Friday, April 27, 2012

Not with my kid you don't!

Being the parent of an ADHD child and the spouse of an ADHD adult I can say with confidence I have learned to be more patient and understanding. That has transcended over to other aspects of my life. I am now more patient and understanding with other people, because I practice it so much at home, and also because I truly believe you should do on to others what you would have others do on to you.

And then there are the things I wish others would STOP doing on to me/us. I say this understanding that many times these actions are not with ill intention, but rather due to lack of knowledge. I also know that many parents wish other people would follow their same parenting rules, but when it comes to children with ADHD, not doing so has dier consequences.

Children in general need consistency, but children with ADHD depend on this to thrive.

Here are a few examples:

  • "Your Dad said you needed to do homework at 3:30pm, but since you are still playing we can wait till 4:30pm". 
    • Wrong- This will only lead a child to break a pattern already established, which took weeks if not months to establish, with no lack of complaints. You have now invited more complaints at home that will go something like this "but so-and-so let me wait till 4:30pm", then come 4:30 pm they will complain about not being able to do whatever other activity they had become accustomed to doing.

  • "Your Mom said you couldn't eat oranges or applesauce at school? You are not allergic and they are healthy? Here, have some!"
    • Wrong- All ADHD medication is absorbed less into the system if in combination with high does of vitamin C. This means the medication will not last as long, and the child will be without medication for the rest of the day. You do not want to see my child without medication! Just ask her 1st grade teacher!

  • "Your Dad doesn't let you jump on the bed at home, but you can do it here".
    • Wrong- This doesn't apply to just jumping on the bed, but any rule a parent has implemented at home with an ADHD child. Once they break a rule/pattern, regardless in the company of whom, they will insist on doing it again, and the way an ADHD child insists is not something you want to be present for. And you think that saying "you can do it here" helps?? Oh no!! That doesn't stay with them. That disappeared from their consciousness as fast as you were finished saying it. All they know now is they can do it, and do it they will.

  • "Your Mom should buy you that sugary cereal! My kids ate it when growing up and they grew up just fine" (very common from older people walking by us at the supermarket cereal aisle). 
    • Wrong- An ADHD child is hyper enough. You don't need added sugars to aid in that. Also, ADHD medication is appetite suppressive, and it is very hard to keep your child well fed. Why feed them all the wrong stuff when they DO want to eat?

Nobody likes others questioning their parenting, but with ADHD children its not a matter of liking it, you are flushing down the toilet what was long and stressful days of hard work and consistency. It isn't easy for an ADHD parent to remain steadfast, but the people around us aren't making it any easier. Knowledge is power, so I do my best to inform people about ADHD. Maybe the people I am informing are not the people making things harder for my kid, but maybe, just maybe, I have helped them to avoid making those mistakes with other kids. Those other kids may not be ADHD, but I'm betting those parents would appreciate you following their rules.

Do you break other parents' rules?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

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