Parents of ADHD Children
My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 4, and he is now 6 1/2. He is on Vyvanse. He’s a smart, sweet, sensitive and loving boy and I know that his ADHD gets in the way of his best intentions. However, we really struggle with the morning routine. It’s so stressful every single day, and we always end up at odds or in tears—both of us! He always wakes up wanting to snuggle and warm up to his day, and that is wonderful. But, school has a strict start time and he needs to follow that, we both do. Even when we wake early to allow play time and more leisurely entrance to the day, it always ends up as a struggle in the end. A power struggle, and he becomes very unreasonable. For example, I still have to dress him and he gets distracted at every single item of clothing. He starts to play with something, anything, which makes it hard for me to maneuver his moving body. Or he starts a conversation and that immobilizes him; then he must finish the story or play until he will cooperate. If I address it, he shouts that he is getting dressed.
I tell him when the words he uses are not appropriate or when he needs to focus, but his response is to lash out and to lie, cover his ears, slam the door. He says he is trying, and I know he is so then I feel bad, like there is some magical thing I am missing. But between the rude back talk, lies and uncooperative attitude, I feel SO defeated. I love him and work each day to be patient and loving, but so often I fail because the odds are not in my favor. I get frustrated and I let him know :( It feels impossible to be patient and to think out of the box in 100 different ways each day to help him ... but I do it 99% of the time. Still, I feel awful when he gets upset when I finally break and raise my voice or tell him I don’t accept his behavior, the worst is how sensitive he is to being guilted—yet he seems to choose to disobey house rules while expecting no repercussions. It’s a Catch-22. Let him get away with some misbehavior, he takes a mile. Discipline him, he blames his sister or covers his ears or tells me to stop talking; After asking him to do something 7 to 10 times and physically having to take thing after thing from his hands in order for him to get dressed, etc, it seems clear to me that he is making things challenging. He disagrees. By the time we eat—and he requires three pieces of toast with butter and cinnamon served one at a time hot—he is again zoning out and touching and playing with toys instead of eating (stressful bc he is underweight due to the Vyvanse), running out of the room to complete an impulsive desire, or saying rude things to his sister (3) and singing loudly off in his own world. I always start with quiet reminders, physical cues, etc, but he still does not cease the bad behaviors before 7 to 10 requests, and those finally met mean It feels like nothing connects with him and I feel like a major failure with him. He often has question after question when I attempt discipline seeking loopholes, and he finds loopholes in everything, which makes discipline a great challenge. Again, discipline results in defensiveness, deflection and drama. I just wish I knew how to do better with him. I love him so much and I don’t want to fail him. He loves me, too, and wants to please me but seems unable to control his impulses. Some say people wear their hearts on their sleeves. He wears his heart and his brain right out there on his sleeve, and for him limitations are so hard. How can I adapt myself and the environment for him so I can fit into his brain-scape and all of us can return to the loving unit we are?
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