How can I help my child when I am worse off than she is?

by C. Smith
(WA)

My daughter is being assessed for SPD. Others pointed out that some of her responses to life were not quite right. As a first time mom I just do my best to deal with them. As I began reading on this site and was going through the lists of issues I saw that while my daughter does have a few areas of difficulty I saw myself in it more than anything else.


I have been diagnosed and treated for ADD but it hasn't resolved all of the issues that I struggle with. Could I also have SPD, or is it my thyroid, or one of a thousand other possibilities! I am left wondering what I should do. I see only two choices for myself.

1: Either I push forward with my limited energy and abilities and persist through confusion, and put my family through the financial and emotional hardships of seeking a proper diagnosis for myself (which may not exist), or

2: I accept that I am flawed and will never be capable of all that I imagine I could be, and instead focus myself entirely on organizing systems around me and coming up with better coping techniques just so I can get through the very basics of life.

It is hard to know what to do. I simply do not function normally and am not sure if I ever can.

So how can I help my daughter when I am worse off then she is? And what about the children we plan to have in the future? There is no simple answer I know, but any input is appreciated.

Comments for How can I help my child when I am worse off than she is?

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Aug 16, 2009
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Just show love and support
by: Alisa

I believe that if you can learn to relate to the behaviors you are dealing with and keep the behavior separate to the child them self, that is always a really good start. Never tell the child they are naughty or that you don't like what they are doing instead talk about behavior ans child separate. say things like "I love you but right now I don't like that you are jumping and screaming."

We once played a game with my now 9y anger we would ask her to help us flush the anger down the toilet or throw the anger in the bin and we act it out and keep the atmosphere very happy. Over about 6mth the anger had decreased lots. To this day we never tell her she's an angry person we tell her that shes a nice person and she need to control the anger or find a way to make it better with our help by talking to us about what makes her anger so we can help.

I suffer from OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and GAD(general anxiety disorder) and depression and people always tell my illness MUST have effected my kids behaviors, I strongly believe that my OCD has protected my ability to be a better parent. I obsess about how I can continue to be a great mum so I don't loose my kids to child welfare. I would not go out while the kids were at school to maintain my energy or good mood so as to be the best mum when they came home school ect.

Since I was the victim of a home invasion/assault I have struggle to be the active mum I love being but not struggled with loving and showing my kids I love them. I recently got told my depression has probably caused my kids behavior and I told the person then if that the case why have they gotten better since my depression got serious and not worse and she's replied "Oh interesting" as if she did not believe me. In is so hard to KNOW you CAN be a great parent with illnesses and disorders not because you cant do it but because all you seem to hear is its not possible ect.

I strongly believe that given the right compassion and love and support and child will thrive and once fully grown will respect more people in life because they have a better understanding of how difficult life can be for many people. There are to many people out there who don't believe in disorders and mental illness like depression. Children don't have this negative opinion yet we as parent get to help shape there opinions and ability to be respectful to people.

Even if you can personally cant do things for your child as long as you seek help for the things you find hard to help your child with you are being a GREAT parent. Accepting your limits and asking for help is one of the BEST parenting things you can ever do.

Jul 13, 2009
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Never only two choices
by: Kim Sullivan

I was diagnosed with ADD as well and as I'm working with my son who has sensory problems, I have helped myself in the process.

Sensory issues respond to therapies and ADD responds to some of the same therapies as well. Heavy work does wonders for me, so I bought a reel push mower this year for my yard--no gas, no electricity, lots of heavy work. I take Yoga classes and after three months I feel it is helping. Lifting weights, pulling and pushing, are all organizing and calm the nervous system. Most of the therapies you will read about you can try and see what effect they have on you. This won't require a diagnosis, just patience. You have lived this long with the problem and you don't have to jump into getting a diagnosis right away, you can take your time. I would start with some of the therapies you read about in the OT world and see if they help or if you need more help from an OT or a different diagnosis.
Good luck! Motherhood teaches us so much...about ourselves.

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