The battle lines are drawn as I take my position opposite my strong-willed 4th grader. In his mind I swear he pictures me as a speck on the carpet while he towers yards above me, all buff and tough. When he asks a question, I'd better have the "right" answer (his of course) or I'm going to have to stand my ground & prepare to battle to the finish. Well, that's what he thinks. He hasn't caught on to this yet but I went down this "Battle Strong-Will" path long before he ever did & he's met his match! This is kid #4 and I've learned to "pick my battles" but this is a kid who'll argue it's hot outside if it's snowing and 20 below zero. Relentless. I don't think most of his battles are anything worth arguing, but no matter - roll up your sleeves 'cuz he's gonna show you a thing or two.
It's frankly, driving me nuts. Picture it. I walk away pulling my hair out from my head insisting "you're making me crazy!!!" And, I think he believes me.
What do you do with a kid who argues non-stop? Well, from what I've read, heard and experienced, oppositional-defiance is pretty common with ADHD kids. Here are some strategies I use:
1) Things I want done I state firmly, without asking his opinion. "Please set the table in 10 minutes" not "Could you set the table?"
2) When he asks for something, I don't immediately answer. I tell him I'm thinking about it. The COOL thing about this one is ADHD kids forget things and move on to something else, forgetting they had something to argue about! (I could put MONEY on this one!)
If When he rudely addresses me with an argument I require he restate it in a different way, or go sit and think about another method. A nasty attitude gets him nothing.
4) I remain calm before dealing with his arguments. I couldn't do this with the first few kids!
5) Kids argue. They see it modeled (grin) and they copy. We have to teach them the proper way to have a voice.
Teaching them it's ok to have a voice but to use it properly, well, that takes time, strategic instruction & patience. I'm working on all three.