When Parenting Becomes Overwhelming

It’s Been a Challenging Week

Jessica Lucia
5 min readMay 23, 2024
Photo by Aliaksei Lepik on Pexels

“They keep saying I’m weird,” my seven-year-old, Vincent, lamented as we walked home from the bus stop Monday afternoon. “Who keeps saying that?” I asked. He named some of the kids in his class.

“Do you know why they’re saying that?” I pressed. Vincent veered toward the lawn and back out to the road, pulling at the strap of his bookbag. “They’re saying I licked the floor and the garbage can. But that’s fake.”

Earlier, I had gotten an email from Vincent’s second grade teacher explaining some of his behaviors. None of what she described surprised me, as Vincent has been diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD, causing myriad struggles, especially with impulse control.

While Vincent doesn’t lick the floor or the garbage can, as his classmates claimed, he will act as though he’s about to lick the desks, blow kisses, and get in others’ personal space and do things like make munching sounds or pretend to poke them. I’ve seen these behaviors enough at home to know how frustrating they can be. But I also know that sometimes Vincent doesn’t even realize what he’s doing, and because he felt bullied at school, I had to tread carefully.

“What did you do when they said that?” I asked.



Jessica Lucia

Educator. Mother. Runner. Co-editor of Tell Your Story. I love the New York Mets, bridges terrify me, and I hate cottage cheese.