By mother of a proud to be ADHD son.
It all begins with that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is not right with my child. You continue to tell yourself that it’s simply their age or perhaps that they are just rather overenthusiastic: deep down secretly wondering if it is in fact down to poor parenting? Time passes with much frustration, many tears and even despair at times. Repeatedly asking yourself, why does my child never seem to listen? Why are they not able to sit still? Why are they not like other children? Why must my child run off at every given opportunity? Why does my child always seem to be ‘the naughty’ one? You may have experienced the scornful frown or encounter those who feel they feel it acceptable to openly comment about your child. From the man in the library who declared ‘Oh Christ another unruly child’ to everyone within earshot as my son was excitedly in wonder of his first library visit or the supermarket checkout lady who decided to tell me ‘that your need to feed your child bananas and not weets!’ as my son was being his usual loud self.
Your parenting instinct will eventually override the ‘it’s just a phase mode’ and you will come to realise that your child is different so don’t be afraid to seek help. This being something you would expect to be an easy process. Sadly, I have encountered some truly unsupportive people that were willing to deem my child with immaturity or behavioural problems and were happy to show me to the door but these are a small minority. Do NOT let this put you off your journey of trying to help your child. Do not let yourself be fobbed off or be made to feel like you are overreacting. Whilst it hard, keep going and keep demanding until you find someone who is willing to listen and take you seriously. The day finally came that after my son was assessed: I was sat ready and waiting for the diagnosis. When the term ADHD was presented to me I didn’t really understand what it meant for child although what it did give me was something that I don’t think I’d ever have and that was hope. The hope that my son could get some help and that things could get better. Having hope when you feel so desperately helpless is a very powerful thing. I came to understand very quickly that there was a whole world of controversy that surrounded these four letters! Little did I realise that there would be a wealth of discrimination and ignorance encompassing my child’s condition. To have a child who does not act the way that they do out of choice, who did not want nor ask to have ADHD will still be deemed as an lesser individual within society is utterly heart-breaking. You can either allow societies perceptions to crush you and stifle your child or you can embrace ADHD and allow your child to become who they are truly meant to be.
Is ADHD hard to deal with? YES. Is ADHD portrayed as a simply a label for ‘naughty’ children? YES. Is your child any less special because that have a condition that may be challenging? NO and for all you parents that are wondering…does it get better? YES. My son’s behaviour was incredibly difficult from the ages of 0 to 5. There were times when I felt that I could no longer cope but I promise you if you can learn to love all that ADHD brings, you and your child will have such a wonderful future. My child brings noise and chatter (lots of it too!) but this means I also get to experience all of his funny stories and watch him grow creatively. My son likes to help to the point of interfering but I would rather than repress his helpful side. I see so many children now that would not think to help another so I embrace this. My son seems to be unable to walk, he will run, skip, jog of shimmy along quite unaware that he is in his own little world but I love to see my child being carefree rather than pretending to be someone they are not to conform within society. I could chose to see my son as loud, disruptive and hyperactive but I choose to see him as creative, playful and a happy lively ball full of sunshine, smiles and love.
The harsh reality is that ADHD is difficult for parents but do not underestimate that behind that loud persona there will usually be a child who is made to feel they are wrong and inferior and each day will be a struggle. It can be easy to focus upon one’s own emotions during difficult days so I will always sit and take a moment to watch my son whilst he sleeps. This puts into perspective that the vulnerable child sleeping quietly in their bed is one that needs support and encouragement for who they are good and bad. They will need you to see beyond their ADHD and see they beauty and potential within them as most of society sadly won’t.
There is no magic answer nor can I say it is easy but I will say is this...Your child needs you to love them...your child needs to be encourage to embrace who they are…your child will struggle with things but don’t give up hope that they can achieve greatness…a child with ADHD is a blessing. With all the challenges that the condition brings: focus on the wonderful things that it comes with too. My son and I have a ‘love book’. At the end of a difficult day, I will write my son a message of love and focus upon something that has made me proud that day as it can be all too easy to focus upon the negatives. This provides a calm and peaceful chance to focus upon the positives: the written word can be more powerful than the spoken one. For your child to read how great you think they are is an encouraging start to their day. In return he will write me a message, usually a note of thanks or love. This is a wonderful feeling when you as a parent can get reassurance that even though you may not feel it: your child loves you. ADHD is not an excuse but simply an explanation: it is a labour of love.
Article by mother of a proud to be ADHD son.
This article was received during March 2013
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