Feeling like a bad mother

Colleen - posted on 02/01/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

4

114

1

My youngest daughter is 5 1/2. She has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and depression. Last week, we all woke up late for some reason and had to rush to get ready for school. Alex decided she didnt want to get out of bed nor change her clothes bcs she didnt want to go to school. we had only 5 minutes before they were late, so instead of letting this turn into a horrible fight, i just said fine then you are going in your pajamas. Told her to get shoes on, which she did with no socks, and we left for school.

Yesterday, while I was out starting the car, she must have put a half a loaf of bread in her bookbag and once at school, told them I "let her pack her lunch and since we didnt have anything else she brought bread to eat". I got a call from a family member at the school telling me this and how they are now questioning what is going on in my house that my child believed she "had" to do this for lunch. Mind you, she gets free breakfasts and lunch at the school.

She goes to school clean, with clean clothes, hair brushed doesnt miss school and has her school stuff with her. So why are these once in a while behaviors enough for them to make such a fuss about? My child throws temper tantrums, but they arent normal tantrums. If she just sat there and screamed, I can handle those. But instead her fits/tantrums include her breaking things, throwing things, kicking, punching and scratching on top of yelling at you...During these, she has to be restrained and or removed from the room. Once she is done, her face puffs out and her eyes get "bruised" and puffy and she actually looks like she has been punched. (I was told by a nurse that she is crying so hard she is actually busting the blood vessels around her eyes) We have taken everything away, her room consists of a bed and a desk with a night light. We cant even keep her clothes in there bcs she will take them all out and throw them all over her room.

Its more than a case of just putting my foot down. She has been receiving behavioral and emotional support at the school and here at the house and the school knows this, so why do they still call and try to make me feel like Im a bad mom? Saying you cant let these things happen, its not right. You (me) have to put your foot down and not allow this behavior to go on.

I mean seriously, who would "allow" their kids to act like that? The worst part is despite her therapists telling me over and over, that I am being a good mom and doing all that I can, I still have these people undermining me and then I feel unfit and that I shouldnt be allowed to have my daughter with me. That I am failing her. I dont know what to do and Im just ready to cry all the time...

Does anyone else have stuff like this going on?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Carmel - posted on 02/08/2011

8

25

0

We dealt with ADHD issues with my step-son and found some great resources out there that helped us with our behavior and how we responded to his outbursts but also diet and nutrition. Look at some books by Dr. Ted Broer. He promotes eliminating preservatives, nitrates, food color, artificial sweetner, etc from the diet. For us this was like night and day . . . . . There are always going to be critics out there no matter what you do; use your instincts, give her lots of hugs and kisses and do as much research as you can on your own. You know your child best!! I wish you all the best.

Joanne - posted on 02/02/2011

9

0

1

Hello Colleen

I am a mother of three very young children and know exactly what it is like to be on the judged side of things.
My son at three years old had gone through many changes including moving, the birth of his brother and sister, new day care, big bed.. the list goes on and on.
My son began these hour long screaming matches that did not seem to originate from anything. One minute he was playing and the next thing I knew he was on the floor SCREAMING!! A new neighbour to us called CAS on us for this screaming, that to be honest I had no control over. Our son had been to see doctors who said they were normal. I have my ECE and know differently. Finally we received some form of a diagnoses almost a year later but the horror of not being able to protect myself against an accusation that broke me at the core was devastating.
I decided I would handle the situation in this way. I sat down and wrote, and sent a letter to the neighbour (Who CAS accidentally let slip..LOL). In the letter I expressed how grateful I was that this single woman was looking out for the best interest of my son. I was glad that there were people there who cared enough to make those calls, despite how it felt to be on the other side of the conversation. I expressed my confusion on why this issues was not addressed to me directly but that this neighbour was always welcome to drop in unannounced at any time if she felt something was wrong.
The woman did not respond to me. Unfortunately my son's room was almost arms length from her home, and his screams through the summer I am sure where haunting to this woman. CAS told me after hearing what was happening told me this woman needed to give us our due privacy and to basically mind her own business.

