Parenting and ADHD

2 min
at 10:43 PM

Behavior most consider normal and acceptable are the product of hard work by Rachel Blatt’s son and family. It’s a struggle, but their focus is on where he’s going, not just how to get there.

It was before bedtime when we go over our highs and lows of the day when my six-year-old son said, “My low today was when my friend said that his mom told him he couldn’t play with me anymore.” My heart broke. It’s not unexpected. My son has ADHD and has struggled with impulse control and inappropriate behaviors his entire life.

He hits, kicks and throws things when he is mad. He screams verbal obscenities, says inappropriate and scary things and like any boy, loves to delve into potty humor. Only he doesn’t know how to stop. It’s been a struggle since before he could walk or talk to soothe him and, as he has grown, to regulate his emotions. Thanks to years of support, he can name the levels of emotions and has a growing list of tools to keep him in the green zone. He has friends like FlexRex, RockBrain, Cool Q Cucumber and Glassman that remind him what emotions are best when. We focus on positive behavior, use reward charts and model self-regulation.

And yes, he takes medication.

And even with all of this, it’s a daily struggle, a struggle for our entire family as we try to set boundaries and stay calm. A parent can only be kicked and told they are hated so many times simply for asking him to sit down for dinner.

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So it’s not a surprise that another parent doesn’t want her kid to be around him. Maybe he said a bad word or wrestled a little too hard. I get it. If I didn’t have a kid like him I would probably do the same thing.

Yet at his best, he is truly an amazing kid with limitless athletic abilities, not to mention his mad dance skills and impersonations. He loves his friends and family, and wants nothing more than to be accepted. His behaviors embarrass him and he would do anything to be better.

So I tell my son he is like a fighter jet, faster, stronger and more powerful than most. He just has complicated controls and once he figures out how to work them there’s no telling how far he can go. But for now it’s a bumpy ride.

With a Perspective, I’m Rachel Blatt.

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Rachel Blatt lives in Lafayette.

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