Dating someone with ADHD with children who have ADHD

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Teens and Young Adults with ADHD Dating someone with ADHD with children who have ADHD

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #70433
      Shell
      Participant

      I need some guidance with challenges of dating someone with ADHD who has a 12 year old (full time) with ADHD & OCD and a 14 yr old (half the time) with autism (low on the spectrum).

      We have been dating for a year. From my research on ADHD, trying to understand some of the dynamics and searching out tools or approaches to certain situations, this has really been a challenge for me to understand…knowing I will never fully understand since I do not have ADHD. The 12 year old with ADHD/OCD is ruling our world. I have spoken to a counselor just for myself to even come to grips that maybe this is too much to take on. I have a 12 year old son who does not have ADHD. Interactions with my boyfriend’s children can be a bit much for my son which is causing me to back away from doing things at times with my boyfriend and his kids. I feel as if I am being very judgemental by even thinking of ending this relationship, but the stress at times is pretty high for everyone. Any thoughts…any hope?

    • #70481
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      There’s always hope when you’re seeking solutions.

      My first question would be are his kids getting treatment for their ADHD/OCD and autism? That’s a crucial component. Without it, those conditions will certainly take over your life.

      Positive parenting is the most effective approach — to minimize ADHD’s effects on your lives, but also to prepare kids with ADHD to launch into a successful and fulfilling adulthood.

      Strategies for Positive Parenting

      Become the Parent Your Child Needs

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #70503
        Shell
        Participant

        THANK YOU so much for some input, ADHDmomma and Penny!

        Yes, both of my boyfriend’s sons are on medication for their ADHD/OCD and autism.

        I think the other component I was struggling with is my boyfriend’s ADHD and how he approaches his parenting with his children. It is quite militant…I actually thought he came from a military family when I first met him. He explained to me that he needs to be that way to “shut down” his child so it does not escalate…plus he said his ADHD makes him respond in that manner. But even for something as simple as sitting on the sofa when his son has his heels on the cushion, he just barks “Son, feet off the sofa” or if he is stretched out on the sofa on a Saturday morning, a simple and direct “Get up”!In my mind I feel it is so disrespectful speaking this way…his boys take the same tone with their adopted sister who does not have ADHD. Even to the extent of telling her to shut up.

        SO, I’m just the girlfriend, and I feel as if I am being very judgmental on the few occasions we has a discussion around how he responds to his kids…he does tell me he welcomes my input…and I always ask if I may give my opinion on something…I know parenting is very personal and we each do the best we can with what we know. However, I don’t want my son (he does not have DHD) to learn this type of response or be in this type of environment of hearing orders spouted frequently throughout the day…is this a normal type of parenting from a parent with ADHD?

      • #70819
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        I would say it’s more “normal” of someone with ADHD, than of a typical parent of a child with ADHD. See if you can get him to read or listen to the audiobook of Ross Greene’s Raising Human Beings. He teaches a much more compassionate and EFFECTIVE approach.

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #70496
      Pump2Duncan
      Participant

      My husband is an amazing man, and I will never forget the day we were in marriage counseling and he brought up my son. It blindsided me. I never even knew it was an issue for him. Sure my son was special needs, sure he was ADHD, un-medicated, and LD but we had systems in place. We rode home in silence. I knew he was right. The situation wasn’t great. The daily negative reports, etc. etc. etc. Why was I so unwilling to try medication?

      Anyway. If he had never said anything, I would have never knew there was an issue. My initial reaction was anger and parental protection. It’s a tricky spot for a step-parent type figure to be in. However, with the help of the counselor (I think that’s why he picked the counseling session to bring up the topic), we moved passed those initial reactions. And he was there for me to help and support me and my son. He became more engaged in the treatment plan, and he found a couple common interest areas that he shared with my son that they could bond over. I began looking at and than ultimately decided to start medication. And we revamped some treatment plans. Ultimately, overtime things got a lot better.

      Fast forward a few years, and I am truly thankful for that counseling session and him bringing it to my attention that there was an issue. My husband and I are happier but more importantly, my son is happier and leads a more fulfilling life at home and at school.

    • #70523
      Pump2Duncan
      Participant

      I’m not sure what “normal” parenting of a child with ADHD looks like. But it does sound like your boyfriend is open to suggestion and help. I do think blending two distinct parenting types into one family can be tricky and takes time, patience and open communication on both of your parts. I know I was doing the best I could with the tools I had, my husband brought some new tools to my tool set. If you bring skills he lacks that you can teach him that he’s willing to learn, that’s terrific! That’s what makes a good partnership.

      When you are casually dating, this might be a hard subject to tackle. But if you’re spending significant amounts of time together as a unit, it might be time to start discussing (perhaps with your counselor) what you envision your role to be in the future if this relationship was to progress. Especially when you’re bringing two families together, I think pre-marital counseling is a wonderful idea when you get to that point so topics like this can be openly discussed.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Pump2Duncan.
Viewing 3 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.