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Need some parenting feedback.

sweetthing's picture

My 6 year old ss is in the first grade. He is a very smart & sweet boy but has really had issues starting this summer with paying attention. There were also some incidents with yelling & hitting his older brother. ( once because he wanted to eat & no one else was hungry) We have brought this up to his mother & she & DH have sat down & spoken to him with a few of the incidents during this school year...but if the school wasn't bringing it up she would not notice it or do something about it.

It is odd because she is supermom..always letting us know that the kids are first. She does have her first BF since divorce & he lives about 1 1/2 hours away & has three kids. They are constantly on the go, back & forth despite the oldest one having told mom he didm't want to spend every weekend with BF & kids that they were with her. That & it was wrong for them to sleep in the same bed together. ( that went over like a fart in church & somehow she thought DH was behind that/ he wasn't SS has good morales. That & his dad & I per BM request NEVER shared a bed when with the children present prior to marriage)

After the last incident at school before xmas ( Got caught in a fight in the cafateria & got sent to the behavioral managers office, this was a few days after getting in trouble for starting a water fight in the bathroom) DH & BM sat down & talked with him. He was punished & TV was taken away at our house... per SS nothing was done at BM ( even though her & DH talked about it. If he is being punished at our house & vise versa that punishment carriers over to the other house) DH also mentioned that maybe SS needed therapy because he had discussed with us after a naughty weekend that he was feeling bad still about the divorce, & that he was worried SS would be diagnosed with ADD since his attention span was not very long. She is very against this & said she wanted till the end of Dec to see if she spent more time with him if that would help. It is hard to have time alone when you drag him all over every weekend & the boys NEVER get to stay home alone with her on weekends. The only thing that changed is neither boy got to do swimming lessons this winter.
The boys seem to like BF & his kids but I don't think that they would tell her about needing to be home more with just her. When 6 year old complained to DH about it, he told him he has to talk to mommy as she would not like it or believe it if daddy got involved.

Monday ( after being with BM & BF & kids all weekend) SS got in trouble for not paying attention & be disruptive all day. DH spoke with BM when she picked kids up again he mentioned that they would be thinking ADD if this continues. She had gotten a mailing from older ss former teacher who is taking a leave & is doing tutoring & behavioral management services, perhaps we could hire her to help SS. DH was against that as am I... why would we pay someone when we should be working with him & the school. She also didn't think it was ADD because he gets good grades. DH told her she should go get a book on ADD at the library & read up as he was planning to.

We ( DH & I) have suggested he email teacher & have her send us a weekly report on SS's behavior. ( he will nIf he has a good week her gets points & will be rewarded for good behavior. Since we can control this not what goes on at mom's house.

Any ideas or suggestions. I know severeal of you have kids or step kids with ADD & would love your input. I don't want to blame BM for not spending enough time with the kids w/o her BF & his kids...but that is the big change in SS life. They have always been her world & now they have to share her, not only with a man but other kids. BM could say it is because we are having a baby..( I worry about that one biting us in the butt) but this behavior started before that and we have repeatedly talked with them that the baby will not mean we don't love them as much..ect.
Parents what are your thoughts?


sweetthing's picture

one very trying weekend & that is when he told us he was going too many places. Then he told us maybe he wouldn't come to our house after school. He just about broke DH's heart as that is our custody time. Then DH told him what ever he decided went for his brother too. His brother was like no way... I can't just see dad everyother weekend, we are coming here! Younger SS then admitted well that wasn't the answer either.

What is so hard for us is that we really try & stay close to home to provide some down time for them rather than doing as many fun things on weekends so they get a sense of home & just hanging out being kids. He will never tell his mom that he needs time alone. She is their mother & in their eyes she is perfect. ( and a big part of me believes that children should believe that. I want my baby to feel that way) She is a good mom, she is a responsible person and normally is not selfish when it comes to her kids. But she is hard headed & always right and would feel attacked if DH tried in anyway to tell her this.

lovin-life's picture

I have to tell ya....That "She also didn't think it was ADD because he gets good grades" comment really hit home with me!

THAT was the number one misconception I had regarding ADD..

The teachers, starting in grade primary on....complained of inattention, lack of focus, can't complete work in class, disorganized, disruptive at times, unorganized, etc...BUT he was very very smart and still got good I fell back on the 'it's just a boy thing..he'll settle down and grow out of it' explanation for years.. (I knew something wasn't quite right..but I didn't know what)

He wasn't overly hyperactive either..and that was the other big misconception I had..not all kids have hyperactiveiy with thier attention deficit problems... I didn't know that..I thought it was all one!

Four years later...I still couldn't explain certain aspects of his behaviour away, the inattention wasn't getting better I had him tested just in case it was ADD...and turns out that's it. He was put on meds...I wish I had done it years before. He's been taking meds for the last 3 years...and HE himself notices the difference in his ability to focus..with & without the meds. He struggles so much in class if he forgets his pill that day...he comes home dejected, stressed out...he'll tell you about it himself..but he doesn't have's in his face & body language what kind of day he had. He wants the meds...he has a better quality of life..more positve experiences..throught-out the day. He gets more 'good jobs' than 'stop that's' or 'pay attention' or 'why did you forget your book, or pencil or whatever it is he forgot'....just more positive(s) feedbacks and interactions with people overall. He'a a much happier kid...overall.

I told the doctor that I thought ADD was a learning disability...but my son had good grades and was very why was that? How it was explained to me was that...
1) It's easier for them to focus on simple tasks...or concepts like they're exposed to in the smaller grades. Basic numbers - basic letters..basic sentence structure etc...
2) It's later on..often late elementary or junior high that ADD becomes more of an issue...because many concepts and parts of the brain have to be used solve more complicated problems or grasp more complicated theories etc.

That's when the 'learning disability' part can become more apparent and other behaviour or self esteem issues can surface..also 'self medicating' via drug a much bigger problem..with ADD kids and the pressure of druge often starts at this age as well..making it a bad combination.

There's lots more..many years of situations, incidents, of behaviours that when looked at as a whole..makes sense that he had/has ADD...and if I was more familiar with the disorder and educated myself better earlier..we all could've had a much easier time of those school years.

I have a book here that I gave my X...he was in ADD denial for the longest time..(still is I think)..called Healing ADD - The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD by Daniel G. Amen, notes here that he also wrote 'Change Your Brain, Change Your Life'.... I've seen this guy (or someone talking about his work) on Dr. Phil once.....I think he's pretty good.

I e-mail my son's teacher EVERY get ALL the information that needs to get exchanges as a sons agenda.

I also realize that many teachers/parents can use an ADD diagnoses and meds as a quick fix to behaviour problems when a change in parenting methods, change in routine or a change in diet may be all that is required. And divorce is hard on kids..and many act out in response to changes in their you do have to be cautious/skeptical/and open minded all at the same time.

I hope that's helped you some...the book really helped me understand what my son was dealing with...

(It's about 400 pages long and costs $14.95 US..highly recommend it)

sweetthing's picture

We will definitely check out that book. I think we in society are way to fast to just take a pill to solve our problems, but sometimes our bodies just don't make enough of what we need. I think what is scary to her is DH takes & will take meds the rest of his life because of depression... DH watches the kids like hawks to see if they exhibit any signs of the illness. He wants them to get help right away if that were to ever happen. She does not like him to talk about it or with the children

This is a woman who believed that DH's depression was just a sign of weakness & he should deal with it. I think she views ADD the same way. Not much for therapy either.