ADHD Parents Together
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When one parent doesn’t get it

Hi everyone,

I’m relatively new to the group but I’ve been reading a lot of the posts and I’m glad to have found you all. I’d love to know if others have struggled receiving support from their spouse. My son has ADHD. I take him to his doctor and therapist appointments, manage his meds, go to all the meetings at school and take the brunt of his aggression. But my husband is always the skeptic - “he’s just being a kid; it’s because you don’t discipline him enough; he doesn’t need meds all the time, he’ll become an addict.” His denial is driving me insane. How do I get him to see what I see?

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I think the key is to help him become educated about ADHD. One book I highly recommend is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. He does a good job of explaining some of the "lacking skills" kids with ADHD have and suggests a great way to deal with those behaviors.

Joyce Mabe, parentcoachjoyce.com

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Thank you!

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Including my husband in more of my conversations w/ teachers & doctors helped. I realized he hadn't been privy to the information I had received (besides me telling him), so it made sense that he wouldn't have come to the same conclusions I had. I've also been open to trying some of my husband's suggestions, to encourage him taking a more active role.

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Thanks!

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I totally agree with both recommendations above -- the Explosive Child is hands down amazing for actually understanding the child with challenging behavior. And yes -- take him to as many appointments as you can, so you BOTH are looking into the eyes of the professionals helping your child, and you both feel the stress and the burden. That's my advice! 😉 And ya -- asking his opinions about how to handle certain behaviors, and then possibly try them (even if you know they will fail) because you do want him to take some ownership, and even for him to see some of those "quick fixes that work for other kids," fail for yours. Not that they will all fail, but ya know what I mean. My husband used to say that my children's hyperactivity was because I "let them run wild" all the time. I cried for a while after that comment. But after going to the doctor's appointments, he no longer talks like that. Now, we're in this together. We still disagree a lot on how to handle things, but at least he's no longer in denial. Good luck, girl!!!

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Thank you! I agree, getting him to come to appointments will help.

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Hello,

I am so sorry, this is a very frustrating situation. There is a very good conference on ADHD by Dr Russell online on YouTube. It is about 2h but it is very enlightening. My husband and I watched it several times when we discovered my son had adhd. It really opened our eyes and gave us the tools to grasp and understand the meanings of what adhd is.

Google it, Or go on YouTube and type Dr Russell ADHD and it is easy to find.

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Thank you! This is exactly what I need. He’s more likely to watch something than read a book.

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Ahhhh men :-)

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I think all of us run into someone it doesn't agree with the diagnosis. It's worse when it's your spouse and the other parent. It seems men have a harder time accepting this diagnosis. Like their child is defective.

If you can get him to go to appointments that would really help. My husband went to one I'm going to ask you that pretty much let me handle everything because he said I was better at it

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I think your question how do I get him to see what I see is a valid one, but also a difficult one when it comes to aggressive ADHD kids. I have learned from years of experience that these children often behave differently for moms than they do for dads. They are explode more for moms are disrespectful, rude, and disobedient more. Where they are much more willing to behave for dads. Because of this what dads see when they are around isn't the exact same version of the child that moms see. It has taken years for my husband to see and experience more of what I've been experiencing all along - to not be the skeptic as you say. As he says, our son wears masks for other people that he takes off when he's around me.

The passage of time (it really does show a child's true colors) and getting education on the topic help as well as keeping a good relationship with your spouse, even if he can't completely understand where you're coming from. My husband and I make sure to continue to take time with one another. It's so important to keep our relationship strong through all of what we go through with our kids.

Good luck!

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Thank you! I completely agree - my son is very different with me than he is with others. I’ve even recorded his behavior at times to have “proof” for others smh. It’s frustrating, but as you said hopefully time will tell. I don’t want this to become a wedge between my husband and I so working on it is critical ❤️

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I have recorded my son too :( .. I am in a custody battle over this. His father doesn't believe he needs help and continues to just blame me for his behavior and struggles in school. I just worry for my son to know that its not that there is something wrong with him, but that he can feel so much better with the right help, diet and medication. There is only so much a mother can do. I wish you luck and hope you husband sees what can really be done for your son.

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I’m so sorry. Sending so many positive vibes your way, that’s such a difficult place to be in. Hopefully your son’s doctors and teachers are able to help with examples.

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Oh my gosh what a difficult situation. I hope a judge will see that you are better educated about your child's needs and are more agressively pursuing strategies to help our child succeed. Maybe show 504 plan, etc. I hope that in the course of winning your custody battle that you are also able to involve your ex in a better coparenting relationship. Of course i don't know your situation and maybe should keep quiet but ARRG....wishing you well.

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Trying to edit "our" should be "your"

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Wish it was as simple as coparenting... I have teied to involve him in every meeting at school, and most recently his IEP meeting. He doesn't show. When my son went for intensive therapy at a hospital, he convinced the case worker that he was depressed because of me. Manipulation at its best, and unfortunately using my son's weaknesses for his own advantage. We have been divorced for 13 yrs.. he only just came back around cause he won millions and wants to hurt me by taking kids. We are getting torn to pieces and instead of focusing on issues that we can get help for our kids, court is just making matters worse. Courts are the last place to talk about mental health.

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Sounds difficult and complex. Wish you well.

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Another thing to consider is that men seem to have a harder time accepting that their boys may be different or have challenges. This is hard for them and they are "grieving" the loss of that "perfect" boy.....the boy who may never make the honor roll or be a star athlete in school. We mothers don't think that way (well, not too often anyway) and we are much more likely to be pragmatic and honest about the situation and the continuing challenges of dealing with ADHD. I agree with the other posts about trying to include him as much as possible, getting him to appointments and giving him information. If you like your doctor or therapist, perhaps one of them would make a personal call to your husband, just to review what's going on, etc.? It's really important for both of you to be on the same page as much as possible because you will need to stand together during the teen years....!

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Having a record of things can also be important for insurance in the future. I'm going through residential treatment with one of my sons and insurance denials for said treatment. Because I have kept a record of things I can use what I have written down as proof that he needs treatment. Records are super important for treatment and IEPs etc. Good luck!

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At best spouses will disagree on parenting. My husband and i agree on the diagnosis but fight a lot about parenting; at best we fight constructively. He never really approved of ADHD meds for my son, and after 7 years on them encouraged my son to go off meds, which i don't think is best. Strangely he also talked us out of fish oil, which I can't seem to get us restarted even though we all agree we should. My son, now 18, has been increasingly involved in all decisions concerning his own life, so there's a third person to hash it all out with.

My husband did not want a 504 plan at first or even a diagnosis (teachers will stigmatize...blah blah). Now he wields that 504 like a pro.

I also grieved not having the perfect child. I got myself diagnosed with ADD shortly after my son was. (And i mostly skip my meds too.)

And i have taken an 18-year maternity leave because my husband is not going to do 50% of the parenting or women's work (except in theory).

Your spouse can still help you parent. ADD is not that abnormal, you can agree on that. Spanking was the old-fashioned ADD medication, i often point out. And street drugs and mild stimulents like cigarettes.

He'll come probably come around, hang in there.

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