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Who Takes Care of Parents?

Becoming a parent changes your life forever. There are constant demands on your time and resources. When your child has ADHD, those demands are multiplied, and your learning curve is huge. Traditional parenting methods can be ineffective and parents often feel like failures.

Society can judge parents harshly, particularly when it comes to ADHD. What people don’t realise is that parents of kids with ADHD spend hours and days searching and researching the best ways to support their child. But who supports the parents? Consider turning some of that care inwards: 

Find your tribe

Connect with other families dealing with ADHD. There is wonderful support to be found from other parents in similar situations. Find those parents and spend time with them. They will understand your child’s quirks and you will understand theirs. Join your local support group and attend meetings with other like-minded parents. 

Practise self-care

Parenting a child with ADHD is demanding, time-consuming and expensive. As parents, we always put the needs of our children first. However, parents need to take care of themselves if they are to take care of their children. Organise walks with friends. Arrange child-free time and plan activities that you will enjoy. This can be done without going to great expense. For example, organise reciprocal child-minding days with another parent from your ADHD tribe

Take care of your own mental health

There are higher levels of anxiety and depression in parents of children with ADHD. Seek professional help and take care of your mental health if this is becoming an issue for you. If you have ADHD, lead by example and take steps to manage it well.

Work as a team

Conflict between parents of children with ADHD is common. Invest time in your Relationship Amidst the Ongoing demands of parenting. If you don’t plan time out together, it won’t happen. A consistent approach from both parents makes the ADHD parenting job easier for all. Take time to ensure you and your partner are on the ‘same page’ and are backing each other at all times. If necessary, get professional help to co-ordinate your approaches and resolve conflicts. This is particularly important when parents are separated or divorced.

Michele Toner

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