Parenting With ADHD
When you live with ADHD, and all of the challenges that come along with it, parenting can become your main source of stress. Losing focus, being late, missing appointments — falling short in your personal life is one thing, but when your responsibilities mesh with your child’s life and development, things can get very complicated.
Raising a family isn’t simple, and learning to provide for your kids while taking care of yourself can seem like a daunting task, but rest assured there are some clear and effective measures that will make parenting with ADHD a whole lot easier. It’s time to make some smart changes that will ease the burden on you and your children.
Define the Challenges of Parenting With ADHD
Before you can improve in your role as a parent, you’ll need to figure out just how your ADHD leads to problems. Every household is different, and it’s important to take a step back and honestly consider your own situation.
However, there are a few general challenges that most ADHD parents face, like:
- Paying less attention than you should. Sometimes ADHD gets in the way of focusing on your children, rewarding them when they achieve, and simply lending an ear when they need it. If you find your children acting out at you or pouting, you might need to set aside specific time to devote to their needs.
- Inconsistency. ADHD and hypersensitivity can be an emotional rollercoaster: one day you’re happy and upbeat, the next day anything and everything seems to set you off. Unfortunately, this translates to inconsistent parenting, and that will be confusing to your children. You’ll need to find a method to control your impulsive reactions, and tailor your responses to each type of situation so your child will understand how to behave and how not to.
- Lack of preparation. Organization is probably not your strong point, but raising a family means juggling a lot of things every day. Without the right preparation, you will find yourself buried under obligations, struggling to keep your sanity. On the other hand, educating yourself about your own condition and taking extra steps to prepare for the day ahead will ease the burden.
One of the best ways to overcome these problems is with routine. A solid household routine — including set meal times, bed times, and homework times — will help things get done efficiently, with less stress. When you make planning a part of your personal routine, you won’t fall behind with daily obligations. Finally, routinely devoting time to interact with your children will keep you from neglecting their emotional needs and desire for attention.
Tips to Help You be the Best Parent You can be
Routine may be the template for running a household with ADHD, but there are some specific tactics that can keep you sane, happy, and in control of your parenting role and responsibility in every situation.
Get the Treatment You Need
If you can’t keep your ADHD under control, things will get more and more difficult for your family. It’s crucial that you visit your doctor, take their recommendations, and follow through with the prescribed therapy or medication every day. Taking matters into your own hands will almost certainly overload your mental to-do list and your emotional equilibrium.
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