You can not PROVE your innocence. Nor should you have to. Taking measures to make it okay with you are the actions you need to do.

Directly ask you accuser, "What is it you really want to know?"
"How would YOU handle .....?"
"These are the agencies that we are already dealing with, I am human and like any mother I am new to every stage of my child's life. If you have any ideas on managing these behaviours I am always open for suggestion but if you are waiting for me to have to justify everything I do with my child than maybe we need to be doing this in front of a judge."

No parent is perfect and certainly we have all felt the burning eyes of a stranger or parent as we correct our children. If your child is always in the best care you are capable of providing and she is safe and loved, let them judge away because there are so many more worthy cases of inspection out there.

Good luck and know you are so, so far from being alone.

Joanne

Nadia - posted on 02/01/2011

152

19

13

Wow. I really feel for you!!! I'm sorry i might not have that much advice, but here goes... my husband is ADHD and his brother is OCD. So i know the kind of behavior you must be dealing with. You are being a great mom! a bad mom would never take her child to therapy or any doctor to have them diagnosed properly, so be proud of yourself. Don't let these other parents and teachers and whatnot get you down. You are not failing your daughter in any way at all! These people that critisize just don't understand, and they don't want to understand. All they see is just a tiny glipse of the whole picture. Everybody has those days (i have sent my daughter to school with food in her hair and all over her face because she picked fights with me and we were running late). It happens to everyone. But i do have to say one thing, if she is on meds (my husband is for his ADHD) make sure if she's on more than one that they are compatible with each other... this could cause more harm than good if they aren't, such as more outbursts. Also, perhaps a different Rx like Megan suggested might have to be tried. I hope things get better for you and just dont worry bout those judgemerntal people! chances are they aren't near perfect, and are in no position to critisize you. you're doing great!!!

Joey - posted on 02/03/2011

5

12

0

she's incredibly lucky to have such a proactive advocate...do your best, control what you can and let the rest go!

Amanda - posted on 02/03/2011

103

37

34

I definately understand the judgement part, though our situation is different. My son was born with a birth defect that caused him to be incontinent. He was still wearing pullups at 7 years old. So, you can imagine what people who didn't know the situation were thinking ... and saying. His school principal last year was the worst. Anyway, he just had his 6th surgery to correct his birth defect, and it was awful. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter who you are or how well you parent your kid, there's always going to be some one looking down on you. People don't what to know what's going on and why. They just want it to stop so they don't have to deal with it. Or, they make assumptions based on one insignificant detail. Either way, it's B.S. People thought I was a horrible mom because my son wasn't potty trained at 7 years old. Well. He was. He's been potty trained since he was a year and a half. Incontinence is NOT the same as not being potty trained. People just don't get it. I'm hear for ya!

30 Comments

View replies by

Lisa - posted on 03/01/2011

1

8

0

Hi Colleen. I can empathize with you completely. But you say your daughter is only 5 1/2? Has a medical doctor diagnosed her with add,odd and depression? I'm not an md but it seems to me that 5 1/2 is too young to be able to really tell yet if she is any of those. If you haven't done so, please take her to her pediatrician and have a LONG discussion about all of this. I think you will feel better. As for her going to school in her pj's - I myself have threatened my now 9 yr old son with the very same thing!!! It is not mean, it is not abuse. It is one way to keep yourself from going natty. You are not an awful or bad mother. You are disciplining. Some parents have forgotten what that means. I'm not saying to spank or be mean or anything else but to take toys or activities away is ok. They must learn responsibility for their actions. The sooner, the better. We do not want our children to grow up to be selfish, mannerless adults!! As for the school getting involved, at least you know they are paying attention to the kids! You may want to set an appt up with the guidance counselor and talk about everything. Maybe that will help clear things up all around. I know what it feels like to feel like you're a crappy mom... I do too sometimes. But know that you are not!!! By the way, has she ever been tested for allergies? Food or otherwise? Just a thought. Yo may want to talk with the dr. about it. Possibly even a full med exam and bloodwork to see if anything is off kilter. The more you explore, the more you can rule out! Good luck and hang in there!!!

