View Full Version : When you and your spouse have different approaches.

04-29-14, 09:25 AM
My husband and I have a good marraige and agree on most things. When it comes to my son and his ADHD, we tend to have different approaches and I wonder it this comes into play for anyone else.

HE definitely agrees that my son has ADHD, and admits that he likely had it himself as a child and still does. And he has agreed to give the meds a try, even though the man himself won't take Tylenol for a headache. He tends to feel that I over-parent, constantly on a mission to find a new disorder to look into, a new med to try, a therapy to examine. He's of the "he's just a kid, he'll grow out of it and turn into a normal adult, just like I did".

ME, on the other hand, am always reading on the latest treatments, new medications, making follow up appointments, school meetings. I think that more is going on with him than just his ADHD, like possibly some sensoy issues and depression and I want to help him. I just want to see him be a healthy, well adjusted, happy kid like all the other kids. He just poo-poo's me and tells me to leave him be and he will be fine.

Sometimes I think he's right and I should just lay off him, but most times I think that someone needs to advocate for him and it needs to be ME. I am his primary caregiver, meaning when its time for appts, activities, sports, school stuff, its me who's taking him. And with that, I know him best and can clearly see that he's different than the other kids and struggling.

I guess I don't really need any advice, just want to know that I'm not alone in this feeling.

04-29-14, 09:56 AM
I don't have kids myself so I'm not the best person to comment but I do think that kids with ADHD or other disorders need someone to advocate for them, to monitor their well being (with ADHD, anxiety and depression are two things to look out for and sensory issues seem to be common as well) and to help them lead as normal and happy a life as possible. You can't protect him from everything but I think, it's great that you are trying to help him and look out for him as much as possible. :)

04-29-14, 10:15 AM
being in touch... with a child i think can be the most valuable thing... that and example...

two partners will never see eye to eye... on everything... it may be possible to "define areas of leadership" within the family...

back to being in touch... if you interact, lightly... regularly... the important stuff will be more evident... and the necessity to act ( or not act ) will be less a choice and moreso a requirement...

yes, i do echo fuzzys compliment... wanting to do... almost "needing" to "make sure" you've done all you can is a sign of your passion / love ( sometimes fear? )... just remember acceptance and self respect, is the most valuable medicine of all... and I believe this is somewhat where your husband is coming from...

wish you the best!

04-29-14, 10:24 AM
My DH was of the same attitude when I started the whole process of finding help for my son. I think the big turnaround for him was hearing it from everyone we went to...the therapist, the daycare (not that they can do any diagnosing), the neuropsychologist, etc. When I started explaining things I had read clearly pointed to Gavin's behavior being ADHD; he started to get more on board. I think the biggest thing that I try to keep impressing on him is that Gavin WON'T just grow out of his ADHD. It is something he will have for his whole life. Will he learn how to manage it someday, with or without meds, I sure hope so. You are doing everything you can to make sure that happens for your son! Just keep on keeping on is my motto these days. I think in ways it is good that DH doesn't want to always "fix" the behavior because it reminds me that not everything he does is because of his ADHD; sometimes he is just being a kid. Good luck!

04-29-14, 10:30 AM
my husband and i have agreed on things for the most part when it comes to raising our add son (who is now in college, btw -- yet, there are *still* decisions to be made!). any time we haven't agreed, i'll listen to what my husband has to say, and sometimes i'll change my mind, and sometimes i won't. in other words, he lets me make the final decision, as he well should. after all, i'm the one who's doing the vast majority of the caretaking.

(besides which, it's almost instinctual: no one is going to get in this mama bear's way when it comes to raising her cub!)

04-29-14, 11:19 AM
This struck a cord with me...(teared up at work). That is what my father said to me when I was diagnosed at 31 "We thought you would grow out of it"

I was the kid with the parents who thought I would "grow out of it". I'm now 32 and am just now starting to "grow out of it" with the help of diagnosis, medication, mindfulness, and therapy.

Do not back down. DO NOT give in. Do not give up on your son. Listen to him as SOT said. Don't stop trying treatments until you find something that works for your son.

As for your husband studies have shown that over 50% of us with ADHD don't grow out of it. In fact as we get older our ADHD symptoms can get worse and we can develop many negative coping mechanisms. We can become resistant to change(wink wink nudge nudge) and avoidant or develop a whole slew of PD like traits. I'll stop the fact based rant here.

