Won't do anything!
Dear Dr. Bradley,
Well we just got out of court today. Our 14 yr old ADHD/ODD son got off light--- 1 year probation, counseling and (2) 100 dollar victim restitution fees. He is feeling much better about himself.
However, we parents are still trying to work out the other everyday things like: he just lies around and plays game boy and wants to watch TV. He will, most of the time, not do chores when asked. If told to do most anything he protests in an angry tone, but usually only to his mom. He then evokes the ‘selective hearing disorder’ or just protest and walks off. He makes messes, leaves things out and expects others to clean up after him. He blames others for all his problems. He acts so mad at his peers and at home. Most of the time, just asking him how he’s doing will get you the F—U look. Ask him to shower and you get the F—U look. Announce it is time for bed and you get the F—U look also along with the look is the AUUUUgg stop nagging me, or in a mean stressed voice OK, OK.
We initially found your book through our continuing desperate search for answers and immediately checked it out at the library. We began reading it that night and for the first time in a long time I felt a ray of hope and not like a completely crazy mother of a kid like no one else could possibly have. Everything in your book makes perfect sense. It is as if you had been living with us and Zach for years.
After getting about half way through the book and resisting the constant urge to highlight the public library’s copy, I decided to buy it for us. I jokingly call it our new bible. But we still really need your help. How to start and implement the suggestions is where we are having problems. The theories make sense; however, applying them (as in knowing what to say and not say when he pulls a stunt) just doesn’t happen. We were both raised with authoritarian parents. I know that isn’t working, but nothing automatically comes out of your mouth in the words that would be consistent with the theories. “Don’t you dare talk to me like that” or “go to your room” or “you’re grounded for a month” etc. etc. always pop into our heads. We’re at the point that we can say to ourselves “Oh, remember you can’t say that.” But then comes “what do I say”. So we don’t end up saying anything at the time except “get the book, what did he say to do for that”. Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, we definitely agree on a lot of things in your book and one is that he needs to do chores. It’s just how to get started. We’ve made the list of chores and now it’s just wondering how to get him to even choose some, “buy in” without causing a blow up. So in the simplest term “what do we do or say when he says” --What!! I don’t do chores!! Or No way!!--
Mom & Dad