View Full Version : ADHD Stepfather

01-06-17, 10:01 AM
Hi everyone hope all of you are doing well.

I am in need of some advise.

I am myself ADHD and grew-up with very strict rules and routines. I have a 13 year old stepdaughter in my opinion ADD her self. One has to ask her to do something over and over. I feel like I can soul my pants at times out of frustration. I have tried being nice, strict and everything in between but no success. Feels like all she does is lay around on you tube, series or on her bed with her cell phone. No interested in helping anyone or doing anything that she does not wish to do. I am feeling like banning tech out of my home.

Does anyone have any advise?

Thanks for reading.

01-06-17, 12:16 PM
Is she being treated or has she ever been tested for anything in the mental health arena?

Does she struggle all over or just at home?

Does her mom see all of this through the same lens you do?

I remember the aggressive strictness of rules and routines being one of the major things that made me feel worse about myself. Not being able to perform on demand to the satisfaction of the authority figures in my life created an internal hell.

That's also an age of much hormonal disruption on top of anything else already happening. And today's food supply, as I've learned through the process of elimination, does nothing to help with hormonal disruptions, mood swings, brain fog, etc.

School wasn't a very user-friendly environment for me back then, either, so that added to the list of stressors and difficulties to juggle. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was hide and cry some days, but most days, I needed to be left alone to recoup and regroup.

There wasn't anyone to talk to with any depth or feelings of security about all the things I was feeling because we were taught to "just suck it up and get on with what you need to be doing" and that doing otherwise indicated weakness of some sort.

I still find much comfort in screen time. It's the one place in this world I can escape to and guide the screen prompts to all the places I like and can feel good about, and I can easily close the screens that bring discomfort. Reality doesn't offer such convenience. Cold weather definitely means more screen in my world, too. Once it warms up and I can grow stuff again, it'll be less screen and much more green.

Where are her comfort zones outside of the computer screen?

Does she feel safe enough to open up about her emotions to you and/or her mom?

Does she struggle with making friends?

Does she have healthy and nurturing interests outside of the internet and opportunity to follow through?

I'm a step-mom (of two who are now grown and gone) who insisted early on in my new role that things be done the way I'd been taught they needed to be done as I was growing up. I even made a household chores manual with step-by-step instructions on how to clean each room to eliminate any confusion. Hahahahaha!!! That was a huge fail.

It came across much differently than I had imagined in my diligence of trying to make everything the way I thought it should be. I had to learn to relax into the unknowing of what they had already learned and adjust my own sails accordingly when and if they needed support and guidance.

01-06-17, 12:41 PM
Hi Unmanagable

My wife just had a LOL moment when it came to your step by step cleaning list. I did the exact same thing. I am a little bit of an control freak. My step-daughter does okay with regards to social skills. She has never been tested and recommendations were made to look at her diet but needless to say that did not happen. I went on a sugar, coffee, fizzy drink kick out spree.

She does have interests outside of her room she is involved with the equivalent of the girl scouts. She also enjoys nagging, being hard hearing and arrogant she is so good at it she should get an Olympic medal for it.

I recently started taking my old friends LA30 again. So it was a total lifestyle change in the house since we are a ADD+ 1HD household.

01-06-17, 03:02 PM
What is LA30? How does the way you choose to handle and treat your symptoms effect how you interact with what you perceive to be as symptoms in your step-daughter?

It sounds like a lot of changes have happened, some in sprees, which I assume is done without her having much of a choice or say in the matter. My apologies if I'm wrong about that. I'm just going by what I recall of how things were done in my home when I was her age. That's usually a recipe for disaster with people in general, especially if it feels forced by someone we don't jive with very well to begin with.

You sound a bit harsh in your description of her, to be honest. If you're simply venting, that's cool, but I wonder if that's how you describe her observed behaviors to her, too? I wouldn't receive feedback very well if it was being delivered in that manner, either, even if I wasn't struggling with adhd. There again, I'm only going by what little you've typed, so I may be way off base in all of my perceptions.

You mention you are a bit of a control freak. It seems the weight of the work that needs to be done lies within self first. I learned that before I could see others for who they truly are, I had to get right/get connected with and understand myself first and foremost. I'm still working on it. :)

Not just try to "get right" with who my family and society has told me I NEED to be, but the real me. No one ever taught me those significant details as I was being "raised". It wasn't included in the rules and regulations. There was no safe space to be me, so I had to get better at wearing masks to please the audience of the moment.

