My Forum Comments
I am the mother of four children ages 22-7. The oldest and youngest have been diagnosed with ADHD. I was diagnosed with inattentive type ADD when my oldest daughter was diagnosed at age 17. I understand how difficult it is to be advised to “be consistent” when you are not sure if what you are doing is the right thing. Medication has been recommended to my son since he was 5. While I believe he may need it eventually, I am not going to start him on it this young. Just a personal choice. His behavior has improved leaps and bounds in second grade and he is making good grades for the first time. He has an IEP and an excellent resource teacher and home room teacher. He is also older. Ages 5 and 6 were challenging, and I was not sure we were going to make it through! Keep the hope alive and just keep loving him the best way you can.
I have found with my son that sharing some of my experiences of childhood frustration and challenges in a very transparent way has really helped him. He is just glad to know he is not the only one that has setbacks and is glad to know I understand him. In calm moments, usually after an incident, we talk about how it feels when he starts to get emotional or overwhelmed–what is happening in his mind just before the meltdown. It has really helped him.
To help myself with my own challenges, I joined a mom’s group which offers online classes to help overwhelmed moms in a variety of areas. The founder is a cognitive behavioral therapist with 7 children. She offers parenting help, among other things, including how to help children with learning differences. There is a Facebook group with the greatest support network I have found online. There are moms who have been through all kinds of challenges and offer support and counsel on what worked for them in parenting, marriage, emotions and other areas, all with no judgement. I also have a mentor I can call on with specific questions. Motherhood can be isolating, especially when you have a child who is different. With this group I never feel that I am alone. Please let me know if you have specific questions I may be able to help with. You are definitely not alone in your challenges. I have been there, too. I hope that helps.killian.cathleenParticipant
What a challenge. I know for me, to keep engaged in a job it has to be interesting, always changing and in a field I am passionate about. If he is getting a job just to have a job, boredom will take over and it won’t last long. And feeling like I have failed over and over wears down my self esteem and makes me just want to hide. For men, this can be particularly devastating when it comes to being a provider for a family. He probably needs to find his purpose and work in it. Finding purpose in itself can be difficult. Help him focus on his strengths and it is more likely to open up those possibilities.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is the most counterintuitive. Express gratitude. During the darkest days of my life, I was encouraged to name 10 things I was grateful for every day. The person who gave me this task overcame drug addiction and mental illness and swore up and down that this little habit made it all possible. She would open her eyes every morning and count on her fingers 10 things she was grateful for before her feet hit the floor. I found that if I could name 10 things, in no time I could name 20. Expressing gratitude led to more awareness of additional things to be grateful for. Now I write out 5 things every day and notice so much more throughout the day. It has not changed my circumstances. It has changed how I view myself and the world. It has changed my tolerance for the things that challenge me. It has given me a sense of peace, that no matter what happens, things will turn out ok. It has made me more kind and loving to my family. It has led to many positive changes in my family and my relationships. I know it seems like it does not address your problem, but it will help you handle it. It will bring out more patience, gentleness and understanding for your husband as he goes through this struggle. Best wishes to you and your family as you find solace and solutions.