It seems that the hardest part of parenting ADHD is that it looks so different than mainstream or neurotypical parenting. The books written on How to Parent just don’t apply when you kids is wired differently.
So what are you supposed to do? Well, coming to a group like this is fantastic. It shows us all that we are not alone, we do have different challenges than what is covered in most books, and there is a way forward.
The biggest difference I have noticed in how ADHDers are parented is that the support systems need to stay in place longer than mainstream. That, in and of itself, doesn’t sound too bad does it? It doesn’t sound bad until you are the one with the kid who is “still” acting out well beyond their peers. Or you are the parent rushing to school for the umpteenth time because homework was forgotten and if it is forgotten one more time they may fail the class (don’t get me started on homework!). Or you are giving your kid how many chances to get it right? In those situations it is tough to be the parent. It takes confidence of steel to be the parent receiving “the looks” or hearing the whispers.
That is what it feels like, as parents, can you imagine how much harder it is for our kids? That is why I encourage all parents I work with to talk to their kids about being wired differently. It normalizes their differences from others. When something is normal shame has no shadow to hide in. It gives the kids context as to why others act the way they do. And why they, themselves, act differently from most kids. It helps them understand themselves better which is one of the best gifts you can give your kid.