I don’t know a parent that doesn’t have some guilt about something, somewhere, sometime. It might be something that happened a while ago or it might be something that happened recently. It seems to be part of parenting, which is a shame. Parenting is tough – we need to admit this. Anyone who says it’s not tough should be banished from our presence. They have no idea what they’re talking about.
ADHD parenting is even harder.
It’s supremely challenging to parent children who some people think just need:
- a spanking
- better parents
- more prayer
- less sugar
- and more…
But we don’t have to buy into this and I see way too many parents who are in defensive mode by default.
Standing up for your child
The war to champion your ADHD children will be won through patience and understanding, not by building a fortress around your children or yourself. We need to let go of the model of parenting from fear. We need to let go of the fears we have about raising ADHD children.
Certainly there are those who would criticize and belittle you but I notice that there are parents who criticize and belittle themselves to such an extent that they believe that they are surrounded by turmoil and trouble, and they don’t see that they have control over this because a good chunk of it comes from themselves.
YOU are the key to ending your guilt.
I know for sure that there are people reading this who are ticked off at me right now. I assure you that I hold nothing against you. I think you’re brave for reading this blog post, and I’m one of the safest, most compassionate people you’ll meet when it comes to parenting your ADHD child.
The fact that I have techniques that work better than the techniques you’re using that aren’t working is not a criticism, and you don’t have to take it as a criticism. Parenting an ADHD child or teen isn’t something that just comes naturally; it is a learned skill. Expecting you to be a near-perfect mom is just plain mean. I don’t think you’re the cause of your child’s challenges, even if you also have ADHD.
What I DO think is that YOU ARE THE SOLUTION.
Eliminate the Guilt and Shame
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Especially with ADHD, comparisons are worthless. There are so many variables! ADHD occurs differently in everybody; all you have to focus on is what works for you and your family. Or, what works for your ADHD child. Some people homeschool, some take advantage of a free public education, and some pay for private schooling. There isn’t a best way to go. There’s only a best way for your child and your family.
Shame comes when we think we’re supposed to look a certain way. That’s a lie that’s keeping you unhappy. If your family is better this year than last, that’s good progress!
No future-tripping. As parents, we waver between the dream and the dread. We move from hope to discouragement and back again, sometimes several times a day. But while you’re doing all that, your children are right in front of you, wondering where you are that you’re so sad, so angry, so frustrated, so worried.
In Seattle, where I live, we call this “future tripping.” We worry needlessly about what will happen.
Now I know that it’s perfectly logical to draw a line from Hitting School Kids to Assault and Battery. It’s logical to draw a line from Failing Math to Flipping Burgers at a Fast Food Joint. But here’s the problem with that…
Life isn’t as predictable as we think, and we are not fortune tellers.
My client, Rosie, struggled with school a lot but her leadership skills were so strong that she got a scholarship to college.
Dylan also had trouble in school but he’s great with people and with mechanical things and he’s the manager of an automotive repair shop and rebuilds cars in his spare time. He’s 23.
Mike was not a top college student at age 18 so he got a job and has moved up the ranks in this same company since he was 19. At 35, he’s a top student now that he’s gone back to college.
Worrying about the future is pointless because we can’t predict all the wonderful things that can happen to our children. Obsessing about what our kids can’t do or can’t be doesn’t allow for growth and change. Our kids live in the present. Let’s live there with them.
Have fun. This is what you and your kids will fondly remember. It’s nice to stand up for your child, and it’s necessary too, but there needs to be FUN! More laughter and more silliness. More carefree moments and more living in the moment. Consistency is important for ADHD kids but so is fun. Let loose on a regular basis. Choose a night of the week when worrying is not allowed! Do a project together. Make a list of things to do around your city or town and do that. Invite people over. Let laughter and love reign in your home.
I know this all sounds simple and too good to be true but it’s not. This will work if you let it. Are you willing to try it? Do you want some support? Do you want to hear that your parenting is just fine the way it is?
Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
What troubles you about parenting an ADHD child or teen?
Let’s talk! No judgment, no salesy come-on. However you WILL receive a good deal of TLC and a slew of strategies. You can say anything. You can cry. You can swear. Your confidentiality is guaranteed, and I promise to listen and give you hope and relief. (You might even find yourself spontaneously doing a happy dance).
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Thank you for ‘being there’ to share your wealth of knowledge and personal experience with us who are ‘floundering’ and ‘lost in the forest’ when it comes to ‘dealing with special and difficult circumstances’. Gratefully yours, Rochelle H, Alberta, Canada xox ((((BIG HUGS)))
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