Ask the Experts

Helping ADD Kids Help Themselves

“Our family of four comprises me, my 41-year-old husband, our nearly 22-year-old daughter and our 14-year-old son. I am the only member without ADD and often times feel like a human anchor slipping in the sediment! “On the upside, I have a great memory, am detail oriented and hyper organized. On the downside, sometimes I feel like I’m being bled dry. I am concerned that, rather than learning by direct or indirect example, my children have become too dependent on my attributes. Any suggestions?”

The best suggestion I have for you is to take care of yourself. Continue to be organized and a good model to follow, encouraging your husband, daughter and son to identify and meet their challenges.

Confronting them with issues that may be troublesome to you does not have to be difficult, especially when you can keep a sense of humor about it. It sounds like you already know that you can’t do for them what they need to do for themselves, so let them know that you are there for them and support them, but structure, routine and habits are something they need to develop for themselves. You can be there as a mentor and guide, but the actual work will have to be done by them.

It takes a lot of patience and sometimes that can be very draining. That is why it is so important for you to re-charge your batteries by attending to your own needs first.

A stress management course or yoga class wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially if you are at the point where you feel you are being “bled dry”. Don’t wait until you need a transfusion… start taking those iron pills now!