Co-parenting and ADHD: I'm writing to... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Co-parenting and ADHD

21 Replies

I'm writing to figure out what my options are about my ex husband and his wife talking to our daughter about her taking ADHD medications. She was diagnosed in first grade. At that time Her biological father had been absent for 4 years. He was out of Her life until just over a year ago. Her school and pediatrician and myself and husband (who has raised her during the time my ex was absent) have gone over our options and we have her on the best medication for her.

Our problem is my ex and his wife keep telling my daughter that she is a walking pharmacy, that her pills are making her sick, and that he does not want her on pills. She isn't sick and her pills are not making her sick. She suffers from migraines, but all the woman in my family do, I suffer more than the rest have. I have invited him to her appointments and conferences, he has chosen not to attend any in the last year and he hasn't gone to any of her appointments since she was two years old.

I have asked him to stop talking to her about them because he is making her feel bad. I have text messages saved from a conversation this morning asking him to stop. He took the opportunity to slander myself and my husband and turn things into a mess. My daughter knows and understands why she takes medications and for what. I've also explained to her what ADHD is and why I have agreed to her taking these meds. It isn't fair to my daughter to go to his house and he make these comments.

I don't know what my options are, I asked him nicely to stop. He informed me he can say whatever he wants. Which I guess is true, but to a point and not to a child. What can I do to make this situation easier for my daughter and continue to help her with her education?

Please point me in the right direction

21 Replies
Tshay profile image

I am so sorry you are going through this. I am a mother of A 14 year old boy and also have the same problem. He takes meds.for adhd. His father has attended iep meetings and told his teachers they give him meth so he can attend school. This caused my son to hide his his mouth and go away from me to spit them out. Eventually,threw the medicine at me & say you take the dope. There is no shame in a learning problem,only shame when you do nothing to help your child. I would also like to know my oppositions.

in reply to Tshay

Thank you for responding. It's just so frustrating. He has adhd and he didn't like the way his father and step mom handled things. I get it. So he grew up not taking any meds. He didn't graduate or get his ged. And all he can see is that I'm a pill pusher who is trying to make my daughter perfect. Well as all parents think "my kid is perfect" I only want her on the meds to help ensure that she can get focused in school work and in class. It's our job to make sure they excel at school, their future relies on it. I saw a comment that someone said giving your kid adhd meds is the lazy way to parent. That you can make a drooling zombie do whatever you want. Well first her meds don't make her a zombie, if they did I would have her on something different. Second medicating a child with adhd meds is not lazy. As a parent you continue to work everyday with your child on finding a way to help them stay focused, to help them find what distracts them and to find a way to remove the distraction. Sorry I know I'm going on. I'm just so furious on how the ex has decided to go about things. My daughter is brilliant, smarter than me she is 10 and she reads faster than I do. Adhd isn't a learning disability, mostly it's because there is too much going on in or outside the head and usually both at once. Her meds help her to slow down and think and not rush not to make impulsive decisions.

in reply to

Yes that is the one thing that I'm fearful about as a parent with a child with ADHD the impulsive decision. My crazy advise kill your ex with kindness and also explain to your child that not everyone understands how special and brilliant she is all because sometimes people Will perish for the lack of knowledge . And I think sometime if a child is age-appropriate with a great understanding we have to be open to them and let them know the benefits of taking the medication providing that the medication is a right fit and also the outcome of not taking their medication

Kduffy123-1 profile image
Kduffy123-1 in reply to

Hi.. I'm so sorry you have to be abused like this when you are trying to be a good mom. I have a 9 yr old daughter recently diagnosed and am still figuring out my options. My husband is similar in verbally attacking me and my daughter for wanting to try meds. I think he is insecure about the diagnosis meaning that he has failed or something. I think us Moms are way better at processing our painful feelings and getting strong to do what we need to for our kids when the dads can't. I realize I am right in researching and becoming my daughters advocate even though I'm being told I'm overreacting. Keep strong and fight the good fight ladies and remember there is no wrong way to parent. We all do what we can, when we can do it. And we shouldn't let Drs,, teachers, Psychs or dysfunctional Dads make us feel bad. I would give my life for my children and am really sick of not getting the respect I deserve from all who have an opinion. Just remind everyone that you are the Mom! The one who stayed up all night feeding and taking care your baby. And the one who sacrifices herself everyday for the betterment of their lives!

