Parenting Difficult Children: Why You’re Stuck and What Really Works

Are you struggling with your child’s signs of autism, ADD or ADHD (attention deficit disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), bipolar, Aspergers, and PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified)?

You and your child are probably frustrated because so many things haven’t worked.

You’re likely worried about your child’s future, and yours.

If your child is very angry and defiant and is constantly challenging your every word, you’re exhausted and hurt, perhaps even angry, because parenting shouldn’t be so hard.

Here’s the good news: Although your child behavior problems may seem complicated, the solutions are quite simple.

Here’s Why You’re Stuck:

Built into your child’s condition is a parent-child relationship destroyer that you can’t stop until you understand your child’s condition completely. Not what the books say. Not what the case studies show.

But what having this condition really means to your child. How he or she interprets everything you do and say. That’s entirely different than what you intend.

That explains the disconnect between your loving intentions and your child’s willingness to cooperate. And the underlying reason is as astonishing as the solution.

There’s no way that you would ever guess it. So you can forgive yourself, right now. It isn’t your fault.

Now that you know why you’re stuck, let’s talk about what works.

1. Understanding what your child really needs so that you can provide it. Children with ADHD, ODD, Aspergers, and PDD-NOS and autism are easily emotionally overwhelmed. Therefore, it is important to remain even tempered, especially if your child is not.

You need to fulfill your child’s special needs, including his need for a visual reward system, his need to learn proper emotional expression, and his need for values and skills training.

2. Adopting new ways of talking and acting that your child understands and respects. Your child has a short attention span. So you need to learn how to talk in six-second bits. Long talking bores him and causes him to feel disrespected. You also need to learn new gestures to replace those innocent gestures you probably use all day long that inflame angry children.

3. Using simple tools that regain your child’s cooperation and restore order in your home. These tools help you motivate your child to improve his behavior and win your praise and attention.

The most important tool is a visual reward system, also called a behavior chart or star chart. Without it, you’re stuck with begging, bribing, and threatening—they don’t work. The secret here is to find a reward system that is easy to use.

4. Preparing your child with values and skills with which to succeed at home and school, and make friends. He cannot learn these values and skills by observing others. His short attention span won’t allow it.

He needs you to teach him basic values, including honesty, charity, and responsibility. Then he will be ready to learn simple value-based skills, for example, telling the truth, sharing, and how to take care of himself and his belongings. He also needs to learn social skills, for example, introducing himself and talking on the phone. Without social skills training, your child will lack the ability to develop lasting and meaningful relationships.

You Can Solve This

It sounds easy and it is, with the right guide. It is a lot easier and less frustrating than repeatedly trying, struggling, and failing. I invite you to use these tips to build your relationship with your child, and reconnect with happier family times.

Copyright (c) 2008 Debra Sale Wendler