Life can be very challenging for the parents and children who are impacted by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Many children with ADHD are labeled as “bad” kids, leaving the parents and caregivers feeling defeated. As an adult with ADHD and a mom of children who have ADHD, I have felt the “mom guilt” on many occasions.
The expectations of sitting quietly and waiting patiently were a struggle for one son throughout his early childhood and elementary years. He learned to manage impulsive behaviors throughout middle school, for the most part–he still blurts out random sounds when he has been sitting for a while. However, he was on medication for a year, while he learned behavior modifications.
Our youngest son is the dictionary definition of a Sour Patch Kid! He is the sweetest, most loving, and empathetic child, but into everything. While touring a daycare center, my then 15-month-old nearly drank the Wallflower air freshener while the former Director and I stood right beside him, and discussed the plans for him to begin the next week. That didn’t leave a good impression. Thankfully she became a good friend of ours, and we still laugh about that day…and all the other days he caused trouble for the poor teachers. He struggled to read in first grade so we began medication in September, and he was one of the top readers in his class by Spring Break! He does well with routine and structure, but BIG emotions come out causing others to consider him a “bad” kid, or my husband and I “bad” parents.
For girls, ADHD often presents a little differently than boys. Symptoms related to anxiety are often seen in girls. Our daughter struggles to separate the difference between anxiety and ADHD, simply because of the symptoms she feels in her body–which is common since those two diagnoses have many overlapping symptoms. Where our older son blurts out random noises when energy has been trapped in him for a longer period, our daughter feels muscle tension throughout her body that leads to a heavy feeling, and she is unsure of how to release it. The same goes for me–when I feel overwhelmed, it is often because I need to release some energy. (This is when I clean the best.)
I could sit here for days sharing different examples of my family’s experience with ADHD, but I’ll assume you have similar lived experiences as us; therefore, I will get to the point.
Fortunately, there are many resources available that can offset some of the symptoms and behavioral issues related to ADHD. Check some of these websites and resources out to find some you can use for your family.
- Child Neurology Foundation: Behavior Management
- Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD): Parenting a Child with ADHD
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: ADHD Resource Center
- Child Mind Institute: Complete Guide to ADHD
- ADDitude Magazine
- More to ADHD: For Adults and Children