ADHD As a Parent


Packing lunches, reading bedtime stories, making beds, and doing laundry – These are only some of the many duties a parent might be assigned on a daily basis. The struggle of accomplishing these things and also keeping the kids entertained and out of trouble is a challenge enough, but how does it feel to do this as a parent who has ADHD? Many often see this disorder as one for children, but adults can suffer from ADHD too. Forgetfulness is one of the tell-tale symptoms of adult ADHD. The disorder impacts the way that your brain functions as an organizational tool; juggling several tasks at once could feel like a burden that is nearly impossible. Having a hard time relaxing is also a key symptom. Parents with ADHD often struggle to unwind when they are given the down time that they deserve. Impulsiveness can also come into play, the act of buying things you don’t really need or going somewhere on a whim. The goal is to work with your symptoms, to not let them hinder you.


What Can Be Done

To cope with these struggles, it is important to first recognize the behaviors that you are exhibiting. This can be tough due to the lack of focus and concentration, but a thorough self evaluation is key to managing your ADHD. Seeing things on paper makes them seem more concrete. Write down lists of situations when you find yourself to be the most impulsive, forgetful, unorganized, etc…When you can view these things, you will know when you need to exercise your self control. As you approach one of the given situations, focus on your breathing first. Always make sure that you are level headed before opening your mouth to speak. You can also consider what you are about to say as if the other person said it to you. How would it make you feel? Changing the perspective can often change the result.


Making sure you put yourself in situations with minimal stimuli can allow your brain to focus on one thing at a time. If you are cooking dinner, skip watching tv. If you need to grocery shopping, leave the iPod at home. These simple steps are habit forming behaviors that will make little things in life easier to manage. As you are re-learning this concentration, you will find that you are able to make the most of your time.


Allow Yourself Compassion


Remember, you cannot help that you are experiencing ADHD, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Utilize your time management to the best of your ability and work on focusing and grounding your mind. It is important to keep your spirits high and to encourage yourself to do better. You are only human, and the struggle will be part of your growth as a person. If these methods do not help you as much as you want them to, consult a professional. You will be able to talk deeper about the issues at hand and perhaps start taking medicine to help with your symptoms. It is never a shameful thing to ask for help; it proves otherwise, that you are strong enough to admit you need it. 


Genetics and Family History


ADHD has a strong genetic component. So what does this mean for your family? Struggling as a parent with ADHD is one task, but learning that your child can easily develop it can become another. Using your struggle to help your children if need be can be very beneficial. This can be something that will motivate you to work harder on techniques that will curb your ADHD behavior. You will be able to better understand the root of your child’s struggle when you know how to successfully manage your own.

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