ADHD

Question
Posted by: Concerned Mother of 16y son. | 2009-03-26

Q.

Concerned Mother of 16y son.

Dear ADD ADHD Expert /Please Urgent Help!!!

Im a divorced mother. For 9 years now living with my partner (Im gay). My son is handsome and loving and bright with his hands but very slow academically. He unfortunately over and over again through the years does stuff that is really not acceptable and he does not seem to be to sorry about it. Like lying, stealing, come home late, smsing bad stuff to people drinking and tried dagga!

He is not a bad child and has great potential but he seems to be in trouble sins cresh days. (He was only 5 years old when the day mother said he will somehow someday end in jail.) The older he get the worse it gets. It is a wonder he is still in school and not expelled. He did one year 3 times over. He isn’ t violent but he smoke (my fault) I let him because I caught him with dagga and I would rather see him smoke in front of me then use drugs behind my back! ( he learnt smoking still in primary school at the boarding schools were I did not know of it until I found out when he was in high school and to late to say no. He would not listen to me in anycase.)

He drinks a lot at party' s where I or his dad or stepmother can' t see him drinking then don’ t come home on time. He did steal previously. I know his home friends and they’ re not too bad but one of his friends is now just out off school and could be a influential problem although this friends parents seem to be nice good people themselves. He will cover for his friends and sometimes it seems he care more about his friends then his family. (With the drinking I think that came from his father’ s side because when I left his father, his father was an alcoholic and I think the stepmother also drinks allot.) I drink but with care and have never been drunk or being common. I might be too soft with him because he doesn’ t live with me but I care a lot and do as much as possible from my side. His father did not pay me a cent child support for 9 years and im paying them now so that my son can stay with them.

My partner is 17 years older then me and cant accept my child because of his behaviour and don’ t trust him or want him near our home. She isent bad to him but keep him at a distance on all levels. He live now for 2 years with his dad and previously he was in boarding school sins std 1 (grade 3). It is like he does something wrong and have excuses about it or just say relaxing it wasn’ t him and there is always an alternative person that could be responsible for the wrong. It’ s like he will never take really responsibility and not do it again. Im scared he will grow to be worse and end up in jail or maybe as a drug addict or alcoholic.

Im working in Town and live ten minutes away from town and don’ t have my own transport but he' s in Paarl and I see him only once a month. Im very caring and loving and understanding but one day I wont be there to cover or help him out of the bollox! I need urgently to get hold of somebody really good with this (a woman lady - him and me just relate better to woman) that will help me find out how he thinks and why does he do what he does? But in Paarl so that he can go their in his home town. Do you have any ideas or help or ' n list of womanly psychologist in Paarl. My son had definitive ADHD and while he was hyper as a child he is now more to the dreamy side of it and he was at a stage on Ritalin but he hates it and I don’ t like pills like that for my child either.

Thanks for any help regarding this urgent matter for my son and me!

Concerned Mother of 16y son.

Expert's Reply

A.

ADHD Expert

Dear Concerned Mother,
You have a very difficult situation on your hands; parenting is difficult enough when your children are around you 24/7, even more so when you see them only occasionally. There are a few areas I feel need addressing. Firstly, it does not sound as though you and your ex husband have the same stance when dealing with your son. If you can cast your mind back to when you were living together, I'm sure you can remember how much easier things were when you and your ex said 'no' together? If he has different rules at your house and at his father's house, he will manipulate you - all children are master manipulators. Secondly, whether you can see him smoking dagga or not, it is not ok. He needs to stop. There are long term, permanent side effects to smoking dagga including memory loss and lung diseases. The same is true for his drinking at parties, it needs to be controlled. Finally, you are there to protect him, not to cover for him. Seeing him as little as you do, I can understand that you want the time you spend together to be pleasant, but please do be careful of the messages you are sending him. Every time you cover for him or help him out of a jam, despite what you say, he will get a message of 'its ok'. Having said all of this, I am thrilled to see that you are ready to tackle this matter head on, the first step is always the hardest but worthwhile in the end. Please visit www.medpages.co.za to search for a psychologist in your area. It may also be worthwhile to contact tough love at info@toughlove.org.za or 0861 868 445. They will be able to give you some guidance as well.
All the best.
Delia

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