I came across this recent article by Forbes and it definitely inspired the topic of today's newsletter. I wanted to capture the stark reality for some parents in facing this uphill challenge.
The article states:
“an estimated 9.8% (almost 6 million) of U.S. children ages 3 to 17 years old have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 8.7% (over 5 million of U.S. children with a current ADHD diagnoses.
Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls in the U.S., with approximately 11.9% of boys ages 3 to 17 years diagnosed with ADHD currently, compared to 5.5% of girls.
While every child with ADHD is unique, here are several common frustrations that parents parents that I work with often face:
1. Difficulty with Routine and Structure: Children with ADHD often struggle with routines and structure. This means that getting them to follow a daily schedule, complete homework, or perform routine tasks like getting dressed or brushing teeth can be a constant challenge.
2. Inattention and Forgetfulness: Parents may become frustrated when their child consistently forgets important things, like assignments, chores, or even simple instructions. Repeating directions multiple times can be exhausting.
3. Impulsivity: Children with ADHD often act impulsively without considering the consequences. This can lead to behaviors like interrupting conversations, grabbing items without permission, or blurting out inappropriate comments.
4. Hyperactivity: Managing a child's excess energy can be draining. Parents may find it challenging to keep their child engaged in quiet activities or struggle to control their restlessness in situations that require calm and focus.
5. Homework Battles: Homework time can become a daily battleground. Children with ADHD may struggle to stay focused, leading to procrastination, incomplete assignments, and the need for constant supervision and redirection.
6. Time Management: Teaching a child with ADHD effective time management skills can be frustrating. They may struggle to estimate how long tasks will take, leading to chronic lateness or poor time allocation.
7. Emotional Rollercoaster: ADHD can often be accompanied by intense emotions. Parents may find it challenging to manage their child's emotional outbursts, meltdowns, or mood swings, which can occur unexpectedly and escalate quickly.
8. Social Challenges: Many children with ADHD have difficulty with social skills. This can lead to misunderstandings with peers, struggles with making and keeping friends, and isolation, which can be frustrating for both the child and their parents.
9. Diet / Nutrition & Medication Management: If medication is part of the treatment plan, keeping track of doses and monitoring side effects can add another layer of daily stress for parents. If the child’s condition is being carefully managed with diet, it can be very time consuming to plan, prepare & cook for these circumstances.
10. Self-Doubt and Guilt: Parents may question their parenting skills and wonder if they are doing enough to support their child. They may also experience guilt when they become frustrated or exhausted from managing their child's ADHD-related challenges.
11. Advocacy: Navigating the educational system and advocating for their child's needs can be a constant battle. Parents often find themselves attending complex meetings with teachers, specialists, and school administrators to ensure their child receives the necessary accommodations and support.
12. Lack of Personal Time: Balancing the demands of parenting a child with ADHD with personal and work responsibilities can leave parents with limited time for self-care or relaxation.
13. Stress on Personal Relationships: There's no doubt this causes stress for any couple - no matter how strong the relationship is. Constantly dealing with difficult moments can cause communication breakdown, exhaustion & resentment.
It's important to remember that while these frustrations are real, parents of children with ADHD also experience moments of joy, pride, and love. Seeking support from healthcare professionals, therapists, support groups, and finding effective strategies for managing ADHD can help parents better cope with these daily challenges and provide the best possible support for their child.
It's easy to pass judgement upon a family who is facing these struggles. The best, kindest & most helpful thing to do is to reframe how we see this. Empathy is needed. Understanding is so important.
That's all I have for now. Thanks for reading.