Helpful ADHD Resources for Parents
Parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a blessing. But sometimes even our greatest blessings can come with doubt, confusion, fear, and unwelcome criticism.
I know how alone and overwhelmed you can feel as you try to help your child be the best they can be. Luckily there are many places you can go for support and information.
Remember, your child’s doctor is your biggest ally as you learn to navigate the wonderful world of parenting your ADHD child. Below are just a few suggestions on where ADHD information for parents can be found.
Online ADHD Resources for Parents
We live in a time where information is easily accessed. The internet can be a frazzled parent’s best friend — a few quick searches will give you many ideas to choose from when looking for online support.
- Facebook. A Facebook search for “ADHD parenting” will yield a list of results for groups where parents can discuss common problem areas and share the good and the bad associated with parenting an ADHD child. It’s nice to be able to ask questions of parents who have traveled the road ahead of you.
- Twitter. You can find parents and coaches alike on Twitter. Just search #ADHD and see what you can come up with.
- Search engines. Search “ADHD and parenting” and you will be rewarded with many links to articles, blogs, groups, information, books, and documentaries that can help you in your quest for information and parenting tips.
Some of my favorite books on ADHD are actually older volumes. The information may be a bit dated, but the book that helped me the most when my daughter was diagnosed was Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey.
My child’s doctor recommended the book and it was the first book on ADHD I purchased. I’m glad I did. The book not only gave me new insight into ADHD, but it was also a springboard for my own diagnosis.
There are a lot of great books out there and a lot that aren’t so good. At first, it was trial and error for me — I grabbed everything I could get my hands on, and a lot of them were a waste of time to read.
Turn to those support groups you found on Facebook and ask. Parents are more than willing to give recommendations of books that helped them. Your child’s physician should also be able to make recommendations.
ADDitude Magazine is also a great resource. It has many great tips and other ADHD resources for parents based on a wide range of issues that may arise with ADHD.
If you are looking for a movie to help your young child with the idea of emotions, I recommend Inside Out. I wish this movie had come out when my daughter was younger. I think it was the best representation of emotions and how they can conflict as well as work together that I’ve seen.
My five-year-old nephew, who does not have ADHD, felt the emotions in that film very strongly. He cheered, he laughed, and he cried. He was right there and even knew which emotion he most identified with.
I don’t watch a lot of movies or documentaries to have many to recommend. With ADHD myself, I often zone out during movies or get up to go do something and forget to come back to it. I’m sure there are some excellent documentaries and videos available online about ADHD, but I have no personal knowledge of their quality.
Support and Education ADHD Resources for Parents
- CHAAD. This is a fantastic place to start to find all things ADHD. Here, you will find discussions, links to local services, articles and other resources to assist you in parenting an ADHD child.
- ADHDtogether. This is a nice website with some useful information for parents. Materials include tips on talking to other parents and teachers about ADHD, self-esteem, school, and the stigma involved.
- ADHD Kids Rock. This is a fun and encouraging site for kids as well as parents. Kids share their stories on the blog, and there is also useful information for parents and teachers.
- Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance. This is the Canadian resource for ADHD.
- Psych Central. There are some informative articles and useful tips on managing ADHD at Psych Central.
- Empowering Parents. You can find some great articles on ADHD here.
One of the most important things to remember as a parent is there is no one-size-fits-all way of doing things. Some things work for some kids and not others. Your family will be comfortable with some ideas and not others. The right way is the way that works best for your needs.
Learn all you can. Try new ideas. Keep the ones that work for your family and throw out the ones that don’t.
Never stop learning about your child’s diagnosis. New information comes out all the time. There will never be a time when we know all we need to know.
Never hesitate to ask for support and guidance when you need it, both from your child’s doctor as well as the support groups you will find online and possibly even in your local area.
Most importantly, remember you are doing your best. When things are difficult and chaos is running rampant in your child’s mind and in your home, be kind to yourself.
There are going to be great days and there are going to be rough days ahead. Love your child. That is the most important thing you can do for them. And remember to love yourself, too.
A parent’s job is never-ending and can be tiresome at times. Breathe. Relax. Take a break. And remember you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lastly, remember that there are numerous ADHD resources for parents out there and that you're not alone.