Dealing with family and others

Avatar for kenyadee
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Dealing with family and others
Wed, 07-14-2010 - 11:28am

How do you deal with family reactions to your child's diagnosis and your decision on meds?

I've already decided not to tell my mother anything. She lives out of state and we only see her once or twice a year. She is anti-meds for almost everything. She has serious back issues and only started taking ibuprofen very recently (after years of my suggesting it) to help alleviate the pain (which it did). She's also of the school of thought that kids who act up just need "a crack on the a$$." (Thankfully I did not have ADHD.)

I just had a conversation with a friend I've recently reconnected with. He could tell I was down (we have had a bad week with outbursts) and I admitted we were going to start our son on meds for ADHD. His solution: just take him off the sugar. Oh, well, thank you. I'm glad those years of sales training have qualified you for a medical degree. The worst part is that I could hear the cogs turning in his head and him thinking - what kind of parents are these that (a) they've let their son get so out of control and (b) they're going to medicate him?

I don't want my son to be on drugs, but I want him to be happy. I want him to feel like he can control his outbursts. I want him to be able to focus in class and not make life difficult for the teacher or for himself. I want him to be able to adequately socialize with his peers so that he can have friends, so we can have friends over and me not wonder when it's going to spiral out of control. I want him to be able to get dressed in the morning and not have it be a monumental task.

My friend also brought up side effects and I"ll admit: I'm terrified of the side effects. My son needs more sleep during the school year, not less. With both of us working and homework and school starting at 7:35am, he gets as much as he can now. If meds delay sleep, I can't delay morning. And he's not a huge eater now - I hate to think of him eating less.

I normally handle everything with utter calm. But I'm really losing my composure this week.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Wed, 07-14-2010 - 12:17pm


You really have to ignore people, or blow them off . NOONE wants their kid to have ADHD, NOONE wants their kid to have to take meds, but we do

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2004
Wed, 07-14-2010 - 3:42pm

I was terrified to tell my parents that I was thinking about starting Caden on meds.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 07-15-2010 - 10:08am

Well, don't tell people unless you want to have that conversation, as it were. I never told my mother, in point of fact--though I think she found out when my kid mentioned it. I do the blunt thing, too, when people annoy me past a certain point--I DO know about ADHD, I DO know what's best for my kid. But, honestly? It took me awhile to get there. At first, it wasn't something I wanted to discuss with anyone. The perception of ADHD is just so negative, even with some people who seem like they have a clue. Yeah, we've had a teacher who said that she didn't like giving kids meds. Fortunately, this was after 2 yrs of meds, and she actually worked out just fine for my kid. Basically, people can be awful about this stuff; ignore them or educate them, but don't let them get you down!

Of course you are terrified of the side effects. You don't know which your kid will have yet! Just repeat to yourself, most ADHD med side effects go *away* when you stop giving the med, so if it's too bad, we stop the meds.

The sleep thing is a pain; chances are, though, you'll find a solution that works for you. Let's see, my kid listens to quiet music & takes showers to help; this past year, since 7th grade homework was so much tougher, he needed meds later in the evening, so we went to melatonin to help the falling asleep part. Eating? Actually, when he went on meds at 7, we found he actually ate MORE, because he could sit down for longer, concentrate on the eating better. But, if that's not what you find, you might go with the extra-energy breakfast--we've done milkshakes (milk, ice cream, milk powder, eggbeater) for added protein & fat in the AM. Or a later-than-usual dinner.

Come here & talk about your problems--honestly, there's always someone who has had a related one, company in misery always helps & you KNOW we won't make fun!

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 12:28pm

You have to ignore it, because they don't have the background or the information to have an opinion.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Fri, 07-16-2010 - 3:12pm

Actaully, I like what you said, "I want my son to be happy." If the meds help him be more in control and happier, what is the problem? Being angry, being told to try harder (when he is) and feeling like he can't control himself are not things that boost self esteem. If you need to tell people that you are doing a "trial" then do that.

If my son were unhappy, I would look into medications for him. My son WAS unhappy as a toddler when he couldn't talk like other kids his age - others told me to wait for speech therapy, but he was unhappy so I knew we had to do something.

I had a mom (mother of my son's friend) tell me that she didn't "believe" in ADHD. Her experiences were with her nephews who ate nothing but junk food all the time, had a father in jail and an inattentive mother. (All of which would be enough to cause some issues, some of which may appear like ADHD to some people.) I told her that I disagreed that it was fake, that there was a lot of research, and I had read into it. I didn't, but could have, acted offended that she thought that I was like her sister, LOL! The conversation did not change either of our minds, but I don't think that she will bring it up again. Probably with most people, they won't bring it up again once you have the converstation once.

Parents may be the exception. If can come up when you go to visit and she sees him taking a pill. Prep your son ahead of time for how he will respond to grandma, and prep yourself how you will respond. Otherwise, unless she has a need to know right away, don't tell her, because it won't really make any difference in what you do, except to give you a headache when she argues.