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When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Appreciate Your Child

When most parents watch their children interact with peers, they get to see their child included in games, invited into conversations, and enjoyed in presence.

For a lot of parents who have children with ADHD, watching their child interact with peers means exactly the opposite. Many times, they have to watch their child’s peers play games without inviting their child. Sometimes they have watch other kids talk about their child instead of with their child.


And more often than not, they have to endure seeing people be annoyed by their child’s presence instead of being overjoyed by their child’s presence.

Observations from the past month have shown me a lot about how people tend to treat children with ADHD.

There are three types of people who interact with these kids:

— Those who are annoyed by the hyperactivity and the inability to concentrate.
— Those who are kind and patient with the hyperactivity and inability to concentrate.
— Those who do not know how to interact with a child who is so hyperactive and inattentive, so they either don’t interact at all or they’re awkward.

Probably 8 out of 10 times, people fall into the first category.

SO MANY PEOPLE are annoyed by kids with ADHD, particularly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD. They snap at these kids more often than any other kids in the room. They roll their eyes. They huff. They speak in a degrading way. They act like these kids are a nuisance.

And some of the worst culprits are family members of the children. Imagine taking your kids to a family reunion–your babies you love so much and are proud to show off to the world–and most of your family reacting as if they wished your children weren’t there.

That’s what a lot of parents are going through, simply because their children operate different. They operate at a higher intensity level (or a lower intensity level), and people find it off-putting.

As a parent … that must feel like being stabbed in the heart.

Having a child is like allowing your heart to walk around outside of your body, so soft and vulnerable, waiting to get hurt. There are also a million beautiful, positive, uplifting, sweet things about having children, but it’s (in large part) a lot of vulnerability.

It hurts so much worse to see your child left out on the playground than it does to remember being left out yourself. And to see an adult getting annoyed with your child for something they can’t help, and are probably trying to improve on, is even more painful than that.

Just seeing happen in other families makes me want to go into mama bear mode.

Why do people expect kids to live inside of a box, exhibiting the exact mannerisms society has deemed the “best,” regardless of the eccentricities in that particular child? Because, let’s be honest, all children have eccentricities – not just the ones with behavioral disorders.

Why do people treat kids who are different like they’re defective?

I don’t know. There are a lot of really great people in the world who treat kids (all kids) like they’re the gifts that they are, but there are way too many people who treat them poorly.

The purpose of all this way to say … you are not alone! There are people who do and will love your child(ren) just the way they are. You have allies and advocates all around the world who are rooting for you.

What stories do you guys have? Can anyone relate to this?

Share your experiences with us!

When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Appreciate Your Child

W. R. Cummings

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APA Reference
Cummings, W. (2016). When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Appreciate Your Child. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Apr 2016
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