Parenting Works Cited: the Next Level

By Emily Milner

In a post a couple of years ago, I talked about my parenting works cited page: the books I read as a first time mother for each stage along the way. I’ve found myself grappling with some serious parenting challenges over the last couple of years: wrangling a toddler and a preschooler while figuring out how to handle ADHD and ODD in one of my older children.

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) often presents itself with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). What this means is that a child who has a hard time staying focused is also wired to resist authority and rules. Things have gotten steadily better over the last year, and part of it is that I’ve done a lot of research and implemented the parts that worked for me. The other part of it is therapy, and the last part is medication. All three of those components are necessary–I wouldn’t do the medication alone without therapy and parental research, but I also saw the most dramatic results with my parenting techniques when we combined them with medication.

For a long time I kept hoping that there would be just one magic book that helped me know everything and fix all of our challenges. I tend to latch on to authority figures–if someone wrote a book about it, I figure, they must know more than me, so part of me wants to do everything they say. It’s the opposite of oppositional defiance–an unhealthy tendency to defer.

But the truth is that there is no one book written for my family. I write the book. There are works that have helped me, though, and if there’s someone out there who is wrestling with ADHD/ODD, this post is for you.

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