It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... Doesn’t that just describe parenting perfectly? The highest of highs and the lowest of lows, especially if you are parenting kids with ADHD. When Erin and I considered how to share our stories with you, it felt like the tale of two mothers, with two sons and the same diagnosis. (Eventually, those two tales came together to create something that will revolutionize your life. We can’t wait to share it with you! More on that later, but, for now, back to our story.)
Erin and I connected like most mom friends – on the sidelines of our oldest boys’ soccer game. Erin was working as a lawyer, expecting her third child. Kjersten, pregnant with her third kiddo too, was taking a break from her marketing career to raise her children. Our children line up in age and gender almost exactly and get along well, so it was only natural that we were drawn to each other. It helped that we also liked each other. 🙂
If you’ve been hanging around Honestly ADHD very long, you’re probably familiar with Erin’s story. Erin’s tale is one of a mom trying to help her son navigate the big emotions and outbursts that come with parenting many kids with ADHD.
While Erin’s son has amazing qualities – he is smart as a whip, super energetic, funny, kind, insightful, and loyal – he struggled so much with emotional regulation. He had totally unexpected, impossible-to-manage qualities – he was extremely temperamental, a bad sleeper, and sometimes aggressive; he couldn’t calm himself down to save his life, and he acted unpredictably in virtually every situation.
They had meltdowns everywhere they went. He never seemed to learn from the discipline she was trying at the time.
Erin blamed herself. Perhaps you can relate as a parent raising kids with ADHD yourself?
Once Erin’s son started kindergarten, he struggled even more. He spent more time in the principal’s office than in the classroom. He was impulsive, hard to manage and frankly, there were times he was hard to be around.
To say that this devastated Erin as his mother is an understatement. She spent years angry, confused, and completely embarrassed.
Because of her son’s very loud and frequent cries for help, Erin sought out a diagnosis in first grade. Ok, so now she knew what she was dealing with, but now what? So many possible experts, therapies, medications etc. What would actually help? How should she focus her time and resources?
Her diagnosis left her with more questions than answers. Sound familiar?
Kjersten’s tale of raising a child with ADHD is a very different story. Her son’s young life was full of joyful enthusiasm. Ok, he didn’t sit still much and he could go on and on about his current fascination, but he was such a sweet, passionate and obedient little boy.
That all changed in kindergarten. Meltdowns became frequent. He described school as stressful and complained of “all the pressure at school.” Kjersten tried to figure out what that meant… how could kindergarten be stressful? After all, her son was incredibly bright and already knew most of the information being taught in the classroom. So what was so hard?
While Kjersten’s son was behaving at school, home was a whole other story. He became abusive to his younger sibling. When disciplined, her son would descend into a spiral of shame. He told his parents he was worthless and shouldn’t exist **at age six**.
Kjersten watched in despair. Her joyful boy disappeared and was replaced by an angry, apathetic one. She spent years praying he wouldn’t actually try to end his own life.
We hope you can’t relate to that, but if you do, please know that we see you. We see your fear and understand how desperate you feel.
Figuring out how to help Kjersten’s son was like peeling off layers of an onion – it took a long time and created lots of tears. It wasn’t until he was in fifth grade – after lots of interventions, therapy, amazing, caring teachers and testing – that Kjersten’s son was diagnosed with ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia and sensory processing disorder. A quadruple diagnosis!
Whew! Now we finally know what we are dealing with and can fix it. Right? Isn’t that how it works? No, not for you either, huh?
Our story is one of two moms who are actively raising kids with ADHD who are also passionate about helping other parents navigate life with ADHD. We are both fierce mamas, who have made it our mission to learn everything we could about kids with ADHD to help our boys reach their fullest potential. If you could see our boys now, you would not think they are the same kids we described above. They’re doing magnificently!
What turned it around for both of our kids, you ask?
No doubt, it was us!
With the guidance of talented ADHD coaches, we made critical changes to our parenting. These coaches showed us that WE are the key to our child’s success.
- We learned everything we could about kids with ADHD.
- We changed our mindset from one of what is wrong, to what could be right.
- We learned a whole bunch of new techniques to use with our kiddos that would work – even with the idiosyncrasies of ADHD.
- Most importantly, we discovered the power we never knew we possessed all along to shape and guide our children along their ADHD journey.
We discovered hope.
We finally KNEW that even though it wasn’t going to be easy, WE COULD BE THE PARENT OUR CHILDREN DESERVED.
WE ARE what they need.
And so are you! You are the key to your child’s success. For more information about upcoming memberships, workshops, coaching and more, check out the Honestly ADHD Parenting Academy!
Erin + Kjersten