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ADHD Parents Together
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Feeling Broken

Hello Community,

I am starting to feel completely broken. After some time after my daughters diagnosis, we decided to start medication since we feel she was starting to have some anxiety issues and social problems at school. This took a long to time just to accept and I still wonder if we are making the right decision which is adding to my own stress.

To make matters worse, she was having an outburst and I carried her to her room and dropped her on the carpet floor. This hurt when she landed. I now feel awful, as I should. I lost my temper, never intended to hurt her in any way, but I did.

I love my kids with every ounce of my body, but sometimes when I loose my temper, I do not think. I guess I am looking for some advice. I would rather leave and not come home anymore. I feel like I have completely failed and keep failing. Not sure what to do anymore.

13 Replies

What you are feeling is so common and NORMAL! Dealing with these challenges is not easy; as I often remind parents, it's a marathon not a sprint. (and actually, it's a relay race because you don't have to run it all alone!) It is really important that first and foremost you cut yourself some slack. You are human and you will make mistakes! To paraphrase a quote I love from Maya Angelou: We all do our best with the information we have at the time, and then when we know better, we do better. Of course you didn't intend to drop her and of course it wasn't your goal to make the situation worse. But now, at this point, you can't change what happened. All you can do is apologize to her and find ways to keep that kind of situation from happening again.

In terms of moving forward, the bad news is that you can't control what she does or how she acts so you may very well have to do deal with this kind of meltdown again...but you CAN work on your thoughts, emotions and reactions, which will allow you to react better and will have a positive ripple effect on her.

The thing about parenting kids with these kinds of challenges is that it's easy to get caught up in the emotions of a situation and to react before thinking. They trigger us and act in ways we just aren't expecting (and we worry so much about them; it's no wonder that we're always wound up tight and stressed all the time!) One thing that's really important for you to do is to make sure you take good care of yourself so you have more energy and are in a better emotional place over all to deal with things like this (taking time out for yourself for rest, relaxation, pampering, time alone etc. and,getting counseling or coaching help for yourself, especially if you are feeling hopeless.) Also, I think it's important that you give yourself permission to put yourself in a mini "time out" in the heat of a moment so you can gather your wits about you before you react. Sometimes just giving yourself a few minutes to breathe and calm down can do wonders for you and make all the difference in how you react.

In terms of your daughter's behavior, one thing that can help is for you to learn as much as you can about her diagnosis and to start to find ways to head things off before they happen instead of having to deal with things in the middle of the meltdown. One great resource to help you do this is the book, "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene.

I hope this helps. I wish you all the best!

Joyce Mabe, parentcoachjoyce.com


I am sorry, I have no advice to offer.

The only thing I can say is that I am right there with you!

You are not alone!

I guess the best thing we can do for our kids is to learn as much as possible to help them, as well as ourselves.


Day to Day with these kids can be REALLY frustrating it seems to no end some days until they are asleep. Try something new with her when she gets "emotional" and see what works better. Let me explain. On many occasions my son would fixate on something so much it was hard to get him to transition to anything else. He would argue, try to justify his actions, and just not listen. What helped is I would not address the situation at all at that moment and switch to something else. I would ask if he could sit down, find a book to look at or tell him I need him to clean off the table. The goal was to ask or tell him to do something totally different. Then later on in the day I would ask him what happened and why he was so upset. This was really helpful for me to tell other people that didn't know how to handle him. Other adults would end up arguing with him so I let them know this to diffuse the situation and revisit it later. It cuts down on the whining, crying, tantrums, etc. I help by going over the issue and asking him what he could have done differently. Make some observations and see if you can pinpoint what is actually getting her upset. Is there something she doesn't understand(making sense in her own way)? Does she like something to be in a certain order? Is it a focus issue? Others judge and just assume the children are being defiant, but that is not always the case. Sometimes my son just wanted to be heard. Also, try allowing her to engage with different age groups. My son got along better with older kids. Just remember-You NEVER fail until you stop trying. Love never fails.


We have actually tried this and it usually helps. The only issue we have is maybe we do not allow her enough time to cool off? Sometimes she will still respond by saying she did nothing wrong, and was correct. Reasoning with her does not typically work. But Allowing her to cool off would be better than having the situation blow up.


