahead more often.  This will take time and patient practice on everyone's part.  See what the professionals you are working with recommend, but one approach would be to go over these situations (after everyone is calm) every time they happen:   help your son see what happens in each of the three kinds of situations, and help him think about whether he is willing to risk the reprimands.  Then help him see the reprimands in a more neutral way.  I give some worksheets in my parent's manual about anger overload 1) to help with self-observation, and 2) with understanding other points of view and 3) with using catch phrases to help children "catch" themselves before going too far.   Sounds like yo have a good team.  All the best, Dr. Gottlieb

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