Just re-read your post.. I also noticed the contradictary dichotomy your husband laid out! "I had adhd and probably still do" but "He is a kid and will grow out of it". BAZINGA!

On second thought if your husband is resistant don't waist your time trying to change his mind. Show him in time with your son's success.

Do what you have to do. I'm proud of you for what you have already done. Keep it up! Your son is very lucky to have such an attentive and caring mother give him a hug for me.

04-29-14, 12:42 PM
Thank you, that made ME tear up. And thank you everyone.

I know he will not grow out of it. Obviously, my husband did not and I know he can see that but seems to think he's dealt with it just fine. I know he has not, he has issues with almost every job he's had since I've know him (getting along with people, remembering his tasks, disorganization). Luckily (snicker), he met me and I help him through it.

After hearing from all of you, I know I am doing the right thing for my son. I mean, I knew it already, but needed to hear it from others who are in the same place. Thank so much.

04-30-14, 04:57 AM
Sometimes you have to go on "strike" to have the other spouse understand whats up with your child. My husband is amazing and has never doubted the expertise and help we have had with psychologists and psychiatrists for myself and my son and oldest daughter. When it came to my youngest daughter it was a different story because her symptoms were adhd but they were expressed differently when compared to the older two so this caused him to think that I was looking for a label because the other two had one. The way I changed his mind was to go on strike. He happened to be an out of work electrician a few years ago and was home so I told him:
"I'll show you what has to be done in the morning to get Ella ready for school and how to get her work done after school (along with everything else in between) and you can take if from here, I need a break"
So he agreed. I had to practically tape my mouth shut and sit on my hands while watching the chaos unfold. He couldnt understand that she needed multiple multistep reminders in the morning, that she had a certain way about going about her morning in a certain order. He didnt get that she had certain things that needed to occur in order to get things going without a hitch. He didnt understand that she needed a break after school before homework because her adhd prevented her from buckling down after 6 hours of school and plowing through her homework. He thought she should bang it out right after school because her evening would then be free, so when the tears and frustration started he didnt know what to do. I let him handle her for 3 long awful days and had to restrain myself from interfering. On the third day we revisited the situation and he told me
"I get it now. She has adhd like the rest of us, but hers seems different"
I showed him an official list of symptoms regarding the PI symptoms VS the combined and hyper symptoms. I showed him some articles on how to parent multiple adhd children and he totally got it. Sometimes a parent has to deal with things and try and make them work their way (the way they think it should be ) before they realize the way it actually works in an adhd kids' mind. This was extremely hard to do and let me tell you, I have an amazing guy here, super supportive of my mental illness and the various treatments for the kids, and treatments for his own adhd, and this still opened his eyes.

04-30-14, 05:45 AM
You need balance. Children need guidance, but at the same time, they need just enough freedom to learn their own way in the world.

As a parent, it's simply a matter of nudging them to keep them on course while allowing them to remain in the drivers seat.

Don't neglect, but don't suffocate either.

04-30-14, 08:13 PM
You need balance. Children need guidance, but at the same time, they need just enough freedom to learn their own way in the world.

As a parent, it's simply a matter of nudging them to keep them on course while allowing them to remain in the drivers seat.

Don't neglect, but don't suffocate either.

i don't have kids, but i tend to agree with frasier

in research , a polarizing parenting style can actually cause more difficulties

so a happy medium would be good

this wasn't intended to insinuate anything, just a thought

04-30-14, 10:18 PM
I am 46 and I was diagnosed at 42 when all four of my son's were. I did not out grow this and neither will they. My middle son is thirteen and the only one who is hyperactive and he is outgrowing that a bit. I am successful and do function at what others would perceive as above normal. But, my wife helps me a great deal and I have worked very hard to get here.

It does break my heart that I am the genetic cause for the struggles my boys face, but then again who better to be their dad and guide them. It is very difficult to get them to understand that we are the same when they see a grown man who seems together. It's tricky, I try to tell them what I do and how much effort it takes but they see me as stronger than them.

Sometimes I get frustrated when I tell them how i do something and they can't do it. My wife is always quick to remind me that I've had 30 more years of practice. Also, each one of my boys is different and not me. All any of us can do is help them the best we can.

If I can answer any questions let me know.