I love this forum! Thank you for sharing your story and please know you are not alone. Apologize, let her know that you love her. Please don’t continue to beat yourself up and please give yourself a break on a daily basis and reset. I love to give my son space to ‘express’ himself but I also set a firm and clear boundary for what is acceptable. If he wants to be heard and continue to enjoy certain privileges there are conditions for that. That works often but not all the time. Sometimes I have to remove myself from his presence and be clear with him why I am disconnecting. Keep trying and don’t give up on her or yourself. This is a journey. 💕

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I think nearly everyone on this board can relate to what you are feeling. It has taken so much for me to learn how to stay calm and not get caught up in the outbursts and drama. I still do at times, but have found some things to help me. Perspective is the first thing. Applaud yourself for the movement forward. Trying medication will only give you more information. It may help or it may not, but worst case, you will have more information. You overcame your fear and are moving forward instead of being paralyzed with indecision. That's great! Also, you have learned from this heated situation that you never want to experience being in this situation again, so next time, you will likely have the bit of extra restraint you need to not go where you've gone. Also, very good. Next, for me, I know the outbursts get to me most of all because my mind thinks, "When will she ever stop acting this way? Nothing is ever going to change. " Basically, I feel hopeless and think her life as a healthy person is doomed and it's my fault and I will never figure this out. Recognizing and truly believing that these challenges she and I face are there to help us to become better people has helped tremendously. I've found Fr Mike Schmitz on Ascension Presents (YouTube) channel has a really uplifting, light hearted way of putting life issues in perspective. They are helpful to me in understanding my faith better which in turn has given me a lot more patience and strength in dealing with these daily struggles. Perhaps they or some other similar resource will be of help to aid in seeing a bigger picture that puts into focus the value of the day to day struggle. It has made it more bearable for me. Keep going mom. Remember, you are not alone!

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A lot of us have been there. My family is going through similar difficult times right now. I want to be strong. But, it's hard to keep your hope up when things are falling apart around you. It helps to talk about it. I know how you feel regarding bringing your daughter to her room. I ashamed to say I've lost my temper with my son on more than one occasion and have did the same. I feel horrible about this.


Thanks everyone. I have am trying to routinely take time for myself, I have also contacted a therapist to get some session going. I need to try and work on myself as I have allowed many things to fall apart including my relationship with my wife.

It may take time, but I will try to work through everything.

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First off, we've all been there. Our ADHD kids can push buttons like no other kid! We react BECAUSE we love them, and that includes overreacting to their bad behaviors. Man it would be so easy to not react if I didn't care so much. We're so invested in these kids. We bend over backwards and not only don't get thanked, but often disrespected or worse. Recently I put my son into time out for being aggressive. He went to timeout but continued to talk trash, swear at me, threaten more violence. He knows violence has zero tolerance, so to push buttons, he threatened he'd go smack mom, kick the cat, and finally, he was going to kill grandma. All this while sitting in timeout. Finally he said he'd kick me. Instead of ignoring, I walked up and said, 'try it'. Guess what, the little shit kicked me in the groin! I blew up. I swatted his butt then dragged him into the garage and screamed at him that I was going to take him to the police station because violence was not allowed in our house. Of course, I was breaking my own rule responding to his aggression with aggression. I made a mistake. After we all cooled down, I apologized to him and we both agreed we did and said really mean things. I know He loves his mom, the cat, and grandma, so why did I take his BS so seriously? The Next time, I laughed it off. He did his time, and the behavior stopped. My point is, we're human and can only take so much, but we learn from mistakes and can make adjustments. My advice, try not to feel bad and please don't over compensate by softening your authority over your kid. Stay firm, tough, yet calm and loving.


We have had similar situations where I loose it this way. Thank you for sharing, it is helpful to know I am not alone.


I find thus community so helpful. I can't tell you a difference it has made in life. There gave been other websites that talk about kids with Autism (ASD), Dyslexia and other conditions, but those conversations lead professionals that give you resource advise in professional services and such. But until I found this website a few months ago, no one could tell me what it's like personally to live with these lively kids, their personal struggles or our personal struggles.

I feel bad many days because grandson seems to whine all day, gets stuck on the same conversation IDEA, wanting the same activities over and over for what seems to be weeks and months at time. So I try to start each new day with hugs and kisses and playtime to forget that when he comes back from school it could be the same conversation or he could have a new conversation about a sonrthibf different even.

I am a retired child care teacher/ babysitter and he is nothing like any kid I ever worked with. I have my yelling moments but I broke the habit to hit him. NO ONE is allowed to him because nothing changes and the behavior will repeat a few more times you can count in it. Yellung to over ride their thiught process can't be all that bad.

I truly believe that that having a partner or someone to vent to helps. They don't have to know a lot about ADHD BUT may be able to offer feedback or just listen as you explain the situation and that can't be discused here safely.

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Where are you from ?


I am from Northern Ohio. Have not found any local support groups but I do have a session set up with a therapist:)


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