One of the things that my DH and I went back and forth on was coming out of the closet or rather, sharing Child1’s issues with others.
On the one hand, we saw the benefits of sharing with all and sundry but on the other hand we weren’t really in the mood (or should I say strong enough) for the “fallout” and the judgment and the criticism from those who apparently know it all AKA those who have never lived with the issue but base their knowledge on what they read in the You or People magazines.
I guess there is no right or wrong way of coming out of the closet. Everyone is different and there are pros and cons to each situation.
My DH and I did try a few times. We would be in company with others and then one of us would throw a comment out there relating to ADD/ADHD, just to get a sense of how people see the issue. The reactions usually spoke VOLUMES. Mostly it wasn’t favourable and it was always a reaction of judgement towards THOSE PARENTS who cannot control/manage/discipline their kids or THOSE NAUGHTY KIDS who just need a good hiding.
In the end it took us TWO years to talk to people (including our families) about it. At this stage we had dealt with our emotions and had them under control, we knew our stuff, we were confident about what we were dealing with as well as WHY we had chosen a particular course of treatment for our son.
I don’t know if we would have done things differently if Child1 was diagnosed in 2012 instead if in 2005. After all, more is known about ADD/ADHD now and it seems like there are more and more kids being diagnosed – some too hastily even.
Here’s what worked for us:
Telling people when WE were ready but at the same time, being aware of the consequences of not sharing since day 1.
Knowing what we were dealing with so that we had an answer to every single thing that the “clever” people knew all about.
Being confident in our abilities to manage our son and the issues at hand.
Tell me this:
If I was your friend, would you prefer me to tell you from Day1? Or would you prefer me to first get things under control and THEN share with you?