Sometimes it can feel a bit isolating to have a child struggling with issues of ADHD. It can certainly become overwhelming at times. You may question whether there are things you should be doing differently. It may even cause strain within the family and in your relationship with your partner. You may feel guilt at getting frustrated at times. You may feel exhausted and unsure. You are not alone. These feelings are human feelings and they are a normal part of being a parent.
What can you do to help relieve some of these feelings?
1. Be Kind to Yourself
We all have those days when we say what we shouldn’t or raise our voices to a yell. We are human. Forgive yourself. Use this as a learning experience for your child. When you’ve regained your composure, sit down with your child and tell her you made a mistake. Apologize. Talk about what you could have done differently. Talk about feelings.
You may find the next time your child loses her temper, she is better able to talk with you about what happened, understanding the feelings that lead to the reaction, and able to be kind to herself, as well – all because of what you have modeled for her.
2. Structure in Regular Time in the Day for Just YouThis concept is so basic, but we tend to neglect it putting the needs of others over ourselves. As parents, that is just what we do! To be a positive parent, however, we cannot neglect self care. It is important that we have time alone to do things we enjoy. It may be regular times to exercise, read, write, or just contemplate things. When we regularly practice self care, we are more refreshed, healthier, and are better able to handle the most difficult of situations.
3. Divvy Up Responsibilities within the HouseholdSit down with your children and spouse or partner and divide up chores and household responsibilities so they don’t fall completely on your shoulders. If you have older children, have them help with fixing healthy snacks when everyone is home from school. Assign days for children to help with laundry. Alternate meal responsibilities. You may make dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while your partner is responsible for these tasks on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. While the local pizza place is responsible for Sunday pizza night!
4. Make Time to Connect with Your Spouse or PartnerIt is so important to nurture your relationship with your spouse or partner. When your relationship is strong and healthy, the family unit is stronger and healthier. Schedule in a regular date night or two each week. You can go out to dinner or to the movies or you can just stay home spending time together. Take turns fixing a small late night appetizer to enjoy together by candlelight after the little ones are tucked in to bed.
5. Use a BabysitterA good babysitter is worth a pot of gold! Don’t be afraid to schedule regular times for babysitting. Your babysitter will like earning extra money, your kids will have fun when she comes over, and you will have some time to do what you need or want to do.
6. Connect with Other ParentsThough you may feel this way at times, you are not alone. Connect with other parents of ADHD children. Find a local ADHD support group or chat online in ADHD forums. You may be surprised to find that there are many other parents who are going through similar situations. It can really help to share your experiences and feelings and in return to hear that others understand you completely.