how do you deal with blended families and ADHD?

Sara - posted on 05/08/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I got married May 21 of last year. Both my husband and I have been married before and have children from before. I have full custody of my 8 yr old son and he has visitation with his 12 and 14 yr olds. My son was premature and now has issues ... ADHD big time. 2 years ago I had to put him on meds and he now takes Vyvanse 30 mg and Intuniv 1 mg. I have had to have the doses adjusted from time to time. Anyway my son has begun to steal and lie and hide his school work. Not to mention his recent outbursts of complete disrespect. My husbands children never acted this way so he is at a loss, and has been just staying away from home as much as he can... pretty much when my son is home and awake. Two weeks ago he told me he had actually planned on leaving me but decided not to.He even stopped his paycheck from going into our Joint account. Now that is constantly in the back of my mind ... He says he is not going to leave but how can I be sure? when he gets frustrated with my sons behavior he shuts me out, he gets real distant and moody. I love my husband to no end and would be completely devastated if he left. I am at my wits end with all this. Please don't get me wrong he is a good man and he genuinely loves my son, he just doesnt know how to handle him all the time.

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Jill - posted on 05/08/2012

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Stealing, lying, are not caused by ADHD, so it is important that you keep the two things separate in your mind so that you don't fall into "he can't help it" mode. The ADHD may impact the way you deal with things, but it isn't causing the problem.

You need to get to the root cause(s) at the same time you're addressing the effect. I'm going to throw out a lot of questions, not because you need to answer ME but so that you think about how things have been operating. It might help you think of something new.

You said you got married a year ago. That can be a big upheaval for children. Were there other changes, like moving to a new home or changes to daily routine? Is his father a problematic ex? Has your parenting style been consistent? Any style conflicts with your husband in front of your son.

Other than when you have medication dosages handled, does your son see a therapist/psych doc? Is he in any kind of social therapy? Does he get help through the school? Did you have any family counseling prior to marriage?

Does he have any safe outlets to vent his frustration? For example, my son isn't into team sports but he does very well in karate. It's good for his body and his mind.

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