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ADHD – Parenting Child with Mental Iillness

Sarah Sharp
Life is tough when your child has a mental illness. It gets even tougher when you do, too.
Sarah Sharp
I don't know why, but being a parent feels so much easier when the sun comes out of hiding, and everything starts blooming again. It's springtime, and I'm relieved, so is my child's mental illness.
Sarah Sharp
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.
Sarah Sharp
You might be thinking, "Wait, what did you just say? You're okay with your child having a mental illness? How could you say such a thing?" It's true, though. I am okay with my child having a mental illness. I have a lot of reasons to feel that way, and I think if more parents could take this attitude, life would be easier for everyone.
Sarah Sharp
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?
Sarah Sharp
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my local school system has closed until further notice. The problem is, I still have a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) at home who needs to learn, grow, and stay busy. I still have a full-time job and a pile of bills that aren't going anywhere. And I still wrestle with a lot of depression and anxiety that makes it difficult to hold everything down without the reprieve of an eight-hour school day. So what's the trick? How have I learned to take care of my child's ADHD, education, and all of my other responsibilities in the face of such unpredictable school closures?
Sarah Sharp
My son is now old enough that he overhears conversations I have with his dad about his attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and he has questions. Explaining mental illness to my child feels like a balancing act. I want to be honest with him, but I want him to feel proud of himself, too. How do I go about making that happen?
Sarah Sharp
Once again, I'm going to admit something that's difficult to bring up because that's what Life with Bob is all about--transparency and honesty. So here goes: sometimes I feel burned out parenting a child with mental illness. I have found ways to cope, but parental burnout has still lodged its way into my life and my family's lives. It's affected the relationship I have with my son and the relationship I have with myself. What is parental burnout, and what can you do about it when you have a child with mental illness?
Sarah Sharp
You must be courageous when parenting a child with mental illness. After all, if being the parent of a child with mental illness were easy, then there wouldn't be a blog dedicated to the topic. Life with Bob wouldn't exist. That's why I'm not afraid to admit that raising a child with mental illness takes more courage than any calling I've ever had--sometimes more than I have stored up. (At least, that's how it feels.) Evidently, though, I do have what it takes, and you probably do, too. So why does parenting a child with mental illness feel so scary sometimes, and where does all this parenting courage come from?
Sarah Sharp
In case you haven't noticed, COVID-19 has transformed how everyone gets everything done, including how we parent in this pandemic. It's especially changed how I raise a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).