Parenting a Person with ADHD/ODD and Anxiety

This post likely contains affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy here and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

When I held my son for the first time I new it was going to be an adventurous journey to raise him. However I never expected the 3 year old him to be hitting walls, slamming doors, physically fighting us, and yelling louder than I thought humanly possible. I blamed it on the poor examples at his daycare (he was fine until he moved to the 3 year old’s room and came across some VERY out of control examples). We even moved schools to follow a teacher we really loved…who ended up not being his classroom teacher.

But things started to get worse. He was biting (and being bitten) and spitting at his classmates and teachers. One day I went to take him to daycare and he started crying, begging me not to leave him there. I was devastated. During the conference with the director and teacher, his teacher informed us that she had to “Bear Hug” him two separate times when he would just not cooperate and she felt he would hurt himself or others. This was the first time I had heard anything about this situation occurring and needless to say, I was livid at the lack of transparency from a professional childcare agency. We pulled him out that very day.

After 2 other day cares, countless issues and getting no where with the advice the “child care professionals”(they may have a degree but I don’t see any clinical practice going on in these places) had given us, we decided to keep him home until kindergarten. There were multiple factors leading up to this decision but it seemed like the best option: keep him home and try to undo all the damage done while he’d been in daycare. Which meant I left my career to become a stay at home mom…while having a complicated pregnancy and a child who constantly defied me. Oh man do I not miss those days. Any time I would ask him to do something, anything!, he turned into a tiny dragon with a big furious temper. So naturally I suited up in my battle armor and put him on time-out….endlessly….and to no avail. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I couldn’t just do nothing! I kept asking myself over and over…

Why is this happening? What am I doing wrong? I’m following what the articles and people are saying to do but it’s just making things worse!

And it continued to get worse, until we hunted down a mental health professional. By that I mean a counselor. One who specialized not only in “problem” aneurotypical children but the only one in our state who was trained and actively using CPP (Child Parent Psychotherapy). I found her on my own; not through a referral, not through my child’s pediatrician office, BY. MY. SELF. I did the leg work. And I found that incredibly frustrating and…well just wrong!

Why hadn’t my son’s doctor sent us to therapy from the get go when we came to him with problems? To his credit he sent a developmental pediatrician referral but we wouldn’t get in there until over a year later for our first appointment! We needed help now before my child seriously hurt someone, which he very nearly did when he kicked a child in the head at school! Yes that really happened. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

Also why had NONE of the day cares given us a name, ANY name of someone who could help us deal with our child’s issues? Are they not in the position to write down a name and number and say “I think this person might be able to help”. They are in the field of child development so what the hell? Even the school counselor in kindergarten had questionable methods. “Throw them in the trash can” referring to my son’s emotional upset in an attempt to teach him to let things go….I still roll my eyes thinking about her saying that. I felt so alone trying to find help for my son, and for myself.

What I learned, the hard way, was this:

  • I will always need to be the advocate for my child, it’s my responsibility to push the bolder (sometimes up-hill) towards the goal
  • I don’t have to push that boulder alone, nor should I!

Finding my son a specialized counselor was literally LIFE SAVING. She gave me my sanity back and tools of how to deal with my child when he was being defiant. She was the one who figured out he not only had ADHD but ODD and a sprinkle of anxiety to top it all off. She helped me to understand where my son was at mentally when he was in the midst’s of a large fit….he was hurting, he was lost, and he was scared. He didn’t understand what was happening to him and he didn’t know how to handle those really big emotions rolling around inside of him, let alone actually being in a state to talk about those emotions. I learned how to help him through those scenarios in the way that HE needed me to, not how I thought he needed me to.

Our counselor also helped me to recognize and deal with my own past traumas, such as my son’s biological father being abusive and the sort of coping mechanisms I was auto-piloting to when handling my son. I came to realize that his behavior was essentially triggering me because it was so similar to my ex’s behavior. Yaaa…that’s about as fun as it sounds..

So what tools did we gain and how did we apply them in real life?

  • We (husband and myself) actively ignored the negative nonsense
  • We swapped our sticker chart for tickets and made a reward system using those tickets
  • We saved time-outs for those severe outbursts and created a calm down corner with special toys
  • We used deep breathing A LOT, and everyone participates-even the baby!
  • We had the school join in with the tickets for a seamless continuation of the reward system

Over the next few weeks I will be going in depth into each of the tools listed above, explaining how we practice them in our home and what changes we’ve seen after implementing them.

