Guest Blogs

ADHD Childcare: Taking Turns

We’ve created a wonderful arrangement with parents of another child with ADHD: trading off caring for each other’s kids while one set of parents takes a break.

I kissed Natalie good-bye this morning at the door to her second grade classroom knowing I wouldn’t get another kiss until Sunday night. She’s leaving town at 1:00 pm today (getting out of school early!) with her friend and soul-sibling, Harry, and his family. They’re spending the weekend at a new hotel with an indoor water park at Iowa’s Lake Rathbun.

Harry’s mom, Victoria, said Harry’s dad, Steve, called the resort to find out what time the water park closes. He was told that it closes at 9:00 pm. So early? They were hoping for 11:00! Their plan is to let the kids wear themselves out until they’re ready to collapse, then give them their teddy bears and call it a night.
I hope that’s exactly how it turns out, but there’s a good chance that Natalie’s ADHD-fueled excitement will outlast their best efforts-especially this first night — so I sent along some Benadryl.

We’re so blessed to have friends that we can trust to take care of Natalie. They accept her and love her just the way she is. They understand her behavior, and are willing to deal with it; in the car, in the hotel, in restaurants. Natalie will feel safe, loved, and happy.

We’ll owe Harry’s family big time for giving us this break! And we’ll reciprocate gladly sometime soon, with just as much love and understanding.

We’ve fallen into a habit with Harry and his family of trading off caring for the two kids while one set of parents takes a break. Not long ago, this arrangement was fairly difficult. The demands of caring for two super-high-energy kids was hardly worth the break we got in return. But as the kids have matured it’s gotten easier and easier. It’s now — clearly — a win-win arrangement.

Have you ever thought of trading childcare with another special needs family?