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Raising Children with ADHD (Even if They Don’t Have ADHD)

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

As parents, we all want the best for our kids and helping them grow and learn in their early years is very important to their long-term success. ADHD is very likely to run in families, so if you have it, there is a chance that your child will also have it. If you think your child might have ADHD, it can be hard to figure out how to handle this new situation. But there are easy things parents can do to help their child grow and learn, whether the child has ADHD or not.

Follow a Routine

First and foremost, it's important to create a safe and predictable environment for your child. Children with ADHD may have trouble moving from one thing to the next, and they may find it hard to deal with sudden changes. This is also the case with many non-ADHD children as well. Setting up routines and sticking to them can give your child a sense of security and comfort. Also, breaking up tasks into smaller steps and using visual aids can help kids manage transitions and stay focused. It is important to work with your child's healthcare provider to develop a personalized plan for managing their symptoms.

This is especially important during the times when your child will be most likely to be tired or hungry, such as first thing in the morning, around lunch and/or naptime, and before bed. Keep an eye on your child's energy levels throughout the day, because being tired can make ADHD symptoms worse. Setting up routines for mealtimes, naps, and bedtime can help your child control his or her energy and lessen the chance of meltdowns or other bad behavior. For example, having a set time for lunch and getting your child to move around after meals can help him or her stay focused and keep from getting bored or irritable. Building and maintaining a routine can also help those of us with ADHD keep our own routines and build good habits. You can read more about this in my article "Embracing Your ADHD as a Parent."

Children Crave Interaction

Second, finding fun and interesting ways to interact with your child can help you build a good relationship with them and help them grow. Playtime is a great opportunity to spend time with your child and help him or her grow in cognitive, social, and emotional ways.

Even if a child doesn't have ADHD, he or she will benefit from doing things with other people. Games that get the child moving or make them use both their hands and minds are best. Your child can stay focused and interested by doing simple things like playing catch, building with blocks, or drawing. You can take part in the activities and give praise and encouragement. You can also show your child how to act, which will teach them important lessons and help you get closer to them. The activities should be kept short and sweet. If you want to keep your child interested, try to keep activities to 15 to 20 minutes. Young children tend to have a short attention span and breaking them down into shorter increments will allow for a more natural transition from one thing to the next.

Interacting with your child will also give you the opportunity to model positive behaviors for your child. Children with ADHD often struggle with impulse control and may have difficulty regulating their emotions. As a parent, you can model healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation strategies.This could include deep breathing exercises or taking a break when feeling overwhelmed.

Early Lessons in Communication

Talking and listening to your child is a great way to connect with them. It's important to talk to your child often and listen to what they have to say. This will help them feel like you care about them and understand them. It's also a good way to help your child learn how to communicate better.

To do this, you can ask your child open ended questions, so they can express themselves more freely. Make sure you don't judge their answers, but instead, provide a safe and supportive environment for them to share their thoughts and feelings. This will help your child feel more comfortable opening up to you in the future.

Asking them questions about their feelings and responding in a non-judgmental way can be another way to lead by example and will help them to learn empathy skills as well as validation and how to handle potentially difficult emotional situations later on in a healthy way.

Know Their Strengths

As a parent, you should understand that every child is different and has a different set of needs and abilities. One child may do well in some areas, while another may have trouble. So, if you want to help your child grow and develop, it's important to pay close attention to their individual strengths and challenges.

This means you have to pay attention and spend time getting to know your child. You can start by asking them about their interests, hobbies, and passions and listening to what they have to say. This will help you figure out what they are good at and where they might need more help.

Once you know what your child is good at and what they need help with, you should be willing to change your approach. This means that you need to be flexible and willing to try out different ways to help your child learn and grow. For example, if your child is having trouble in school with a certain subject, you might need to find other ways to teach the material, such as using visual aids or hands-on activities.

It's also important to remember that children's needs and abilities can change over time, so it's important to regularly reassess and adjust your approach as needed. You can help your child thrive and reach their full potential by paying attention to their unique needs and skills and changing your approach accordingly.

Seek Help

It can be hard to raise a child with ADHD (I know; I was one), so it's important for parents to get support and guidance when they need it. Thankfully, there are a variety of resources available to parents that can provide valuable assistance and guidance.

Parents can find a lot of helpful information online. These resources can give you information on the latest research and treatment options, as well as practical advice and support. A few great places to start are, which has some great tips on raising children with ADHD, as well as ADDitude Magazine, which frequently releases science based articles on the subject.

Therapy and counseling can also be helpful. Therapy can help both the you and your child deal with the problems that come with ADHD. A therapist can help the child come up with ways to deal with problems and can also give advice and support to the parent.

It's also important to work closely with the person who takes care of your child's health.

They can give advice on how to handle medications, as well as on how to deal with bad behavior and other things that might be helpful.

Overall, if you want your child to reach their full potential, it's important to get help and guidance. By asking for help when you need it, you can make sure your child is getting the best care and support possible and that you can handle the challenges of raising a child with ADHD well.

Embrace the Rewards

In the end, raising a child with or without ADHD can be challenging but rewarding. To help your child thrive and reach their full potential, create a safe and predictable environment, find ways to interact that are fun and interesting, model good behaviors, pay attention to your child's unique needs, and ask for help when you need it.

It's important to establish routines, provide a safe environment, engage in play, model positive behaviors, tailor interactions to your child's needs, and seek support from other parents or professionals. By doing so, you can help your child grow and learn in the best possible way.


If you find this article interesting and want to learn more or have a comment, feel free to leave a comment below. Or better yet, come talk to us about it on our Discord server! We have a lot of great people who love to talk about ADHD, neurodivergence, nerdy stuff, and all the other things. We've also got a lot of links to resources for further reading and personal growth.

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