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Parents of ADHD Children

My in-laws think they are running the show.

Warning…. this might be long winded!
I recently packed up my 2 kids, 6yr girl and 11mo boy, and moved across the country to be near my in- laws. My husband had to stay behind for a few months, but will be joining us this time next month. Until he gets here we have been staying with an Aunt in a ‘cozy’ 1 bdrm house. My 6yr old has ADHD and while I’m used to it, the rest of the family is not. I have my ideas on how to raise her and they have their own, they do not agree with my way. Every time i turn around i am being second guessed, undermined and flat out argued with in front of my daughter. I have had a hard enough time getting her to listen to me or do as i ask since she was old enough to talk back. I end up getting frustrated and just not saying anything anymore because she will just run to one of them is she doesn’t like what i say and then it’s an argument between the adults. I realize i only have 30 days until dad gets here, but I am tired of being treated like a child in front of my daughter. Sometimes some of the things said to my daughter by the in-laws are harsh and i feel like i am letting her down by not standing up for her. What do i do?


You poor thing .Its just so incredibly hard trying to raise a child with special needs let alone trying to deal with people undermining you and second guessing . It teaches the child to question your authority and you to question your own decisions.
Your daughter has also quickly figured out the dynamic which is clearly not beneficial as she is “splitting” the adults and using one against the other in a manipulative way . That’s not her fault , it’s the result of the toxic environment . It’s hard to move out of course- have you sat down and had a serious discussion ?
Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come .

Posted by LEANNEROBBO on Jun 29, 2014 at 1:56am

What seems confusing for me (you weren’t long-winded enough wink )—is that usually in circumstances like this, it would be the in-laws blaming you for not parenting your child properly (meaning anything the child does that is WRONG is your fault for not punishing her severely enough…) which doesn’t make them the “type” that a child might Run To. 

Regardless of the specific details that does not excuse them from questioning your authority with her present.  Might be more “helpful” if I had more details, but NOT trying to pry either.  Just confused.

Posted by BC on Jun 29, 2014 at 2:07am

Im having a hard time understanding what you mean BC. Ask me questions and if i can answer them i will. smile

Posted by goldielox78 on Jun 29, 2014 at 4:27am

Leannerobo~ I have tried to have a conversation about how i have done things or want things done a certain way pertaining to my daughter and i was told flat out ‘no that’s not the way to do it’. A few examples are: wanting to post a morning bathroom routine to get her in a habit of what to do without her forgetting something and subsequently getting yelled at. Folding clothes in her dresser drawers tightly to fit 4 stacks of shirts across it’s setting her up for failure. She is 6 and has ADHD, asking her to pick a top without making a mess is pointless when she needs to look at every top every time. Not giving her choices of what she wants to eat or what clothes to wear( my daughter has 2 dressers, one for play clothes and one for outings). She is a sweet little girl when her brain lets her and she just wants to be loved.

Posted by goldielox78 on Jun 29, 2014 at 4:46am

I think I managed to clear up my own confusion by coming up with some other possible scenarios…

So while I was thinking about those possible scenarios I also tried to not stereotype the inlaws in a certain light (guilty, opinionated adults who *should* definitely know better)—which made me wonder if the inlaws in question are just blurting out their thoughts (thinking they’re being helpful by sharing “tips” & “advice”) but doing it at the totally wrong time (child is present, not that their unsolicited advice would be fine as long as it was after the fact). 

Any chance the side of the family where the ADHD comes from is his side (& these particular inlaws are afflicted with chronic Foot In Mouth disorder, aka ADHD)?

Posted by BC on Jun 29, 2014 at 5:32am

Lol! I was thinking more about things after my last post and one thing replayed from a previous conversation. “Im not going to let her be raised like you were. You basically had to teach yourself things and they are wrong.” That and ” did you tell ( my husband) that you had these kind of issues when you first got together?” So i wish i could say they are trying to give ‘advice’ at the wrong time, i am starting to think they don’t think i am a good parent. That i don’t have good parenting skills. Everything changes when you throw a learning disability or behavioral problem in the mix.

Posted by goldielox78 on Jun 29, 2014 at 5:50am

Oooo…not good at all…sounds like they’ve already judged your parents as raising you “wrong,” and so they think they are doing The Right Thing by making sure you don’t do the same thing to your daughter.

Sounds like they know exactly WHAT they are doing then—making sure both you & your daughter know that their way is “right” and that your way is all “wrong.”

That’s a really horrible position to be in.  I’m so sorry!

Posted by BC on Jun 29, 2014 at 6:51am

It sounds like you’re going to need to sit them down and show them where the line is (in as firm but calm and loving way as possible) or you’re going to be dealing with this forever since you’re closer to them now. The only problem is your husband not being there… I’d really want him to take the lead since it’s his family. They need to know he’s behind the idea and it’s not just you. Is there any way he could come out for even just a visit so the conversation can happen?  He *is* 100% behind you on this, right?

Posted by Rai0414 on Jun 30, 2014 at 6:53am

Yes he and i are on the same page. Unfortunately money is very tight so him coming early is not an option.

Posted by goldielox78 on Jul 02, 2014 at 3:40am

I can relate to the in-law issues. Our son is 8 with ADHD. Though my husband has been told that my son do not talk back or act out with me because in my husband’s opinion, I allowed it when he was a child nor do he talk back to his teachers because of the same opinion that I allowed my son to talk back to me when he was younger, he and my in-laws constantly tell me that if I would have been spanking him more when he was a little boy, he would not be doing it now. My in-laws are really ole’ school where a child is to be seen and not heard and my husband constantly listen to their views about how he should be handling the situation with our son. Our child Psychologist has also told my husband that planting fear in a child with ADHD of being spanked will only work until that child is no longer afraid and children with ADHD tend not to be afraid quite quickly. We should be teaching through praising good behavior rather than focusing on his bad behaviors. Repetitively and consistently praising their good behaviors has long term effect. This does not mean ignoring bad actions, but it means picking your battles and not trying to make a perfect child out the gate. I would recommend talking with your husband about his family and letting him fight that battle. Coming from you can be a hard stretch after the conversation. Our society has this image of what a good parent is suppose to look like when we have children that do everything right when seen. Our society has this image of what a good child is as long as that child in public act a certain way. Don’t care about intent or who that child is internally or what demons our children are fighting. It’s time your in-laws understand that children with ADHD have a greater fight and are more exceptional because of their greater fight to fit the image of society.

Posted by JohnFam on Jul 28, 2014 at 5:03am

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