When choosing a topic to write about for "Life with Bob," I usually like to try to pick just the right one, maybe even do some research to see what my readers are asking about on Google. This week, though, I can only think about one thing: my child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) won't listen to me.
Like everything else in life, the risk factors for mental illness in children are impacted by both nature and nurture. Some of these risk factors I can do something about as a mother raising a child with mental illness, although some are out of my control. Accepting this has been one of the hardest parts of motherhood for me, but it's also been one of the most liberating.
One of the hardest parts of parenting a child with mental illness is watching my kid behave disruptively or throw a larger-than-life tantrum and wondering, "Would this be happening if I were a better mom? Is my child's mental illness a result of my poor parenting?"
There are many repetitive, sometimes less than pleasant habits that come with my child's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and excessive talking is one of them. It's one that I have a particularly hard time tolerating because he has so much to say all the time. Point blank; it can be exhausting for me. I have to remember, though, that everyone has a reason for doing what they do, even things I don't like. Understanding why my child talks excessively and what his ADHD has to do with it is a huge step towards patiently and constructively handling this habit.
One afternoon, I talked to a friend after work about the disconnection I've been feeling lately with my child. My kid argues with almost everything I say (at least, it feels like everything), he never stops talking or moving, and he's been having problems at school. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing control of the situation because I'm not always sure what to do about my child's mental illness, much less how to treat it. What my friend asked me next was, "Have you tried coloring with him?"
Since I author a blog about raising a child with mental illness, you'd think I'd be an expert at handling my own child's attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but that's definitely not the case. Some days I feel overwhelmed by the mental, emotional, and physical toll that this job can take. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, either.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder tantrums -- they're loud, unnerving, embarrassing, and make me question myself as a parent. They come with the territory of raising a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and although they aren't the most fun part of my day, I've found ways to deal with them without sacrificing my sanity (for the most part). I've also learned to understand why my son throws tantrums and where his ADHD comes into play. This understanding has given me clues to how to handle the situation and move forward.
My family and I have recently dealt with a little problem that pops up randomly and unexpectedly: my little boy with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been telling lies. He lies about things he would not even get in trouble for if he told the truth, which makes the situation even more frustrating. I started wondering, though, if this behavior is linked to his ADHD. Is there a connection between childhood ADHD and lying, and what can I do to tackle the issue?
"Raising a child with mental illness is probably one of the easiest things I've ever done. I'm always calm, and I never need any help," said no one ever.