Last year, I shared a post about my son’s ADHD diagnosis, and the relief it brought.
Finally, we had confirmation that our 9yo wasn’t intentionally ignoring us, willfully misbehaving, or somehow a bad kid. His brain is just wired differently, and with his diagnosis, we’ve been able to view things from a different perspective; hopefully, a more patient and understanding one.
Of course, understanding the big picture is one thing and managing my everyday reactions to his behavior is another.
That’s the part I still struggle with.
Especially in the moment. Especially when that moment involves us being late for the school bus because my prodding didn’t register or he got distracted.
Many of his issues are ADHD-related, but he’s also a 9yo kid. And guess what? 9yo kids are jerks sometimes! The line between “punk kid” behavior and ADHD behavior – between his symptoms and his shitty-ness – can be difficult to discern.
It’s my job to raise my kids well, and that means respecting other people, especially your parents and other adults. My 9yo doesn’t always do that. *No kid* always does that, but in Detective Munch’s case, there are mitigating circumstances.
I know this, but it doesn’t prevent me from sometimes getting angry at what I view as disrespect but may actually be ADHD.
Disciplinary tactics that might get through to or correct the behavior of a generally stubborn, disobedient kid can have the opposite effect on one who is manifesting actual symptoms.
But as a parent who is still learning about ADHD, I often struggle to know which I’m seeing.
I don’t want to come down on him or shame him for disorder-related things that he can’t control, but I also don’t want to indulge the poor behavior he *can* change and enable him into becoming the worst version of himself.
I just wish I knew how to tell the difference!
My son may have ADHD but he’s still just a kid, a good kid, and I want to treat him like one without diminishing the challenges he faces or making things worse by overreacting.
It’s not easy, but what else is new?
We’re going to have to keep learning about his brain together, and I have to keep remembering it’s different than mine.