What's A-Parent

Exhausted Mom Opens Up About What It's Really Like To Raise A Child With ADHD

"You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave."

What's A-Parent is a series highlighting those who get real about the hardships that come with raising kids. These often untold stories help show parents they are not alone in their struggle, and are doing an amazing job.

Kids sometimes throw tantrums. It's what they do. They're still learning to process their emotions and all the information they're taking in, which can be overwhelming, especially if they don't yet have the tools to articulate what they need. Sometimes, they lash out and make their negative feelings known in public places. We've all seen a meltdown or four in the grocery store before. And, while it can easy to judge the tantrum-throwing child's parents, this mom makes an excellent point why you should think twice before doing so. 

Taylor Myers, a single mom-of-two, was at a Walmart last week with her infant son and 4-year-old daughter Sophie, who has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD, for those unfamiliar, is a very common chronic brain disorder which causes attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. The condition may cause affected kids to have more meltdowns than most — and that's exactly what Myers was in for during her recent visit to Walmart. 

Myers shared what happened that day in a brutally honest Facebook post, which now has more than 150,000 shares and over 500,000 likes. In it, she revealed what it's really like to raise a child who's struggling with ADHD. While she waited on line, Sophie did headstands in the cart and whined incessantly about a bag of chips she wanted. 

"She's relentless. I know this. I live with it," Myers wrote. "Her ADHD and obsessive little heart gets on these subjects of things she finds unjust and wrong and it doesn't stop until she eventually falls asleep or something very dramatic happens to snatch the attention off the obsessed about subject." 

So, Myers ignored her daughter's whining and refused to give in. 

"What's giving in to bad behavior going to do but reinforce the bad behavior? I've walked out of stores hundreds of times because of her. Almost every time, actually, I end up leaving with nothing I came for," Myers continued. "But this time I had to stick it out to get the groceries. I tell her for the tenth time to sit down so she doesn't fall."

While dealing with all this, Myers heard a woman behind her in line say, 'Oh, for Christ's sake give her a cookie so she'll shut up!' 

"I could've responded in a nicer way. I could've explained to her that my 4-year-old has pretty severe ADHD, I raise both my children alone, I'm doing my best, and had no choice but to wait it out for the groceries. Instead, I heard 'she's 4 years old and you need to mind your own f***ing business' come out of my mouth," Myers wrote. "I kept my composure until I finished what I was doing and walked to self-check out so I could avoid facing anyone else as 'that person.' The person with the misbehaving child. The person who seems lazy because they're ignoring the behavior. The person who knows doing anything but ignoring it is only going to make it worse." 

As she scanned her items, tears ran down her face. She couldn't help but feel hurt, offended, and sad about what had just happened. Then, another stranger at the store came up to her family. The woman started asking Sophie questions to distract her and defended Myers decision to deny her the chips she so badly wanted. 

"No, you can't have those today. You have to be good for your mommy. She needs you to be good for her," the woman said, according to Myers. "I have a little girl just like you. How old are you? How old is your brother?" 

Myers was incredibly thankful for this woman's kindness and compassion during such a difficult moment for her. 

"It only takes one comment to break someone down," Myers wrote. "You never know what someone's going through. You never know the problems a child has that causes them to misbehave and unless you know the struggle of being a parent to a child like mine, you cannot judge me. But It also takes one small act of kindness to make a mama feel comfort and validation. Thank you to the woman in Walmart today, for showing that kindness to my children and I. Thank you for walking us out. Thank you for backing me up. Mamas have to stick together." 

They sure do. 

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