My mom doesn't understand parenting an ADHD kid

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    • #115096

      I figured this was the place to post.. my mom is a loved one, although she’s not the one whose ADHD is the problem. It’s her attitude. I’m a single parent, with her own brand of undiagnosed ADHD (although I’ve had my son’s former therapist suggest it), struggling to parent one diagnosed ADHD son.. and another undiagnosed son. (There is a third son in the middle who doesn’t make me want to scream or pull out my hair or curl up in a corner.) I’m going through this journey pretty much alone, although I live with my mom. I’m learning, weeping, struggling, agonizing over my oldest son’s frustrating behavior. I’m trying to understand him, trying to be be supportive, work out ways to cope and relate and help. I want him to know that he’s loved and accepted, that while his behavior isn’t fully excused, it’s patiently understood to be a work/struggle in progress.

      My mom doesn’t see this. He’s acting out. So she argues with him. Arguing with him is an on-going cycle. If you engage him, he will keep it going. I have tried to explain to her that she can’t do that. She needs to speak her peace and end it, walk away. I offer suggestions.. “Do this next time.” But she keeps making excuses.. “she doesn’t think like that”, as though I’m just this amazingly creative, intuitive parent who had it figured out from day one. I cite his ADHD for the reason he behaves as he does, and then she retorts that her whole family had ADHD and they didn’t get away with it. There were apparently understandings of what was acceptable or not acceptable, and they fell in line.

      We’ve gone through this conversation so many times. She won’t see beyond her own experience with ADHD, she won’t listen to my suggestions, and she won’t just stay out of it! I’m overwhelmed and feel so alone. I would love to live on my own with my boys, but I’m not sure I can juggle everything.. household management, working, trying to keep on top of homework, and financially keep a place. Given my struggles with my current obligations, I’m pretty sure I can’t! Parenting is hard. Single-parenting is harder. Single-parenting two ADHD boys with my own ADHD seems just insurmountable.

      I’m not looking for solutions, really. Just venting. Thank you if you’ve taken the time to listen. I just appreciate not feeling alone.

    • #115350
      Penny Williams

      You’re definitely not alone. Many families with ADHD have family members who just don’t understand at the level we need them to. Can you sit down together and try to write up a parenting plan that you’ll both follow? Consistency is key with raising kids with ADHD, so maybe approach it with her from that angle. Having a concrete plan will help both of you, but it will also help your kids a great deal, especially those with ADHD.

      Stop Unsolicited Advice from Family in Its Tracks

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

    • #115430

      You are not alone overall, though physically in your home you are. My family doesn’t understand either. They haven’t had to. Only a parent who has it, or has a child with it truly understands.

    • #115536

      I hear you and I know how you feel. I am ADHD and I have three boys and a daughter ALL with ADHD. You would think having four children there might be one of them without ADHD but wasn’t that lucky. Outsiders or grandparents don’t understand until they learn and see it with their own eyes. Don’t give up, things will get better. Be positive.

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