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Mom & Dad at their wit's end with ODD & ADHD 8 yo son; 'We wish he had never been born.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Mom & Dad at their wit's end with ODD & ADHD 8 yo son; 'We wish he had never been born.' AITA? UPDATED 2X


When this mom and dad cannot stand their son and don't know what to do, they ask Reddit:

"At my wits end with my 8yr old adhd son. Might get rid of him? AITA?"

I don’t know why he does this despite being told multiple times “No”. My youngest is 2 and is better behaved even accounting for the terrible twos.

He’s throwing rocks, eggs, dog mess over the fence and onto oncoming cars on the freeway behind the apartment complex. This is after he was throwing things at the freeway from the 4th floor and we have since blocked access.

He has already caused accidents, and thousands in damages. We didn’t know until we had police at our door to tell us that someone saw him throw stuff over the fence. Management has denied our request to remove the rocks from their property and enforce dog mess rules.

He is knocking on neighbors doors and running. He is purposely setting off neighbors car alarms by smacking the cars and running. He was caught climbing on top of vehicles and jumping from car to car. The police had to drop him off at my door.

He stowaway himself in the back of someone’s pick up. I didn’t find out until I got a call from the police to pick him up from the station and this was an hour after I called the cops because he was nowhere to be found.

he has also snuck out of the apartment in the middle of the night to do most of the above. Again, cops knocked on our door at 3am on a school night. Adding child alarms to our doors only added additional noise complaints. Doctor prescribed sleep medication so we put it in his drink every night before bed.

I have had several noise complaints from the management and neighbors for him running around the apartment, screaming, jumping and throwing toys. He thinks it’s a game to slam things on the floor to retaliate against angry neighbors banging on the ceiling.

I told him he cannot play and yell in the apartment anymore and if he wants to run around, he can do it outside. It took until we got a final warning notice from the management company to get him to finally comply.

we cannot take him to Walmart or any other store because he will always touch something, open something, or even ask for it the second he sees the item he wants.

This is after we have to tell him not to ask for anything or touch anything each time we go to the store. He will throw a tantrum and start screaming and crying, throwing things when we tell him no.

It was so bad that we left the store without buying anything because he was disturbing the other customers. One time he has resorted to stealing. We didn’t find out until we got home from Walmart and found that he snuck a pikachu toy in his backpack, and I had to haul him back, return the toy and make him apologize to the manager.

I have gotten multiple complaints from the management company and neighbors about him. I have spoke to him each time and asked nicely to stop. I don’t know why but it’s as if it’s a game to him and it’s funny to piss people off.

He is extremely disobedient. He never does what he is told and he never respects boundaries.

No amount of “stop”, “no”, time outs, spankings, taking away toys and video games, etc is helping. Medication only helped but I made a big mistake complaining to the doctor about the zombie effect, which was the closest thing to well behaved I got from him.

We are doing months of trial and error that nothing is working. I have an appointment with his doctor in 2 weeks and I’ve considered asking him to put him back on the same dose if it means less of his troublemaking behavior that is getting us closer and closer to getting evicted and homeless.

My fiancé, also his father and a marine, suggested that we take him to a military school or a boot camp if we can’t set him straight. I have tried every tried and true parenting method and I’m open to trying anything.

I was also suggested to surrender him to the state because at this point, he is outside our ability to help him. I might be ready to do that.

I don’t want us to be homeless because of him. We owe multiple people thousands in damages and we have to pay high rent a month. I also don’t want him to grow up and be thrown in jail and have his entire life ruined.

I’m reaching out to any parent who has dealt with this before. What would you have done? Please help. Both his dad and I are at our wits end. AITA?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

monkeysuarus writes:

Oh baby I’m so sorry. I’ve got an ADHD ODD kiddo and it’s a lot. My son could piss off a statue. Like a whole fucking lot. First of all he needs meds, he’s not on the right ones. Second of all you all need therapy, stat.

There is a Podcast called ADDitude adhd Experts. Show number 349 is about ODD and the guest is Dr William Dodson. He’s AMAZING. The whole show talks about what ODD really is and how their brains work.

Like, they aren’t fighting to win, just for you to lose. I’ve also taken up Gray Rock methods with him. I do not engage. As soon as he figures out I’m not fighting back he gives up. I have no problem leaving places, even if I’m in the middle of eating.

We did this last week. He started and I literally had a bite of food in my mouth. I got up, grabbed my purse and him and left. My husband and two other kids stayed and drove home in his car.

