I help treat parents with ADHD, because ADHD tends to run in families.
This suggests that genetics are a factor or one of the causes of ADHD (See Is ADHD Genetic?). For example, if a twin or sibling suffers from ADHD, then there is a greater chance that the other twin or sibling will also have ADHD.
Most ADHD parents often go undiagnosed and untreated until they begin to recognize that they share some aspects of the ADHD symptoms their children are displaying.
If this includes you, do not panic. There are easy steps you can take to get diagnosed and treated.
What To Do If You Think You May Have ADHD
First, check this list of adult ADD symptoms and see if they apply to you. Perhaps get another opinion and have your loved ones or friends read the ADHD symptom list and ask them if it describes you too.
For a more accurate diagnosis, take this ADHD Self Test. If you score positive for ADHD, make an appointment with a doctor or mental health professional who is qualified to diagnose and treat ADHD (psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, some neurologists, etc.) Just be certain that they have lots of experience in treating ADHD.
First things first, parents with ADHD must manage their own symptoms and challenges in order to act as an effective caregiver for their children. Self-care is the number one priority, or all else fails.
Create A Schedule
Perform some next day planning in terms of packing lunches, setting out clothes, packing school supplies, etc. This reduces the morning chaos and confusion, and helps households run smoothly. Also, many children and adults with ADHD experience forgetfulness, so advance preparation is very effective.
Praise Your Child For Good Behavior
It's easy to criticize, and most children with ADHD live a life filled with constant corrections from adults. Acknowledging and rewarding good behavior is a good way to create good behavior in the future via positive reinforcement.
Write It Down!
Make to-do lists, checklists, write down instructions, anything that helps you or your child remember important information. Use a family calendar, bulletin board/magic-erase board, etc. that tracks all appointments, trips, school and family functions, birthdays, etc. This helps maintain a routine and eliminates surprise disruptions to the family schedule.
Get Organized: Eliminate Clutter
Have a centrally located or designated area for things that are easily misplaced such as keys, sunglasses, pens, etc. That way they will always be in the same place and easy to find.
Use Teamwork: Enlist The Kids For Help
Maintaining a household should be a team effort. Each family member should contribute to the housecleaning, cooking, lawn care, etc. Everyone should have designated duties, and many folks often find a particular chore enjoyable or at least tolerable. Some people enjoy doing the laundry, for example. Sharing responsibilities also teaches children valuable skills that will prepare them for the adult world.
This is especially true for parents with ADHD who also have a child with ADHD. Be a resilient example that shows your child that they too can overcome challenges.
Your coping methods in terms of relieving ADHD symptoms can also be shared with your child. This can present a unique situation in which you and your child can bond closer together by working together to combat similar challenges.
The opposite is also true: If you always focus on or complain about what you cannot do, your child will develop the same negative, self-defeating tendencies.