I Can't Handle My Child's ADHD
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.
When I did keyword research for this post and researched the phrase, "raising a child with ADHD," I came up with results like these: "I have no patience for my ADHD child," "I can't handle my ADHD child," and "overwhelmed with ADHD child." In other words, parents are trying to figure out how to handle their child's ADHD. I'm still trying to figure it out, too, but I have some idea as to why I feel so overwhelmed with my child's ADHD sometimes and ways I can handle it a little bit better.
This Is Why I Can't Handle My Child's ADHD
Despite all the research I've done, all the learning I've accomplished, and all the advice I've given, I still have some days when I feel like I simply can't handle my child's ADHD. That's because, frankly, parenting someone with ADHD is a very noisy occupation, and I've always been overly sensitive to noise. (Figures, right?) Whether he's angry, happy, or sad, my kid is guaranteed to be loud and always has something to say. As the day progresses, I get overstimulated and tired, and I start feeling like I'm losing my handle on my child and his ADHD.
Sometimes I can't handle my child's ADHD because I run out of ideas, and I get desperate. Maybe I can't get him to listen or stop throwing tantrums. Maybe it's two hours after his bedtime, and I have to be up for work in five hours, but I can't make him go to sleep. Maybe he's finally realized he isn't getting a Hotwheels at the grocery store, and I'm getting defeated by yet another cosmic meltdown. After trying every idea I can think of to get control of the situation (and failing), I eventually hit a roadblock and feel hopelessly unable to handle my child's ADHD a nanosecond longer. In short, I don't know what to do next.
I can't handle my child's ADHD because I start feeling sorry for myself. Self-pity is my most formidable enemy, especially when it comes to raising my kid. I tell myself that raising a child with a mental illness is just too hard. I feel miserable, run-down, and alone. I start to feel pretty sure that life will never get better, I'll never get a handle on my child's ADHD, and no one else has to go through what I'm going through. I tell myself a string of lies that make me feel even sorrier for myself.
All the problems I just discussed start with me: I'm fed up; I'm out of ideas; I'm throwing a pity party. I can't handle my child's ADHD because of something in me. Luckily, though, that's where the solution lies, too: myself.
Handling My Child's ADHD Is All About Perspective
When I lose my handle on my child's ADHD, it's because of my own thinking. It has more to do with what's going on in my brain than my kid's, so to solve the problem, that's where I need to start. For instance, I try to avoid judging myself for not being able to handle something as complex and overwhelming as a child's ADHD. With or without ADHD, all parents struggle with being able to handle their children with perfect grace every moment of every day. No one can handle their kids. It's nothing to judge. It's simply being a parent.
Then I remind myself that my little boy won't be little forever. I won't always be bombarded with high-pitched screaming and angry, senseless arguments that go in circles so quickly they make me dizzy. Someday he'll grow up, and this chapter in our lives will end. When I think like that, it makes me grateful for my kid's childhood and makes all the difficulties that go along with his ADHD a bit easier to handle.
When a change in perspective doesn't do the trick, I try a change in scenery. We go somewhere other than home, where my child's ADHD can feel particularly impossible to handle. Or I separate us like little kids who can't get along--I barricade myself in my room for a few minutes or banish him to the backyard. Or, occasionally, I'll let the TV do a little much-needed babysitting (just a little) until I can get myself together enough for everyone to survive the day.
Do you sometimes feel like you can't handle your child's ADHD? I'd love to talk about it. Drop me a line in the comments below.
Sharp, S. (2021, April 14). I Can't Handle My Child's ADHD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/parentingchildwithmentalillness/2021/4/i-cant-handle-my-childs-adhd
Author: Sarah Sharp
This resonates with me so deeply in the complete opposition. “my boy won’t be like this forever” is ringing in my ears. My boy won’t be like this forever. But I’m in palliative care at the age of 39; he’s 6. I may never see a different child. Blogs are great when there are ideas in place to assist parents with coping mechanisms. This did not provide anything other than “just deal with it”
I’m so, so, very sorry.
It’s sooo hard and challenging. Iv had thoughts of sucide, it affects your mental health. So much parent guilt! The amount of parents Iv had come up to me to complain and make me feel like a really bad parent. I don’t get any support and haven’t had a break in years. Only break I get is when he’s at school and he’s only on a few hours 10-2. I’m jobless because of his hours, I feel I’m failing on most things in life.
I struggle with the roller coaster of ADHD. Everything is a battle. I’m so tired and sad. This is not the life I envisioned. I really don’t know how much more I can take.
I felt I was alone. But it’s comforting that I’m not the only one. This hits home. Everything this poster said, is everything I’m feeling. We are the true parents, we battle, cry, laugh, battle with other parents that just don’t want to understand and look at our child like they are a criminal. It’s a rollacoster in deed
My kid has ADHD and my OH has a bunch of mental health issues so is not much help. I feel like I'm trying my absolute hardest and still failing at everything. When I get a break from my high pressure job, it's not really a break because I have to look after my kid. Going 'on holiday' is what I used to do to relax but now it's a nightmare as daughter can't handle being out of the routine.
I thought I was the only one. I can’t handle my child’s adhd and his autism everyday is a struggle I Dread getting home from work some days because he acts so bad. I love him and it hurts to feel like I’m failing him as a mother. I feel like I have lost control over my situation. I want to be better but don’t know how. I feel overwhelmed and drained. I’m tired
My child has Autism and ADHD. I try so hard to hold patience and understanding for him but find myself snapping even moments after saying I won’t scream, I won’t react. I hate myself for it and hope he grows up okay. I don’t know what to do. I think he tries to get on my nerves on purpose sometimes although he says he doesn’t. I just wish I had the patience of a saint.
I feel suicidal because I cant handle my child's adhd.
I'm sorry and I can relate. I question my capabilities because I never considered adhd to be present until child was 4 and it hit like a bombshell. We are capable and they need us and to find a way to cope is the best thing for both parent and child. You're online looking into it so you're trying, that's an awesome start. I'm sure it will get easier to help manage.
I can relate so much. My daughter just turned 4 and what I believe to be adhd hit hard. I also have a one month old baby. These days are so hard.
Many many times have I felt like this.