Saturday, June 4

Life with an Angry ADHD Child

I have not in the past, shared really intimate details about my life, my kids, but tonight I am lost and felt as tho writing might help.  It is 12:20 am, and I am awake waiting for my 8 year old ADHD child to fall asleep.  To finally settle down enough after one of the most terrible episode's as of late, so he can fall asleep.  Aside from the learning difficulties an ADHD child faces, there are also feelings of anxiety, depression and anger...we are dealing with the anger.  Tonight in a rage, my sweet little 8 year old boy called me a "F'ing B word" and no he used no abbreviations in doing so.  He told us he hated us, he wished he was adopted, that he would always hate us and then he proceeded to scream uncontrollably at the top of his lungs.  Same story, same words, just a different night. I am tired.  I am tired of the fight, the constant fight. The feeling as though I am totally screwing this kid up with bad parenting, that one day he will really hate his life and do something that can not be undone.  I fear all this, and he 8.

Our 8 year old ADHD child gets into such a place of anger that you cannot pull him out if, a place he has to slowly pull himself out of, and while he is doing this, I get to hear the name calling,.  The words that break my heart, "I hate you" among other nasty hurtful words.

I have taken the class recently on parenting an ADHD child. I am really trying to use some of the techniques to help my child, to help him deal with some of the fears, anxieties and low self esteem issues he has related to his disability.  You may not think it as a disability but it is and is more and more recognized as one.

He has started therapy.  Today was his second session, apparently we need more work after tonight I would say.  He has another appointment soon, I wish they could just "fix" it.

As quoted by an article on, There are a number of factors that may contribute to children’s angry reactions. Kids with ADHD often have a difficult time managing their emotions. They tend to feel things very deeply and can have a hard time modulating these feelings. Both children and adults with ADHD have greater emotional liability issues than those without ADHD. This means that moods can change very quickly and emotional reactions can easily be provoked.

This nails our son on the head, word for word.  Another excerpt from the article reads:A child with ADHD may also be very impulsive, reacting without thought. Impulsivity may even lead an ADHD child to respond in anger with aggression. The energy and restlessness that comes along with ADHD may be too much to handle at times until it finally bubbles over into angry words or physical reactions.

I have mixed emotions, as he seems to reserve all these issues for "at home".  He has no episodes at school, no defiance issues with teachers, no outburst or foul and or hateful language.  My sweet little boy waits till he gets home to unleash his wrath on those of us home.  I am grateful that there are no issues at school but it frustrates me that he behaves this way around those of whom love him the most. A high percentage of ADHD children can also have other disorders associated with it one of which is ODD or  Oppositional Defiant Disorder . However since he is not having issues at school the psychologist believes it is to early to tell if my son also has this disorder and if he does at this stage it is to mild to actually diagnose. It may be perhaps that while he is at school he is medicated, and when he is at home they have worn off, I don't know.  Today I made an appointment to have his medications reviewed, if it is at all a contributing factor that he is reacting I want them changed.

Even knowing that he may not mean what he is saying at the time and that he may not be able to control his aggression, it is so hard as a mother to not take it personally and to feel as if I am failing him. Everyday is a roll of the dice as to when and or if we are going to have issues.  On the flip side he can be the most loving, thoughtful, giving child you would ever want to meet. 

Being a parent is hard, there are days when I just want to scream "this is not what I signed up for"!  I never knew how hard this kid was until I had an easy one, thank you Lord for an easy one.  I wonder if she feels neglected because so much of our time is spent on our son.  She, 2 years younger is very aware of what is going on, I wonder how this is really affecting her.  Tonight it is affecting her because we are all awake, typical a few times a week when he is told he cannot sleep in our room, this is how the nighttime issues start.  But as a mother I have to think about how this affects her in the long run as well. 

I could go on and on and on about all the little issues or incidents we have around here, maybe I will share more another day.  It is quiet now,  I am afraid to check and see if he is asleep for fear he is not.  I thought at almost 9  years old the staying awake with your child at all hours of the night would have ceased...we are not that lucky.

Whomever reads this, I thank you for listening to me vent.  I thought it might help to put it into words rather than cry in the dark on my couch (again).

Be right back...

all is asleep, that is my cue to do the same.



Paint Me White said...

Lisa I cannot imagine your heartache. I have an eight year old as well and reading your thoughts just make me realise how lucky I am. My heart goes out to you and I prey that through therapy your little boy will lose that anger and make your life a little easier. take care Sandy x

{april kennedy} said...

