1-2-3 Magic Parenting
1-2-3 Magic Parenting

ADHD: A Bad Day for Mom

Email sent: Oct 30, 2019 7:01am

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Why doctors can’t always help, and the impact on parents
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Ask Dr. Phelan: When Parents Lose Their Temper
Imagine a mom who has a very active four-year-old. She's worried that some day he'll kill his little sister, he seems driven by a motor, and he's been kicked out of two preschools. Mom has an 11 am appointment with her pediatrician to talk about the situation. The doctor has said over the phone that perhaps the boy is "hyperactive."
 
At 11 o'clock, Mom enters the doctor's office with her son. The boy hardly moves, he's polite, he's cute, and he answers all the doctor's questions. Mom is angry, thinking to herself, "What's your problem, kiddo? Do to him what you do to me all the time!" Unfortunately, this physician doesn't know that research has demonstrated that 80% of ADHD kids will sit still in a doctor's office.
 
The doctor's conclusion? Mom may be emotionally unstable or may in fact be causing the boy's bad behavior. The doctor tries to explain this nicely to the mother. Mom is crushed. Her self-esteem drops to minus 48. She leaves very upset. ADHD children are not known for their sympathy. Sensing his mother's turmoil, the little fellow acts up worse than ever during the afternoon. This culminates in a full-blown tantrum over a cookie at 6 pm right as Dad walks in the kitchen door.
 
Dad sees what's happening, and bellows at his son, "Knock it off, young man, or I'll kick your butt from here to Alaska!" Slowly and quietly, the four-year-old gets up and slinks out of the kitchen. Dad now turns to Mom, points a finger in her face and says, "Now why the hell can't you do that?" Mom's self-esteem at this point? Minus 72. Not an unusual scenario. Ask moms of kids with ADHD.
 
That's what I call getting burned.
 
For help on how to handle and ADHD child, check out this post on the Divide and Conquer routine.
 
                                                                               Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D.
 
 

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