MomOfAMermaid profile image

I am sorry you are being challenged so harshly! For me to give you helpful support there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. So please forgive all of my questions! I want to support you, your husband and daughter! Am I reading right that your daughter is 5? How often does she visit them? Does she talk about what they tell her on her own or do you ask her about it? What they are saying? What does she say to you about how she feels about what they tell her? I have 18 years experience in child welfare and I would be happy to privately discuss this with you for ideas and ways to approach this situation. Inbox me for my cell number if you would like to talk. Hugs and prayers for all involved!

in reply to MomOfAMermaid

no my daughter is 10. He is entitled to every other weekend and every other week in the summer. He chose not to use every other week in the summer because he can't afford child care, though he doesn't put his other children in child care. So why should my daughter have to be excluded from his kids and time with her dad? She comes to me and tells me that her dad said this or that. I dont pry because i know that it can be inadmissable because I could be leading her on and coaching her what to say or I could plant an idea in her head. I ask her how was your weekend? She usually says it was good but.....

Usually she complains about her younger sister, I tell her that is what sisters do. Then the next morning when it is time to take meds she will tell me dad said I'm a walking pharmacy and that you take a bunch of meds and thats why you think I need to take them too. *I take 3 meds for migraines and 2 for anxiety* Thank you I will be sure to email you.

Intangible11 profile image
Intangible11 in reply to MomOfAMermaid

I like your comment. My son is 7 and is in a similar boat. I am recently divorced from my second husband and my sons biological father hasn't been in his life until recently. He doesn't believe me that our son has ADHD despite the diagnosis from the doctor, the IEP's etc. he even switched out his medication for potassium once just to see if I would notice my son acting differently (I noticed). He demanded to talk to the doctor (which I let him do) and he said he still wasn't convinced. He won't give my son his medication when he visits him. He tells my son I'm crazy and that the medication is useless. My son is a good boy and still takes his meds while he is with me. He says he knows he needs it and tells his dad that. He doesn't like when his dad talks about it in a negative way. I also don't know what to do

in reply to Intangible11

I'm o sorry your going through this too. I actually talked to the FOC and they told me: "I believe that your only solution would be to file a motion to ask the Court to enter an order addressing the behavior of the other party. The Court can order the other party not to speak to the other party about the medication. If it continues after an order is entered, you may file a parenting time complaint, asking that the order be enforced. If you are thinking of filing a motion, you would need forms FOC 65 & 66."

Idk if the forms are the same for different States. I hope this will be helpful to everyone else who is going through the same situation.

swnrsmom79 profile image

Your story and mine are crazy similar. Two and a half years ago my son was failing reading and was on a behavior plan at school. All year the staff talked to us (whenever ex would actually participate) about what our son needed to improve, which was read every day. Ex wouldn't do it. He got a tutor for an hour once a week. Finally the school referred us to a pediatrician to test for learning disabilities. My son was diagnosed with ADHD. The doctor and pediatric psychologist suggested a multimodal regimen which included medicine. I was leery but did tons of research and agreed. My ex did no research and disagreed. I had legal decision making so I started the medicine. No mater how much our son improved, he fought me and complained that I just went and drugged up our son. That went on for two years with the nasty emails which essentially were about his wounded ego and not about our son's success. He came off the behavior plan, met his IEP plan requirements, and finally tested at grade level for reading. Ex didn't go to appointments or parent teacher conferences. I would update him and he would either ignore or launch into his "He doesn't need it and you just drug him up" speech. Until this summer. He stopped giving medicine and won't start up again. He claims the medicine gives him all these fictitious side effects. He tells our son he doesn't need it. He told our son he can't join the military some day if he takes medicine, the one thing our son wants to do more than just about anything (except play football). I've tried to get ex to go to the pediatrician to switch medication, I've tried to get him to go to mediation or co-parent counseling to talk about it, and he won't agree to anything. We are going to court so he responds to everything with "I'll consult my lawyer" then never gets back to me. Worst of all is every time our son came home this summer he had some new garbage from his dad about the medicine, like "I don't want to take it because I have more temper tantrums on the medicine when I don't get my way." Does that sound like what a 9-year-old would say? And "It makes me feel different." I said, "How?" He said, "I don't know." I've done behavior tracking and symptom journaling and he doesn't complain of any side effects. He never has. He takes the medicine at my house but his dad won't give it to him. Now he is having behavior issues at school again and the teacher is emailing. I feel a little like I'm in a walking dejavu. Ex argues that I no longer have the right to final decision making and won't agree to any kind of plan, so all I can do is wait for court. It's agonizing. I'll post if I have any helpful news. One big thing about my ex is that he is most likely has undiagnosed Narcissistic personality disorder. Until I learned what that was and how it makes him think it was like bashing my head against the wall. It doesn't help all that much having the knowledge, but it helps a little. At least I've stopped trying to prove to him the medicine works and our son is (was) getting better, because he will never see it that way. All he cares about is losing the power (which he obviously took back and is hurting our child with). Prayers for us both and our dear children!

in reply to swnrsmom79

I feel for you. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope you get answers. I to am heading to court for this now. Add in slander against me and my husband, and hopefully this will open ignorant eyes.

swnrsmom79 profile image
swnrsmom79 in reply to

Good luck to you and your family. I'm sorry you're going through this too.

