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ADHD Parents Together
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Rough Weekend with the Grandparents

Well the good behavior was short lived. We went to a dinner with my grandparents, my mother and my other son. Evan was asked if he thought he could handle it or if he would like to stay home. We like to give him the choice. He chose to go so we laid down ground rules that he had to behave and be respectful. We were fine until we got to the restaurant. He had his phone and was watching cartoons and standing at the table (everyone was sitting) but he was quiet. My grandma saw him standing as being disrespectful and she told him to put away the phone and sit down. He argued with her and then ran off and sat in the corner for most of the dinner. She called him back and proceeded to ask him questions like “why do you act like this? You need to figure it out because it is becoming a mental illness” and it went from bad to worse at that point with him yelling and at that point i had to remove him from the restaurant. I dont think my grandmother understands it. It was quickly escalated and on top of that it was hurting his feelings. He asked me if he was mentally ill. I didn’t know what to tell him. Any feedback?

8 Replies

I’m finding that some people have a very old school mentality when it comes to millennials. That goes for kids with or without ADHD. I struggle with my Mom and others giving horrible advice and trying to chastise incorrectly. They’re not equipped to handle the challenges (neither are some of us) but their input can be harsh and damaging at times. I would explain to your son that he is different and that is ok because we weren’t all made the same way. If she’s willing to listen I would explain that your son has to be handled in a certain way and standing up and not being disruptive was actually a wonderful thing. Your son was managing himself and should be praised for it.


She told me that “it isn’t right for him to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing” she saw it as defiant behavior. But he was still, quiet and minding his own business. It just was horrible.


Its really frustrating when people don't get it. Chin up. Don't let it get you or your son down. Keep it positive for him, and don't stop trying to help your grandmother understand what ADHD is. She may never learn, but she can only benefit from your teaching her. And at the very least, your son benefit every time he sees you sticking up for him and understanding him!


My sister is the same way. She doesn't believe adhd is real. She keeps telling me to spank him, as if that actually helps. It's frustrating when people look at you like you're a bad mother that can't control her child.


Yup! I’ve dealt with the you don’t discipline him enough guilt trip. Spanking doesn’t work, especially when you have a “real” mental condition. I think it’s hard to ppl to understand what they’ve never experienced.


😬😬😬😁😁 same my son grand parents do smtime just listen them silently and some tomes try to explain them

love to ur son heis luvly

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I don't know if it's possible to talk to your grandmother and tell her that you are the parent and he needs to be handled differently from other children, that you love being able to spend time with her but if she can't leave your child alone in situations like this then you won't be able to go out to eat with her anymore.

She may respond angrily but you need to stand up for your child and what he needs. He may have eventually sat down when he got tired of standing if things had been left alone.


I would recommend no more dinners out with the grandparents. Keep the gatherings at your house, if possible. Explain that all of you cope better in familiar surroundings. This will improve as your son gets older, but it's too stressful to have to worry about how dinner will end up along with everything else. You can certainly give the grandma some information on ADHD, but I doubt it will help when she was so insensitive.


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