Having ADHD is not a real problem if the family and school environment can contain the child and allow him to unfold his potential, without making him feel like the “bad guy”.
“They broke up because of me,” Emanuel said as soon as I invited him to sit down. Little by little, and when he was just nine years old, he made a list of “his trouble staying still,” and how his parents started fighting on a daily basis when he could remember. Can you imagine your child saying something like that?
Having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a real problem if the family and school environment can contain the child and allow him to unfold his potential, without making him feel like the “bad guy.”
The child with ADHD and his family
Whenever classes begin, next to the list of school supplies begin the concerns of parents, teachers and children. One of the questions that Emanuel asks herself the most is whether “at least the teacher” is going to understand what is happening to her. Her father could not and decided to file for a divorce.
Every family that has a child with ADHD knows well that the couple is also affected by the deficit. According to Terry Dickson, chief of the Michigan Behavioral Medicine Clinic and ADHD coach, “Having a child with ADHD adds additional stress to the entire family dynamic.” Most couples begin to disjoin by not understanding what happens to that child who climbs, runs, jumps and screams all day without stopping, and nothing stops him. Little by little, the marriage deteriorates if both do not understand what happens to that child and, then, a tug of war begins that often damages the entire family group.
From a very young age, children learn to act and behave by imitating their parents. They copy their gestures, their manners, the way of being and being in the world. But if there is one thing they most imitate, it is the way their parents resolve conflicts. I remember a boy who drew his mother with a large rolling pin, screaming while his father was in the drawing crouched behind a newspaper. When I asked her about the drawing, she said, “It’s my mother doing things for Dad.”
Children with ADHD quickly learn what adults do and, especially, not being able to sit down and reflect, act as they see others doing things, letting their impulses guide the way.
Don’t let your child’s ADHD end your marriage
Not all couples with a child with ADHD end up separating because they cannot face the diagnosis and follow-up of their child together, but statistics show that if the couple does not fight together, there is a high probability that they will end up doing so. Here are some tips so that your son’s ADHD doesn’t end your marriage:
1. Rules of mutual agreement
When both parents agree on the rules that the child must follow, a climate of harmony is achieved that reduces the risk of fights and discrepancies. I believe that you want to raise a happy, independent and responsible child, and this will only be achieved if both parents agree on their raising.
2. Remember your spouse
Most couples tend to focus their attention on the child and his difficulties, leaving aside the spouse. Therefore, it is essential to spend time with the other, be attentive to their needs and communicate.
3. Sit together to plan the week
This will allow the child to incorporate into his life the need to organize and plan activities; Likewise, it will generate free time to spend together as a family and as a couple.
4. Be a team
When the load is shared, everything is easier and nobody feels that they are left alone with all the responsibility. In this way, conflicts tend to decrease and friction and animosities are avoided.
5. Get informed and train
It is of real importance to be informed, not only for what the medical team can contribute. Attending talks, events and all kinds of workshops where you learn more about ADHD, helps to understand the child and discover how other couples have solved the problems.
Only when it is understood that mutual love, agreement and good management of ADHD as a couple is the best tool to help a child, can it be said that that family is safe.