Guest blog: Why is “getting” our kids so hard?

Kim Stricker is a Chicago area elementary education teacher, writer, and mom to two tween boys.   Kim shares the unconventional experiences of parenting an adopted child with ADHD and Asperger’s, as well as his younger bio brother, at her blog, .  She is also a parent advocate and blogger for  

“You just don’t get me.”   These are the words spoken to me by my twelve year old son last weekend.  The words were said in the middle of one of our endless verbal battles of why he should do something I have asked versus whatever it is he wants to do at that moment.  He is right.  I don’t get him.  In fact, I haven’t really got him since he was about two.

My son’s natural temperament is choleric.  A theory dating from BC meaning he likes to be in charge of everything,  is moody, and highly disorganized.  Add the official tags of ADHD and Asperger’s; he is too busy and doesn’t care what the rest of the family or world thinks either.  I don’t get him.

I want so very much to parent him and have him reciprocate a tenth of our family’s naturally good humor, kindness, and patience.  However, those moments are very few and very far between.  We do celebrate the small steps he is finally able to take with the aid of medications and therapies.  He asked my husband how his day was last week.  We were beyond thrilled for days.

I don’t get why his brain doesn’t seem to enable him to learn from mistakes,

 I think if I can get him more, I could perhaps get more of him, increase his rare smiles and maybe even get the ever elusive hug.

consequences, and solid parenting.  I don’t get why he is embarrassed by my actions; yet his disrespectful behavior is not at all embarrassing to him.  Countless parenting books, doctors, and interventions leave me stymied.

How do I get him more?  Friends offer advice like expect and focus on the positive and ignore some of the behaviors.  My husband and I walk around reminding each other he has special needs and kids do well if they can.    I think if I can get him more, I could perhaps get more of him, increase his rare smiles and maybe even get the ever elusive hug.

Adrienne Bashista is the co-editor of and contributor to the book, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories. She writes about parenting a special needs son, advocacy for special needs parents, and FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, dogs, chickens, and bees.

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One thought on “Guest blog: Why is “getting” our kids so hard?

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Easy to Love But Hard to Raise | Carolina Health Care

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