Reply To: Letting Go of Dream

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Hi Ellivry, as a parent of 2 ADD young adults, and having adult ADD myself, I think I can see this from both perspectives. However, throw away the ADD subject in general and ask yourself: what do you value as a parent and as a member of society? As much as I would like all my kids to earn PhD’s (you can tell I like education), I realized I’ve done my job and I’ll be satisfied if I’ve raise responsible adults who contribute to society in a positive way and who raise their own families with love. My eldest ADD son is tenaciously persistent – he’s dropped to 9 credit hours per semester in order to work and pass his classes, so he’s taking a slow approach. My youngest took a “gap year” and has started this semester and, to my knowledge, is attending maybe 50% of his classes. He’s not likely to succeed this year and that’s OK. He needs to learn and has made it remarkably clear to all of us that he wants to learn by experience (rather than wisdom). What I worry about most with him is that he continues to be dishonest with me, others, and himself. So while I worry about both (well, about all six of our kids), I feel I’ve not yet succeeded with my youngest. I love him to death – when he pays attention to someone other than himself, he’s hilarious, kind, loving–he’d give the shirt off his back.

Anyhow, I’d recommend you step back and decide what your definition of success is as a parent, and then let that drive your self-worth. Raising an ADD kid is a huge challenge, and if one thing is certain it’s that they’re not going to fit into our paradigms. That doesn’t make them bad, failure or anything else – it just makes them different.