Yes, ADHD is complicated, and it can be difficult to manage. As a parent, it can be frustrating, annoying, irritating, and worrisome. It can also be inspiring, playful, creative, curious, and incredibly rewarding! The truth is an ADHD child or teen only needs a few key essentials from their parents. It’s not about charts, or reward systems, or even about consistency. What kids with ADHD need most is a parent who understands them, accepts and respects them, believes in their strengths and possibilities, and empowers them to want to reach their full potential.
“How?” you might ask.
First, if you are a parent with ADHD yourself, your child needs you to consciously manage your own ADHD. Whether you choose to treat it with medication, meditation, exercise, nutrition, coaching, or all of the above — get support for yourself and model that for your child.
Next, create a home environment that makes it okay to make mistakes. Don’t try to avoid them at all costs, because mistakes are going to happen especially in ADHD-land. So normalize that, and practice learning from them without judgment and shame.
Finally, take a marathon view. If you try to tackle everything at once it’s likely to make everyone feel a little crazy. Think in terms of fostering independence a little bit at a time and stay focused on the process and incremental change.
Above all, lean into your relationships, love your kids for who they are, and don’t let the world’s expectations prevent you from meeting your kids exactly where they are so you can guide them to grow with love.