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How to Set Boundaries with Family: A Joy-Preserving Guide

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At a family Christmas party with all his cousins, Noah*, 11, was working hard to regulate his emotions — a challenge at times due to his attention deficit disorder (ADHD), autism, and anxiety.

As the children lined up to receive gifts, Noah’s grandfather sent him to the back of the line, then withheld the gift as punishment for his behavior. “That’s when I decided to talk to my parents about boundaries,” says his mom, Ashley, recounting the many times Noah was treated poorly by his family.Scenarios like these are all too common among families with children who have ADHD and co-existing conditions.

A whopping 89% of Instagram and Facebook users polled by ADDitude said they feel that their relatives misunderstand their children and treat them unfairly.Family get-togethers quickly combust when relatives don’t understand or aren’t interested in learning about ADHD.

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