“The Best Neurodivergent Parenting Tips I’ve Ever Received Are…”
What are the best neurodivergent parenting tips you’ve ever received? Here are 14 inspiring pieces of advice and wisdom from ADHD families.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for raising a child with ADHD. Translation? The cookie-cutter parenting advice (mostly unsolicited) we receive is largely irrelevant or not specific to our kids. That said, ADDitude readers do agree on a few guiding principles of neurodivergent parenting: Take many deep breaths, learn to deflect criticism, focus on the positives, and give yourself permission to be human.
Read more reader responses below to our question: “The best advice I’ve ever received about parenting a child with ADHD is … ” Have parenting tips of your own to share, or unforgettable advice you’ve received? Share your answers in the Comments section below.
14 Neurodivergent Parenting Tips for ADHD Families
“Never respond to anger with anger (or frustration with frustration). Sometimes love, patience, and acceptance are needed to soothe the other.” — Dena, California
“Understand how the ADHD brain is wired. Behavior is not intentional.” — Jen, North Carolina
“‘You’re allowed to be human.’ My friend once told me this, and it has become my mantra for fighting off perfectionism, negativity, and shame.” — Toni, Minnessota
“Don’t worry about chronological age, especially with boys. Instead, always look at whether he is doing better than he was six months ago, a year ago, etc.” — An ADDitude Reader
“Giving myself the permission to parent my kids and not listen to the uninvited opinions of others has been liberating.” — Debs, United Kingdom
“Keep trying until you find what clicks, and never be afraid to be a voice for your child and advocate for what they need, whether it’s an IEP at school, medication, therapy, etc.” — Steph, Michigan
“Don’t be so serious about forgetting things. Give your child (and yourself) one pass a month to forget an assignment, test, whatever — and don’t freak out about it. It’s not the end of the world.” — Sara, Michigan
“I was officially diagnosed with ADHD at age 75. I am learning now that I was not defective, had value, and could do things right, even though my parents never said so. Now I have a 16-year-old grandson with ADHD. I’ve learned that he doesn’t overreact because he wants to. He doesn’t know how to calm himself. He visits me when he needs peace, attention, and acceptance.” — An ADDitude Reader
“See your child’s gifts and talents — their enthusiasm, exuberance, appreciation for details in nature, ability to hyperfocus on their interest. That’s who they are. Learn to go with their flow and enjoy the ride along the way.” — Cara, Texas
“Keep instructions to one or maybe two at a time. Praise the accomplished step, then provide the next instruction. This ensures success and builds confidence.” — Olivia, Texas
“Cut yourself some slack and drop everything to have fun once in a while.” — Melissa, California
“Take deep breaths; realize that there is nothing wrong with your child. They’re just wired differently.” — Deana, Nevada
“Pick your battles. Also, kids with ADHD need empathy.” — An ADDitude Reader
“Let go. Plan as best you can but leave room for detours.” — Erin, New York
Neurodivergent Parenting Tips: Next Steps
- Free Download: 13-Step Guide to Raising a Child with ADHD
- Read: How to Shepherd — Not Carry — Your Child Toward Fulfillment
- Blog: “How I Learned to Live in the Moment — and Ignore Strangers’ Stares”
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