Mindy - posted on 03/01/2011

4

97

0

I'm just going with my first reaction and that is I would bust her damn ass! Now I know that parents are not suppose to spank their kids now days but take it back to an earlyier time. Do you think kids would have even came close to acting this way without getting their ass whooped? Nope not even close. And even a 5 year old is smart enough to realize and make the connection between I don't want a whoopinng I better not do that again! I am speaking from experience. I have a 10 year old wih ADD and he tryed me a few times when he was youger and he also learned real quick not to do what he had done to get him in that situation. Kids will test you regauardless of mental problems or not just to see what they can get by with. I in no means beat my son and disapaling is one of the hardest things we have to do as parents but it's also our duty to them. I also never really had to spank him again because he learned how it worked real quick. I also beleive in spare the rod spoil the child. As far as feeling like a bad mom, Don't! I would tell them it is none of their business and if I ever needed their input I would let them know!

[deleted account]

If you were a bad mum, you wouldn't care and would just let you daughter run wild and get into all sorts of trouble. The fact that you share this situation and ask for advice shows that you're an excellent mum who loves her child and wants to do all she can for her. Count yourself hugged by a whole crowd of mums who may not all know exactly what you're facing, but are standing with you and supporting you anyway. xx

Vicky - posted on 02/15/2011

2

5

0

hiya colleen, my youngest son is nearly 6 and he has adhd and odd took me 4 yrs 2 get him diagnosed, and i no how ur feeling i had soical sayin i was harmin my kids wen i wasn't he does just about all the things ur daughter does i can't take my son shoppin with me, but let me tell u this u r not a bad mother u r doing what u think best, i went 2 a meetin and it seemed like everyone was blaming me wen all i have done is go 2 work porived 4 my kids and do the best i can since i'm on my own. u keep doing wat ur doing with the help u get. good luck i no it's not easy. x

Debra-Ann - posted on 02/15/2011

2

15

1

Good Afternoon, I think I am starting to understand how you must be feeling. My youngest sons teacher has been telling me she wants my son tested for ADHD. I feel that he can't have ADHD but now reading your article I have to wonder if he might have it. He also likes to shout and throw tantrums. Can you tell me what tests where sone with your son to determine that he has ADD or ADHD & what the doctors are doing for him.

Bernie - posted on 02/15/2011

2

13

0

I must wonder why there seems to be such an increase in the number of such cases. My youngest son is also a sufferer from ADHD and there are times I can only imagine what life would have been like had he been "normal." And then, he blows me out of the water with his amazing personality. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another scenario. I have, through this experience, gained such respect for all parents who have children who are more challenging than the run of the mill variety - and really, the point is that we are all so different that anyone who wants us to be the same, to fit the mold, to not stand out, must be from a different planet. Strength, prayers and a community of support to all of you. In the midst of the madness, be assured that we all have a place and purpose in this life and that as challenging as it is at times, the rewards are in the sweetest of unexpected moments, reminding us that this is all life in the making.
xxx

Jessica - posted on 02/14/2011

4

18

0

I know exactly what you are going through. My son is 8 and had ADHD and ODD. He also has violent rage out burst but usually only towards me (my husband and I are in the middle of a divorce). My son is almost a perfect angel at school but at home not so much. Recently he has even sent me to the emergency room. He is on medication and goes to a therapist and and psychiatrist. I have a really good relationship with the school principal so that if he comes to school late or oddly dressed or anything like that I tell her it was a bad morning and thats all that needs to be said. The important thing as far as the school is concerned is to talk to them, tell them what is going on. Let them know her diagnosis and that she has bad mornings and sometimes will come to school a little "off" whether it be in her pjs or mismatched clothes. If you have to get your childs doctor to write a letter explaining your childs illness for the teacher and principal. Request a conference with the teacher, school social worker and principal all at once and lay it out for them.
As far as at home I wish I had some advice for you on that medication does help some. Keeping calm the best you can helps when they are in the midst of the rage. Hope this helps.

