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When both you & your 7 year old daughter are battling ADHD at the same time....

OMG I have NO clue how to handle my daughter at times! (I know, I know, that goes with the whole "parenting territory" but that's not what I mean) When I am so constantly torn between the mother in me as well as the adhd in me that allows me to empathize & sympathize with her & at times my heart breaks for her because I know EXACTLY what she is going through and then the ADHD in me that just has ZERO patience for the rediculousness at times, no matter how much "I get it" & I just want to freakin scream because she is BEING rediculous and I have no idea where to draw the line between the two! How much sympathy & understanding is TOO much yet how much is not enough? I have realized that I am SOOO petrified of the fact that I am responsible for a good portion of my children's psyche & so therefore I over-analyze EVERY decision I make regarding them, so afraid of doing that "one wrong thing" that will alter how they turn out! At the same time, however, I am fully aware that there is no ONE thing that I could say or do that will make or break how my kids turn out, I truly do know that. I just have no clue how either of us are going to survive the next 11 years!! :-O Man....I needed that! Thanks for listening! ;-)

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Comment by Stephanie Rediske on July 15, 2010 at 6:41am
Oh Dana, I don't know how you do it with THREE kids! lol But what you said in the beginning about "getting it", is so ironic b/c I was just telling my daughter the other day that even though other people in her family may understand her, the one thing she will always be able to count on is that I get her and I always will! That's part of my problem is that 1. I don't want my daughter "playing off of" my understanding of her & using it to her advantage plus I don't want it to seem to my other children that Alli has favoritism or anything but yet I don't want to make Alli feel uncomfortable if I spill her business to her siblings like that because she is already SOOOO emotionally sensitive (like her mother) and ANY type of criticism she takes SOO personally.

Bottom line is, I am TERRIFIED of Alli going through all the crap I went through growing up!
Comment by Dana Arcuri on June 6, 2010 at 10:59pm
As an ADDer mom of 3 ADDer kids, I have learned through the years that I am a BETTER MOM because I "totally get it!" In all honesty, I am much more understanding, compassionate, encouraging and accepting of my kids because I have been in their shoes and I want more than ever for my kids to lead healthy, productive, successful lives, regardless of being diagnosed with ADHD. I consider myself my kids #1 cheerleader & advocate!

Try not to be so hard on yourself or your daughter. Remember to allow your daughter to learn from HER mistakes. Nothing is wrong with making mistakes.....we are only human......No one is perfect....

What is important is to learn from your own mistakes, to gain better insight and to not repeat the mistake. It helps when we "lighten up" and do not take everything so seriously, but try to look at the most positive side with optimism. What matters the most is how we respond to others.

If you are stressed out or uptight, your daughter will sense that something is wrong and she may become tense, fearful or extra hyperactive. Yet, if we try to take the good with the bad, keep a good sense of humor and actively look for the positive in everything, we may truly find something positive! (What we think = what we get!)

As mother's with ADHD, we may very well encounter more stress on a daily basis. What has been helpful to me is taking time to "recharge my batteries" and to slow down long enough to relax, enjoy my kids and be thankful for all the blessings in my life!
Comment by Charlie Girl on June 6, 2010 at 2:02am
I'm there with my son who is now 15. Something I have learned is that you still need certain lines that can't be crossed. The ADHD is not allowed to be an excuse. You may go a little easier on her than you would a sibling, like homework has to be done every night but just because her sister could get it done in 1/2 an hour doesn't mean you should give her that strict time line, etc.

I found with my son that I can't let him come home and play, then work on homework later. I thought the break would be beneficial since he has ADHD and needed down time. It doesn't work. It really is easier for them to do the work when it is very fresh in their minds and they are still in the buckle down to business mentality from school.

Some of the rules that should be strictly enforced: you do go to school every day, you do homework as soon as you get home. If you want to play, then get it done. You do show respect to everyone. If you don't like someone you can still be polite. They don't have to be a buddy but you don't tell them what you think about them. You do pick up after yourself even if I have to stand over you until it becomes habit. Never allow her to be mouthy to you. Personal hygiene is to be taken seriously.

I think you get the message. I really messed up by being lenient with my son in some of these areas and now I'm struggling to make him more responsible. Some of these things I have always required and while he may not like it, he does follow them without question.

Having ADHD myself, I felt the same way you do. I learned the hard way that kids with ADHD need strict boundaries and its very hard for us to be that self disciplined. Since they have to learn to function in life to be successful, we don't do them any favors by expecting less from them than they are capable of.

Its not easy for anyone, especially when the parent has ADHD and understands how hard it is for them, not to mention its hard for us to be a strict disciplinarian when we are fighting our symptoms ourselves.

When she is a teen you will be very glad you forced yourself to be "mean" when she was younger. Many times when girls hit puberty their symptoms get worse. We owe it to them to be the best parent we can be for them now and prepare them for the future when we aren't there watching over them every minute.

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