How Can I Help My ADHD Son When I Have ADHD Too?
I get asked this question quite often. That’s why at Order Out of Chaos we work with both the student and the family to make sure that everyone is properly supported. Here are four of my best strategies to help when both the child and parent are living with ADHD.
Put on your own oxygen mask first.
It’s critical that you first identify your own challenges and find solutions that work for you. What might that look like? Let’s say homework is a real struggle in your home because by the time you arrive home after a full day’s work, you just don’t have the focus or the mental energy to guide your son. Explore putting other work-arounds in place, like having your son complete homework in an after-school program or hiring a high school or college student to help out in the evenings.
Partner before parenting.
You have an ideal partner in your son. Sit down with him and simply ask what he thinks would work in various situations. Perhaps he likes novelty and would prefer reminders written on his bedroom mirror rather than hung in the kitchen. You’d be surprised how creative kids can be when they are simply asked!
I had a client once who struggled with time management. She would consistently model time-planning strategies for her son by talking aloud when she planned her own activities. She would say things like, “I have to pick up dad at the train station at 6:30. It’s 5:45 now and it takes me 10 minutes to get there. I should leave at 6:20 which gives me 35 minutes.” Just by making your son aware of how you get things done (or don’t!) can work its way into his subconscious and stay there.
Give your child opportunities to rise to the occasion.
Though it might feel nerve-wracking at first, allowing your son to “try and fly” on his own will show him you trust him to manage more than he might be currently. Figure out what he feels comfortable doing (getting himself ready in the morning, pet care, etc.), give him clear, concise directions, then sit back. Creating a space where he can step up can mean you get to take a much-needed step back.
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Looking for more motivation?
You might enjoy our post called Raising a Resilient Kid: The Power of the Praise!