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Extended Family Members

Extended Family Members2012-07-01T05:43:16+00:00

The Forums Forums For The Non-ADD Other Extended Family Members

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    Gma Jerri
    Post count: 7

    Does anyone have suggestions about how to educate extended family? My oldest daughter grew up with ADHD and married, had children, and is in a successful career. We have been trying to get them to understand the son of my other daughter, who was diagnosed early, but also judged harshly early on by this daughter and her family. He is an adult now, with a son who he loves and cares for along with his fiance. The oldest daughter’s family does not believe that his impulsive language use and difficulty finding employment and other issues is part of his ADD. They insist that he’s lazy, doesn’t care, and that he has never had to suffer consequences for his behavior or he would not be this way. The oldest daughter says she didn’t have these problems. (She did, but she doesn’t remember.) She has friends with ADD and they don’t act like that. And so on. Part of the problem is that things get worse when he gets off his meds. But he is in a lot of emotional pain and distress because of the clear disapproval he gets from this family and his failure to get a job. He has low self-esteem as it is, and this just makes it worse. It also causes his mother great pain. We are typically a close family, but this issue has created much pain and divisiveness over the years. It’s late at night and I am rambling, but it is helpful just to write about it.


    Post count: 14413

    That’s a hard one. If I’m reading what you’re saying correctly the daughter that is doing the criticising has adhd and she is critical because she has overcome her disabilities and made a success of her life? Does she know that there are different adhd subtypes and some people suffer more severe symptoms than others? I think I’d try to head in that direction – try to find more information about the differences in the way people with adhd are effected.

    You’re daughter with adhd must have worked really hard to make a success of her life. But not everyone can do this. It must be so hard for her nephew to feel good about himself if he sees that adhd hasn’t (on the surface) affected his aunt. He must feel demoralised and like an even bigger failure. Sounds like your older daughter is either looking for recognition for her success, wanting a reason to criticise her sibling for bad parenting i.e not making your grandson ‘suffer the consequences’, or she’s looking for an argument because she has ADHD and that’s what some of us like to do – create drama *sigh*


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    Not to blow our own horn, but our documentary, ‘ADD & Loving It?!’ was designed to do several things. One intention was to have people with undiagnosed ADHD appreciate how it looks in adults and it might explain some of their struggles. Another was de-stygmatize ADHD for those who know they have it but are afraid of taking it on. Another was to show there’s real science here.

    But a big reason that drove me to make the film in the first place was to have something to show people who didn’t believe the disorder was real, or thought it was a gift, or that it was just bad parenting, or a lazy person’s excuse, or that it’s way over diagnosed and over medicated…

    That’s why I settled on the title, because it sounds like we’re going to say, “ADD is great! You’ll love it.” What people miss is the question mark in the title, “ADD & Loving It?!” As in, “Loving it? Loving my ADHD? WHAT?!! ARE YOU KIDDING?!!” The title worked so well a lot of the doctors who appeared in the film were refusing to participate until we explained the message was actually, as Patrick explains near the end, “You can’t really love your ADHD/ADD, but you can have ADHD/ADD and still have a life you love.”

    The moment the film debuted on PBS we were besieged with ADHD adults who told us variations on this theme: “I haven’t seen your show yet, but my parents caught it on PBS and they called me this morning and said, ‘Honey, we get it. We’re sorry.’ After a decade of dismissal and arguing you have transformed my life and my relationship with my parents! Thank you! God bless you! When will be on the air here?!!!”

    There are a number of reasons why the film ‘works’ to overcome doubt, skepticism, negativity and the pervasive mythology around ADHD. One reason it’s so powerful is that Patrick and I are comedians, and for fans of The Red Green Show, familiar & trusted faces. (If anyone you see on TV is trustworthy! Ha!)

    The biggest one, I think, is Patrick’s wife Janis, and the two of them sharing snippets of their struggle. They’ve been through a lot. They shared some of it, knowing it would make a difference for others. It was an incredibly brave thing to do.

    ‘ADD & Loving It?!’ is a weird creation. It’s not really a documentary. It’s not really a science program. It’s not a traditional TV comedy. It’s not an expose. It’s not lurid or exploitive or deliberately misleading to try and increase the drama. Someone told me, “It’s kind of like the opposite of Jersey Shore in every way. And they are all good ways.”

    Anyway, I recommend the film. And I recommend the sequel we’re just finishing, ADD & Mastering It! It’s debuting on PBS stations in August. It’s in our store, or at Amazon. http://totallyadd.com/shop/add-loving-it-documentary/

    And a suggestion–get two copies. It costs extra, but I found everyone wants to see it, or lend it to a friend, or whatever. I know it costs more, but knowing how it has transformed lives and saved families, it’s a bargain.


    Post count: 14413

    Ooooo…..tough one!! You have one daughter who is ADD, has a family, and good relationship, and a great career…yes…..and another daughter whose son is ADD also. The first daughter is tuff on the second daughters son…correct?? The son in question is a father and has a fiance……still right…and feels shitty about himself ?? I think I got it.