I give ZERO fucks how crazy I look. I’ve left a basket of groceries in the middle of the store and walked away. No looking back, no discussions, no negotiations and no speaking. My warning “I said no, let’s do….”. I give a second warning and the third times the charm. We walk away.

Managing expectations and realistic goals are a major biggie. His brain can not sit still. It’s going 100,000,000 mph with the top down in a rain storm. Noise canceling headphones, fidgets, coloring books, smart putty and anything else that keeps his brain engaged.

Teach him how to finger knit or make friendship bracelets. Give him SOMETHING to occupy that brain. It can be physically painful to be overstimulated so the chaos you see is the chaos in his brain.

tinygreenturtle writes:

Hey there! Mom of 2 boys with ADHD. One also has ODD. I completely understand your brokenness. It’s so damn hard when you have a neurodivergent kid and I don’t think anyone can judge your feelings until they have been in your shoes.

But I’ve been there and I hope you know this is coming from a place of empathy for both you and your child.

My son with ADHD/ODD had a really fg rough year when he was 7-8. It took so much time and effort and was absolutely exhausting to get him the help he needed but once we did it’s like a whole different child.

Something to think about and process is that your son does not WANT to be bad. He doesn’t want to misbehave. Nothing would break my heart more than my child telling me “mommy I want to be good but I can’t make my brain listen to me.”

Please understand that asking him to sit quietly and listen like a “good” kid is actually asking the world of him. His brain is wired differently. It doesn’t work like yours and things that come so easily to most people don’t connect for him at all.

He needs help. Real serious help beyond just a pediatrician. You CANNOT hold his behavior against him if you as his parent are not giving him what he needs to live.

Spankings, time outs, yelling, etc won’t work. You know they won’t work. All it will do is make it worse, especially with ODD.

Would you withhold insulin from a diabetic? Chemo from a cancer patient? Not getting him medication and therapy is the same exact thing. Your child needs these to live. That means you need to step up and get them for him.

Do you have insurance or Medicaid? Your first step is finding a child psychiatrist for a full evaluation. My child is on 3 different medications. ADHD meds, mood stabilizer, and anxiety medication (as needed). This means we go to the psych once a month for med management and bloodwork every 6 months.

Then you need to find a therapist to work with him, and a therapist for yourself to work through your feelings for him. Then you need to meet with his school and put in a formal request for an IEP. That will give him the tools he needs in school. He WILL NOT GET BETTER without these things and without your effort.

If the situation is truly dire and he’s a threat to himself or others you can always work to put him inpatient for acute care. The hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life was allow my child to go to an inpatient childrens mental health facility for 6 days.

They got him on the right meds, got him therapy that continued after he was released, gave him tools for success. It felt impossible at the time but it saved his life.

Neurodivergent children have incredibly high self harm and suicide rates compared to others. Do not let your inaction and self pity take his life from him.

zoreyn writes:

Beware of whatever you do with him. I was that kid back in the days and I behaved like that because life was thrilling and nobody never understood me. Everything was awesome, and I HAD to enjoy it because my body, my nature, my existence FORCED me to do it.

With time it will go away. When I started to understand how the world worked and how things were supposed to be, I did what it had to be done.

Oh, but my mother did such a terrible mistake thinking that violence was the solution. Even as a kid, I always said that if she went for the punches that would solve nothing because even if she fd me up I would still be myself: free from the rules (of everything, like...not following rules felt and still feels actually as good as orgasming).

Consequences: hate. Ah, how much I hate her. Why? Because she gave up on me. I got ignored during so many years when she just cooked for the entire family, had me know I had a portion of it, and nothing else. My sister, who was several years younger than me, became her favorite.

She even learned how to drive and they gave her their car while I got silence and ginormous discussions if I ever complained about it. For 6 years I was locked on my room, only going out to the kitchen and to the bathroom, and they always said comments like "When you'll leave the fg house?"

Or "I wish you never existed". I even went to the lengths of calling a mental hospital and saying I was gonna kill myself so they could force her to send me there because there were people who would actually talk to me and not pretend I'm invisible. It happened twice btw. I wasn't sick, just lonely asf. Best "vacations" I ever had tho. The cooking there was godly.

One day I had enough and ripped myself from the family, and trust me: neither she nor my entire family will ever see me again.

When I needed help, i got none. When I needed support, no one came. When I needed love, there was silence. When I needed a family, I was granted emptiness.

So now it's just me, myself, and I. Beware of how you treat that kid, because if you do wrong due to lack of understanding, he will do wrong to you for the rest of your life. We have feelings and we're smart, we're just see things with another perspective.

