I started watching this and couldn’t stop …

Oh, man ……. I started watching this BBC Documentary, “Living with ADHD,” and couldn’t stop … mostly because of how much I could relate to the moms, even though ADHD was not on our own “issues” list. (ADD was – and still is – but not ADHD.) But it doesn’t matter what the particular issue is; what matters is how it affects the kids, the moms (and dads), and everyone around them … and what the repercussions are from each of those effects.

All of this relates not only to ADHD, but to the full range of issues that so many of us have dealt with … which are all overlapping, anyway, in my opinion. It’s like a giant Venn diagram … lots of interconnected, overlapping issues, each sending out ripple effects that are all criss-crossing each other (and affecting everyone outside, too)… and at the center of it all is that one unique point in the middle: a little boy or girl who is struggling to handle all this.

So much of this documentary is absolutely heartbreaking in the way they show how hard it is for the kids …. and how hard it is for the moms …. the stress, the anxiety, the fear …. but as you continue to watch, you also see some things that really help.

What’s interesting to me is that these families were able to get that help, in ways that don’t seem to be built into our system here. Although, the flip side of that is, they did have to be on a long waiting list to get the help. It certainly begs the question: What kinds of (affordable) parenting assistance like this are available to families here??

A couple things that I think this documentary shows extremely well —

• Just the day to day struggle, and how overwhelming and exhausting it is for everyone in the family (the kid, the parents, the siblings …)

• The constant negativity that the kids get – and not just from the outside, but from us, too, as moms!!! (And dads …)

• The mom’s experience as an ADHD-er herself

• How so many of the “traditional” parenting techniques just don’t work (no matter what other parents are trying to tell you) – but there are some other things that can help

• The importance of getting a diagnosis and knowing what you’re dealing with … whether or not you want to use medication (one family does; one family doesn’t)

• The fear you have for your child’s safety, their emotional health, and their future

• And this, which makes sense to me, but I had never thought of it this way before:

 “Psychologists believe that many ADHD children develop oppositional behavior (ODD) as a reaction to constantly being told off. It’s their way of coping for being criticized for behavior they simply cannot help.”

* sigh *

It was emotionally exhausting for me to watch this. And it made me even more determined to keep doing what Martha and I are doing.