April 8, 2018 at 1:24 am #81242
My husband has completely lost it on our 7 yr.old.. one too many times and I have had it. It has not happened often but isn’t once enough? It happened again tonight and I saw the hurt and fear in her eyes..it killed me. I have lost my patience many times but would never hit her. I am in tears as I type this. She is my priority..not to mention my little boy who gets shaken up. Our lives have been a whirlwind from the impact of our child’s adhd, to extreme financial stress, a breast cancer diagnosis, you name it..and it all so fast and one after the next. With that said..i never knew the man I married had no patience and no knowledge about kids until we had them..imagine a kid with adhd.
I know that he adores them..he loves on them he plays with them but he can lose it over “normal child behavior”..like spilling a drink, not washing hands after eating and touching furniture or whatever..accidentally breaking something…anything along those lines sets him off big-time!..not physically but screaming, criticizing etc..His behavior with our child with an ADHD diagnosis..all wonderful when she is listening, mellow, etc..when she starts fidgeting etc..usually before her meds in the morning or more often”meltdown name calling mode” when meds have worn off and past or close to her bedtime..she can be extremely difficult and disrespectful…but its as if she is not herself..not a free pass but everything I have learned, read, researched says to keep calm and let it pass…not go to battle with or try to reason with her.
So it starts with something he asks her to do or something she wants to do but is told..its too late or maybe tommorow etc..this.is when it starts to escalate …she will scream no..stupid daddy..he will scream and it is a very loud male scream which is scary..then she may throw something..he will hit her and she will spit at him and again he comes to try to hit her..at this point I run in from another room.and get between them..the look on his face is complete loss of control..I pull her away..she is crying, hurt..u name it..I am crying and my little boy is scared…he comes in and tries to smooth it over..this is how it usually happens. He thinks that his behavior is warranted because she is being disrespectful. His father use to hit him and his siblings. He was scared of his father and thinks its not really that big of a deal..meanwhile i am in turmoil because I don’t want my children to live in this environment. No one should ever put there hands on a child period. I have given him an ultimatum before…bottom line, he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong and I am in disbelief that this is happening and he doesn’t see what is really happening.the meds are leaving her system and she is crashing..her spitting at him is not disrespect..its her hurt spirit that her dad hit her what should i do?? Am i over reacting? Should i leave him?
April 8, 2018 at 6:37 am #81244
Let’s put ourselves in your husband’s place. When you two decided to have children, there were certain expectations. Nobody bargained for a kid whose frame of reference is so alien to yours (unless you are dealing with ADHD yourselves) that you can barely relate. All those rules he had in his mind about cause-and-effect (here you can read “discipline”) are not valid. No amount of punishment makes any difference. The onslaught of “unacceptable” behaviors, the complaints from teachers, the snubbing by parents of other children, the avoidance by peers, are interminable. And it’s on 24/7. It’s relentless. There is NEVER anything positive about the parenting experience. He comes home tired and there is no way he can relax. The kid has totally unprovoked meltdowns during which ALL of you feel completely helpless. There are tantrums, too. When the kid has a tantrum in a restaurant or a grocery store, or a family gathering, everybody looks at the two of as if it was your fault. He thinks “I must be a bad parent,” “I should be able to fix this,” but “I don’t know what to do!” “I must be imperfect because I created an imperfect kid.” How do many men react when they feel they have no control, when they are helpless? With anger! That’s the model we have seen, that’s what we have been sold for centuries. I will tell you, dear Gia, the solution: education! I know it sounds like a cliché or a cop-out. But, trust me. It is the ONLY solution. Once he understands more, he will be more amenable to want to learn how to manage his anger. There is a lot of information on the Internet. Get it. Get Hallowell and Ratey’s “Driven to Distraction.” Get educated yourself. ADHD rarely comes in isolation. There are ALWAYS co-morbid conditions: almost always Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, anxiety, depression, and even elements of behaviors on the autistic spectrum. Unless your husband does his homework he will NEVER understand what’s going on. If he doesn’t understand, you will have bigger problems than dealing just with your kid. It wouldn’t hurt to see a therapist who specializes in working with families of children with ADHD. You, as the mother, have no choice. YOU cannot bail out. You have to remain a strong advocate for your kid’s needs. Those needs, it turns out, are not negotiable.
April 11, 2018 at 1:33 am #81426
Thank you! I watched dr Barkley on you tube and wow..it got me to the core. He has watched as well. I will never allow this to occur again and if I see it is headed there, my children and myself will be gone. He is aware.
April 8, 2018 at 10:00 am #81248
Please seek family counseling if you haven’t already. You are right that hitting a child is absolutely unacceptable. It’s abuse short and simple even if her behavior is provoking. If her disrespectful behavior happens after her meds are wearing off, talk with her doctor about changing meds, trying different doses, or maybe a small dose of something to help with evening behavior. Also, does your husband have ADHD? My husband has ADHD combined type and has no frustration tolerance. He also has a short fuse, never hitting though. Fortunately our son has ADHD Inattentive type, so doesn’t have any really provoking behaviors. I can imagine how often they would be at each other if he had hyperactivity and behavior issues. ADHD tends to run in families, so maybe your husband should consider being evaluated if he exhibits any other symptoms. My husband is also great with our son when all is calm, but can go into lecturing mode and critical when he is frustrated, and yelling if he feels disrespected. Also, please find ways to take care of yourself. It sounds like you have been through a lot recently and the whole family is stressed. I’ve had health and financial stress too recently so I feel ya there! It makes the parenting ADHD stuff so much more difficult to cope with.
April 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm #81317
Like your husband possibly, I am a combined ADHDer with LFT who many years ago yelled at my children much too often over small things. I also yelled at almost every annoyance or frustration. I did not hit them but my voice was so loud it had the same effect. One day my wife told me that this was so destructive my youngest daughter about 8 at the time was beginning to stutter. It was not just the yelling at her but at any frustrating activity I undertook. Such as the pool cleaning or …..
I was totally shocked and vowed never to use that volume of voice again.
When it came time to clean the pool my kids would disappear understandibly as the knee pain from bending down and starting inevitably reminded me of some tool i had forgotten This required me to stand up again and fetch it a constant reminder to me that my loud voice was the reason none of the kids were nearby to fetch it.
I quit most of the yelling and her stutter quickly disappeared.
April 9, 2018 at 3:21 pm #81320
My personal opinion is that he has to work on improving his interactions with the children or he has to go. His current parenting approach is unacceptable and very damaging for your children for their entire lives.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Trainer on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 11, 2018 at 1:25 am #81425
Thank you for the advice! I gave him an ultimatum. He agreed to counseling and anget mgmt. It has to work or we are out.
May 14, 2018 at 11:54 am #84167
Hi. I have the same experience with my husband. He calls my son names and hits him. It’s abuse. Period. Counseling has helped, but not completely changed. Glad you gave the ultimatum. You’re not alone.
May 14, 2018 at 9:43 pm #84241
Thanks! Good luck to you☺
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