    Well if that’s the case…….it appears you are the third or fourth party in the fray………again if I read you right…..these appear to be all adults with their own families doing what they think is best, and living their lives……..my question to me would be….. who am I to say different. You have had your children not? You raised them as you saw fit I would assume….and my guess if your anything like me, if somebody butted in to tell I was doing it all wrong I would tell them immediately to “F**K OFF” and that would be the end of it. My parents were not allowed to parent my children or second guess me or lecture me once i was a man, on my own with a career, a wife and family. They tried a few times……but……I put a stop to it….!!!

    If the son is having issues counseling would likely be a fine choice……counselors have no AXE to Grind….no skin in the game…..if you butt in, it will likely only alienate one or the other, maybe all three….and you could end up on the outside!!! The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sometimes people have to crash, hit their own low, before they stand up and make their life shine. Robbing folks of that process at the time seems so right but in fact, we rob them of the development growth process.

    Both my kids 28 & 31 are ADD as am I……..I was tuff on them…..I love them with all my heart ALL MY HEART……but poor destructive behavior because of ADD was not tolerated and they had to learn the consequences of their actions. Support yesss…… all kinds, but I never saved them from themselves. My son at 31 is now my best friend…….we hang, and goof off together all the time…..we became buddies, we spend most of our free time together!!! Was it always like that…No…..but I had faith. Both my children are accomplished and successful, and ADD, as am I. They both at one time thought I was a Nazi Bastard……for years……today they get it, they really do…..and they get how hard it was to love them, and let them grow, and be the focus of their utter disdain for years as they were growing and developing. Very hard to do…..as a parent.

    That is my story…….I have no regrets….this is an ADD positive house….I am one of those for whom ADD is not a curse…..my children were raised in an extremely ADD positive atmosphere. My children were always told ADD was a gift (as I believe it is, and I don’t care to argue about that )….I explained to them why, and how, and how to make it work………what is different about ADD, and how exploit what ADD brings to your table…….THEY FLY!!!!!

    Food for thought…….maybe…….maybe not…..it’s just my story.



    Post count: 162

    Boy, that could have been me doing the criticizing as a young adult. As I have mentioned before, I think I was lucky enough to find ways to overcome many ADD symptoms without even knowing I had it. The problem is that developing beneficial practices and coping skills is only half of the battle. You are living life on thin ice, and the number of people who are/were successful, but get diagnosed later in life after some sort of crisis are a testament to this.

    For me, the ups and downs of life taught have me to be less judgmental and more compassionate. Sadly the judgmental political atmosphere of today rubs off on many people making it hard for them to see shades of grey, or recognize the reality of a situation.

    I remember coworkers who sound very much like your grandson. Clinically we may both have ADHD, but being of the inattentive type myself, I would not have recognized that we suffered from the same disorder. Without doing a lot of reading, your daughter will not understand how much, and at the same time how little she has in common with your grandson.


    Post count: 802

    Interesting dilemma. How does the lad’s aunt (and her side of the family) judge him and how does this impact on him? His impulsive language and employment troubles seem to be the sticking point for her? Does his mum try to protect him from the results of his actions and is this why his aunt thinks he hasn’t had to face the consequences?

    I would try to help if there was a rift between my kids. I hate the interfering parent thing, but I also know that experience and a little distance may be able to help me offer some observations. I love that my mother in law does this – she has a way of cutting through the crap.

    Can you see what the issues are from both sides? Does the auntie realise that ADHD is different in everyone and maybe her nephew is having a harder time with his than she did? Does mum realise how much auntie went through to get to where she is? Maybe she is desperate for her nephew to have more success than he’s managing at the moment?

    How much of it can you unpick and how much do you think you could constructively say without upsetting anyone?


    Post count: 929

    Hi Gma,

    I agree it’s very tricky with family, families have so much history and strong emotions going on. I vote get a copy, hopefully two of the documentary, film, DVD things. It sucks a lot but in so many cases, especially in families where ADHD has caused some or part of the problems, they just won’t listen to each-other. Regardless of how right you are. They won’t hear the truth coming from you. Probably don’t want to be corrected by family members.

    Carefully read all the info on this page, and spend some time surfing around this site for more ideas okay?

    If it’s at all possible, maybe find a way to help this young dude find his way to this site. Maybe ask a friend of his, or someone not in the family to help him find his way here, without actually getting yourself involved if possible. It’s important to stay on good terms with the rest of your family if at all possible right?. So I wouldn’t risk sneaking around. Ask a friend you can really trust to help him find his way here. I bet you can come up with a way to steer him toward this site. Trust your instincts, you know your family better than we do.

    Every case is different, and I could definitely be wrong, but maybe just start out by getting that ADD and Loving it?! film, art, comedy, entertainment, tear jerker, and dramatic action adventure story thing… Maybe just sorta leave it somewhere in the right house where the right people find it?, I dunno, it’s risky business, but this guy really needs someone on his side, like US! how bout dat?. :-)

    We’re all rooting for ya, come back n let us know how things work out okay? thanks.

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