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My Little Cousin With ADHD

by Imani
(USA)

I'm just fifteen. I have a five year old cousin with adhd. She is known by her mother and our relatives as the bad girl, the devil child.


She is hyperactive, shouts and hits when she's angry, rebels against anyone who yells at her (which happens a lot), refuses to comply even when her mother and the adults spank her over and over again, is terrified of their repeated threats to send her to jail or to cartoon characters she fears, yet never improves despite her terror.

She is full of anger that she sometimes takes out on me. Well, I think you get it. Every time someone scolds or punishes her she rebels and my mother says she needs her "butt beat" but that it's too late.

I fear that when she becomes a teenager she will be in serious conflict with her mother and the adults around her and I'm tired of my family being torn apart. Why do families these days always act so oppositional, quarrelsome, angry, careless and stubborn?

And every time people get to talking about the "devil children" or so-called bad children in the family like my brother who suffered physical abuse, they seem to expect me to just agree with them. So I keep my mouth shut but I feel so helpless.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. It sounds to me like your cousin is being abused, and that is very tragic. There is a family services agency or child protective agency in your area, since you live in the US, so you can report this as child abuse.

There are no "devil children." That is a label placed on children by confused and disturbed adults who don't know how to be proper parents.

The best you can do it to take care of yourself to your best ability. Find positive, loving, supportive people to be around, who will support you for who you are.

I hope you can find peace and love in your life. Make up your mind to do that, and keep going toward that end no matter what, and you will succeed.

I also encourage you to keep a journal, so that you have a safe place to express your feelings on a regular basis. You will find some guidelines for journaling on this page.

Believe in yourself, Imani. You are a good person, and you can create a good life for yourself.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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