July 23, 2018 at 2:57 pm #89158lrocheParticipant
My husband is really making our lives hard with my son. He is abrasive. It is not what he says but how he says it to my son. My son is a total mess right now and I think my husband is making things worse. My husband just complains constantly about my son and is in a terrible mood every time we speak about son. Here is an example, my son parked the car in the garage while we were away, when we returned we couldn’t get in the garage so husband lost it at my son. I told my husband it really wasn’t something to get upset about but he went on a tailspin about everything my son does wrong. Doesn’t clean up, tells my son he writes like a child, calls him a liar etc.
Later, he apologized to my son but in that conversation it goes sideways and he just starts in on him again. Any time I defend my son, husband says that I baby him and I have to stop making him the bad guy. Its unbearable. We went to a therapist who recommended that I do all the communicating with my son, but husband mirco manages everything and doesn’t like the way I handle my sons issues. For example, when I catch son in a lie, I say “Why would you lie?” – my husband says no more BS – call him a liar.
How can I make my husband see that my sons short comings are part of ADD? Is there a group we can go to? He just doesn’t believe that my son can’t control not getting up for school or missing work – that at 20 he still needs coaching.
There isn’t a CHADD near us.
July 23, 2018 at 5:52 pm #89189amandajdowns21Participant
I have read your post and I was all set to be on your side, but your son is 20. I think you both need to met in the middle here. I know from my watching my husband and son that your compensating for dad being so harsh and controlling isn’t helping your son either. ADHD is an explanation for behaviors not a reason to not take responsibility for them. When you catch your son in a lie does the why really matter anymore? He needs to know it won’t be tolerated and that consequences exist. As for timeliness he needs to find tools or a method that works for him and he needs to follow through. Unless you are planning to be his brain forever he needs to develop these skills. Life is great at teaching these lessons if you just let it happen.
July 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm #89203JBoomParticipant
He’s 20. While having ADHD means it’ll take a little longer and be a little harder to mature to self-sufficiency, that doesn’t mean he should be enabled to lean on the condition or have you provide excuses for him. The real world is never going to allow that. You either have to prepare him for the real world, meaning holding him accountable for his actions without hand-holding, or you need to arrange some kind of long-term dependent care for him (if he truly has no control over his behavior). There really isn’t a lot of grey area there.
That doesn’t mean your husband should act the way he does either. If this is how your husband has always been, and that’s just his personality, you might have to just let it go (since your son is 20 now, let them handle their own relationship). But if this is new, then he’s probably reacting to your approach by going to the other extreme. This is very common for people who are close but often disagree. Most likely, he’s concerned his son won’t survive the real world if his Mommy is always there to provide a crutch (I’m not necessarily saying that’s the case, just that he’s probably is thinking that and reacting to that idea).
In short, communication is key and may be lacking here.
July 23, 2018 at 7:43 pm #89208kdoll92064Participant
I have to agree with both opinions above. If your son was 16 and still in high school that is a different story. 20 and has a job etc., he needs some help but some counseling or something.
As for your husband… he definitely needs counseling. Or a teddy bear. Lol. Perhaps he sees the potential your son has and doesn’t want him to throw that away.
Your son may need to spread his wings and try to fly out of the nest a few times on his own. He’ll stumble to be sure, but he’ll be ok with your guidance. And then he’ll soar!
July 24, 2018 at 7:16 pm #89288JWKParticipant
Empower your son by setting small self growth goals.
Eg.this week we are working on waking yourself up with an alarm. (Alarm should be out of reach, annoying sound and at a reasonable hour) some how millions of people of all ages with ADHD get themselves out of bed in the morning, so despite how impossible it feels, it is possible.
Reassess in a week, let him score himself, resetthe goal and work on that for the next week.
Change is tough, but change is also good.
Hubby possibly is anxious about the future and my feel like it’s been left too late to set new habits, show him you are both working on/being proactive about changing, get him involved in encouragement and support for your son to achieve his new goals
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by JWK.