I can say though, if you told me 2 years ago that my son would now be making friends, not hurting others at school, and keeping his temper controlled at home…I would have laughed you straight in the face. I didn’t think that we would be where we are now. I certainly didn’t believe we could have gotten here so soon! But with proper guidance and some serious will power, we achieved a level of functionality that I hope my son will be able to keep going for his whole life.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the series “Parenting A Person”.

Luxury Beauty On A Budget: 6 Must-Haves

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

Luxury Beauty items can be so productive for your esthetic goals but so cringy to your bank account. You can have luxury without that luxurious price tag, I promise you it can be done! I’ve complied a list of 10 items that can change your self care routine and not have you scrapping the bottom of the barrel until pay day.

Sleep Mask

This is the eye mask both my husband and I wear. It’s soft, flexible, gentle on our skin, and above all doesn’t press on our eyes. It also blocks out ALL the light, I can sleep with the lights on as long as I have this-no joke! These are a good option if you’re looking for budget friendly and still high quality. If you have lash extensions however I would recommend this one. A little larger price tag, but not by much, and it gives you the room to avoid having those lashes catch on anything. Sleep masks in general help you sleep sounder and longer. If you find yourself waking in the night-try one of these out. They are life changing.

Silk Pillowcase

I’ve discussed before how amazing these mulberry silk pillowcases are, so I won’t ramble. But these are a great investment item for beauty care. They benefit your skin and hair by decreasing friction-therefore avoiding wrinkles on your flesh and breakage on your mane. If you do have the budget and want to do some serious splurging you can TREAT YOURSELF to an entire silk sheet set. That’s some #lifegoals for me though.

Face Oil

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon that is face oils, now’s the time! Our skin craves oils that are good for it and there are so many benefits to be had from the right oil for your skin type. Pacifica’s Super Flower Rapid Response Oil is a good all around place to start if you’re new to the oils crew, as well as a personal favorite of mine. This is one of the only products I’ve used that IMMEDIATELY got rid of my redness from a reaction. It’s soothing, smells amazing, and has so much goodness pack in. If you’re looking for an upgrade though try one of these from Herbivore: Lapis, Emerald, or Phoenix. They’re spendy but by golly Miss Molly are they worth it! My favs are Lapis and Emerald-it’s a tie. Plus you can use these or any face oil with the next item on our list.

UPDATE: Use this link to get 15% off your herbivore botanicals order. They just got their jewel box back in stock and you can try Lapis, Emerald, and Phoenix oils plus 2 of their best selling resurfacing serums all for under $60. That’s not including the coupon, so it’s even lower.

Gua Sha Face Sculptor

This is one heck of a tool set I’ll tell you what! And you can see instant results when you do the technique correctly. I recommend you look up YouTube videos and seek out the professionals, there’s some great tutorials. I like this set because it comes with all the various styles for full body sculpting. If you prefer rose quartz then this is the one for you. I feel like I should mention-don’t waste your time with the rollers. There I said it! I’m sure I’ll get haters but seriously they don’t do much especially when compared to gua sha.

Micro Needling Tool

Micro needling can be a great way to get your skin preforming at its best. Basically you cause little tiny injuries that then trigger your skin to produce collagen and repair itself, also improving texture and tone. This is the one I use, I got it specifically because it has multiple heads that you can change out without having to buy a whole new wand each time. If you have a lot of scarring though you may want to look into a higher end model. People have some very successful results. Always consult with your dermatologist first.

*Warning*make sure you are practicing aseptic techniques, and change heads/cartridges’ regularly per manufacturer instructions to avoid infection.

Sunscreen

We all love a good sunscreen that does it’s job well without a crazy price tag or extra additives. Well Raw Elements gives you just that! They have an entire line of really great products that are both better for you and the environment we all share. Reef safe, non-nano zinc oxide, 95% organic, various options for application (stick, bottle, metal tin), and even a tinted version!

These are all great things to add to your repertoire of beauty care, without breaking the bank. Plus we got to check out some of the higher end things that compare!