My Forum Comments
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.
Thank you, jimmer, for laying out your techniques so succinctly. #3 – I also leave myself a note on my desk when I leave for the day, to remind me where to pick up in the morning. I am also working on keeping my focus on the big things for the day. #1 – I try to stay in the moment and not borrow trouble from the future. It helps me not feel so overwhelmed. As for #2, I think that would help me – I probably keep notes in different ways about where I am on projects, but maybe a notebook would help me have that in one place.
To toomanytabs, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are your own worst critic. I think a lot of us are. It comes from growing up with expectations that didn’t match our abilities. My temptation with the feedback from your boss would be to take it as an indication that your efforts are paying off more than you realize. It could seem like your boss doesn’t know you, but it could also be that he is trying to praise you for something you value and are good at, or for something he values and appreciates about you. Try to take it at face value and not over-analyze.
You get it, and like Penny said, that is important for a kid. I heard my husband say a beautiful thing recently – he told our son that he wished his mom helped him like I am helping our son. My mother-in-law loved her kids, but didn’t get what they are going through. My husband was diagnosed with dyslexia, but probably is ADHD, too. I am tentatively diagnosed with ADHD, and our son has been diagnosed for 4 years now. He originally was involved in SPED for early childhood delays, but when he was discharged from his IEP because he was supposedly doing well enough in kindergarten, he started failing miserably without the 504 support they promised him. So eventually back into an IEP (partly due to the ADHD diagnosis) and in 5th grade now. We are heading into middle school next year and are worried about the workload and how he will cope.
I second what Penny said about communication with the school. If you let things go on autopilot, the school will do what they are used to doing, which (human nature) is the minimum standard they are held to. If the Common Core people are the most vocal, that is who will get the most attention (curriculum review, etc.). But if there is a vocal parent staying in contact, making sure they are updated, making sure their kid is supported, that parent/child will get a little more attention and cooperation than you would have otherwise. It sucks, but it has been our experience. Last year we had a good teacher, but she allowed all sorts of things to slide and then gave bad grades. Never asked us or SPED teacher for more help/support or to change anything. From her point of view, she probably thought we were happy with how things were set up, and who was she to rock the boat? Many parents could have been upset with her for suggesting changes or saying things didn’t seem to be working. My mother-in-law (bless her heart) wasn’t looking for the teachers to suggest things, just wanted the kid to get through school one way or another. So you can see why the teachers might not try to do more. They have undoubtedly been burned in the past and have to choose their battles, what to spend their time on. They do what they can to help a kid within their own classroom, but without a sign that someone is interested in working together, that is all they do.
The grades didn’t really matter so much to us, but was our son learning? Not really – she was letting him slide. It felt like social promotion. Move the kid along, give “accommodations” of shortening assignments, but don’t tell anyone until the IEP meeting because you don’t know that they have the time / inclination to spend any time on it. So we raised heck and got some more meaningful goals in the IEP, got accommodations documented, etc. for this year. We are still struggling this year, but it is different. It is more purposeful. Sometimes I wonder why we are doing it, but it is because we see progress. We gave the teacher permission to send home work that was not finished. She did so after the due date, which added a lot of pressure. We asked her to please send it home before it was already late; she said then he might not have anything to do in class. We said, “look at him – he won’t get ahead of the class for now, and if he does, you can stop sending the work home.” So now she sends it home even though the other kids don’t have homework. It’s the only way for our son with slow processing speed to get enough time to learn to break down the problem (executive function), tackle it, and see that he can have success. He gets to learn and practice the skills he will need to be successful. It’s not fun or even always pleasant, but as reflected in my husband’s comment that he wished his mom had helped him, it is better for the student. It shows him someone believes in him, shows him he can be successful, teaches him how to do it, and should prevent some of what you later figured out on your own as an adult.
So don’t lose heart, and I know that each kid is different. But dialogue with any teacher that will talk to you, make yourself seen and heard (in a nice way if possible – more flies with honey than with vinegar), and keep loving your daughter. The grades won’t matter in the long run, but the sense of love and confidence of knowing her parents have her back, WILL.
Hi! I, too, struggle with an addiction to binge eating. I have also been on a stimulant for just over a year, but my psychiatrist doesn’t want to take a stand whether I have ADHD or “undertreated depression”, he calls it – since distractibility, irritability, fatigue, etc., can be symptoms of depression/anxiety as well. Long story. But I agree with you about the stimulant helping to keep a sense of well-being throughout the day, and remain productive, engaged, and focused on tasks at hand. I have never felt like this before, or at least not for 15-20 years? It’s hard to remember back farther than that.
Anyway, my son has diagnosed ADHD (4 years now) and goes to a different psychiatrist. He has changed medications a few times and has had his dosage adjusted up over time. His doctor is very knowledgeable about the different stimulants, how they work, what the risks are, etc. We feel very lucky to have this doctor. I know not everyone can have a doctor like this, but my recommendation is that a doctor who works with patients on stimulants routinely, should be able to answer your questions. I don’t know whether a family practitioner will. Generally you switch meds because your body starts to build up a tolerance, and a slight change in the molecule will allow you to start over on a different med at a lower dose. Then you can switch back to the previous med at the same dose and get more of an effect, once your body has “forgotten” about it a little bit. My son’s dose has increased over time, not due to his getting physically larger, but I think due to this tolerance effect. I think it is pretty common to switch back and forth between meds, every 6-12 months (often going off or switching to a different one over the summer). That might not be so applicable to adults, but my point is that if you are worried about side effects, a knowledgeable doctor might be able to keep you on lower doses to reduce the amount of side effects. Typically getting to the right dose is a balance of good therapeutic effect without side effects.
I don’t know if part of the reason you are worried about staying on for life or the dose / side effects is the addiction factor? I think maybe, because of the title of your post. I think about it every time I pick up my prescription. I need to talk to my doctor this week about “dependency” vs. addiction and if there is a difference. My current understanding is that if you are using a medication like this within a doctor’s guidelines and only up to the therapeutic response level, AND if you actually need it due to an ADHD nervous system, you don’t get the “high” from it because it actually slows your brain down so you can focus? So there isn’t the danger of addiction that there might be with “normal” people taking / abusing the same drugs? But like I said, I need to ask my doctor because I know untreated, ADHD tends to lead people toward addiction as an attempt to self-medicate. I haven’t really asked myself the question yet of whether I will need to stay on these meds for life, but your post is a good reminder for me and food for thought.
Good luck to you – I hope you get other answers as well, especially from other adults more experienced in treating adult ADHD!