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"If I Could Raise My Daughter All Over Again"

My little girl slipped through the cracks — and through my fingers. A conscientious, diligent student right up until puberty hit, she spent her adolescence and young adulthood fighting against ADHD symptoms we missed and misdiagnosed. Now that she is a mother, I'm driven to help her avoid the mistakes and dead ends I wish we'd avoided two decades ago.

6 Comments: "If I Could Raise My Daughter All Over Again"

  1. I’m a 40 yr. woman with undiagnosed ADHD, I feel so resonating with this article. I’m an Indian,the place where I come from there is so much taboo around mental health. In here there are very few experts who can diagnose and treat ADHD.
    I thank Additude for these wonderful blogs and resources which helped me to understand myself and my kids well. The challenges I faced all these years has a name and it feels so relieved. Additude is my companion in this journey of ADHD exploration. I have finally decided to go for adhd diagnosis, which I know is going to be challenging.

  2. This is an excellent article. As an adult with ADHD, I have a very difficult time with this format; additionally, it seems my computer doesn’t like it either and freezes up around page 8 or 9. Please, please, please, provide an option to view these articles all on one page! I know there have been times in the not-too-distant past when I could do that; please bring it back as an option.

  3. @cathy5468 — Please try to let go of those “regrets for not being wiser sooner”….and instead focus on your wise observation that “All I can change now is the me they learn from going forward.” Your comment about the lost opportunities with professional aspirations really strikes a chord with me….but just maybe, that’s not as true as you fear. More so now than ever, there are opportunities to “create your own career” & reinvent yourself at almost any stage of adulthood.

    At the age of 58, after struggling with my ADD all those years, and only recently in the past couple finally getting on meds which have had a subtle but undeniable positive effect on “pulling it together”, I’m in the middle of training to completely change careers, from one I still actually get a lot of satisfaction from but which I likewise greatly fell short of excelling at, due to all the self-sabotaging habits we ADDers wrestle with (distraction, procrastination, lack of follow-through, etc. etc.). I may discover I’m facing more of a wall due to age-ism than I hope is true, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

    But just as important as the future-income aspect, I feel energized & proud of myself for making a change like this. As the adage goes, “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago; the next-best time is now.” For a lot more things than we tend to believe, it really is true that “You’re never too old” to improve yourself. My main point here, in reference to your comments, is that when a grownup shows they’re willing to be positive, take risks & make sacrifices, and “learn from going forward”, our loved ones, especially the younger generation (just like I see in my own 3 kids), will love us & admire us tremendously for it….and the “mistakes of the past” we made with ourselves and with them will fade away in importance.

    1. This hits home for me also! Although my daughter doesn’t have outbursts. She is bothered by very little. Has little to no motivation to do better in school. She always takes the easiest way possible. Doesn’t really have any interests other than reading. Even that wains when she can’t find another series to peek her interests. I do wonder what I could do to help her? She is no longer on a med to help her. And there are times I feel lost. And just wish I knew how to help her gain motivation. She is sad when she doesn’t receive awards at school when all of her friends do. But they have worked for those . And I try to lovingly explain this. Glad I could find this community to find similar situations.

  4. Boy does this hit home. I am the adult child of an alcoholic and have an ADHD alcoholic challenging my serenity today. The goals of detachment, self-care and the regrets for not being wiser sooner are constant companions. I am grateful that I was finally diagnosed and am much better on medication but, like many, I mourn the things I didn’t do before getting things under control. I mourn the me I never was and that, in some ways, it is too late to be (professional aspirations). My children saw me struggle more often and worse than I would have liked. But, it is what it is and it was what it was. All I can change now is the me they learn from going forward.

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