Parents of ADHD Children
Who is right?
This job, of being a parent of an ADHD child, this job of worrying and watching and biting my tongue or saying the encouraging thing, this monkey on my back of never knowing if she’s doing her part or maybe I’m not doing mine…people, I am just so TIRED! I want help. I want to tag team this wrestling match. I want someone to slap my hand so I can climb out of the ring for a blessed minute. Someone else can wrestle with whether her homework is done. Someone else can determine that, well, alright, she got a B, that’s pretty good, she’s doing fine…or is she? Could she have done better if she’d spent more than 10 minutes studying? How can I get her to care more? How can I get her to try harder? How can I motivate her to follow a routine? How can I inspire her to organize her book bag? To keep pencils on hand? To remember her planner? Why doesn’t this bother her at LEAST AS MUCH as it bothers me? This is HER life I’m focusing on, after all, not mine!! If she can’t be bothered, why should I beat myself up over it, then???
She gets some A’s and some B’s and some C’s, and sometimes she gets a D or has an F until she turns in that major assignment for half credit which might bring her up to a C again. I can’t tell if this is her doing her best, or just plodding through the days. I can’t tell if she’s depressed or truly engaged. I can’t tell if MY WORRYING is the thing that is dragging her down or prompting her to try. Or both!
She says she’s fine. She says she’s on top of it. She is not. But she almost is. She’s okay. Maybe.
So where is the truth of the situation? Is she right? Is she fine? Should I let this 13 year old girl just be a 13 year old girl and let her stumble along, hopefully learn how to improve on her own? Or should I listen to my gut? Should I hire that professional organizer to work with her? Get the professional organizer lady to make my daughter clean out her book bag and develop a daily routine? Force her to be accountable to someone, if not me, then SOMEONE, at least?
But it’s like the blind leading the blind. We only know she dropped the ball AFTER she has dropped the ball. She says, for example, no, I don’t have a quiz on Monday. Guess what? Wrong. She DID have a quiz on Monday. How is the professional organizer lady going to be any better at helping if she gets the same misinformation that I get? And why doesn’t my daughter KNOW she has a quiz on Monday? How can she not know that? That is crazy to me. I mean, what the…??? And I don’t think my daughter knows why this happens. So how can she correct a problem she can’t quite grasp?
I dunno, people. I am mostly just venting here today I think. And maybe this should have been posted under “Anxiety and ADHD” because I have ADD, too, and maybe this is just me spinning my little ADD wheels because it’s easier than actually accomplishing anything at work or at home. I’m too busy fretting over my kid. Maybe I should stop worrying about her and just get some damn laundry done. Maybe this is her problem to solve. Or not solve. So it’s never solved. So what?
Don’t any of you struggle with this question? “How much of this is MY problem?” Are we really helping them when we help them? How do you hold someone accountable by only offering rewards, by the way? We can’t punish, punish, punish. How silly. But what’s the alternative? Do nothing when they don’t perform?
So maybe I’m right that my daughter needs help and could be doing better, but maybe she’s right that she’s mostly fine. And maybe, either way, it’s not my life. Maybe I’m wrong to be so worried. Maybe I shouldn’t even ask if her homework is done or if she has a quiz on Monday. But also maybe that is a pretty poor example of what it means to be a parent.
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