There are some days when I feel at my worst and I don't understand why my daughter has ADD, or why she suffers with anxiety or even why my children were born with a hearing loss so how can I expect my other children to understand?
The relationship between siblings can often be a turbulent and volatile one. Even more so when one or more of your children have ADD/ADHD. I am writing this after a week of daily tip tapping, fighting, swearing and screaming has left me feeling like I am at my wits end. My ADD daughter is the third of four children. All girls!! I will not say it's an easy task raising girls but I try to do my best. What I mostly struggle with is the relationship my daughter has with her sisters. Some days I blame myself and find it hard to come to terms with the idea that my children have difficulties and other days I manage to brush myself down and get on with parenting but my other daughters find it hard to process their sisters behaviour and they can not understand why (L) is the way she is.
* Excuses like she can't help it
* I try and ignore the behaviour which mostly just fuels further arguments with my eldest daughters
* I find myself shouting and screaming at the wrong child
* I blame all bad behaviour on her disability when sometimes it isn't
* I cry and get angry which then upsets all my children
It's on these darker days that the behaviour and symptoms of ADD become more apparent especially before the medication starts to work (yes I medicate my daughter, please don't judge). For two hours before school there is arguing, shouting, screaming, objects flying and general put your hands over your ears din. Some mornings I do not even want to get out of bed. With three children trying to get ready for school and one who is being disruptive, it's mayhem and can resemble a battle field.....Yes girls can fight like cats and dogs and it's not a pretty sight!!!
I feel so emotionally shattered by the time my children walk into school other parents must wonder what a miserable women I am!
The older the kids get, the harder it's becoming to be a mum. It's harder to contain arguments, disagreements and fighting especially when two of your daughters are the same height as you...There is also no negotiating with a child who neither understands, remembers or processes what you say. My ADD daughter finds it increasingly difficult to navigate the sibling situation. She is either going off the deep end at them, annoying them or being mean to them or she gets upset because they don't want to play with her. I can't blame them (L) may have forgotten that book she threw at them this morning or the slap she gave them but my other three do not forget and they don't seem to forgive either. Some days I do all I can to limit the stress they cause each other, tears before breakfast are the norm in our house and it breaks my heart.
I have to split them up, give them different directions!! I often feel like I am waving my arms around like an Orchestra Conductor.
The guilt sets in about how my other children are coping with having a sister with difficulties/disabilities. On the outside they seem to cope well but the signs are there like yelling at me that it's not fair. Life isn't fair it's hard work as there is no rule book, guide book or instruction manual. Some top tips I have learnt along the way
* Give all of your children at least 15 minutes in an evening by themselves either talk about their day or do some reading. I have found this makes them feel important it's not easy as you may get interrupted but persevere.
* Cooking....I try to involve the older ones in cooking for everyone. It gets them out of the firing line for a while and makes them feel involved.
* Always hug and kiss your children anytime anywhere. Make sure they know even if they have been naughty that you love them
* Go for a walk...getting out of the house can sometimes clear the air and get rid of excess energy
* Sleep overs / days out...for the siblings of a child with ADD/ADHD family life can be hard for them. If at all possible arrange a day out or a sleepover for them with friends or family. It will give them time out and an escape especially if it's been a stressful week.
Phew now I have written it down I may go have a cry and then brush myself down do some breathing and release the Stress and tension. Even on a bad day I never hate my children or myself and neither should you. Feel free to get in touch with me
x Leanne X