My husband won't seek counseling or take meds for attention deficit, even though two of our kids have been diagnosed with it. His forgetfulness, procrastination, and inability to keep promises to our children upsets all of us. Help!
by Melissa Orlov
Many adults who live with undiagnosed ADHD do not understand the impact their symptoms have on those around them. Your best bet is to start a polite and patient, but firm, campaign to help him understand how his actions -- inactions, in some cases -- affect you and your family. It's important that you approach the subject in a noncritical, nonjudgmental way. If you don't, you will make him defensive and unwilling to take your concerns seriously.
Communicate carefully with your husband. Broach the subject by saying, "I felt sad when we were late for Lydia's birthday party" instead of "I was angry that you made us late for the birthday party." Say, "I love you, but I feel I'm not getting enough attention from you to be happy" instead of "You never pay attention to me!"
Since your kids have been diagnosed with ADHD, it may be easier to get your husband thinking about the disorder as it relates to them. Many adults, after reading books to learn how to help their children, see their symptoms more clearly and think about their problems in a new light. Don’t make the mistake of taking charge of your kids' ADHD challenges without him. You'll miss out on an opportunity to discuss things with him.