OP then provides these two updates:

I’m sorry. I know as his mother I’m supposed to love him no matter what. But I cannot stand the little brat no matter how hard I try. He is the literal definition of a troublemaker. He brings nothing good to our family. I know this is so bad but sometimes I wish he had never been born.

He is diagnosed with adhd, and ODD. He does not listen or do what he’s told. He has broken boundaries over several occasions. He never follows the rules. It’s taken a emotional, physical and financial toll on his father and I and the rest of the family.

We can no longer visit family for the holidays because he is out of control. I can’t even take him to a damn Walmart for errands because he’s wandering around touching whatever he can find.

He has caused us thousands of dollars in damages from him throwing rocks or eggs at other people’s cars, especially when our apartment is directly next to the freeway. He has caused at least 2 car accidents on the interstate.

I cannot spend a week without having the cops called on him for random things. Including smacking a neighbor’s truck to set off the car alarm.

He doesn’t understand when you tell him no. Actually he will not take no for an answer. He will get violent and destructive when he’s mad. He loves to kick, scream, bite, and make a scene when things don’t go his way. He broke every expensive thing I had, including the Samsung TV we bought last week. I cannot handle this.

Update 2:

I can’t take him to a Walmart without him acting up. Every time we go, he always wants a random thing off the shelf. He will touch things. He will open up toys. And I have to pay for them each time. Look away for a second and he’s gone. I had to invest in a leash to keep him at my side.

When I tell him he can’t have a toy, candy whatever, he will scream like a banshee, break things and throw things. This is after I told him not to touch anything in the store, and not to ask for anything.

I tried everything. Punishments. Time outs. Taking away toys and video games. Spankings. They don’t work. I have tried parenting tips online, none of them work. Medications did work until I complained to the doctor that he was acting like a zombie.

I regret not opening my mouth about it. Trying to find medications that work. Fighting with insurance to cover his doctor visits and medications every month. I can’t. It’s too much for me.

School started 3 weeks ago and he was suspended from school twice for violent behavior.

I just want to lock myself away and throw away the key. This kid is too much. I’m not asking the world of him. I just want him to behave, and sit quietly like a good kid and not cause us or anything else trouble.

His father and I considered sending him to military school if we can’t keep him under control or let him learn real life consequences of his actions by letting him get arrested.

We prefer military school. His father and I take turns to look after him and the little ones when we go to work. Babysitters are impossible because none of them want to watch him. What do I do????

Readers continued to weigh in:

capsizedkayak writes:

Plain and simple, your son needs to be in a special live-in program for kids like him. I really want to be inclusive of everyone, but if your son is behaving like this at school, he is ruining the education of every other kid in the classroom and that is unfair to everyone, and make him resented.

Your son has medicalissues that require constant intervention. You are not a doctor, nor do you play one on TV. This is outside of the mom duties scope, and you being exasperted and over it is anormal healthy reaction. You don’t hate him, you hate his conditions and what comes with them.

Putting him into a care facility that deals with ODD and violent reactions doesn not make you a bad parent. Just go visit often. Case in point “He has caused two accidents on the interstate” just tells me it’s a matter of time before there is a serious injury. Putting him into a care facility is what is best for him at this time.

bubblegumpump writes:

Don't give up on him just yet. I work on the behavioral health team for the state funded health care in my state and we have case management for things like what you are experiencing with your insurance (covering visits and meds).

Try giving your insurance a call and let them know you've been having such a difficult time with doctors visits and meds being covered. Ask if they have case managers that can help fix the issues before they happen. It might help so you can revisit the medication idea if that's a route you want to take.

Also please consider talking to his psychiatrist or therapist about getting him in to ABA therapy -- read about it first and see if it's something you'd be interested in. ABA is applied behavior analysis and it's typically used for kids with autism or other developmental disorders

(like ADHD which is what a lot of kids with autism have). ABA has been a proven effective treatment in kids with ODD. Your child might have autism, so you might talk to their provider about getting a psych eval to rule it out. Once you guys get an autism diagnosis, it will open up so many doors to services that may help.

Just some things to consider. Sorry you're going through this. Hang in there and take care of you too

Edited and to add: another commenter mentioned putting your child in an inpatient facility.... But this kid is 8. Putting them in a facility might do more harm than good, and I don't think any of the therapists on my team would advise something like that because of his age.

However, a decision like that should be made by a trained professional and the family, not us redditors. Please use caution when considering any 'advice' redditors give

What do YOU make of OP's dilemma? Any advice for this struggling mom?

Sources: Reddit
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