Today I just have to rant. Or rave. Or say how I really truly feel about something. I like being optimistic. I like looking on the bright side. I like to find the good in all situations. Right now I’m just angry. And a little bit appalled. Why? I’m angry because in this “enlightened” world we live in, with information at our fingertips, there are still people out there who choose to pass on drivel and misinformation as “fact”. I’m sorry, but that just makes me angry. We are all entitled to our opinions, it’s what makes the world go ’round, but I just cannot NOT comment on things sometimes.
My daughter is ADHD and also has anxiety issues. I am ADHD and have Social Anxiety Disorder. I am a good mother. I am a damned good mother, and I will challenge anyone who wishes to say otherwise. My daughter is my world. She is bright, creative, energetic, compassionate, honest, enlightened, mature, loving, kind and lots of other good things. At times she is a tight knot of anxiety that no amount of Calgon is going to take away. (I’m definitely dating myself with that reference) She is intelligent and resourceful, but she cannot stay organized, she zones out and daydreams, and forgets easily. She is never rude, she is never hateful, she is never mean. She is well behaved and always has been. She is polite to anyone she meets and is respectful of her elders.
I am constantly looking for ways to help her deal with her symptoms, as well as ways to deal with my own. I scour the internet looking for articles and blogs on the subject hoping to find some helpful information that I can pair with her treatment (which includes counseling and an ADHD specialist). This is where the anger and dismay comes in. I run across blogs claiming “ADHD Another Word For Bad Parenting”, or articles that hint that ADHD is nothing a good sound spanking won’t cure. Okay, Okay, I know people are entitled to their own opinions, but really? In today’s world where we supposedly have so much information at our fingertips, why is mental illness and disorders of the brain still the most misunderstood? Why on earth would anyone claim that just because my child zones out and can’t pay attention to math and happens to talk nonstop that I am a bad parent and that all my child’s troubles would be cured if only I would give her the whipping she deserves?? We have rules in our home same as anyone else. I expect my child to follow the rules the same as anyone else. I do NOT however believe in punishing her for behaviors that are beyond her control. I guess I should just give her a beating when she has night terrors? I suppose I am not to comfort her when she is crying, or try to help her when she is depressed and I am afraid she may harm herself? I am supposed to let her struggle with her homework assignments because she is “capable” of doing it on her own because she’s a smart girl?
I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. I thought it was my job to nurture, to teach and to help. I thought it was my job to search for ways to help her cope with her symptoms so that when she is an adult she can function on her own and be a productive member of society. I thought it was my job to do what was needed, change my OWN habits if necessary, for her benefit? (and I’m not talking about letting her get away with things, I’m just talking about the fact that sometimes you have to change your perceptions to realize that what is easy for YOU is not easy for THEM and you have to allow them to do things the way that makes sense to them). If I tell her “clean up your room” for instance, that is readily understood by many, but for someone with ADHD, that is too broad of a demand. Unless I break it up into the steps I expect her to complete, then I am going to come in an hour later and find nothing much has been done. That’s what I’m talking about when I say change the way you do things. I can’t expect my child to think something is easy just because I do.
Alright, I’m taking a deep breath now and climbing down from my soapbox. There is a lot of GOOD information out there for people dealing with ADHD and other mental health issues. Sometimes though, the bad just gets to me.
I saw the link for attention talk video through the CHADD website and found a lot of good information there. I thought I would share it in honor of ADHD awareness. Please find it in the sidebar on the right hand side of the page under the heading ADHD links. I will add other useful links as I find them! Hope you can find something useful there!