Why Are Kids With ADHD Often Defiant or Demonstrate Disruptive Behavior?

Defiance and emotional outbursts are very common in kids with ADHD, though they are not, themselves, symptoms of ADHD.

Kids who have ADHD tend to become defiant when they are expected to do things that are hard for them, especially when it means stopping something that’s pleasurable—like playing a video game. So things like homework, going to bed, getting dressed, and coming to dinner can become battlegrounds. These situations are difficult for them to tolerate because of inherit deficits in paying attention, tolerating a boring situation, reining in impulses, transitioning from a fun activity, and controlling their activity level. Since these situations are really challenging for them, they may try to avoid them. Unfortunately when it comes to ADHD parenting, the avoidance strategies that these kids typically use are disruptive behavior, tantrums, arguing, defiance, and power struggles.