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My three-year-old child has ADHD and I was just wondering how other families go with them out in public when they are so little and have people look at you . He is a lovely kid but has trouble when we go out in the shops or just out in public and I feel bad for him and I think people think he is bad kid but he is not.


Posted anonymously, 3rd November 2021


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  • Firstly, people probably aren’t paying as much attention as you think they are. Second, they probably just think he’s a “regular” kid. Third, I found a short phrase that I could use in this situation – eg “I’m so sorry, his ADHD is bad today” to make his excuses but not invite criticism or conversation.


  • I always have the same issue when out in public with my son who has ADHD, ODD and autism. It is really hard when people give me judging looks when he is being loud or is misbehaving. But a therapist once told me to remember: “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind”.


  • Try not to let others’ opinions matter on your child’s behaviour. Most people are kind and would understand too.


  • It must be an awful situation. So many parents get dirty looks from onlookers when their kids are misbehaving, it’s so unfair


  • Like many others have said I wouldn’t care what anyone else thinks. You do you and don’t worry about anyone else, it’s none of their business.


  • My child improved with medication but it was still a problem getting him to concentrate when the meds wore off. I’m thankful that they helped him concentrate with his schooling & behaviour there.


  • When people are staring you also could give an opposite reaction of what you actually feel, like a smile or a wave !


  • Please don’t worry about others. I work in a large shopping complex and see all kinds of children with all kinds of behaviour. I do feel that most people these days understand and won’t stare. Whenever I catch a customer staring I give them a disapprovingly look.


  • It’s a tricky slope. My son has ASD and I was known to carry him out kicking me and screaming to avoid any further meltdown. And this was before he was diagnosed. I now better understand his meltdowns are not tantrums and can be sensory overload and overwhelm. I think as a society we need to get better at kindness and empathy, with consideration for the parent/family and child who are experiencing the behaviour.


  • I have a child with RAD , Kleptomania and conduct disorder presenting with ADHD; when she seriously causes trouble, I just explain. For example when she steals, we will explain and pay for what she has taken.
    I also have a child with Down syndrome who is a runner and at times stops and flops and lays flat out on the floor refusing to walk when it’s time to go. I just focus on my child and ignore the stares


  • 18 next month our eldest is non verbal with Autism and ADHD and self harms so shopping is interesting, we have a lot of stares as she’s quite loud and definitely knows what she wants but if she doesn’t get it she can make quite the scene. We just get what we need with her extras and hide them once home filtering the bad choices so she’s not eating everything at once. Chin up mum, there’s a lot of us and remember people judging your child is not a reflection on you or your child, it shows how ignorant other people are when disabilities aren’t a part of their lives like they are for us.


  • Stop worrying about what other people see or think. Do what is good for your kid and your. At the end of the day you are the one who is in charge of your kid not a judging stranger who doesn’t know your situation. All the best


  • It doesn’t matter what people think. Tell them to look the other way and mind their own business. My son had ADHD and he was a great kid. He was so friendly and just got up in everyone’s face. A lot of people found him annoying and still do today. Love him and he’ll love you back. He’s a blessing from above. May you find strength each and every day to accomplish things together with him. God bless you and your family and your wonderful son.


  • Don’t worry about what other people think because honestly, who are they to you?!
    At the end of the day, you know what the situation is so other peoples’ judgements mean nothing.
    Just keep on doing what you are doing – you’re a great and strong mum!


  • My son went undiagnosed with adhd until the end of his prep year. I remeber vividly trying to do the weekly grocery shop with him in the trolley and after 10 minutes a meltdown would start. He would pinch me, scratch me, scream, you name it. People would stare or mutter to each other. Before having a child with adhd i was one of those people. I think you can\’t really understand what that situation is like until you are affected by it. It is easy to tell those who recognise what is going on and often they are quick to offer words of encouragement like \”i know it\’s hard but you are doing a great job mum\” because they things that would have helped them to hear.

    It is easy to feel alone in this, know that you are not. slowly people are starting to be more empathetic and understanding as adhd becomes more widely spoken bout. It is hard, you will find what works for you and your son and try not to worry what other people are thinking. What they think of you is not your concern. In moments like that i would try and remind myself, \”People who mind dont matter. People who matter, dont mind.\”


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