Finding forgiveness: Hi everyone. I’ve... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Finding forgiveness


Hi everyone. I’ve seen a few posts mentioning the toll ADHD can take on the relationship a parent and child. We’re currently working to get therapy set up with our 6yo. For those who’ve been through this before, how do you continue to forgive a child who has repeatedly said “I hate you,” thrown stuff, etc while angry? I try to remind myself that he is a child and that ADHD makes his feelings more intense, but it can be hard to wake up the morning after one of his explosions and be totally fine. To be clear: I just feel a little withdrawn... I don’t start fights or anything like that. This has been going on for years. Medication has helped during school hours. It’s the evenings that are so hard for us and we’re working to adjust his afternoon medication and find a psychiatrist with a little more expertise than his pediatrician.

By the way, I’m really glad I found this space and I so appreciate all of you sharing your stories and experience. I have no experience with ADHD otherwise so it’s nice to know we’re not alone.

15 Replies

We are excited you are here on this journey with us. When our son was young 4-12 years old we were so busy trying to get him "stable" and running from doctor's appt. to School appt.s Etc. It didn't seem like there was no time to realize what we were going through.

Once "stable" and medication that changes most of the negative behavior and we got all of the tools set up, therapy and educational plan, we started to realize our reality was not like others. We know we must believe we are doing the right things by providing all that he needs.

When I ask our son "why" he had so many issues when he was younger he says he didn't realize what he was doing. He did not have the ability to stop and think about the choices he was making.

We now, he is a freshman in high school know he is headed in the right direction, yes there are still bumps in the road but he is "whole" now and tries to make good decisions. This has taken maturity, support and unconditional love. Yes, in the past he has said he "hates" us , but now it is "I Love you" everynight.

The journey is long..

Hope our experience helps you and gives you hope for better times.

I am in the same situation. Mine is 14 and the words said in anger are much, much worse. I too struggle with forgiveness. Several years ago, when teaching how words hurt and you can't take them back, we also started telling him I'm not ready to accept your apology for what you said or your behavior.

He still has very angry outbursts and the words still hurt but forgiveness isn't instant.

It's really hard basically being emotionally abused by a 6 year old. My husband struggled with what you've mentioned more than I did at first. He would not speak to our son for days. I withdrew slowly without realizing it until my son said he didn't think I loved him anymore. Honestly, I'm thinking of asking my doctor to start zoloft soon to help me cope with everything. It's been a long hard road for the last 5 years.

This is really hard but has helped a lot in finding forgiveness... actions speak louder than words: "Offer a hug and some empathetic words; solving the problem is sometimes secondary to the empathy he may need in the moment."

Hi!I totally sympathise with your situation and the other comments too.

My son is 14 now and the verbal abuse has been horrendous over the years. I've learnt to ignore it because I understood, that's the way he reacts when I set limits on something or when there's a consequence. It's his way to make me feel absolutely rubbish because he's not happy I've made a decision about something he wants to control. I've also realised I'm always on a rollercoaster and my inner moods follow his. If he's aggressive or abusive, I feel really down and when he's good, I'm feeling great. The problem is how quickly his moods change and I'm never too prepared for that.

Medication, therapy, maturity have helped a great deal. I have also been coached on how to parent a child with ADHD.

And now, whenever he gets abusive, I don't ignore it, I tell him to stop provoking me as it doesn't work and he's wasting his time.

The road is long indeed....

Keep busy and don't just focus on your child.

All the best.


Bottom line? They're words said in anger that the child does not mean. As parents, we're playing the long game here. Kid wants to curse at me and say he thinks I'm a joke? I don't care. They're words. I'm trying to get my child to grow and mature and learn to work and live independently and be happy. That's what my goals are. I can handle trash talk. I can't handle my child living an unhappy, unstable life.

I agree with Aberdeenarms. It’s so hard but you can’t take it personally! One of The best things I have ever heard from an ADHD podcast is, “your child is having a hard time, they are not giving you a hard time.” We need to always and SOON after give them love and forgiveness. If we hold that back our child will hate themselves even more. It’s soooooo hard, I know.

HerMommy in reply to Momtrying

Ugh! Sooooo hard! I can't tell you how many times I cry. One day I think I'm killing the mom game. The next I feel like I'm failing and actewing my child up even more.

Momtrying in reply to HerMommy

We’re never failing, even though it feels like it. After 10 years of dealing with our son with ADHD I’m just now starting to see where I need to let up with him and what things I can not get so worked up about. But I have to tell myself that I wasn’t failing for those 10 years, I was learning and building patience. And yes, crying A LOT. There are sooo many times where I regret how I react to my son, but if I dwell on those times then I’m no good to anyone. We wake up and try again :)

I too feel run down by the constant negative attitudes of my two boys, 5 & 7. They are sweet and loving boys, but it is hard to like being around them most of the time with all of their outbursts and saying things like "I hate you!" The book, "The Explosive Child" has helped me understand the actual developmental issues behind the behaviors. They really are not in control of their actions in that moment. It is such a struggle finding the right things to help them, whether it is medicine or supplements. We really do have a more difficult challenge with these behaviors than many other parents. We are not bad parents. Our lack of discipline does not cause our kids to act this way, despite the many ignorant judgments we receive from others.

The Celebrate Calm podcast has been very helpful to understand what is going on developmentally as well as strategies to deal with behavior. They also have resources you can purchase, which I did and that has been helpful.

I'm getting through the book Finally Focused, by an integrative psychiatrist who provides some holistic recommendations that are really good.

I am a person of faith and I am constantly asking for the strength to love, forgive, and support my kids, but I will say it is very grueling to deal with these challenges day in and day out. Sometimes I have a pity party *see post on embarrassment from playground*. Our kids really are different and they have strengths as well, but the challenges can beat you down at times.

I too am thankful for this group to realize that others are going through the same things!

Thank you so much for sharing those resources! I’ll be sure to check them out. I’m sure some days will continue to be more challenging than others, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to cope better if I have a better understanding of what’s going on in his brain.

Wishing you and everyone else the best.

I’m so glad you found this space too. I’m so grateful for it also. Yes, forgiveness is very difficult when one feels disrespected, treated badly, verbally and physically abused, and not listened to. Ive had to build a shield/force field around myself to lessen the impact of my sons hurtful behavior. I’ve learned to apply a consequence quickly for unacceptable behavior but not make the consequence too long, otherwise it will lose its effect, and as I use the only one that works anymore, I need to apply it again and probably soon. I’ve lowered my expectations regarding “good” behavior and let slide many things because I REALLY need to pick my battles. It’s exhausting. To counter the negative impacts on myself I need to make sure I get plenty of sleep. I make a conscious effort to regain my happiness and move on from the incident as quickly as possible. I cut short arguments to avoid the “conversation vortex”. Pre-Covid I got massages and tried to do other self care as much as possible. And you need to forgive and be kind to yourself. It’s easier to forgive your child once you yourself are in a good place again. Best wishes. PS Please look up the ADHD DUDE on YouTube/Facebook etc for some of the best advice you’ll ever get for boys with ADHD.

This is excellent advice! I can totally relate to what you are saying and doing. Thank you.

I’ve recently found Kirk is our new mentor. He speaks our language because he’s been through it with his son who is now grown. I listen to his podcasts. It’s been an enormous help for my husband and I. He is now “embracing the suck” with me!!

Thank you everyone! I don't feel so alone in this after finding this great space. I feel like I have PTSD from some of my son's violent meltdowns and just feel like I'm drowning as a mom. Self care has been really helpful but I still have to fight my mom guilt. I love podcasts and will check those out. Take care everyone and we are all doing better than we think we are.

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