Krissy - posted on 02/14/2011

232

0

19

In Kansas City area, we have a free clinic that also has psychiatrists, too. You can see if your area has one. They are able to prescribe meds, etc..

Ada - posted on 02/13/2011

3

8

0

hi colleen, i have my nephew living with me and he is ADHD and Alltistic as well, i know how u feel cause i am a single mum and have 3 kids of my own and they as well as me didnt understand why my nephew was acting out and trowing tantrums, but his tantrums consist of him grabing my sharp knives and trying himself and anyone else and trying to hang himself. I have had to remove everything from his room apart from his bed, he does his homework at the dinning table so i can keep an eye on him.

he goes to special ed at school and they try and help but i got a phone call about him trying to jump from the baloncy and now i feel like i am a bad aunty and garduain, but his own mother didnt want him so now he is here with me, not like i dont have worries with my own 3 kids but him on top sometimes pushes me over the edge and burst in tears

so colleen i have a rough idea of what u are going through!!

Ilene - posted on 02/10/2011

56

30

3

Sounds to me like you're a loving mom. I know this is a little different becasue it was IN school but one of my kids fell or something and he told me to take care of my children and that I, well, wasn't a good mom in short. This is what I told him. (close) These are my kids and you have no right to tell me how to do anything with my kids. I'm pretty sure I said some choice words and then I walked away. I was pretty angry and maybe a little offended, but once I was done with him, I didn't hear it again. I just posted another response by a lady who has a small child and thee school wants to hold him back. Stand up for yourself and your kid. If you take the time to calm down and breathe (like I didn't do lol) confront this person or persons and let them know exactly how you feel. I said earlier, there are teachers out there who believe that they can run the kids lives. I noticed that when they stopped supplying pencils and crayons.

Helen - posted on 02/10/2011

2

10

0

i felt for you reading this post, i have come across mom's who feel just because you do things different to them you must be doing something wrong, i think by the sounds of it you are doing a very good job with your child, and no matter what way anybody's child behaves, every mom feels guilty sometimes, i know its easier said than done but you should really ignore these people, you know your child the best and what is the best way to rear your little girl, best wishes...

Cindy - posted on 02/08/2011

2

0

0

My 5 1/2 year old son has been seeing a psychologist since November shortly after our first parent/teacher conference in KG. He is very caring and can be very sweet, but he also seems almost incapable of keeping his temper in check. His psychologist has mentioned ADHD and ODD, but says that he generally doesn't recommend any testing until children are at least 6 years old. The smallest slight can throw him into a screaming fit. The physical aspect has diminished drastically since starting therapy, but he still cannot deal with not getting his way. I know some people say that is how kids are, but they haven't heard my kid after I have told him NO. lol Anyway, all this was a long winded way to say that I have an IDEA of what you are going through and support you whole-heartedly. You are NOT a bad mom!

[deleted account]

My son, now going on 12, has been treated for ADHD & ODD since 5 yrs old too. I completely understand the frustration you are going thru. We went thru many different medications & combinations until we hit the right one for him. He is on 40mg of Strattera & 54mg of Concerta every morning. Also 5mg ritalin if needed after school. Honestly, he has been on this for a few years now & it really works great for him, he's a little tyke for his age, only weighs in around 70lb which is really small compared to others in his classes. But with the Strattera and Concerta combination he is doing great. We actually rarely ever need the Ritalin after school. Just don't give up hope. You are doing a great job.

