Parenting with adhd

How do you guys parent when you have adhd? I have a three year old who I get frustrated with sometime and don’t know how to control it. I don’t ever want to get to my angry stage with her anymore please give me some tips

Wow, thanks for bringing this up this important topic! I can get angry very quickly, the 0 to 60 phenomenon. I have two sons, and I remember two incidents that helped me remember what it's like to be a kid.

When my first son was about three he showed me a picture he drew of "Mad Mom". He used blue and red marker, and the big head with stick legs and arms showed a person (me!) who looked so about to blow up that it unnerved me completely. I'll never forget that. If I knew where to find it I'd post it. I'm thankful he could communicate that.

My second son was about two, and I don't remember what I was angry about but I lost my temper and shouted loudly and belligerently at him. Tears literally splashed from his eyes. I knew I must never treat him that way again.

And I worked with children! At home I could be very tired and until I learned to check my energy and mood, I often behaved badly, and there's nothing worse than a badly behaved adult. I learned and taught another tip: never touch anyone when you're mad.

The upside is that if you're tired you might turn it into pleasant down-time with your kid. Draw faces or little people with feelings together. If yours tend toward negative?: it's a hint for you. (Another self-check.) Children like to tell about their pictures, and they like to have a listener for their stories. if you fall asleep expect to have your eyes pried open by little fingers. Also exercising is calming and seems to help everything. I like hopping because I can do it on the spot.

I was at my wits end a thousand times with my kids. Once while washing the dishes I let out an ascending growl, apparently like a T-rex. They's grown older, both boys laughed hysterically, then so did I. I learned that I can growl like a T-rex, up to my elbows in dish soap and looking at the kitchen ceiling, but not while looking at my kids!

I have had a similar experience to the event that ArtFish describes. My son, when he was about three, one afternoon, showed me a drawing he had done. The only problem was that it was on the passage wall!! Without thinking, I smacked him and he went crying into his bedroom. What struck me in the moment was the reaction of my daughter, who was six at the time, which was one of shock and, if I interpreted correctly, pain and possibly fear. As soon as I had smacked my son I new that I did not wish this to happen again. I had to find some other way of conveying the message if I was angry or needed to correct inappropriate behaviour; my son and daughter were only with me each alternate weekend.

I attempted to comfort my son, unsuccessfully; so all I could do at the time was to continue preparing dinner. What happened next surprised and pleased me. My daughter half carried, half dragged her brother into the kitchen, and having sorted something out in her head, was saying "if you tell Daddy your sorry, he'll give you a big hug". Her comment was not parroting something she had heard me say before, because that was not how I normally dealt with issues. However, I do believe, of all the people in my life, she probably knows me best. Indeed, trusting his sister, he did as she had advised, and you can imagine the rest; she was right.

At that time, about thirty yrs ago, I had no idea what ADD/ADHD was, or that I would later be diagnosed with it. I resolved to never physically punish my children again. At the same time I knew that I would have to work out some sort of dispute resolution process between us - I could not simply ignore "bad" or inappropriate behaviour, but had to find another way of responding rather than reacting. At the time, I was participating in a community training course in mediation and dispute resolution, and I believe this helped me to formulate my approach to behavioral issues in the future.

Children, I believe, are remarkably resilient and, in sometimes “in your face” ways, and at other times, more subtle ways, they can help us to improve our own performance. I also believe that, in general, our children are very perceptive and are influenced by our sincerity and genuine desire for improved communication. If we have a broad plan of action sorted out in our mind for such events or occasions, and we have mentally practiced or rehearsed the plan, we can feel more confident that we will respond in an appropriate manner, rather than react, when such occasions arise.

Cheers, Peter

Hi, I spent many years parenting as an ADHD parent, although I didn't know I had ADHD until 3 years ago. I still struggle but not as much as before because I was able to do a group therapy program, called DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). DBT helps you learn what triggers you and why, ways to manage your anger or intense emotions in the moment, and to eventually prevent them from becoming so intense (and/or reduce their frequency). It was a lot of work doing the various exercises and remembering some of them in the heat of the moment, but it's the first thing that has worked for me. It includes simple tips and mini mindfulness exercises, as well as more detailed strategies for improving interpersonal skills. It's an ongoing process after the program is finished, the more you practice the easier it gets. There is an iPhone app for DBT but I think you have to have more in depth knowledge of the program to understand and benefit from the app. I think there are DBT workbooks that you can purchase at major bookstores. Another thing that is becoming popular is "colouring therapy", that I believe helps you calm and focus your mind. I'm not very familiar with it yet but it's the next thing I am going to try. Hope this helps, Laurinda