I agree with blaze, as a parent with ADHD we are in the best place to help our children, both my teenage children have traits of ADHD, whether it is actually that or just learned behaviour from me I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that I am able to talk to them about any issues they have because I have an understanding of what they are going through. Something I never had as a child.
And for sure I feel guilty that I am not always focused on them, that I may stop listening to them when they are excitedly telling me something. But they know me and they don't take offence.
When they were younger I often went to my bedroom when they had friends round because the noise was too much for me, but they understand that.
As with most teenagers they get stroppy with me when I can't do exactly what they want but they are quite tolerant, not just with me but with other people as well.
Both my teenagers are kind, considerate, polite and well mannered. They think for themselves and have grown into fine young adults and I couldn't be prouder of them. They often tell me they are proud of me too for the things I have achieved over the years.
I was diagnosed inattentive type in March - when my oldest was two and a half and youngest was less than a year old. I suddenly became a far more capable and attentive parent after starting treatment so my guilt was more with the realisation of how incapable I'd been up to that point. I unknowingly coped pretty well (though not perfectly!) with ADHD before they came along, bringing the extra dose of chaos and sleep loss that only children can deliver. Now I have treatment I feel like I have a whole new lease of life so If one of them does inherit my ADHD I feel much better knowing that theirs will be diagnosed and treated early.
Post by inaccessiblerail on Aug 5, 2016 13:11:51 GMT
I really worry about being inattentive sometimes. I'm just going to do everything I can to let my son know that I'll always prioritise spending my precious few units of attention on him above everything else - and be clear on the fact if I ever am inattentive then it's because of a mental illness and not because he's not worth the attention. And teach him the best ways to get my attention or let me know what he needs if I'm having an off day.
I've figured that being as honest and open about it as I can is the way forward.
I do also worry about him having it too. But at the same time, as everyone else has said, I'm glad that I'll at least have an understanding of it and will be able to support him with it.
I think there are benefits of ADHD too - I think it's given me a much greater understanding of mental health for example. It also means that I'm always curious and super interested in things and that I'm not afraid of screwing up because I'm so used to it ahaha. So I'm sure if he did inherit it he would also see some benefits. At least if I'm aware of it I can do my absolute best to help him play to his strengths.
Two of my three children have conditions that share a genetic overlap with ADHD. My daughter's condition is very severe. I'm not sure if guilt is the right word to describe what I feel; it's more an agony at knowing their suffering, longing for them not have had to face these difficulties and a frustration that there is very little that I can do about it, other than try to be supportive. My children are all adults now and when I was a young mother I was in denial about my own difficulties - ADHD wasn't widely known about back then. My son displayed 'different' behaviour from infancy, but I just accepted the quirks as part of his personality and worked around it. Despite my usual habit of self-doubt, I'm sure that I was a good-enough parent.
My daughter's condition only became apparent in her late teens/early 20s. That was a completely devastating experience, not least because of the way NHS services handled the situation. I think perhaps that's part of the reason why I have found my recent struggles with the NHS so difficult - it brings back some unbearably painful memories of fighting to get help for her and not being listened to.
Nobody (thankfully) knows what life has in store. All we can do is love our kids and try to do the best we can for them. Having a good understanding of ADHD and mental health issues is a positive thing, as it may facilitate early diagnosis for those children who do inherit such conditions. Parents who share the difficulties will have excellent insight into their child's behaviour and may be able to suggest strategies for coping that they, themselves, found useful.
My daughter may have inherited her faulty gene from my ex-husband (there was a family history); she may have inherited it from me. It makes no difference really, because I can't reverse it. When awful things happen, you somehow have to find strength to keep going.
I think it's best to try not to worry and to assume that everything will be OK. Every family has difficulties to deal with, but mostly these problems are reasonably manageable and not life-altering.