Stepson with ADD Affecting Marriage?
Joan Jerkovich - October 24, 2014 4:24 pm
My stepson has ADD, but his mother doesn’t want him on medication so I have to put up with his bullshit. It’s affecting our marriage. Any advice?
By ADD I assume you mean ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a problem of not being able to focus, being overactive, not being able to control behavior, or a combination of these. If your stepson has been diagnosed by a medical professional with ADHD, these behaviors must fall outside the normal range for his age. In other words, he’s not just an overly active child.
ADHD defined, this issue is tough as there are a lot of parents who don’t believe in medicating their children (for various reasons) and your wife sounds strong in her belief.
First, do you feel that you have adequate information from which to make the decision to medicate or not? I tell people that you can always find an “opinion” on the Internet that will “fit” your belief in what you should (or should not) do, but that doesn’t make the information accurate or reliable.
That said, you need to first agree on what resources for information on managing ADHD you will use to base your decisions on. That can be anything from the Medical Pediatric Associations, Behavioral Therapists, the local Shaman, Nutritionist or Energy Healer. Believe me, when it comes to health, people have strong opinions on what methods to use and to this I say…do what works for you!
After you gather the information, you can begin the process of discussing with your wife a plan for making your home life more peaceful. Research on effective step parenting lays out a plan that looks like this: set up specific and clearly defined house rules; together, present the rules to your children; have consequences for breaking the rules; administer consequences together as a united front. Take the time to set up rules and boundaries that are appropriate and healthy for your child with ADHD.
Honor the fact that your stepson’s mother has the final say in how her child will be treated both medically and in your home. Together, make this plan for how your home will function and your marriage will reap the rewards, as will your stepson.
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- What resources for treatment of ADHD can you and your wife agree upon?
- What can you do to prepare your attitudes for your couples negotiation on setting house rules, realizing that both of you will have to compromise?
- What can you set in place to remain committed and consistent in following your plan for running your home?
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