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Struggling to cope with ADHD child

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

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Struggling to cope with ADHD child

My son (6) has not been formally diagnosed - the waiting list for diagnosis is very long (e.g. 18+ months) where I live - but we've know that he is neurodivergent from a very young age. We suspect ADHD.

He's a wonderful, funny, smart, and very sweet little boy but he is also exhausting: doesn't listen, argumentative, deliberately provocative, lies, doesn't engage in school work, is disruptive at school etc. He was also hitting, kicking etc a lot. until recently; he still has issues with anger but it's so much easier than it used to be.

I'm struggling to cope with his behaviour and am completely burnt out. The last four years, in particular, have been really, really hard. There were some points, during the pandemic, when he was three that I just (I'm ashamed to admit) wanted to leave.

My husband is neuro divergent (also not formally diagnosed but has all the common 'traits') so has a better understanding of our son's behaviour. He is not as worried about our son as I am.

I love him so much but I don't think I've been a very patient mother to him. I don't know how to deal with him, although I'm really trying, and I don't know how to help him to thrive. I just want him to have a happy life. I don't want everything to be a struggle for him.

All my friends children seem so easy in comparison, and they are thriving at school at beyond, and I just feel like such a bad parent, especially when he is aggressive with other children, or demonstrates 'naughty' behaviour. 

I'm not sure what I expect from joining this forum/starting this thread, except that I just want a place to be honest. I feel lonely and isolated.

Thank you.


Re: Struggling to cope with ADHD child

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Hi @MimiCoco , welcome to the ReachOut community Smiley Happy Thank you for taking the time to reach out and share your situation with us. 

It sounds like you are going through a challenging time with your son's behaviour, it's completely understandable that you are feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Please know that you are not alone in this, there are many parents out there going through similar struggles with children who are neurodivergent. 

It's great to hear that your son has a loving and supportive parent who wants to see him thrive. It's also important to acknowledge that being a patient parent is not always easy, especially when you are dealing with challenging behaviours. It's okay to make mistakes and feel frustrated at times, it doesn’t make you a bad parent. It sounds like you are trying your best with the resources you have, and that’s all you can do. 

It sounds like you have a good understanding of your son's behaviour and have already identified some potential challenges related to ADHD. Even without a formal diagnosis, you can still work with your son's strengths and challenges to help him thrive. There are resources available online on the Raising Children’s Network that can offer support and guidance on how to best support your son.

There are also resources available to parents in the community. As it looks like you are based in Scotland, these two services might be near you and worth looking into: ADHD Parent Support and NHS Inform.

Online communities like these are also great for connecting with other parents who have children with similar needs to feel more supported and less alone. I hope the ReachOut forums offer an opportunity for you to find such parents. If you are on FaceBook, it could also be worth searching for support groups available to parents in your situation there too. 

As you support your son, it's important to take care of yourself and prioritise your own mental well-being. Do you have any support for yourself at the moment? Such as a family member, therapist or counsellor?

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Re: Struggling to cope with ADHD child

Thanks, Hannah