Every parent knows the ups and downs of raising children.

What may be unique to the trials of an ADHD parent is the judgement they are often subjected to by strangers who do not know their situation. It’s a particularly difficult mountain to climb because the path is full of unwarranted cruelty, self-doubt and frustration.

Last September a story emerged out of Quebec about ADHD parents who found themselves on the receiving end of particularly harsh judgement from their neighbours.

As reported by CBC News, Sarah Cloutier and Guy Doré, parents of three children (one with ADHD, one suspected of having ADHD and one without ADHD), found an anonymous letter in their mailbox. Written by a single person, the letter alleged that its contents reflected the feelings of many neighbours.

The letter’s author wrote that the neighbours “… are exasperated by the screams of your children. We even think your children can only express themselves by yelling and don’t know how to talk.”

Cloutier admits her children scream from time to time, but mostly play like other children.

The letter cut deeply. Cloutier had a reaction that’s familiar to many ADHD parents. She cried.

“I thought, ‘Everybody hates us. They hate our kids.’ It was sad,” she said.

Then, out of the haze of confusion and self-incrimination, came a moment of clarity and Cloutier saw the letter for what it was.


“For someone who doesn’t know us to judge us like that and the quality of our parenting? As a society, we need to respect each other and be able to talk with each other without sending a hurtful letter like that to someone you don’t really know,” she said.

Instead of reacting in kind to the letter, Cloutier and her husband decided to show their neighbours the respect that the letter lacked. They went door to door to meet and talk with those closest to their home.

No one admitted to penning the letter, but some wept upon reading it.

“It was heartwarming to see how nice they were with us. We mostly feel really lucky to have such good neighbours,” she said.

It’s an incredibly beautiful reaction from someone so unjustly vilified by at least one of those neighbours.

Instead of escalating a potentially hateful situation, Cloutier and Doré hope their actions will turn the ordeal into a positive experience for their family. They want the letter to be a reminder to their children to be respectful of their neighbours and an example of the wrong way to deal with a problem.

If we’re lucky, the rest of us will learn from Cloutier and Doré’s example too.

Give your ADHD children the opportunities they deserve. Find out about a powerful, safe, effective and drug-free approach to help them control or even eliminate ADHD symptoms. Call Maxi Mind Learning Centres at 416-858-9868 or Contact Us today for a free initial consultation. A Maxi Mind solution can be customized to suit your child’s needs and your family’s budget.