Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content


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    Post count: 14413

    I have a husband of over 31 years and 4 children. All 3 of our sons – now grown – have either been diagnosed or exhibit all of the symptoms of ADD, and I myself was diagnosed right after my youngest son was, about 12 years ago. The psychologist who diagnosed my son and I is an ADHD specialist. He recommended Dr. Hallowell’s book “Driven to Distraction” and that made me realize that I too have the condition. My long-suffering husband and youngest child do not. This has been a real challenge for my family. All 3 of my adult sons are unemployed or underemployed and have great difficulty keeping jobs. They are all night owls, very smart, extremely creative, yet self-discipline is a struggle. We end up financially supporting them in various ways, mostly with car repairs or car purchases that we know we’ll never be repaid for, not to mention constantly being hit up for cash for gas or medical expenses because they’re not working and have no insurance.

    Our youngest son, the one who was diagnosed and has been taking Adderall for several years is the worst of the three, even with the meds. He was diagnosed in 9th grade, gave us a terrible time all through high school until he ended up dropping out and getting a GED, can’t hold a job for more than a couple of months because he is always either sick, having car trouble or “his boss won’t give him enough hours.” He moved out a year ago after we suspected him of stealing money and he rents a room in a house with several other people, but sleeps here most of the time. He is like a 25 year old toddler, leaving a trail of dirty dishes, towels and clothes wherever he goes. We have lent him money, paid for car repairs, and buy his meds for him, and yet he’s still not able to become a functioning adult. When we lend him money (that we know we’ll never see again), my husband has him work it off around our home by mowing the lawn, raking leaves, pulling weeds, painting, etc, which he either does a lousy job on or finds excuses not to do. (too hot/cold, bees, don’t feel well…) I’m at my wits end. If we cut him off, I’m scared that something terrible will happen to him and then I’ll have that guilt for the rest of my life. It’s not like he’s a horrible person. He’s the sweetest person you’ll ever meet, but has absolutely no capability for self-discipline. I know that all of my sons have maturity issues like many guys with ADD, but how do I help them to become responsible adults? We don’t interfere with their lives or their decisions, and never offer our help. We wait until they ask for it because I don’t want them to think we are a bottomless checking account, because we’re not. We’re struggling to make ends meet ourselves and our sons are just draining us financially. We have a small business and the economy hit us hard. Retirement is not ever going to be an option at this rate unless we win the lottery.


    Post count: 14413

    It is not my place to advise, or judge……maybe some though provoking comments may assist?????

    Sometimes our best intentions…..although well meaning are contributors, actually enabling the problem??? Also, some people only respond to hitting their bottom. , nothing else is motivating for them. It is hard to watch when it’s your children… I get that…but when will he be cut loose, allowed to feel the consequences of his actions? That is how we learn. There will come a time when we as parents are not there, either physically or mentally….it is a fact….then what??? Will he have to try learn to adapt at the ripe age of 30….35…40…50…….Wew…..that is a long ways down the pipe to start learning those life lessons. Very hard to recover at that point!!!!

    If I read you right…..can’t work because sick, car trouble, boss……everything that is dropped, or screwed up is somebody else’s fault…..or something else’s fault, a victim of, damn near everything!!! I don’t know…..continually handing solutions over to a person of that mindset may not be in anybodies best interest…… As I understand it, “victim status” is the best possible position to manipulate from, everybody tries for “victim status”. After all who doesn’t want to take in the poor, wet,cold, puppy……..and victims don’t have to assume responsibility, for anything ever!!!

    Have you considered counseling….not for your son but for you or you two. If what your doing is not working and you’ve been doing it over and over and over again…….there might be a pattern there that…….needs to be looked at by an outside, un-invested party, a professional.

    I’m just sayin…..having raised two ADD children…



    Post count: 546

    Very wise advice TOOFAT !!


    Post count: 929

    I’m struggling a little bit with my own daughter. It’s not the same though. I have very little to share with her financially. I’ve never wanted lot’s of money, Super fast cars, etc. Enough to work as hard as my daughter has worked. I have helped pay for a fraction of her books, etc. a tiny drop in that bucket. It’s as much as I can help. She has large amounts of student load dept. She chose that debt. It’s difficult letting her grow through the grief of being in an unpaid, actually paid 12 K for. Internship, and not getting any more money from me in 6 months, (If I’m able to say no, that is…) I don’t have any control over how much her mom helps her, it’s a lot!. I can’t undo the past, I tried very hard to advise this kid, but most of the lessons of life have to be learned the hard way, just like the rest of humanity.

    Powerlessness sux.

    I’ve been very much on my own since graduation from high school. No college. I’ve survived and feel good about myself now. I’ve had some horribly rough years though. It scares me to death thinking of my kid going through what I’ve been through.

    It’s never easy being a parent. But I’m still grateful to be one. Thanks Toofat. I hope petuniasmom got a chance to consider what ya said. We have to let our kids take a few shots. We’ll never be able to grow up for them. It’s painful, ugly, and brutal. But we survived growing up. we are still surviving it. So will they. Or they won’t. We don’t get to decide how well they do. I can’t help her if she doesn’t call for something besides money.

    The bottom line.

    We are mostly powerless. Unfortunately we can enable them to not grow much easier than allow them to grow.

    Letting go bites! it really really bites. it sux. Pain Pain Pain.



    Post count: 116

    petuniasmom, the others have had some good food for thought. i would like to add that perhaps it doesn’t have to be so black and white, but perhaps setting some firm ground rules would be good? for example, maybe your youngest can live with you while he’s unemployed or under-earning but he has to be responsible for cleaning after himself and have some assigned chores to contribute to household like caring for yard, helping with laundry…whatever works. i would suggest a written contract of responsibilities.

    also, are you sure he’s actually taking the meds? is it possible he’s using the money he gets for meds for other living expenses? or worse, selling them to make extra money?

    another thing to consider, maybe he is not yet on the right meds? has he tried counseling or life coach? what about checking resources for carreer/school counseling that are free and hopefully he can find a job better suited to him that he will enjoy – or at least tolerate – that can be a starting point.

    also, perhaps he has not “earned” a right to have a car? maybe having to give up his car(storing at your place til he can afford insurance and gas money) and use public transport and/or bicycle would help to light a fire under his butt? i know a lot of us won’t do things without that fire….

    also maybe he would qualify for medicare/medical or other government assistance for health care?

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