My parents don't understand ADHD

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  antoniod 2 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #171424

    livimessina22
    Participant

    My parents don’t have ADHD. I have ADHD and so does my sister. I was diagnosed first about 5-6 years ago. My parents have not done any research about ADHD and they try to think they know what’s best for me but how can they really know if they don’t actually know what it’s like to live with ADHD and if they have never actually bothered to learn about it. I am in 11th grade right now and I’m fed up with them thinking they know what’s best based on their own experiences when they have never faced the challenges I’ve faced. They’ve never tried living in my head before and it doesn’t seem like they have any interest in learning. Like for example, my stepdad wants me to take a break in the middle of my school work to go do something, “to reset my mind so I can focus” and my mom agrees! But had either one of them bothered to learn about ADHD or listen to me when I try to say that that’s a bad idea, they wouldn’t have suggested it. Like most ADHD people, if there’s something important that you have to get done by a deadline, once you get going, you can’t stop because if you do you won’t be able to get going again then you are just screwed. I am frustrated beyond belief. I am not sure what to do. I already got mad tonight and told my mom that I was frustrated because she doesn’t understand my brain and I want her to learn more about ADHD and that only made her mad and storm out of my room, slamming my door. I am not sure what to do anymore!!! Any advice or suggestions???

  • #171437

    mpicc77
    Participant

    You poor baby – and I really mean that. I am 42 and I didn’t find out that I had ADD until my 20s… by then I was already convinced in my core that I was damaged goods and less than what I should be. All I can say is, good for you to find this out about yourself so young and to be a champion for yourself. As a mom myself now, I honestly thought I was going to be the most understanding and empathetic parent, given all the struggles I had growing up… and I have been mortified to see that I am often repeating the same mistakes my own mom made. It can be hard sometimes as a parent to know whether you are doing the right thing by your kids – are you coddling them too much, or do you need to tell them to just buckle down… I think mostly we’re just scared of doing the wrong thing. But you are clearly very intelligent and introspective and learning about how your ADD brain works. I’m sure you know the phenomenon you’re referring to is called hyper-focus and it’s our ADD superpower – once you are excited and interested in something, the building could fall down around you and you would keep working on it. Definitely harness that! I think you are right to ask your parents to learn more about it – for both you and your sister. One thing I realized is that no one really wants to sit down and read articles about ADD except people with ADD. Perhaps you could find some articles that really resonate with you and highlight areas that you would like to share with your parents – and read it aloud to them. Find a day that is calm and you can ask them to sit down on the couch because it’s really important to you that they understand why you do some of the things you do – and then read the parts that you want them to hear. I am constantly reading things out loud to my husband that I find on the internet so he is forced to understand me 🙂 I don’t know if this is a magic solution but just a small start, and to let you know that you’re not alone. Do not stop standing up for yourself and asking for what you need. People with ADD often hide within their shame and don’t want to be an extra bother or use humor to cover it up. Don’t do that to yourself. You deserve MORE. Good luck. xxoo.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  mpicc77.
  • #171459

    Penny Williams
    Keymaster

    This makes me very sad. I’m sorry you have to go through this. ADHD is really tough to understand for those of us who don’t have it. And it’s even tougher for parents in general to throw out their ideas of parenting they’ve known forever and be open to something different.

    Try to ask your parents to allow you to study your way for 1-2 weeks and see how it goes. Agree up front that if it isn’t successful, you’ll try something different. Maybe you can get them on board if it’s a trial basis?

    And just keep trying to educate them on your brain. Share articles here like https://www.additudemag.com/living-with-adhd-facts/ and ask them to do the ADHD simulators on Understood.org.

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

  • #171521

    Bakagee
    Participant

    I agree with the other replies, on top of this, if you have trouble talking to them without getting angry/without getting into an argument, maybe write down what you want to say beforehand and read it out to them.
    It might help get across to them your concerns in a more level-headed way.

  • #171536

    antoniod
    Participant

    I had the misfortune of growing up with Inflexible-Explosive Disorder(which I think is really ADHD)in the 60s and 70s, years before it was “discovered”. My Father took my issues personally and reacted to them by screaming at me, spanking me, and taking TV away from me. He was Manic-Depressive and Paranoid, so he was a pretty good Father half the time and a really horrible one the other half. He must have felt that I chose to be what I was and I simply had a lack of values and respect, not a genetic problem.

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