Parenting a Child with ADHD - Caring for Yourself

Parenting a child with ADHD can be challenging. In what ways do you find time for yourself?

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Take care of yourself

Finally, don't forget to take care of the caregiver. In addition to the joy of accomplishment, parenting a child with ADHD can bring on a variety of upsetting emotions including embarrassment, anger, anxiety, worry, and frustration. In fact, you may feel any or all of these on a given day. Try to keep a sense of perspective and understand that your child's behaviors are due to a disorder and may not always be under his or her full control.

Celebrating the small goals and positive steps in your child's progress and development will improve both your mood and your child's self-esteem. Don't lose sight of the special and unique individual that is your child, and find things you both enjoy doing together.

If you need a break, you shouldn't feel guilty. Parenting is a stressful job, and it's OK to accept help from family and friends in caring for your child. Take time off from parenting to spend time on activities you enjoy or even spend time alone in order to recharge yourself. You won't be an effective parent or role model if you have no energy to devote to the process.

Take advantage of all the resources that are at your disposal. If you don't know where to look, talk with your child's teacher, school counselor, school system representative, and/or health care provider. School systems vary in the level of support they may be able to provide for parents and students with ADHD, but in all cases, parents and educators should work as a team to address the whole needs of the child. While the health and educational professionals you work with on your child's behalf have specific expertise, know and be confident in your unique expertise in knowing your child in ways no one else ever will. You are therefore your child's best advocate.

You may find that a therapist or support group may be helpful, for either you or your child. Many health care professionals offer social skills and positive behavior workshops and classes for children that are geared toward having fun while learning to manage their condition. Your health care professional can also be a valuable resource and may have information about parent support groups or community resources.

Return to Tips for Parenting a Child with ADHD


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