Published on ADDitudeMag.com
Real Parents Share Lessons Learned Raising ADHD Kids
Parents reflect on what they’ve learned raising a child with attention deficit, and share tips for meeting the challenges of parenthood.
by the readers of ADDitude
What I Wish I'd Known...
What one piece of knowledge would you pass on to a less experienced parent? Here, parents share what they have learned in raising their ADHD kids. If you're a parent, read and learn — and then share your own hard-earned wisdom!
Setting expectations—about behavior as well as what is going to happen the next day or week—is important. Telling a child what to expect calms him down.
Patience Is a Virtue
You have to learn to be more patient. You realize that your definition of patience changes when you raise a child with ADHD.
— Amye, Washington
Do What You Know Is Right
You have to do what you know is right for your child, not what society thinks is right.
— Rena, Michigan
Anything Is Possible
That a child with ADHD can be extremely focused when he wants to be. I did not realize that was possible, so I didn't think my child had ADHD.
The Terrible Tweens
I didn't realize that puberty was going to be 110 percent worse with ADHD.
— Betty, Florida
The Kids Are Alright
As long as your child is happy, you're doing OK.
— An ADDitude Reader
The Importance of Structure
The importance of routines and structure in a child’s life, not to mention the importance of sleep and being aware of the fact that an ADHD child can be extremely sensitive.
— An ADDitude Reader
Time Is of the Essence
Don’t wait until a child grows older to see if troubles correct themselves. It’s easier to put organization systems and routines in place when she’s young.
— Christina, Pennsylvania
Don't Take Things Personally
Don’t take things personally. I wish I had known that my child’s inability to fall asleep wasn’t my fault. I attributed her sleeplessness to my being a bad mom. I thought that if I were stricter and more consistent, she would be able to settle down and go to sleep.
— Amy, Wisconsin
I wish I had known how crucial it is to help a child establish friendships. Friends can make or break a child’s life at school.
— Amy, Illinois
ADHD and Girls
I wish I had known how differently ADHD affects girls. I would have better understood what my daughter was going through and tried harder to give her the support she needed.
— Debbie, New Hampshire
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