Parenting an ADHD Child

How to Parent an ADHD Child

I'm a great of my boys said that “I'm the most grown up mother he knows...more than any of his friends mums”. How cool is that? It hasn't always been that way though.

I am the mum of three AD/HD boys. In my time, I've been called a bad parent, a parent of “difficult to control” or lazy children. My kids were always “different”.

One preschool teacher, when I met her a couple of years later, accused my then three-year-old of giving her breast cancer! One friend used to time my visits. I would walk over for a coffee, taking my two-year-old with me, and the longest I lasted was 3 minutes and 23 seconds.

I even failed as being a mum at the local playgroup! I remember standing at the School Assembly, watching awards being given out to kids because they had worked so hard. I remember thinking..that will never be my son(s) experience. How unfair is this? Do they know how hard we have been working. I remember the tears of exhaustion, frustration and worry.

I had been and was a model “yummy mummy”. The right school, the perfect home, the best nutrition, a wall of “helping professionals”, professional trainers, mentors, tutors. I was doing it all. How dare they! It was enough to drive one to the bottle. And sometimes it did. I was beyond exhausted. They were the bad days. The good days were better than good.

My kids were and are amazing. They are quirky, bright, creative, lateral thinkers and so much fun to be with. They can nearly always see the other persons' point of view. They are generous to a fault, sensitive and caring. Most of all, they taught me a lot. I grew up with them. I did stuff other parents couldn't or wouldn't do. I got to live childhood all over again in the best possible way.

I became a “can do” mum. Anything was possible. So long as it was safe.

Having ADD kids taught me so much, and what I learnt I would love to share. Firstly, if you are a mum of a “different” kid, you are ok. There is nothing wrong with you. Breathe. ADD is a gift! Yes, a gift. An ADD brain is “wired” differently. And this “wiring” gives incredible strengths. It can turn kids and their parents into the “coolest” , sexiest and most creative people on the block. It's just a matter of looking at and doing things a little differently.

Change your perception of what is “right”. Ask "am I doing what others expect of me, or am I doing something which is authentically me?" ADDers belong to a really special part of society...thinkers, creators, entrepreneurs, artists, dreamers, elite sportsmen and women, those living on the edge. An ADD life can be “rich” beyond others wildest dreams. And it is really fun. What is needed is an understanding of how an ADD brain is different.

So, what is ADD? I can give you all the medical terms, all the Diagnostic Criteria, but at the end of the day, ADD is characterized by a lack of interest, not a lack of focus on an event or issue. No matter how you try, unless the interest level is there, the ADD brain just won't work. It doesn't matter what you do, nothing will work until you can change the viewpoint to one of interest.

And that's the secret. Live a life of interest, joy and passion..use your “strengths”, forget the rest. Sustainable success will follow. And this holds true for everyone, ADD or not.

Susan Macintosh is an ADD specialist coach, nurse,business owner, mother of three ADD boys, and also has ADD. Susan is a yummy mummy of many years experience. Her training and working life is truly international from Australia to the US to Canada (and in between). She has lived and worked with ADD all her life. Susan lives in a world of exciting possibilities and truly believes that having ADD is a gift. She is passionate about changing the image of ADD, to that of ADD being sexy and cool!

Susan coaches mums of kids with ADD and related issues, adults and families.You don't have to have ADD to be coached by Susan.