Erin - posted on 02/07/2011

132

14

15

I feel for you on this. I've been on your side of the fence a little bit myself.
My daughter's always been very petite, there was a point in time I was really tired of people asking about how much I feed her. Even if they were half joking, it made me really angry to be insulted in this way!
And my son, who is 3 now, well...wow. I have to be very vigilant with him to say the least! We are working with some child development specialists. They are so supportive with my issues and give me great tools and ways to deal sometimes.
What I find hardest is that I know what a sweet fantastic person my child is, but mostly what other people seem to notice more are where he acts out. And I want to grab them and scream in their faces, "Did you not just see him sharing so nice 5 minutes ago??? " It hurts to be judged, and to be judged on the thing that you hold most precious in the world! I actually have a friend, who told me she just doesn't know how I deal with him sometimes. I know she meant it in a supportive way, but it still hurts!
I really love what Joanne had to say about asking the accuser if they have any suggestions. If they are so wise about parenting, then they ought have a good idea of how to do it better. And if not, then they shouldn't have been poking their nose.

You're definitely not alone! My best wishes for you and your daughter!

Monica - posted on 02/07/2011

6

20

0

I can completely relate! My son has the exact same diagnosis! WIth alot of hard work and patience it can get better, I promise! My son is not only on medication (which killed me to do) he has 2 therapists! One who sees him every other week in the office environment, the other who goes to his school, our house and takes him out places for rewards three times a week! I have lost two jobs due to the amount of phone calls from the schools in the past, as recent as December! But I have to say, things are turning around in a drastic way with everyone that is working with him. I have meetings at school often, I volunteer in his class when I can and he goes to groups in school to work on his anger! He is only 6 honey and I have been going through it for almost 3 years by myself.

It is hard! It is tiring! But ask for help, is she in any kind of therapy? I know with my son he does great with reward systems! He takes a lot of pride in doing things well now and that is because we have a million different charts to keep track of all the good things he does and it helps him realize that "HEY its more fun in life when you behave"

I set a goal for him each morning before school. His thing is Wii! He LOVES playing Wii! So every morning I remind him that if he has a good day that he and mommy will sit down and play Wii for 30 minutes after school! There are days that he hasn't earned and absolutely flipped out, but after a few times of me sticking to my guns and not giving in, he realized, "geez if I don't do good mom is not going to give in and let me play" AND IT WORKS! He has been doing excellent with this method!

Don't know if it will work but just thought I would give you a few of my tips!

Tammy - posted on 02/07/2011

6

58

0

I can completly see where your coming from. I have two daughters with ODD and ADD/ADHD. They have been medicated, & one hospitalized twice for severe aggressive behavior. If you are doing all you can do to help your child you are not a bad mom. If the school makes you feel that way, maybe its time to put them in a different school. Doing NOTHING for your kids is wrong. But getting them help and dealing with it the best way you know how is not wrong and you are NOT bad. My heart goes out to you. I've got scars all over my body from being scratched and bit. Just praying that sometime we will get the right med combination.

Colleen - posted on 02/06/2011

4

114

1

I want to thank you all for your support. You are all strangers to me but the fact that you took the time to respond and support me means the world. Alex was on Strattera but her refill was due the week we lost our insurance so I couldnt refill it. She has been pretty out of control since then. Her teacher did call me and told me that she knows what Alex is like and she was furious that this family member contacted me in such a way. Alex had two therapists come to the house 3 times a week but without insurance that came to a halt as well. We are supposed to get it back this week and i pray we do.

I mean I am raising her the same way I raised my 16 year old. Zoe, the older one, is very confident, outgoing, gets awesome grades in school and is popular with her peers. She was a difficult child and just grew out of it once she hit her teen years. Alex on the other hand seems beyond my capabilities at times. Her behavior scares me at times bcs she is extremely impulsive. Im hoping once she is back on her meds, she will slow down enough to start thinking through her actions.

My grandmother doesnt understand and says she is like this bcs I am not firm enough and I let her get out of hand. Her therapists try to reassure me but its hard, ya know? I try to be very proactive with the good stuff. We have tons of high fives and hugs but they never seem enough. I keep telling her she is not a bad kid but she just some bad things once in a while. And of course, there are times when all else fails and she does get an occasional spanking. Time outs dont work and she gets violent when restrained for a time out. But ok, I have it out of my system at the moment and thankfully there is school tomorrow so I can get some recoop time which I really need right now.

