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Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

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Casual scribe
Pluto

Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

My step daughter has ADHD and my son, who does not, is really struggling. He's a very empathetic and kind boy but the behavioural issues and stress have taken its toll on him. I try lots of things but how do people out there manage and help the other child?
Also is it possible to still enjoy life and be happy despite the challenges and issues ADHD brings?
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Taylor-RO

Re: Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

Hi @Pluto, thanks for sharing. That sounds like a really difficult situation. You are not the only parent facing this challenge - it can happen with all other conditions, illnesses and behavioural issues as well. It can really add that extra layer of difficulty to everyday life.

Do you want to share a little bit more about what is happening for your son? What is he struggling with the most? It is absolutely still possible to enjoy life and be happy, despite managing ADHD. Some days will be better than others but often the journey that we face is not linear.

I am also wondering if you have ever accessed or thought of accessing professional help to manage this situation? Sometimes it helps to have a place to vent (of course we are always around too) or somewhere to find additional strategies that you may not have thought of before Heart

We are here to listen. Please feel welcome to keep us updated!
Casual scribe
Pluto

Re: Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

Hi,

Our child with ADHD has all the help currently available with school and I've enrolled my son in the young carers programme.

He struggles because my step daughters behaviour has been so bad last couple years and memories and events have been ruined so over time, he has grown anxious she will ruin things and worried about her being naughty and causing stress. This obviously means now he doesn't want to be around her.

Then it of course takes it toll on my relationship with my partner who struggles with the reality of his daughters ADHD but struggles with the dynamic in the house and it can be hard for us, especially him, to focus in the good.

Any tips and advice appreciatedSmiley Happy

Mod
Sophia-RO

Re: Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

Hey @Pluto , sounds like you are really supportive of your children and their needs. It is great to hear that your child has been receiving support from the school and that you have been able to enrol your son in the young carers program. Hopefully you and he find that program to be a great place for him to learn some new experiences and possibly skills that can help with what you are going through. I am sorry to hear that he struggles with anxious concerns around events including his step-sister. It must be tough for him to experience that and for you to support him through that. You mentioned that the dynamic in the house can be difficult at times, have you been able to discuss how you have been feeling with your partner?  Is there anyone that you feel comfortable talking to about what you have been going through?

Casual scribe
Pluto

Re: Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

Hi, thank you.

Yes I can talk to my partner about it but as her dad he struggles to honestly discuss her issues and the negative impact they have on our home life, though he does try to understand.

We have almost split up a number of times due to the Carnage those issues have caused and our struggling to handle it.

I really want to avoid that from happening again.

I love my partner and very much and care very much for his daughter too but its difficult to wonder if I'm not putting my son first for allowing him to be around this situation.

I guess I just wondered if there are others in similar situations out there who understand how I feel.
Community Manager
Philippa-RO

Re: Living as a family when one child has ADHD and other child suffering. How can it work?

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@Pluto that sounds like such a stressful situation - I really feel for you. 
It's completely understandable that you want to do what you can to resolve these issues for the sake of your son and your whole family, but it does sound like it's a difficult thing to navigate as your partner is understandably protective of his daughter too.

 

I'm wondering, do you think your son and stepdaughter would have any ideas on what might help them to feel more okay with their blended family situation?

 

Have you considered doing some couples counselling by any chance? Sometimes it seems to help having a space to talk things through with a neutral party who can support each person to share what it is they're feeling and work towards a resolution together. 

 

If that's not something you or your partner would consider, I'm wondering if something like parent/child outings or weekends would be helpful at all? For example, if you were to take your son somewhere special and your partner were to take his daughter somewhere special as a scheduled thing, so both young people can have some one-to-one nurturing. 

 

Can I ask if your stepdaughter has professional support with her ADHD? If not, is that something your partner might consider looking into? I know a lot of people with ADHD say that receiving support has brought a lot of benefits for them.

 

They're just a few ideas, but without knowing you personally I'm conscious you may have tried them or they may be unhelpful - please take what's useful and discard the rest, but I hope you'll know that we're to support you and to listen any time. Heart

We also have a section of the forums for blended families, and there are some articles on our website here if you'd like to take a look.