My seven-year-old son has ADHD. It’s not a secret. We are not ashamed of it. But I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s a constant struggle in our home making sure we are doing the best for him. After three failed medications, a psychiatrist and countless pediatrician appointments, I was absolutely drained. At around age 3, we noticed (we’ll call him ‘P’) was hyper. At this time, he was our only child, so we were unable to grasp his real issues until he started school. P’s struggle is with impulsivity. He doesn’t think before he acts.
Common complaints from his teacher(s) were: He talks out of turn. He punched another child in the face. He heard another child say something highly inappropriate, then took it upon himself to repeat it multiple times throughout the day. He takes no regard to discipline. He won’t stay in his seat. He doesn’t complete his work.
Each of these statements sounded all too familiar. These were our struggles at home, too. When we self-diagnosed P as a toddler, we made a commitment that whatever he needed, whenever he needed it—we would drop everything to help our son. Fast-forward four years… P’s most recent medication “trial” led to serious anxiety, emotional outbursts and a very distraught, unstable young boy. Our hearts broke for him, especially when he came home one day, screaming he wanted to “hurt himself” over being asked to perform simple chores. He was overwhelmed. My baby boy was falling apart. This time, I cried out to the Lord, begging for answers. My immediate conviction was to pull him from school, drop the medication, and Homeschool P for the remainder of first grade. Sounds drastic, doesn’t it? Well, it worked…almost immediately.
I have prayed over my family for years, but not like this.
It’s like I’ve declared Spiritual WAR on ADHD.
First, I had to reach a level of understanding.
Is ADHD a demon? No. Unless I treat it as one. You see, the Devil is after our hearts and minds. He will distort our view of everything he can get his hands on… even how we perceive ADHD. In recent years, ADHD is practically a household name, but it wasn’t always. Kids with ADHD were considered “wild” or “out of control.” Today, after tons of research, we know a lot more about ADHD, how to manage and sometimes overcome it. So, when I’m at my wits end with that boy, and I’m ready to throw in the towel on him, I need reminded that my perspective on this disorder cannot become negative.
It’s a struggle. It’s something that has the potential to lead my son astray, but if we’re able to tackle it with a positive outlook and hope that he can thrive regardless, we’ve won half the battle.
So, let me answer that question again: Is ADHD a Demon? If I allow the enemy to distort my feelings, cause me stress, doubt or insecurities about managing my son’s ADHD… Then yes. I’ve made it one.
ADHD can be a gift if treated like so. Raising a passionate, outgoing and excited child could potentially change the world if that child were brought up to redirect their energy into the right places.
Here, I prayed:
“God, please change my heart and open my eyes to the sweet innocence my son still bears. Help me see the beauty in ADHD and give me the strength to build him up, raising Him to use ADHD to honor You. I ask You, Lord to heal my son, whether that be through introducing a new medication, or natural remedies, or that You can help P overcome it entirely. God, Your will; Your way. I ask that You give me the strength to never allow the enemy to touch my son’s ADHD again or distort our feelings toward it. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Second, Pray for GUIDANCE.
Truth be told, every child is different, and God knows what your specific child needs. Involve Him in your decision-making right off the bat. Ask God for Healing and/or direction. Let Him know you believe in His power and His plan, for God created your child perfectly in His image, ADHD and all.
Here, I prayed:
“Heavenly Father, Today, I need direction. I believe in Your mighty power. I know that through You, nothing is impossible God. For my sweet boy, I ask that You guide us in the right direction. Please show us the way we should go. Please light our path in any dark places and help us to see Your will for our son. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Choose to Trust.
In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul addressed issues within the Corinthian Church. In 1 Corinthians 7:17, Paul told them, “Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him.” In the letter, he was actually addressing marriage and explaining that when one spouse is a believer and one isn’t, we shouldn’t necessarily get a divorce, rather stay and pray for their salvation and healing through our own witness of Jesus Christ in us. It’s good advice that I firmly believe can carry over to every aspect of family.