It became too exhausting and draining to maintain, so I often purposely chose all the things I knew would p*** off the ones making/expecting me wear the masks and rebelled big time. I couldn't wait to turn 18 and escape, and I did, into even more unhealthy environments.

You didn't answer the part about her feeling as if she has a safe space to express her true feelings with you and/or her mom. Feeling like you constantly have to suppress what you truly feel in order not to be viewed as an obstacle or pain in the lives of others is a huge hurdle, especially when you're constantly being told how ________ you are.

Finding ways to build up rather than tear down has been beneficial in my life, in all of the arenas, most especially self. It's different for each individual and remains tricky to navigate, but feelings of genuine compassion, being heard, nurturing, and acceptance are much easier to live alongside than the eternal need to duck the sword swinging and swearing off of all that we perceive needs to be done away with.

Picking our battles with our hearts instead of our heads and egos. Finding balance. Best wishes in all of the above. It remains a work in progress, as I think it was sort of meant to be, but damn if it doesn't trip us up. When you trip, maybe use that time to work on your dance skills so it looks like you meant to do that. Just remember to be kind, to self and others.

01-09-17, 03:11 PM
When my son hit 13 his ADHD went from mild to total space cadet. Threats, structure, consequences...I may as well have been talking to a wall. ADHD meds did help him become less foggy and more in the moment rather than his own head. It took 3 months but we finally walked into the psychiatrists office one day and the doctor even commented "I feel like today is the first time I actually met your son."

By the way, he has always been a sociable kid and a leader on his baseball team. Not all ADHD kids are anti-social or awkward. However, if he wasn't interested he tuned out very easily. The meds helped with that as well.

01-12-17, 01:42 PM
Treatment first regardless of her behavior. That should be the priority. If you feel this way about her she will pick up on it and internalize it no matter if she hears it come out of your mouth or not. What about letting her own room, her own space be however she wants it? It doesnt affect the family if you can shut the door. Common areas are another thing and she may need almost round the clock reminders to keep her stuff in her space. Pressure to be perfect is devastating. Not living up to your standards can end up hurting her more deeply than you think. She will measure all relationships against the relationship she has with you and her mom-thats how humans form- we hear the message-even the quiet ones and punish ourselves when we cant do things the right way.

01-12-17, 02:05 PM
I believe, that the experts suggest step parents take a back seat when it comes to discipline and I think this should also include criticism. I am sure it's very hard on you, but it is also possible you're caught in a 'one right way' thinking pattern, and it's convenient that it just happens to be yours.

She needs to be evaluated for adhd and if found to be, treated.

01-13-17, 12:11 PM
I believe, that the experts suggest step parents take a back seat when it comes to discipline and I think this should also include criticism. I am sure it's very hard on you, but it is also possible you're caught in a 'one right way' thinking pattern, and it's convenient that it just happens to be yours.

She needs to be evaluated for adhd and if found to be, treated.

It depends on the dynamic of the house and if there are other siblings. The worst thing you can do is let a kid think "You can't do anything to me, you aren't my REAL parent."....and it is worse if that step parent is largely in charge of school, or rides, or athletics....etc. The whole family dynamic will crumble if the step parent is asked to be a part time parent, and only when it suits the bio-parent, especially if their are half siblings involved.

I met my step son when he was 3. My age 6 my husband had primary custody. By age 8 the bio mom was on supervised only visitation. By age 10 I legally adopted him. By age 13 his father and I divorced and he chose to stay with me and his little sister.

Little Missy
01-13-17, 02:18 PM
What IS LA30??!!

01-13-17, 07:24 PM
What IS LA30??!!

A highway in Los Angeles?

Little Missy
01-13-17, 07:40 PM
A highway in Los Angeles?

But he's in Africa.:scratch:

01-13-17, 07:50 PM
La30 could be am actuator (I just read the description of what it is but can't repeat it. Some sort of tool to.put satellite dishes in place) or an aroma diffuser or a blood pressure lowering medication. I haven't looked at all definitions but I'm guessing it's the bp medication. :scratch:

Little Missy
01-13-17, 07:56 PM
hmm....well, I'll be, a mystery!