Parenting with ADHD is no easy task, even if you've been doing it for years. There is always something surprising to deal with, and inevitably something you thought you'd handled doesn't get done. The challenge of focusing on yourself when you have so much to do in focusing on your kids often throws you way off balance.
So what’s a parent to do?
Guest expert John Willson, executive director of SOAR and a seasoned parent, himself, has some wisdom to get you started.
For starters, he encourages you focus as much on your child as you do on the tasks that need to get done.
At the end of the day, for example, you often walk in the door after a hard day and realize you only left one of your jobs back at work. It can be frustrating -- getting home to a messy house, learning homework hasn’t been started, and reaching the end of your rope (even when your rope is really long!).
While your first impulse may be to immediately try to get things done in the house, John has a different piece of advice: resist the urge! Don't jump directly on your kids to get things done. ”When you walk in the door, you want them to think ‘Oh, Dad’s home!’ instead of, ‘Oh no, Dad’s home.’”
Instead of taking care of the mess, John says, focus first on connecting with your kids, and taking care of yourself.
The first of John’s 4 strategies may seem counter-intuitive. After all, who has the time to relax when there’s so much that still needs to be done? “When you make the time, you become a more effective version of yourself, thus saving you the time,” John shares in this audio interview.
Taking care of yourself first doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. It can be something as simple as making sure you eat a protein bar on the way home, or taking a deep breath before going into the house. Simple, easy actions can make a world of difference.
So how do you manage your own ADHD and a kid with ADHD, all while maintaining your sanity?
Listen to this short 20 minute interview and let John Willson, executive director of SOAR, share 4 simple strategies for parenting in the wonderful (and exhausting) world of ADHD.