You can’t understand it, you love your child with all your heart. He is the love of your life. You love spending time with him, but he hurts you.
You don’t see other parents getting abused by their child, yet this is happening to you almost every single day, you’re exhausted, broken, and drained.
You get up every day with the hope that your aggressive ADHD child will have learned, but they don’t, they can’t. You brace yourself for more, knowing your child can’t help it.
It’s not your fault. It’s nothing you’ve done wrong. Your kid’s brain is wired differently than other kid’s brains, it’s as simple as that. It’s difficult to remember this though when your child is ripping your hair out by the roots or punching your husband in the face, but it’s a fact.
You learn to tiptoe around your child, trying to prevent the next explosion of aggressive behavior, which can be set off by the tiniest of things.
Your child takes ADHD medication to help him control his aggressive outbursts, but those meds wear off at about 3.30 pm, so after that, your child can be very explosive. He fights you and your spouse. You’ve tried all the therapies and the parenting courses, you’ve got a bookshelf full of books about ADHD, you’re trying your best.
You’re doing your best in the worse situation imaginable, and it will get better, it will take time, but it will get better. It’s not your fault.
The confusion when your child calms down and returns to their sweet little self is overwhelming but a huge relief. Your child is scared and ashamed of his behavior, worried and dazed.
You take your child in your arms and sob together because you know he can’t help it, and you know he is more distressed than you are. You reassure him that you love him and that everything is ok, because it is.
Broken, you go to bed at night wondering how you could have done things differently, turning events over in your brain. Your marriage is strained through the stress of getting through each day. You know tomorrow will be the same. Each day you try to teach your child to be kind, to be calm, to self-regulate and each day he struggles to contain the impulse to hurt and wound.
You want the world to know what goes on behind closed doors. Having a child with ADHD symptoms doesn’t just mean you’re dealing with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. There are many other behavior problems you are dealing with every single day: Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Reactive Aggression, Hyper Aggressive Behaviour, Obsessive Thoughts, Obsessive Actions, Lack Of Empathy, General Safety Issues, and many, many more.
What you want the world to know is that although you smile and pretend you’re fine, you’re actually broken inside. You worry about your child’s future, your family’s future, your mental health. You reach out for help from the specialists and have attended all the parent training courses, but ultimately, you’re on your own. You are surviving day to day with an aggressive ADHD child. You are truly exhausted.
You want the world to know that in everyday situations, you’re just waiting for the next explosion, if you seem distracted, that is why. You avoid situations where you have to take your child as you know he will be overstimulated, which will lead to a huge meltdown. It’s the old saying, “it’s not you, it’s me,” you’re not avoiding people, you’re just putting out fires. You cant relax in company when your child is around, you’re permanently on high alert.
That’s what you want the world to know, but most of all, you want them to know that this child is the love of your life, he’s intelligent, funny, and kind, tenacious, bright, and loving. He is a bundle of joy and extremes. He’s daring and courageous, he’s all the things every other child is and more. But there’s a part of his brain that doesn’t work the same as other children, and that’s what you deal with daily. He’s not naughty. He’s just a little bit broken and can’t control his impulsive behavior. With love, kindness, and perseverance, you’ll get there. You’ll help him grow into a kind caring young man.
Many disorders cause a child not to be able to control their anger. ADHD is one of those disorders. My child is 9 years old; he hits, kicks, and throws things at me almost every day. Not toddler hits, hard punches to the face, pulling hair out at the roots, real hard kicks aimed to cause pain. He has had therapy and is medicated, it’s a living hell, but he is also the sweetest kid you’ll ever meet. Some days are worse than others and for the most part, my child is happy, however, the meltdowns are extreme. I am not alone. In the Facebook chat groups, many parents of children with ADHD and ASD are going through the same thing. If you see a mum struggling, it’s not always down to bad parenting. She’s probably doing the very best she can in circumstances you can not begin to imagine.
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