JeannedArc profile image
JeannedArc in reply to swnrsmom79

Re. the military & ADHD meds: I'm sorry to be a bearer of bad news, but I have it directly from a military recruiter that persons with ADHD who take meds are *not* accepted into the military. I don't know whether getting off the meds would qualify them. I also do not know if ADHD alone (regardless of whether applicant takes meds for it) disqualifies someone from joining.

Please talk to a recruiter for your area before you or your son get your hopes up too much.

Yes that is the one thing that I'm fearful about as a parent with a child with ADHD the impulsive decision. My crazy advise kill your ex with kindness and also explain to your child that not everyone understands how special and brilliant she is all because sometimes people Will perish for the lack of knowledge . And I think sometime if a child is age-appropriate with a great understanding we have to be open to them and let them know the benefits of taking the medication providing that the medication is a right fit and also the outcome of not taking their medication

in reply to

thanks you Godsend123 you made me smile. I actually have started more detailed discussions about ADHD and the medications with my daughter. She understands a lot of it, but she really doesn't want to talk about ADHD or her meds she told me it makes her uncomfortable. So me just trying to inform her makes her uncomfortable then I can't imagine how uncomfortable she is with her step mom and father telling her she is sick and discussing these things in front of her step sister and brother. Yesterday my beautiful girl asked if she could try a day without her ADHD meds. I told her of course. She was more hyper than usual and talking a mile a minute and couldn't stay on one topic more than 5 minutes. But that is okay...until about 3 pm when she started complaining that her head hurt really bad. I first attributed it to my DNA and that she was having a migraine. I then did some research and I found out that missing a dose can give you a headache. I gently explained that it could be a migraine or because she didn't take her pills. Or that it could be a combination of both. She laid down and got some rest, after a few hours she came out and told me "Mom, I don't think I should miss my ADHD meds again. My head hurts really bad." I felt so bad for my girl, I was so proud that she came to this conclusion and decision of her own accord. For a 10 year old I think that is something special. Another thing that is really bothering me, my girl will be going on and on about her day. Then she will stop and say "I'm sorry I know I'm talking too much." I stop everything and get down to her level and tell her that she is not and if you think you are that then it is ok to talk too much. Why do you feel that way? "Dad and Jackie tell me I talk to much". How is this acceptable?

in reply to

It is so very sad don't they realize that they are verbally abusing this child .please just continue to love her and explain to her sometimes not every adult is right about the things they may say and we are not perfect but we do try to be and sometimes people do and say things to hurt others but they don't realize

ChristinaReader profile image

I'm so sorry that you're going through this right now. Try this link for some encouragement . It sounds like both you and your daughter know she needs the medicine. I just don't know what to tell you. I was a kid who had court mandated visits with my father and it was really hard. He was depressed and it was awful to visit him and hear all the negative things he had to say. My Mom didn't really believe how bad it was and she just sent me and my siblings every other weekend. At least you're fighting for your daughter. Maybe try and get some testimony from her therapist showing how negatively this is all affecting her. Good luck!

rrichardson profile image

My daughter's father wasn't around much either and he hasn't been recently. My ex isn't allowed to take my daughter anywhere without me. If he has an issue with it he can take me to court, which he won't. I would consult with an attorney about the issues you are having with him. Where I live they have an organization called the legal aid society and they offer legal counsel for free to eligible clientele.

Mmagusin profile image

A couple things here and I apologize for my frankness. First, it sounds like dad needs to read reputable publications on the subject before forming an opinion. Lots of ignorance out there about this disorder as well as mental illness in general. Second, I can sense the animosity and frustration between you and your ex. Don't put your child in the middle of that. Avoid that at all costs. If he loves your kid, he needs to do the same.

JenD94 profile image

I do not have issues quite like this but I am dealing with my daughter's bio dad questioning my choices for her meds

momto2adhd profile image

Daniele, I highly recommend that you seek legal help. It doesn't sound like being kind will help the situation. be your daughters voice. Hugs!!

HolisticSyn profile image

You could go to a lawyer or custody mediator and ask for a court order requiring all conversations between you to be on a site like Family Wizard, which is court-admissible.

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