Lisa, thank you for sharing your mother heart with us. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. We too have issues with agression....ours is more sensory processing disorder, but Blake gets really worked up and has a hard time claming down. It has to be on his own time. But not as extreme as what you are dealing with and my heart aches for you and Matt. Hang in there. Keep loving them and make sure that you make special time for Ella. That is one of my biggest fears too....what is Kaia thinking/doing/feeling. All we want is to raise successful, caring, and well behaved children and sometimes they have a mind of their own!

♥ april

Impossible Alice said...

*hugs* I don't know how you feel, as a mother, but I've worked in childcare for over 12 years and I've taken care of a couple ADHD kids and it is hard. Like, wanting to cry with frustration hard. That said, they were always the kids I loved the most, the ones I was drawn to the most. Because when they were happy, they were the sweetest, most loving children I'd ever met.
I'm sorry that I don't have any advice, or a way to fix it, but I wish you and your family the best of luck. =)

Gretchen said...

Lisa... I have always loved your creativity and enjoy reading your blog... but today I see a whole new reason God brought me here so long ago...

Lisa, I walk that road, and beyond with ADHD, ODD, anger, meds, behavior theraphy and so much more. And the best part for me??? I am FINALLY seeing improvements in life!!! Believe me, it has been HARD work to get here, but I would be happy to listen to you, share what has worked for us if you are interested, and jsut be here for you as a friend who TOTALLY gets it. I can't count the nights I have cried myself to sleep with a brusied and battered body for my sweet son.

Please email me ( if you wnat to chat AT ALL, anytime!


Michelle said...

My heart goes out to you my friend, lots of hugs. I know you research as much as you can, I encourage you to keep that up. Our friends altered their sons eating with great success in that dept. You never know. I will keep you & Matt in my prayers. On a offshoot, ever thought of having him involved in swimming? I know someone very involved with the Napa club.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, my name could well be signed at the bottom of your post. I understand...word for word. It's so hard, and like you, wonder how to get through day by day. Everyday is a rollercoaster, and if I can get past breakfast without tears (him and I), well I count my blessings...
I think the mood swings are the most heartbreaking thing for me. He could look at me one moment like he hates me, then seconds later hold out his arms for hug calling me "mummy". I can only imagine what his poor little mind is trying to cope with.
Thanks for sharing...whilst I don't wish this on anyone, it's comforting to know that others are out there...
Enjoy your quiet time!

Anonymous said...

After another horrible morning of just trying to her dressed (and she is 11 1/2). I've read articles, books and attended lectures and it's not working and am parenting in a loving and honest way. I think the folks who write all this stuff, have really never lived through this. The meds are our only saving grace but they take time to kick in and it is hell until then. It's like when "she is good, she is very, very good and when she is bad, she is horrid". My parents keep telling me I am doing a great job (my brother is ADHD, dyslexia, etc. too) and I am just taking it one day at a time and hopefully all the things positive about her will flourish in the end. Thank goodness for a fabulous husband, a patient and understanding older daughter, great parents and tollerant way I could do it without a fabulous support team. Thanks for your blog. oxoxox

Betsey said...

Lisa, this is my story exactly. I'm not glad someone else is experiencing it but glad that I'm not the only one going down this very, very hard path.

My son is five and we started noticing ADHD at four, started getting the phone calls, etc. His sister is two and I know exactly what you mean about wondering how this is all affecting her.

My son is on tenex and while it helps with the impulse control a little (he once swallowed two nails!), he still has episodes of anger and extreme outbursts. I feel like such a failure as a parent and continually wonder what I could be doing better or what I'm doing wrong.

He starts kindergarten this fall, I'm already stressing about how that is going to go.

Anyway, just wanted to send you a virtual hug and let you know that someone else is right there along this path with you!

Tammy said...

Hi Lisa,

Just stumbled upon your blog post when searching for some help for a child who is angry with adhd. My son, is 7 years old, and he's had a really rough week with anger/outbursts. When I was reading your post, tears were forming as I can relate to everything you were saying. My son is medicated, going through therapy and I also have a husband with adult ADHD. Every day is difficult, and I also have a daughter 2 years younger who is an angel. Every day is difficult and we can only take one day at a time.
Thank you for the post, I am not alone on this journey.

Anonymous said...


It's 2013 and I found this while searching anger and ADHD, so I could help my parents understand that the way my daughter handles her anger is a symptom of her adhd. I appreciate that you posted this and I hope you, your child and family are doing better.