To tell or not to tell?
When my son was first diagnosed with ‘Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,’ I often wondered if I should just be honest with him about his neurological condition. I racked my brains daily for an answer to this question, and asked myself often:
‘what is it exactly that I am hoping to achieve by telling my son the truth?’
The answer to this question was always the same. In the very early days I believed that by being honest with my son, it would give him the answers that he was already looking for subconsciously. Deep down, my son knew that there was something wrong.
Children are not silly. They know when something is up. If I have the information which can clarify for my son why he does what he does, than why wouldn’t I tell them?
My son was genuinely relieved to know why he can’t sit still, why he is overly reactive, why he is impulsive, and why he is unable to control his hyperactivity. For him, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
The reason why I told my son about his ADHD
Before I told my son that he had ADHD, he had already been experiencing feelings of inadequacy and low-self esteem for two years or more. He was angry at himself for behaving the way he did, for not being able to manage his own behaviour, and he often described himself as a bad person. For a mother, this was absolutely alarming to hear him say these things about himself.
My son was very articulate in the way he was able to describe how terribly inadequate he honestly felt; especially when he observed the behavioural control that his siblings, and peers were able to exhibit, without needing to go to lot of effort. This internal dislike of himself was affecting his confidence, his self esteem – and it was taking away from his happiness.
I wasn’t prepared to sit back and watch my son sit in these feelings daily, when I knew that I could sit down and explain in child – like terminology exactly what was going on for him in regard to his self-esteem, hyperactivity, and impulse control.
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