Forced to Mature – Growing up with an ADHD sibling

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, May 31, 2023
By coralgables_admin

By: High School Student – her college essay

We all go through the natural and unavoidable process of growing up. However, for some of us, the transition to adulthood can be sped up, leaving us with the feeling that we grew up too quickly.

Growing up with a sibling who suffers from ADHD can be a real challenge. ADHD, otherwise known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects someone’s ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate behavior. Having a brother who suffers from ADHD has forced me to take on responsibilities from a very young age and has caused me to mature faster than most kids my age. However, it has also taught me valuable lessons about patience, problem solving, and dependability.

Growing up with a brother who has ADHD taught me the importance of patience. At times, it felt like my brother’s ADHD was a constant source of frustration in the household. My brother’s inability to focus and complete tasks was often a huge source of frustration for my parents, leading to arguments and tension in the household.

To help not only my brother, but also my parents, I would jump in. In doing so, I had to learn to remain calm and remind myself that getting upset would not help the situation. This taught me that being patient is not only about waiting for something to be done but being supportive during those moments of difficulty.

Another lesson I learned through this experience is the importance of problem solving. Someone with ADHD needs more help than the average person, meaning that my parents often had their hands full helping my brother, leaving me to rely on myself to solve my own problems. Whenever I needed help with my schoolwork, I often had to rely on myself to come up with a solution. Even though this was a difficult challenge, it forced me to develop a sense of independence. At times, it was very difficult trying to not only get exceptional grades, but also facing the obstacle of being bullied while also trying to not be a bother to my parents while they were trying to balance their work and helping my brother. Through this, I developed the ability to think outside of the box and solve problems in a creative manner.

Finally, I learned about the value of dependability. With my parents preoccupied helping my brother, I had to ensure that I was dependable enough to handle my own responsibilities. At a young age, I realized that if I needed help on something, whether it be schoolwork or just life in general, I could not always count on my parents to be available. They relied on me to get good grades on my own account since all their time was spent on helping my brother. I did not want to let them down, so I worked hard to keep my grades up and to be self-reliant whenever I faced a problem. It may not have been easy, it still is not, but it taught me the importance of being dependable.

In conclusion, having a brother with ADHD caused me to not only grow up too fast but also learn to take responsibility from a very young age. However it has also provided me with valuable life lessons in patience, problem solving, and dependability. I realized that there is always going to be somebody that needs more care and help than me. In this case, it is my big brother, someone who I was supposed to look up to. Nevertheless, these experiences, though difficult at times, have shaped me into the person I am today and have taught me lessons I can use for the rest of my life.

Quote for the Week

“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

Amanda Gorman, youngest inaugural poet in U.S. historylight bulb with heard in it