Talking About ADHD

“My Child Has ADHD and Here’s What We’ve Learned”

If you could travel back in time to the day your child received her ADHD diagnosis, what advice would you give yourself? Here, readers of ADDitude share their most lasting and important take-aways from raising a child with ADHD or learning differences.

Parents congratulate their child, who has ADHD, on her graduation day
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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 a child who has ADHD. If you're a parent, read and learn — and then share your own hard-earned wisdom!

A mother and her child who has ADHD
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Great Expectations

"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." —Karen, Wisconsin

A father helps his child, who has ADHD, with his homework assignment
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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

A young girl, with ADHD, has lollipops over her eyes
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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

Father helping his child, who has ADHD, complete her homework
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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." —Anne, California

Mother lecturing her daughter, who has ADHD
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The Terrible Tweens

"I didn't realize that puberty was going to be 110 percent worse with ADHD." —Betty, Florida

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The Kids Are Alright

"As long as your child is happy, you're doing OK." —An ADDitude Reader

Smiling blond ADHD boy
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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 a child with ADHD can be extremely sensitive." —An ADDitude Reader

A mother helps her child, who has ADHD, brush her teeth
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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

Girl with ADHD and insomnia
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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

Two children, one of whom has ADHD, playing together
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Fostering Friendships

"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

A parent and child with ADHD have fun with hair curlers and sunglasses
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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