My 4 Best Survival Tips for Parenting With ADHD
Let's just get this out of the way right up front: I am in no way an expert at parenting with ADHD. You show me an expert parent (especially one with ADHD!) and I'll show you a unicorn!
Most parents I know are just trying to do the very best that they can, this includes me! I wanted to write this article mostly for myself because I feel like I suck at parenting most of time time. I feel like all I do is yell at my kids >>> why I'm going back on meds. Have you read that post yet? I HATE medication and I HATE that I need it sometimes. Click over if you missed it; I'd love to hear your thoughts.
That said, I LOVE having ADHD. I really do. What I don't love about it is the lack of impulse control. I will snap and yell at my kids or I will say things where I'm all, "Oh boy. I would take that back if I could," That is where I want to control it and I've posted recently about the essential oils that help me keep things in check.
Sometimes I talk now and think later. Anyone else have that problem? Ugh. When you are raising these little people who--especially my kids who I think every last one of them's love language is words of affirmation--I have to be very careful not to just yell and get mad and become upset super easily.
I'm in no way a perfect parent, but I've been working through my ADHD as a parent long enough to be able to give you a couple tips on what works well for me on my parenting journey.
The first thing that is really helpful for me as a parent with ADHD is to create really good structure. Creating structure is huge for someone with ADHD.
Don't get me wrong. I love chaos too. I really do like being spontaneous because that's my personality, but that doesn't mean it's what my ADHD does well it; it really does the best with structure.
If I can have a structured routine especially for high-stress times like mornings and bedtime, I really do a lot better as a parent. I almost look forward to whatever that routine looks like just because I have this little system down that I know works when I follow it.
USE TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Let me say that again, use the tools and resources that you have available to you. There is absolutely NO SHAME in asking for help and being self-aware enough to know that you need it!
Moms and Dads, hear me on this. YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF TOO. I am a big advocate of self-care so that you don't go crazy. My business has been successful enough to get me to the point where I can afford to have a nanny. I know that I'm not the world's most patient person and I know that I have my areas of struggle, so I leverage my resources to get the help that I need.
I am also getting back on medication--that's a tool. Using my oils consistently is huge--also a tool. And that means using oils on my kids and on myself regularly.
Don't beat yourself up
How many of you parents out there tend to do this a lot? You guys. I am so guilty of this. I have a sister who is pretty much a professional mom. She's the ultimate! I compare myself to her allllllll the time. I don't have that I-don't-even-know-what-magical-power-it's-called to be the kind of mom she is. I'm too hashtag squirrel, I guess. I feel like I am all over the place. But!! I'm not her kids' mom. I am my kids' mom. They need the best version of me and there's no way I can be my best if I am comparing myself to others or tearing myself down. I think every parent could speak more kindly to themselves, right?
Play to your strengths
I feel like it's so important to embrace WHO YOU ARE are a parent. Look at what you're good at. Focus on your strengths. For me, that's going out and doing stuff. Look, we are never going to be the most organized people you know, but we like to go out and do a lot of fun things. We make a lot of great memories. I'm good at that!
What are you? Are you on this parenting with ADHD journey? What's working for you? Do share!