A Letter to My Child Without ADHD
It can be hard sometimes, being the sibling of a child with ADHD, but know your parents love you even when we’re paying attention to other things.
To My Sweet Daughter,
You are only three years old, and you are incredibly independent and self-sufficient. Instead of asking me to get you a cup of water, you get it yourself-and you do it without spilling a drop. In the morning, you don’t put up a fight when I tell you it is time to get dressed and go to school as your sister does. Instead, you get dressed all by yourself and are happy and excited to start the day. Thank you for always being my sunshine!
I love playing tag and store with you. You are fun to be around and you have such a wild imagination. I wish I could play with you all the time and always give you my undivided attention, but your big sister needs me. She needs me more than you do right now. She may be three years older than you, but she has ADHD and, in some ways, that makes her different than you. Not worse. Not better. Just different.
As smart as your sister is, she needs me right next to her the entire time she is doing her homework. She needs me there to help keep her on task and focused. When she starts to have a meltdown because she is having a difficult time with her math, she needs me there to encourage her and help build her confidence.
I know you want to be in the room with us, but your presence distracts your sister. Thank you for understanding that and for quietly playing outside the room so your sister can do her homework without distractions. I know I let you watch TV or play on the iPad more than a child should in order to keep you busy and quiet while your sister is doing her homework. Although this is something I know you enjoy, you have no idea how bad and guilty that makes me feel. I should be playing with you and teaching you new things, but I haven’t mastered being in two places at once yet.
You must feel like Daddy and I spend more time with your sister than we do with you. We probably do, but it is not because we love her more or favor her over you. We love you both very, very much and we would go to the moon and back for you girls. You must know that. Sometimes, your sister just needs extra help, support, guidance, and love.
This family is a team and I know you know this, because I see you helping your sister when you can. Thank you for complimenting her on her drawings and for telling her she looks pretty in her new outfit. Thank you for getting excited to see her when we pick her up from school and for giving her those great big bear hugs. Although your sister may act like she doesn’t appreciate it sometimes, I assure you she does. She needs you in her life, because you show her how she is admired and loved. When you become a mother, you will know how much moments like those warm my heart.
Your sister has an outgoing personality and can be a bit of a drama queen at times. She moves around when she isn’t supposed to, like when she gets off of her seat at restaurants and wants to run around the table. This causes her to be the center of attention a lot, which leaves you in the shadows. It’s no wonder you love your ballet class so much. It’s the one place you know you will always be the center of attention and all eyes will be on you.
Mommy is not a parenting expert. I don’t know what I’m doing a lot of the time. All I know is that I don’t want you to feel like you are second. I want you and your sister to always feel like you are both first. I love you and I appreciate you. Mommy promises to try her best to show you that each and every day. Thank you for being my special little girl and for making our family and our lives complete. As small as you are, you are making such a positive influence in your sister’s life, and I will forever be grateful for that.
All My Love,