Single Parent and Drained: Sometimes, I... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Single Parent and Drained


Sometimes, I wonder will it ever get better. Trust me, my son is Better than he was but I am worn out. My son is 17 and about to be a senior in high school. He is interested in going to community college and I only want the best for him. He has become very active in school and church in the last year but I m doing all the running. He still has very few friends. And has issues with confidence and self worth. I m physically and mentally drained. I want to put him in drivers ed but wondering how is that gonna go. I have took him driving some but not enough. He really doesn't get the conception of life and what it is all about and it is especially hard when I ve been trying to figure out this ADHD stuff my self, every since he was 7 years old. He does have medication for his focus issues, but he does better to me when he is not taking them all the time. I see a difference in his attitude and how he acts. Trusting God for better because I m about to crack. Nobody understands unless you have had to deal with ADHD in one way or the other..

7 Replies


I wish you had a few girlfriends who had kids with ADHD that you could hang out with... big hug and Ben and Jerry ice cream. Live for the moment he is out and in college?

You have done so much good for him already and he will do good in the future.

Best of luck keeping it together

Take care

My child is nowhere close to college or high school but I understand what you are feeling and saying. Hugs! I think as difficult it may seem, there are things that we can’t do for them and they will have to experience real life- hardships, struggles, happiness, relationships etc on their own. I’m saying this to myself as well. I believe It’ll all work out. Take care of yourself. Ice cream sounds good ;)

Sorry about all the running, but don't let him drive....! I don't believe these ADHD boys are ready until about age 19-20 and even then, there will be accidents and tickets. And the other thing to remember is that once they have access to a car, you have absolutely no idea where they're going or who they're with. This may be the case anyway, if he's with other kids who drive, but my advice is no driving for a few more years. And even then, the insurance is very expensive. When you do decide he is ready to drive, I recommend sending him to a driver's ed class, even if you have to pay for it. And he will need his ADHD meds when he starts driving - this helps with his focus, decision-making, etc.

I totally understand. Our psychologist said an average ADHD child/teen is 3-4 year younger (brain age) to their real age. So if he’s 17, he’s comparable to a 13 year old. I let my daughter drive at 16-2/2 and what a mistake. She had 2-3 speeding tickets and I had a policeman show up to my door for a report of her reckless driving!

It’s all been very hard for me too.. not just the driving. I can’t understsnd the mindset and I didn’t understand adhd going into my experience as a mom. I grew up in a definitely deifferent situation. My parents were over-organized and responsible! I thought I was a slob because I had 2 things hanging on my chair! Now my life is complete chaos. I’m not equippped to close my eyes to the out of control life my 20 year old is living. I’m married but feel like a single parent as their s No support or acknowledgement of my feelings. It’s very very hard

seller in reply to Grateful17

Courtney - I recommend getting a few books and doing some reading....Russell Barkley has some really good ones. That will help, but the sad truth is you just have to live through it. And no one can really prepare you for it! Your daughter should be on her ADHD meds, but kids this age often refuse to take them. Don't let her drive, make sure she doesn't have any credit cards and just uses cash. My son still has problems with his debit card and he's 24! Lock up any alcohol, extra cash, etc. if you think she might be helping herself. Don't allow any overnights at your house and be sure she has a cell phone, in case she needs to call you in an emergency. (We had lots of those late night calls for years!) This site can be a big support system, especially if you find someone to "chat" with who has kids like yours.

Grateful17 in reply to seller

Thanks. Your note helps me and I agree with everything you said. It’s so hard to believe I’m married to someone who runs an entire engineering dept and tells young workers to put away their cell phones. I guess he just thinks his offspring are special and don’t need rules. It’s crazy! I’m going to look into those books right away. Thank you!

I was fortunate that my husband understood and also let me pretty much run the show as far as our son was concerned. (The funny thing is that he is a family therapist and I'm a psychiatric nurse and we STILL had a very hard time with our son!) Does your husband think your daughter's behavior is okay? Or does he just ignore it and leave you to deal with everything?

Here are the things we thought should happen when our son failed college too many times to count: he needed to work at least one part-time job (2 is better), he needed to pay for his cell phone, and any entertainment, he could not have kids over to our house, he couldn't be a total pig (good luck with that one!) and he had to be respectful to us (good luck with that one too!). Well, most of this did not work and we moved him into his own one-bedroom apt when he was almost 20. And he's been there ever since! I pay his rent (utilities are included) and he pays his cell phone, internet, gas, etc. We just could not stand to have him at home. He was not ready to be on his own, but it was either he moved or I moved!! Now, 4 years later, he is in jr college full-time, works part-time, and is a pretty decent kid. But it was not easy and there were times I thought he'd never grow up.

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