suitergirl asks:

My daughter has behavior problems, and is exceptionally disrespectful.  What do I do?

my child has adhd according to the drs. but now that i have read about conduct and defiance disorders i tend to lean more to this ruling. she is 11 and will go against any rule that is put upon her and doesnt care about any consquences. she is rude, disruptive ,defiant, and disrespectful. she is the most disrespectful human being that i have ever encountered. she is always in trouble at school and no one, including family ,members care to be around her when she is displaying this behavor.she is o k  as long as she is getting what she wants and she can not keep a friend for more than a few hours. please help
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Feb 26, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Hi Suitergirl,

I imagine it must be quite frustrating to cope with your daughter's behavioral issues and it is understandable that you would be seeking the most accurate diagnosis available. Can you say a little more about who diagnosed your daughter with ADHD and when? Have you considered having her evaluated for conduct disorder at this time?

Some experts may disagree with me, but the type of parenting strategies you use for a child with conduct disorder and a child with ADHD are not that different. What is common to children who suffer with both conditions is defiant behavior and there are a number of proven approaches for parents of children with behavioral problems. For instance, if you have not done this already, you should approach your daughter's teacher(s) to develop a comprehensive behavior support plan that spans across the school and home environments. The school counselor or psychologist will know how to set one of these up or you can read about it in Dr. Russell A. Barkley's book, "Your Defiant Child." You would begin by identifying different behaviors that you want to target and set up a structure of rewards and consequences to encourage certain behaviors. It is IMPORTANT that you and her teacher(s) are consistent with the plan.

And, as difficult as it is, it is also important that you begin to create time with your daughter that is positive. Typically, it is recommended that parents set aside some time each week in which you engage in an activity of your child's choice in which the parent strives to connect and bond with their child. No criticizing, no complaining. There is more about this is Dr. Barkley's book, as well. Research shows that children are more responsive to their parent's discipline with a strong relationship bond in place. In addition, it helps for parents to be reminded that their children have positive attributes, as well.

Now, the value of having an accurate diagnosis for your daughter is that you can develop an appropriate intervention for your daughter. That is, if she has ADHD, she would require certain supports and modifications in the school classroom to help her manage her problems with attention. However, if she is diagnosed with Conduct Disorder, it would be assumed that attention is less of a problem.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Additional Answers (1)

Kyle Leggett
Kyle Leggett writes:
Dear Inquirer,
  I am a certified teacher, teaching in an environment made up entirely of students with oppositional defiant disorders, conduct disorders, bipolar disorders, etc.  All students are diagnosed emotionally disturbed.  There are a few things that need to be put in place immediately.  Some of them may sound a bit harsh but are entirely necessary.  TRUST ME!! If this situation is as bad as you are making it sound all of these steps will pay off in no more than a month!
  1.  Consistency - No matter what, you have to put your foot down and keep it down.  Define the rules under your roof and write them on something concrete like a piece of paper or a poster of some kind. STICK TO THE RULES!!! Every time...cut her no breaks, (Eventually when she follows the rules you can become more lenient but not for at least one month).
  2.  Earning Everything!!! -  This is the really harsh one...take everything she holds dear out of her room and put it someplace that she cannot get to.  You can think of yourself as Santa...whenever she behaves or follows the rules, she can get a gift (or something of hers can be returned)  When she acts up, that gift needs to be taken...and put away until she earns it back.  She has the power to EARN all of her belongings back just as long as she follows the rules.  This step will cause havoc for the first week until she figures out that the only thing she can do to get her stuff back is by doing something positive.  Right now, she knows that all she has to do is freak out and throw a tantrum and she will get anything and do anything she wants.  
  3.  Celebrate like crazy when she does positive things.  Celebrate with a hug and a gift, make an overexaggeratedly (Not a word) big deal about it.    If she has a whole day that is awesome, take her for a special treat or to a movie.

Your daughter is pretty intelligent in that she knows that you will give in when she freaks out.  When we are young, there is truly no REAL consequence for our actions.  We can't be put in prison or be fined an amount of money.  We have free reign!! We have only the consequences of the house!  This is where she needs to learn that she must behave or she will have nothing...just as we know as adults...if we do not behave we have nothing!!!  When she is an adult, the world is not going to give her everything and anything she wants acting like she does now...they will take it all away.  You need to model this behavior.  Hope this helps.

Mr. Me
> 60 days ago

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