05-19-14, 11:47 PM

My son's mommy and I have been divorced for awhile, but I'm like you, and she's like your husband. I tend to think she doesn't want to think anything is wrong with her son. We have talked about it, and she's very reasonable and listens to me, and I do my best not to be an alarmist. That'll just scare her. But we've both been diagnosed, so she understands the possibility. So best I can do is keep an eye on the little guy and wait. And in the meantime, try to teach him some of the behavioral stuff I've learned. He's 6 and mainly I see ADD without the H. He hasn't struggled yet focus-wise, and probably has more issues with anxiety at this point. I know for me, things got hard around 2nd and 3rd grade, and by 4th I probably shoulda been getting help, but that is another story:)

Like another poster said, definitely someone's gotta advocate for the child.

05-20-14, 12:42 AM
It can (and frequently does) happen that couples accidentally push each other into extreme negotiating positions while each one is only trying to bring some reason and balance to the situation.

05-20-14, 11:13 AM
Thank you all. I am trying my best not to be a hoverer. However, I do know that I sometimes do it. I feel like I am constantly on him, "brush your teeth, put your shoes on, do your homework" but, honestly, if I am not on him about these things he will NOT do them, ever. The kid will go DAYS without brishing his teeth if I have not told him to. I can't imagine him someday being a grown adult who voluntarily does these things for himself.

I do understand my hubands reasoning and sometimes try to back off and "let him be". I've been trying harder lately to just let him be a kid. It's hard. I want to see him succeed in life and without pushing him, and dragging him to doctors and trying to find the right meds, feel he cannot be at his full potential. And thats all I want, as does my husband, he just see's it in a different way. He has this "he'll find his way" attitude. And all I can think is, what if he doesn't??

05-20-14, 12:05 PM
There's a video by Dr. Charles Barkley posted on youtube that your husband could learn a lot from.

He talks about the problems that we face when we're undiagnosed/untreated.
Kids with ADHD are three times more likely to drop out of school and many other statistics.

I would find the link for you, but just took Excedrin for a migraine and can't really focus.

05-20-14, 01:12 PM
There's a video by Dr. Charles Barkley posted on youtube that your husband could learn a lot from.

He talks about the problems that we face when we're undiagnosed/untreated.
Kids with ADHD are three times more likely to drop out of school and many other statistics.

I would find the link for you, but just took Excedrin for a migraine and can't really focus.

I did find a bunch of videos from Dr. Russell Barkley.... per-chaps that is who you were thinking of?

05-20-14, 01:31 PM
I know the video she is referring to, type "essential ideas for parents russell barkley" in the you tube search. There are several that are just excerpts -- Jason Salotti posted the full lecture which is 2:51:44 long.

I don't think we can link to it because youtube carries advertising and this site has a restrictive policy about what you are allowed to link to.

05-20-14, 01:31 PM
I did find a bunch of videos from Dr. Russell Barkley.... per-chaps that is who you were thinking of?

Ah, the migraine. I should just give up and go back to bed.
Yes, I meant Russell Barkley.

07-27-14, 04:47 AM
Great opening post! Everything made so simple and effective in a short space! Love it!

My 2p's worth -
I need to go back for ADHD testing (long story, on here somewhere) but my wife is also 100% I have ADHD. I am 100% my daughter has ADHD (she is 5) my wife is 100% she doesn't have ADHD.
The problems I find in our parenting is that I can see my daughters reactions very well and I feel I understand her better than my wife. My daughter is very set in her ways, (as I am) and can be very emotional. For example, up until a couple of months ago, I worked out that my daughter needed an emotional release everyother day - usually in the form of crying. (I've also needed this in the past) so when she started to cry I would comfort her, my wife would get annoyed as my daughter had no reason to cry - but I knew she did, hence an argument between us would start.

I think with your son you should do everything you can to manage him without meds or herbal thingies! They you know that he is managable at his "Worst", or when he cannot control his emotions. So no matter what happens - you can deal with it. The reason your husband may not bother is because if he has ADHD and got through everything fine, that's the approach he will take with your son. Also your husband may have a better understanding of your son's emotional issues as he has been there himself.

Maybe start by asking your hubby what helped him as a child to do well in school, then ask him if you can try one thing at a time with your son - mainly just to get him through school with good grades, that's all.

However - if you are buying meds that cost a small fortune - I suggest looking for cheaper options before approaching hubby, He won't want to pay out a small fortune for something which he things is a perfectly manageable situation.