It affirms that God’s plan for our lives applies whenever, wherever He sees fit. So, as we’re balancing ADHD in our home, God is saying we should choose to stay; Trusting in God’s plan. How should we live? Righteously, honoring God in all His glory and letting our positivity reflect our family’s attitude. My perception toward my son’s ADHD matters. My willingness to channel that hyperactivity into the right things will teach my son valuable, Godly lessons that he can take with him forever.
Here, I prayed Scripture:
Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Jeremiah 30:17 “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord.
2 Kings 20:5 “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you,” says the Lord.
Next, Be Willing to Go the Extra Mile.
Volunteering to make sacrifices for the good of your child seems obvious, but it’s a great challenge. For us, we pulled our son from public school and are homeschooling him for the remainder of first grade. (With three younger siblings at home, it can create a chaotic environment for a child with ADHD!) We will revisit the idea of returning for the next school year, provided we’ve accomplished the things we set out to do. After we weaned off all stimulant medication, we’ve introduced some homeopathic remedies to help calm the mood while he does his schoolwork. I’ve also begun Biblical Character-Building Exercises that teach him valuable lessons and behavior expectations both at home and in public. He’s learning to not only manage without medication, but we’re praying he will thrive.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important you take the time to examine how your child could thrive most. Is it medication? Is it classroom accommodations? Homeschool? Regardless of the choice, be your child’s advocate and see it through for their sake.
The Bible often talks about “Bearing Good Fruit.” Our fruitful labor comes when we are living according to God’s will. When our lives are Christ-Centered, we’re capable of thriving.
Isaiah 58:11 says, “The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
So, when you are ready to give up, pray continuously that God waters your garden, restoring your strength, empowering you to be a strong advocate for your children, bearing good fruit for them as well.
Then, Make a Game Plan.
For us, in the beginning, we committed to doing whatever it took for P to succeed. For three years, it’s been nothing but trial and error. The hardest part was seeing my child struggle with different medications. We were constantly altering dosages or changing them entirely to find the right fit. When I took him to the pediatrician the last time, he said, “Technically the medicine is working in the classroom because your son is on the Honor Roll, so if he’s struggling emotionally, I recommend sending him to a Therapist.” His careless attitude infuriated me.
I felt a strong conviction from the Lord to make a drastic change for the better. It’s like I just felt this confidence that I was doing the right thing, though my family was absolutely not on board. I chose to trust God and it paid off. We’ve been homeschooling less than a month and our son has made a HUGE transformation. We have little to no outbursts and his happiness has returned. We hit a “RESET” button on his life and we’re now reaping the benefits. I stepped out in faith, and the Lord delivered. Therefore, I give thanks.
So, I’m still praying:
Thank you, Lord for making each of our circumstances possible. Thank you for the opportunity to witness to my son, to nurture his heart and lead him to You. Thank you for providing for our needs as we made sacrifices to be here. I trust my son’s life to You. I submit to Your will on his future. I give my son to You, as You gave yours for me and I know He will thrive with or without ADHD because You, our Mighty God is protecting him. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
Living with children that struggle with ADHD can be stressful, chaotic and just plain hard. For a year, we had more bad days than good. We looked at our son as though there were something wrong with him. We made excuses for his behavior, rather than addressing it. We masked the ADHD with heavy stimulant medication, like it were a band aid over the real issues. Our baby boy ended up with more problems than he started with because WE tried to play God.
WE tried different ideas. WE attempted to address the ADHD and failed our son. Eventually, WE gave it to GOD. If God made our son in His image, don’t you think He knows just what he needs to thrive in this world? We have faith that by giving our son’s ADHD over to the Lord, that He will work a miracle in P…and that P can be a testimony to all kids struggling with ADHD that it’s a disorder…not a death sentence. They need re-direction, not reprimanded. They need God’s hand over their lives. We all do.