A child with ADHD receives two negative interactions per minute.
Mind-boggling, right? As parents, we get so focused on wanting our kids to behave and correcting their daily wrong-doings that we don’t always think about the effect it has on our children. The negativity surrounding ADHD can be overwhelming. You try to do your best to be a good parent. But, parenting ADHD almost requires more than good, we have to be great. (No pressure, right?) Hey, I get it, Mom and Dad. You juggle a lot.
Like, a lot…a lot.
Then you collapse at the end of the day from the heavy emotions. Why does ADHD parenting require so much more? Because it isn’t just a focus thing, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Our job as parents is more than just scheduling doctor’s appointments and meeting with teachers. You have fires to put out as you try to make sense of it all. Are you ready for the challenge? It’s not easy. This blueprint will give you an idea of what ADHD parenting involves. Some of you will be nodding your head in agreement because you live this on the daily, others just strapping on their seat belts for this journey will likely be thinking…WHAT?!? Hang in there, I promise, it gets easier.
In no specific order, Moms and Dads of kids with ADHD juggle:
Distraction Kids with ADHD are like a television. They are easily distracted, often changing channels.
Sensory overload Meltdowns are often the result of things being too loud, too bright, too hot, etc.
Emotional immaturity Kids with ADHD are often 2-3 years emotionally behind their peers.
Homework struggles Sitting for long periods of time can be difficult during homework due to distraction.
Sleep Issues Settling an ADHD brain isn’t easy, often keeping the child awake for hours at bedtime.
Friendships Establishing & maintaining friendships is difficult for kids who stand out due to high energy.
Power struggles Kids tend to argue as a result of their brain seeking activity.
Anxiety Kids with ADHD can also suffer from anxiety and or OCD.
High energy Self-explanatory, but ADHD means lots of energy to burn off & not enough time in the day.
Medication (if you choose) Meds can be a successful form of treatment, though some bring side effects.
Appetite Medications often suppress a child’s appetite, causing concern for parents and weight loss for the child.
School 504/IEP’s Children can struggle to keep up in the classroom or have behavioral needs that may qualify for assistance in school.
Public Ignorance Everyone has an opinion. And some speak uninformed opinions for all to hear.
Family seesaw effect Siblings get neglected by default, or arguing with a spouse/partner over parenting decisions.
Meltdowns Emotions can unravel and often don’t match the situation. Little things for adults can be big things for kids with ADHD. (See sensory.)
Interruptions ADHD means kids are impulsive & often interrupt conversations, not recognizing social cues in the moment.
Lying Kids who lie are often fibbing to cover up impulsive decisions/guilt.
Impulsive Kids with ADHD live in a ‘NOW’ world, not thinking of consequences. They live in the moment, and act impulsively.
That’s a lot, yes?
So, someone please tell me why parents aren’t nominated for some sort of an award? I can see it now…
‘I would like to thank the Academy, and all the parents who offered me unwanted advice in the grocery store.’
No? Okay, fine. The point is, parenting a child with ADHD is no easy feat, but it IS doable. For married couples, single parents, grandparents who are raising kids all over again, it can be done. If you’re drowning in all of it, hear me loud and clear:
YOU can do this.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make with kids who have ADHD is they rely on traditional discipline. Tactics that don’t bring results are repeated day in and day out and then parents wonder why it doesn’t work. Worse? They repeat the process all over again. I know, because we did the very same thing in my family. And we did this for 9 looooooooooong years. Want an example?
My son would touch everything in the store. Even after repeated warnings to stop, he touched anyway. I was convinced he was being disrespectful and ignoring me. (He clearly heard me, right?) We would ask why he chose not to listen? (In reality, he didn’t CHOOSE to not listen.) He would respond, ‘I don’t know.’ We would tell him to sit in his room until he could provide an answer. And he never had one. He never had an answer because he had NO IDEA why he did what he did. And his parents had NO IDEA what we were doing.
Parents of the Year.
But, we changed all that. You can, too! I couldn’t take just ‘getting through the day’ anymore. I wanted a better quality of life for my family. I wanted to understand my son and how to help him function at his best. I loved him, but there were times I didn’t like him and that made me feel empty inside. Then our second son was diagnosed and we were all over the place. I knew that no change=no progress.
Parents, change your mindset. Learn what makes your child tick, the strategies needed to reduce the chaos, the triggers to avoid, how to diffuse emotional meltdowns, all of this, and create the life you deserve.
Instead of putting out fires on repeat, prevent them. Manage them with ease when things get heated. My oldest knows we are a different family today. During a recent emotional moment for him, I remained calm. So calm that my son paused and said, ‘I appreciate you not blowing up. When you stay calm, it keeps me from getting all worked up like I used to.’ I love these moments because they are tiny victories for us both. Your family deserves this. Your child deserves this. Stop spinning your wheels and learn how to help your child in the comfort of your own home.
Join others, like Carrie, in learning effective ADHD parenting strategies that will change your family with my new course
It’s the course I wish I had years ago when I desperately wanted answers and didn’t know where to turn. This course allows you to step inside your child’s mind, see why they do what they do and covers parenting strategies that work!
‘Deborah, I want to thank you for your parenting tips. Every single one has relevant advice that actually works! Because the tips are given as small changes, I can change that little part of how I parent. You are awesome!’
~Carrie, an ADHD Superparent