On 12/12/17 one of my kiddos received a formal diagnosis of ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (I question the ODD but, whatever). For those of you that are unfamiliar with the diagnosis, let’s go over it.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A disorder in which a person is unable to control behavior due to difficulty in processing neural stimuli, accompanied by an extremely high level of motor activity. So, what does all of that medical jargon mean? In my son’s case this means he may be extremely distractible, unable to remain still, and very talkative. Which he has been displaying for a while and now it is affecting his school performance. These issues weren’t anything new, however, I was sure as his parent, I could “fix” it on my own.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
ODD is a condition in which a child displays an ongoing pattern of an angry or irritable mood, defiant or argumentative behavior, and vindictiveness toward people in authority. The child’s behavior often disrupts the child’s normal daily activities, including activities within the family and at school.
Now that you’ve had your small lesson, let’s chat!
Finally! After many attempts of me trying to ignore what has been right in front off my eyes, we have a diagnosis. Let me just say this, I was raised that your child would act right if you whooped them. Because of the mental conditioning, I believed this to be true. Y’all, IT IS NOT! I have learned that often times this is abuse and a result for many children ending up in toxic relationships as they grow older. Yes, this black mama believes that obsessive whooping, whippings, spankings (whatever you want to call them) are a form of abuse. I have the permanent extension cord mark on my thigh. I won’t even go into the history of whooping black folks to keep them in line. That’s a different topic for a different day,
Can I give you a bit of advice? Please do not allow people to convince you that you can do it better. Please do not allow people to keep your kids from feeling better. Please don’t allow people to keep your kids from doing better in school. And if you’re a person of color, please do NOT be afraid to admit that you may need additional services for your child. I say all of these things because, this was me. I allowed all of these things to happen. I waited until I watched my son break down and cry and tell me how hard he try’s but he just can’t seem to get it right. Big tears, BIG UGLY TEARS. This is when I realized that there wasn’t anything that I could do to help him alone. So, we got help.
Now here is the funny of it all…… I work within the world of mental health. I’ve lived in the world of mental health since I was 12. However, this case was different. I had to acknowledge that the son I had severe postpartum depression with now has behavioral issues. I have outgrown the blaming of the PPD. But now, I can’t help but think, “If only I had gotten better, faster. If only I bonded with him more when he was younger. If only……”
I know that I cannot focus on these things and must focus on him. I must continue to love him unconditionally, remain consistent with his routines, make sure he takes his Meds, YES MEDS, and make his weekly CBT appointments. Why am I sharing this here? Because there is another parent going through the same thing. Another child has been diagnosed and another parent asking, “what if?” What if?
Do not question yourself. You are doing an amazing job with your little. It is ok to acknowledge that you may need extra reinforcements. It is ok to be scared, frustrated and cry. This is normal. How do I know? Because I’ve experienced all of those emotions. Please know that YOU ARE ENOUGH. We will get through this together.
A worried parent, Just like You