But seriously, thank you all for your kind words and lack of judgment, After this past week, it really means the world to me.

User - posted on 02/06/2011

25

35

0

wow! you have to be supermom in my book to be able that. One dont get mad at her because you told her to get her shoes on which she did. Dont let her school put you down. All moms sdo feel that way with there kids. i had roomates that those samething and all i can say it takes a lot of patience and love to handle those. Remember you do your best in taking care of her. I would try to lsiten to her when she gets mad and when she is done try to explain what you understood from what she said and than tryn to slove it. Always tell her she doing great and when when she does little things to help let her know.
As for you make sure you get ur mom time and even maybe put signs everywhere to help you stay postive with all the neg coming your way.

Rachael - posted on 02/04/2011

10

29

0

First of all you not a bad mom, I know exactly where your coming from been there with my daughter struggle for years she was diagnosed when she was 6 with ADHD & ODD & LD I'm not gonna say it gets easier because I haven't found that out yet my daughter now 14 is still out of control... The only advice I could suggest to you is counseling and maybe an intensive care worker to work with your daughter.. I'm sorry to hear that the school is not being as supportive as they should be it's very unfortunate that they judge you with out known the whole story all the best and good luck...

Klara - posted on 02/03/2011

136

87

17

Wow, you are dealing with a lot. I am sorry the school is acting that way. I think it is easy for the school to judge, because they are not in your situation! Is another school an option? Maybe one that would be more supportive? Just a thought, otherwise, if the counselors are not in on the school situation, maybe let them help you communicate with them? Sounds like you need some help. There are also organizations that advocate for children and families with disabilities; maybe its time you call one of them for some assistance? Here ARC is big, along with several others. I hope you have a support system in place, if not, please get one, because it is sooo draining dealing with these issues, you need some support yourself. I was once told (by my MD) that no child should be diagnosed with ADHD or ADD until age 7, because some behaviors seen as these disorders are normal for that age group, but your situation does sound somewhat extreme. Does your daughter get plenty of exercise to get her aggression and/or emotions out? That can be a very good way to get rid of some of that excess energy if she is not. I feel for you, and if others are telling you that you are doing a good job, do NOT let people who do not know the whole situation make you feel bad. Hang in there, and we're always here if you need to talk/vent!!

Audrey - posted on 02/03/2011

1

0

0

well, i dont have that exact situation however ive started taking my 8 year old son to counseling to help him cope with my divorce. and that counselor told me to send him in his pjs if he refused to get dressed in the morning. i dont think you have done ANYTHING wrong. kids do crazy unpredictable stuff. and i dont even have any exposure to adhd and odd in childer. my heart goes out to you. just kepp doing what you are doing which is trying to keep your sanity. forget what other people say! they dont understand or they wouldnt critisize. i wish i had more helpful advice but i can tell you it sounds like youre doing great. best wished to you dear. -audrey

Katherine - posted on 02/03/2011

440

0

33

yes, my step son and we had to have him removed from our home because of his behovior. it got bad and our younger kids were learning this behavior and getting hurt from him. i can explain this better but through an email.

Melissa - posted on 02/02/2011

2

0

0

my daughter does nto listen at all anymore- I ask her to do something she tells me no or I do not have to, I tell her to get in the shower or and am told no and she says that she does not care if she is smelly or had not friends. She says she doesn't care. I have tried time out, taking her toys away, taking away the tv and spanking but nothing seems to phase her and I am at my whits ends being a single fulltime mome

User - posted on 02/01/2011

11

0

3

Aww, sweetie. I can't really relate, but I wanted to offer my support at least! Every mother feels like a bad mom at some point; every mother is criticized by some ' well-meaning' peer, but you seem to be getting the lion's share!
First, it's fantastic that you have her in behavioral therapy and you are actively working with her at home. Are you able to sit in the classroom with her for any length of time? maybe your presence would reassure her when she feels upset, as well as reassure the school officials that you are taking her condition seriously. Second, is she being medicated? Outbursts such as you described can be due to Rx reaction.
Hang in there!!!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms