According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tends to run in families and has a strong genetic link. That means the child whose parents or siblings have ADHD is more likely to have it in the future. In fact, one-third of fathers having ADHD are likely to have children with ADHD in the future.
This signifies a very real chance of sharing an ADHD diagnosis among parents and their children. ADHD is a challenging condition, and the thought of passing the disorder to your children can make you even more anxious. Unfortunately, you can’t control what gets passed on to your kids and what doesn’t.
With that being said, you can play a significant role in your child’s ADHD diagnosis. The sooner you spot the worrying signs, the sooner you can provide them with proper professional help. By aiding your child’s journey with ADHD through your shared experiences, you can undoubtedly raise well-adjusted and healthy children. On that note, here are some tips for thriving as parents when you and your child both have an ADHD diagnosis.
Tips for parents with ADHD raising children with ADHD
1. Learn as much as you can.
The first thing that you need to make sure of as a parent is to learn everything that you can. Use assistance in the form of tutorials, coaching, and books in order to help you function as well as possible. Parents who know what they themselves are going through and the implications of their condition will be able to help their kids in the best possible way.
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2. Discuss your condition with your child’s healthcare provider.
If your child has been working with a coach or therapist, make sure this professional knows about your condition (you may or may not include your child in these discussions, depending on their age). Be open and honest about your issues. This is essential because if you have been working with a therapist to develop a proper routine for your child, it might not be helpful enough when you can’t carry on with your role in it. If you have a doubt regarding your abilities to get through a particular routine, discuss it clearly with your child’s therapist.
3. Manage your own symptoms and take care of yourself as well.
Raising a child is difficult. But parenting with a mental health disorder is a different ball game altogether. The age-old saying ‘putting on your own oxygen mask first’ is extremely necessary for parents with ADHD.
So if you are a parent dealing with ADHD yourself, make sure to prioritize your personal well-being. Parents who are able to take proper steps for their own well-being will be able to help their kids in the best possible way. Moreover, children are like sponges. So when you set positive examples of dealing with your ADHD in front of them, they also learn to imbibe your learnings.
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4. Find tools that work for you.
Every individual with ADHD has different needs. That means something that works for you might not work for your child and vice versa. In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all individuals with ADHD. That is why you need to find tools and strategies that work for you and your child individually. Tools like reward charts, meal-planning apps, and appointment calendars might be useful to you.
If you have been dealing with ADHD, raising a child with the same condition is challenging. Struggling with time management, discipline, and a variety of different things daily can be a task. While noting the difficulties, it is also essential to understand and remember the strengths you and your child possess. This way, you can lean on your strengths as you try to navigate through the difficulties.
To help aid your journey of parenting children with ADHD, here are the myths and facts related to the prevalence of the condition in children.
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