July 25, 2018 at 12:13 pm #89315The fatherParticipant
I feel like I have been that hubby in the past. My wife and I went to speak to a counsellor about the situation and that really helped me. It’s still hard not to be overly difficult, critical of my ADHD child, but I have some more tools to help me.
July 25, 2018 at 8:23 pm #89403Penny WilliamsKeymaster
Calling your child names is bullying, even when they’re an adult. That’s no way to parent.
ADHD is a developmental disorder, so it takes a lot longer to mature.
If your husband is open to reading a book, I highly recommend “Raising Human Beings” and “How to Talk so Your Kids will Listen.” I get the impression he thinks his job is done and that his son has failed the growing up test though, sadly. His dad just simply doesn’t understand him — what’s true for him given the brain he has.
I’m honestly surprised your son hasn’t left home, if he’s treated this way all the time. I wish I had ideas to help, but you can’t change someone who doesn’t see a problem and who does not want to change.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
July 25, 2018 at 8:37 pm #89320AdobeKidParticipant
I’ve been both the dad and the kid. When my son (who does not have ADHD) was fifteen he wrote a poem about me called “Vinegar Tongue”. A decade later, it still hurts. Meanwhile, it took me until I was almost 50 to forgive my mother for the yelling and screaming that was her only way of coping with a son with severe ADHD who was constantly forgetting to do his chores.
I agree completely with taberwards about considering counseling. Without it my son would hate me and I’d be divorced.
Finally, I wonder if dad might himself be undiagnosed with ADHD which would help explain the trouble controlling his emotions. See this article by Thomas Brown called “The Mystery of ADHD Motivation, Solved” from which this excerpt comes:
Stuck in Emotion
A woman told me that she dreaded Wednesday evenings. For her family, that was the night after their Wednesday morning trash pickup. She had two teenage sons, and her husband asked their boys to take on the job of dragging the trash cans down to the foot of their driveway every Tuesday evening, and then to bring the emptied cans back up the driveway each Wednesday afternoon. Many times they forgot to bring the trash cans back in.
The mother explained that any time her husband got home from work on Wednesday evening and saw the trash cans still at the base of the driveway, he would become enraged and scream at them, saying they were losers, irresponsible, ungrateful for what they had been given, unwilling to help the family by doing the simple chore of bringing the trash cans back up to the house once a week.
The mother explained that, each time her husband scolded their sons so harshly, he would later calm down and mumble an apology to the boys. She said, “I know he loves them both and would give his life for either one of them, but when he gets wound up in one of those Wednesday-night episodes, he gets so enraged that he seems to forget that those are his sons whom he loves and wants to protect. All he knows in that moment is that he is furious with both of them for not having done that chore.”
Any parent can lose his or her temper with a child occasionally, but most parents, most of the time, can express their frustration to the child without such an intense verbal attack. Their working memory allows them to hold in mind their love, even while their anger is taking up a lot of space in their head.
August 16, 2018 at 10:01 am #91330SueSParticipant
lroche, I feel for you and feel like I am in a similar situation. Our son is 12 and every night as I am helping him with homework, etc. my husband just sits on the couch and yells whenever he feels like our son is being rude to me. Then he yells at him at shower time and tries to physically push him into the shower because he isn’t going through the steps fast enough. Just one small example. It hurts me, but I also realize that he is trying to protect me as well as raise a son that can get along in life. I feel it balances out my mom desire to be more patient and protective. I have to say that on the way in to work this morning, the effort of being patient and understanding was overwhelming me to the point of tears. I try to do too much. I have to believe that is why children have 2 parents, so they can have both parenting styles and hopefully find a middle ground.
It has helped me to read what others have written, that name-calling is bullying no matter the age, that it is possible to enable our kids / stunt their development by being too protective, that life will teach them the things we are trying so hard to teach if we just let life do the job. There is some good wisdom here. Thank you for sharing and eliciting this feedback from others. Hang in there.
Counseling did help us for a while but I wonder if we should try again with a different counselor. It is hard to find a counselor and to do the work, but personally I found a great therapist after several tries and I don’t know what I would do without what I am learning. So whether you get counseling for yourself, your husband, or as a couple/family, that may be a tool you could turn to as well.
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