According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tends to run in families and has a strong genetic link. This means that a child whose parents or siblings have ADHD is more likely to develop it in the future. In fact, one third of parents with ADHD are likely to have children with ADHD in the future.
This indicates a very real opportunity to share a diagnosis of ADHD between parents and their children. ADHD is a difficult condition, and the thought of passing the disorder on to your children can make you even more anxious. Unfortunately, you can’t control what gets passed on to your children and what doesn’t.
With this, you can play an important role in diagnosing ADHD in your child. The sooner you spot worrying signs, the sooner you can provide them with the right professional help. By helping your child on a journey with ADHD through your shared experiences, you can undoubtedly raise healthy, adaptive children. On that note, here are some tips for success as parents when you and your child have an ADHD diagnosis.
Tips for parents with ADHD for raising children with ADHD
1. Learn as much as you can.
The first thing you need to make sure as a parent is that you learn everything you can. Use help in the form of tutorials, training, and books in order to help you function as well as possible. Parents who know what they are going through themselves and the implications of their condition will be able to help their children in the best possible way.
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2. Discuss your condition with your child’s health care provider.
If your child works with a coach or therapist, make sure that professional knows your condition (you may or may not include your child in these discussions, depending on their age). Be open and honest about your problems. This is necessary because if you are working with a therapist to develop a routine that works for your child, it may not be helpful enough when you can’t continue your role in it. If you are in doubt regarding your ability to pass a certain routine, discuss it clearly with your child’s therapist.
3. Control your symptoms and take care of yourself, too.
Raising a child is difficult. But parenting with a mental health disorder is an entirely different ball game. The old saying “put your oxygen mask on first” is absolutely essential for parents with ADHD.
So if you’re a parent dealing with ADHD on your own, make sure you prioritize your personal well-being. Parents who are able to take appropriate steps for their well-being will be able to help their children in the best possible way. Moreover, children are like sponges. So when you give them positive examples of dealing with ADHD, they are also learning to drink what you’ve learned.
4. Find the tools that suit you.
Everyone with ADHD has different needs. This means that something that works for you may not work for your child and vice versa. In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all individuals with ADHD. That’s why you need to find the tools and strategies that work for you and your child individually. Tools like reward planners, meal planning apps, and appointment calendars may be useful to you.
If you are dealing with ADHD, raising a child with the same condition is a challenge. Struggling with time management, discipline, and a variety of different things every day can be important. While noting difficulties, it is also essential to understand and remember the strengths that you and your child have. This way, you can build on your strengths as you try to get through the difficulties.
To help on your journey of raising children with ADHD, here’s Myths and facts about the prevalence of the condition in children.
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