· By PYM STORE
5 Tips for Parenting with ADHD
When it comes to parenting and ADHD, most blogs and tips out there are for how to parent a child with ADHD. But what if you, the parent, have ADHD?
About 1 in 25 adults have ADHD, and many of those adults are parents.
As a parent with ADHD, you’re no longer only dealing with your own deadlines, schedule, and appointments. You’re also responsible for making sure your kids get to school on time, securing school supplies, keeping up with daycare payments, and remembering school picture day.
You’re not only having to deal with your own vast and varied spectrum of emotions, but now also get a front-row seat to all of the big feelings that come with growing up, which can amplify your own reactions. It's a lot!
So, how can you make parenting with ADHD work for you? We're going to go over 5 strategies to make parenting with ADHD easier!
Stop Task Switching
You might think you're an amazing multitasker, but studies have found that just 2.5% of people are actually able to multitask effectively.
For the rest of us, studies show that when our brain is constantly switching gears to bounce back and forth between tasks – especially when those tasks are complex and require our active attention – we become less efficient and more likely to make a mistake.
Instead of starting task A, and then suddenly remembering task B needs to be done so you start doing that...keep a notebook nearby or use the notes app in your phone to write down tasks you remember as they come up, and come back to them later after you've finished the first task.
Nourish your Mind
One aspect of managing ADHD that often gets overlooked is your nutrition. Eating foods that give your brain the nutrients it needs to produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine can be hugely helpful for managing ADHD symptoms!
Our brain needs amino acids like Tyrosine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Theanine to convert into dopamine. It also needs vitamin B6 to assist in the conversion of these amino acids into dopamine.
Other vitamins and minerals helpful for brain function are omega-3's, vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc.
You can get these from foods like:
- Grass-fed meat
- Wild-caught fish
- Pasture-raised eggs
- Organic, raw dairy products
- Seeds- sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, flax
- Citrus fruits
- Dark chocolate
It can be hard to get in all the right foods though. And even when you do, there's so many factors that may lead us to still be depleted of nutrients.
One way to ensure you're getting all the nutrients your brain needs for optimal function daily is to supplement! Attention Chews contain all the amino acids, vitamins and minerals your brain needs to produce dopamine for more focus, sharper memory, and productivity.
Stop making promises
Life is chaotic enough without making promises to your children that you probably can’t keep. The closest you should come to making a promise is to say, “We’ll see how it goes.” If the opportunity is right, go ahead and offer a pleasant surprise or favor. But don’t lock yourself into anything.
Keep this in mind when making promises to yourself as well! Promising yourself things like, “I will accomplish ten things on my to-do list today!” Or, “I swear I’m going to go drop off these return packages by 4 p.m.,” you’re just setting yourself up for a whole lot of extra guilt and shame should you not meet those self-imposed deadlines.
Set time for reflection & planning
Whether it's setting your alarm to wake up 15min earlier, or scheduling time at the end of each day, set yourself up for success by taking a moment to pause and reflect on your day and plan what needs to be accomplished for the upcoming day.
You might reflect on:
- How did today go? What went well, and what could be improved?
- For the things that didn't go well, how could I do things differently next time?
- What are three priorities that absolutely need to get done today/tomorrow? When will I do these? How will I remind myself?
- Is there anything I need to prepare in order to get these priorities done?
Post a master calendar/schedule
It can be really helpful for everyone in the family to be able to see a master schedule or calendar perhaps posted in the kitchen that has everyone's activities and appointments for the week. That way, everyone knows where everyone is and what their priorities are.
Set time each week to come together as a family and discuss any possible scheduling conflicts to problem solve.
ADHD adds an extra layer of complexity to the already difficult job of parenting, but there are ways to minimize the chaos! Focusing on one thing at a time, nourishing your mind, not making promises, setting time for reflection & planning, and keeping a master schedule are all great ways to make things smoother.