ADHD is highly heritable, which means you may well have children with ADHD. As they age, how to support them becomes less clear, as parents need to let go of the organizing support they provided their ADHD child when younger, and embrace something new. Here are tips for parents of adult children who wish to keep their relationships strong.
I recently heard from a couple with several children, one of whom has ADHD. The husband also has ADHD and is struggling to get his symptoms under control. He rarely follows up on what he promises to do, which is driving his wife crazy. In this context, the husband asked the question "Should we tell our kids about my ADHD? My wife is concerned that she is always coming across as the bad guy, rather than me." Hold up there! Let's discuss both the question and the answer!
I know this is a blog about marriage...but many of you have kids with ADHD and are looking for good sources of information about parenting and ADHD, too. Dr. Ned Hallowell recently gave a radio interview on this topic. The parenting introduction (by the interviewer) is good, too - and quick to read. You can find both at this link. Enjoy!
A woman who took one of my couples courses wrote to me to give me an update on how well she and her husband are doing. Since I often have requests from readers at the site to hear about the positive changes couples can make, I thought I would share some of her words. Of particular interest to you all, I think, will be what she writes about her children - if there were ever a reason to be inspired to take chances on change, this is it!
Over the last couple of years 416 people in marriages affected by ADHD have answered our survey about their experiences and feelings. One of the questions we asked was “What gives you the greatest pleasure in your relationship?” I share these responses because too often worn-out posters suggest that there are no positives to be found in ADHD-affected relationships. Next week, I’ll share pleasures from the perspective of the ADD spouses married to non-ADD spouses.
There is a very interesting conversation going on around my “Learning to Like Yourself Again” post of 7/30/09. A number of readers relate their stories about the relief they have felt as they have started to “become themselves” again and let go of some of their struggle. The question for some, though, is “how do I rekindle the warmth/affection in my own heart for my spouse?”
If you are in a marital crisis, do you say anything about it to your kids? While the answer to this question is extremely personal, I think there are some rules of thumb. Some of these are based in my personal feelings about how you foster trust in relationships, including the parent/child relationship. I would love to hear what you think and your own approaches.
If you have both a spouse and a child with ADD, there are some important differences between how you will naturally want to interact with them – differences that can really hurt your relationship with your spouse if you aren’t aware of them.
There is now a wealth of information in the forum and blog posts here about what types of issues are related to ADD. A recent post reminded me that it also makes sense to focus a bit (pun intended) on the fact that not all marital issues can be ascribed to ADD (and the inverse, which I wrote about in my "Ode" post that some wonderful things in a relationship can be directly attributed to ADD characteristics). Here is the post that brought this to mind and my response: