Stay at Home Moms

Grasping for straws here

Hi all,

Hoping somebody can relate and offer some advice:

I have an almost 4 year old son who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I have been having a very hard time with him. He is constantly hitting his brother, opening the front door (which we all lock) and letting his brother out; he peed on my carpet downstairs yesterday in front of me, he will unlock and walk out our back sliding door and run around the backyard. If I tell him not to do something, he will do exactly what I asked him not to. I feel like I'm always yelling at him. It's not that I'm not constantly watching him, he just will not listen no matter what I do. Disciplining him is practically impossible as he won't stay anywhere I put him.

I have taken him to a developmental pediatrician, who diagnosed him. She gave me options for behavioral therapy, classes, etc., but I cannot afford them. He will be attending a special preschool come September, but I'm not sure I can hold out that long with all of these behaviors. I've read a bunch of books, and tried to implement their way way of thinking and disciplining, but none seem to be effective.

I really feel like I'm at the end of my rope, and my husbands solution is to just take him outside and wear him out everyday. I am absolutely exhausted from the beginning of everyday to the end. I can't seem to find the energy to deal with him anymore, and I get very frustrated, which is not good for him. 

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Grasping for straws here

  • I am so sorry that you are going through such a rough time with your son! I don't have any experience with this, but thought you may want to call your doctor and tell her that you can't afford those options - I would think she could refer you to some services through the county or the state or something. If not, she should be able to help you more somehow!

     Good luck! Sorry I am not more help!

  • I'm so sorry to hear that it's tough right now. I don't have any first hand advice.

    I did want to mention that what you described is exactly how my in laws describe my DH at that age. He was also diagnosed with ADHD. They had a very rough time when he was young. However, he was very popular in high school, went to college on scholarship, has a great job, etc, etc, etc. I just wanted to say hang in there, because a lot of the traits that ADHD indivdiuals have can be big positives once they are older and more mature (energy, passion, creativity, dedicated, fun, sense of humor, etc).

    I don't have any suggestions and I don't want to trivialize what you are going through, but I just thought that I would mention my MIL's experience of things getting better and better with time.

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  • Have you tried the Special Needs board?  They might be of some help.  **hugs**
  • Thanks, ladies. I appreciate your input and kind words. I will re-post on the Special Needs board, also.
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  • I am sorry. My son had similar behavior as well, so I understand your situation. We have made a lot of progress with him. Age 3 was the peak of our worst in our house. It culminated with him taking a toy and picking it up  and throwing at a window and breaking the window. Now at 4.5 he is MUCH better. My son is not medicated either. We figured out to work through it. I large part of my decision to homeschool was based upon his behavior. Here are some suggestions that I found helped us out tremendously.

    1. Set boundaries. I know that sounds impossible right now. We had to take everything out his room except for a mattress. He had to earn everything back including his pillow and sheets. When he behaves he gets items back in his room. When you first do this reward him for something small perhaps something he already does good so he understands the idea (we allowed him to quickly earn back his pillow and sheets so he could sleep that night). It tooks DS over a week to earn everything back. We did not let him have his favorite items until the very end. When he gets in trouble, something gets removed from his room.

    2. Diet. I have found that my son can only have small quantities of sugar and no artificial dyes. I just make everything from scratch. My DH used to buy him cerial on occassion and that was a major trigger. You give him cerial and he becomes a terror.

    3. Find his passions. Take some time to let your DS find his passion. ADHD kids have a lot of energy and they tend to be passionate, so let them find his passion. My DS loves art, so we do a lot of art. I keep my lessons art centered for him. You will probably never be able to change your DS personality, but you do need to help him focus his energy.

    4. Change your perspective. This is a tuff one. He is not doing this to torture you just keep that in mind when he acts up.

    5. Help him communicate. My son was slow to communicate, so we had an uphill battle trying to get him to communicate to me what he needs. We focused on sign language, reading, writing, and art to help him communicate.

    6. Regulate his sleep. ADHD kids have a tendency to have sleep problems as well, so make sure that he is getting the rest he needs. We used to have to lay in bed with DS to get him to sleep. He can now go to sleep without us.

    7. Playful Parenting was the best book I read that helped me. I found that I have to be a mix of authoratative and playful for my son. It is a balance with us. This book really helped me learn to communicate better with my son and we are closer now than ever.

    8. Take him around older kids. I took a major gamble and joined a homeschooling group early. The first field trip was to a museum an hour away. I was nervous, but I was hoping if he was around older kids that he would act older. My gut was right. He learned how to behave in public because he wanted to impress the other kids. This may or may not work for your son, but it worked for us.

    Good luck. You can message me if you have more questions. I went through it, and we are still working our way through it, but things are a lot better than before. Our worst days now are still better than our good days before, so it does get better. 

  • I don't have any advice. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry you're having such a rough time right now. I hope things easier for you and your family soon.
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  • My DS2 is only 2, but he's extremely aggressive. He worries me. I know he's much younger, but your DH's thought of wearing him out is what works. We have a bouncy castle indoors that we inflate to redirect his energy when he needs it. He needs that outlet for it.


    This is a great idea! Can you tell me what you have/where you got it?


    Thanks for all your advice, ladies. I have noticed that he loves art as well. He can paint all day if I let him. I'm having a hard time giving him as much attention as he wants, while still giving my younger DS attention, too. I feel like someone is always losing. :(

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  • I am sorry that you are dealing with this! Ages 2-4 can be a rough time anyways without added things. I don't have any experience here at all, but I just wanted to wish you luck!
    First BFP April 2011, EDD 01/11/11, MMC June 20, 2011 D&C June 20, 2011 Second BFP September 23, 20011 CP diagnosed September 26, 2011 PAL/PGAL welcome
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  • :::HUGS:::

    My oldest (11) has ADD, we deal with the impulse control, bad decision making, etc... just without the Hyperactivity.  He has changed dramatically these last few years! The older he gets the more control he is gaining and seems to be learning how to control himself.  (THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!)  I also keep a 3 year old at my home that is severly ADHD.  He is a different child with me than he is with his parents or grandparents.  I have found that what works for us is STRONG BOUNDARIES.  From day one, I told him the rules of our house: BE KIND, BE SAFE, BE NEAT... pretty much anything that he could be doing "wrong" falls into one of these rules.  When he breaks a rule there are consequences! The consequences are going to differ greatly from child to child.  

    ALSO...Do you have an Early Intervention Program in your area?  In NC once a child turns 4, Early Intervention is taken over by the Public School system.  So, you may want to start there!  They can help you get the help that you aren't able to afford!  In NC most programs are covered under grants etc... it's worth a shot!


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