Dealing with an Ex-Spouse
A divorced parent may not know the problems your child has during the course of a normal day. Maybe your son or daughter visits your ex only on weekends or on vacations. The two of them usually spend time relaxing and having fun together. The pressures of doing homework, getting calls from teachers complaining about a child's behavior, or doing tasks at home never come up.
If this is the case with your spouse, make a plan with the school for him to get the same calls and notes that you get. Inform the principal and teacher that they should invite your spouse to every meeting, and insist that he show up.
What if these strategies do not work? Worse, what do you do if your ex threatens to "take you to court" if you give your child medication? Meet with a lawyer to discuss your options.
Dealing with Grandparents
Arrange for you and your spouse to meet with your parents or in-laws to explain the causes and symptoms of ADHD, and how medication can help manage them. Bring a book or fact sheet for them to read. Ask for their support. If they remain negative about medication, explain that you appreciate their concerns, but that you are following the doctor's advice.
Should this approach fail and a grandparent tells your child that it is wrong to take medication, or even refuses to give him his pill when he is sleeping over, tell the grandparents that their resistance is creating problems with their grandchild, and, if it continues, he won't be sleeping over any more. They will see their grandchild only when they come to visit you or when you go with your child to visit them.
Dealing with Teachers
Schedule a meeting with your daughter's teacher. Talk about the the symptoms of ADHD and the role of medication in managing them. Explain to the teacher that you plan to follow the recommendation of your child's physician, making it clear that the decision is yours to make. Stress that you will not accept any negative comments made to your child about taking medicine. It's a good idea to get the support of the principal and the school nurse when talking with the teacher. I wish you the best of luck.
This article appears in the Summer 2012 issue of ADDitude.
SUBSCRIBE TODAY to ensure you don't miss a single issue.
To discuss this topic with other parents in your shoes, visit the Parents of ADHD Children support group on ADDConnect.