Katie and Rob were both diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) two years ago…right after their son. After their daughter was born, they thought, “can our ADHD be getting worse?” Before kids, things didn’t feel quite this hard. Now? It seems like every day is a battle. They long to have a fun and calm home, but it’s hard not to feel chronically overwhelmed and short-fused. ADHD is a hereditary condition, so it tends to run in families. While much of the ADHD research tends to focus on children, ADHD parents can also be struggling to hold it all together. The unique challenges of ADHD (like planning ahead, forgetfulness, and difficulty with organization) combined with the stress of parenthood can create a chronically overwhelmed feeling.
It can be hard to ignore an elephant in the room when it’s screaming loudly. Many ADHD parents of ADHD kids are diagnosed shortly after their children. This means they had ADHD for years without ADHD getting noticed. Years of school, relationships, and parenting were likely filled with higher stress than necessary. The data backs the scores of adults getting ADHD testing. Only about 20% of ADHD adults are thought to be under medical treatment for the condition, and the majority of ADHDers don’t even know they have ADHD.
Three Tips for Managing ADHD as a Parent
Become better at regulating your emotions
ADHD is a condition of self-regulation. Many ADHD adults will say that when they feel, they feel big. When they get an emotion in their minds, it’s hard to get it out. This is why emotional regulation therapy is so helpful for ADHD adults. Many often feel like they want to better manage their emotions but lack the tools. Learning to notice when big feelings arise as an indicator to take a step away can be a good starting place for learning to put a stopgap between feeling and response.
Build structure with family meetings
Show of hands: Who is spending one hour a week with their partner planning the week ahead? While this may sound challenging, the week will go more smoothly if you sit down as a family and plan it out. Some ADHDers find it helpful to write down their schedule on a whiteboard to see. This prompts them to know what they are making for dinner, when to pick up the kids, etc., and reduces chaos.
Self-compassion is a skill that you can learn, but learning that it’s OK to not be OK takes practice. ADHD and shame often go hand in hand, this can lead to all sorts of issues with confidence and learning to not punish yourself psychologically for being overwhelmed or having a bad day. It’s very helpful for ADHD kids to learn to love themselves. Modeling this as a parent can work wonders.
Once Katie and Rob stopped overlooking their own needs as ADHD individuals, their families started to find a place of calm. Similar to a well-run company, learning to manage life as an ADHDer starts at the top.
Start reducing overwhelm with ADHD treatment in Columbus, OH
You don’t have to live your life feeling overwhelmed around your family. ADHD treatment that uses psychologically proven strategies will help you find real understanding and real solutions. Our Columbus OH-based counseling practice has caring adult ADHD specialists. To start your journey with one of our adult ADHD specialists, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.
- Meet with one of our adult ADHD specialists.
- Stop feeling stressed. Start finding your calm.
Other ADHD Services Offered at Focused Mind ADHD Counseling
We offer a variety of mental health services that go beyond adult ADHD treatment at our Columbus, OH counseling practice. As an adult with ADHD, Focused Mind ADHD Counseling understands you may also benefit from anxiety treatment for ADHD, counseling for men with ADHD, adult ADHD testing, or depression counseling for ADHD. You can also view our blog for more resources and helpful info. We look forward to connecting with you!