Tips to manage ADHD in your family
Once an ADHD diagnosis is given it will be an adjustment for everyone; whether the parent of an ADHDer, an ADHD spouse or the spouse of.
Additionally, it can be different to manage the family because of the diagnosis. There is a mentality shift that needs to take place for everyone. An acceptance of the neurological issue which is affecting the ADHDer from seeing and processing the world as everyone else. However, not in a better or worse way, in an “everyone is farsighted and they are nearsighted” way.
What are you going to do about tomorrow?
It is a new day, and you are carrying new insights: ADHD is no one’s fault, nothing was ever done maliciously or on purpose etc., but there was an unknown variable playing against the success of your family. What about tomorrow?
Here are 10 tips you can implement tomorrow to alleviate mistakes of the past, and keep the old patterns from repeating, and position you and your family for success tomorrow.
1. Don’t say “hurry up!” Be patient
Let’s keep it simple with this first one. Think back to the last 100 times you exhaustively said “hurry up!” to your ADHDer. How many of those 100 times did the ADHDer 1) actually hurry up 2) remember everything that they needed and 3) was in a good mood for whatever you were trying to be on time for. Is the answer 0? It’s 0. Be patient, ask what else they need to get ready or collect, or resolve to go wait in the car and scroll social media.
2. Have the non-ADHDer join in any and all education on ADHD
It is paramount that the non-ADHD receive all of the same information as the ADHDer. The family needs to collect and collaborate with all the same info. With this you will get a lot of useful insight into any problem areas. As a team you will find a solution to any problem!
3. Get your timing right for conversations
Before any important conversation that needs to be had make sure you have the right timing. For example, if your ADHDer is “in the zone” leave them be. Likewise, if your ADHDer is tired, stressed, or irritated their symptoms are not as easily reigned in. As a result they will inevitably miss a few things you need them to hear.
4. Get eye contact if you need attention
If you have something important you need your ADHDer to hear, absorb or remember, get eye contact! There is no need to be patronizing, maybe just sit next to them gaze at them until you get eye contact and fire away.
5. Alter the role and reputation of the ADHD
The family is carrying the past which does not have any insight into the true nature of the situation. It is now time to alter the role the ADHDer has taken. Often it’s the scapegoat and the reason for a lot of the issues in the family. Although it may not be explicit, nonetheless the ADHDer will and already may have authored their story as “the failure”.
6. Avoid the “big struggle”
What’s the big struggle you ask? You know…the stubbornness of the ADHDer not wanting to do what you asked, it would seem just because you suggested it! ADHDer’s by nature are stubborn and creative, and as a result they will immediately come up with an idea that is “better” than yours and you will get into “the big struggle”. A battle of wills, as it were. “YES YOU WILL!” “NO I WON’T” “OH YES YOU WILL!” “YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” …and for what? Pick your battles well. Therefore, if, and when, the big struggle arises, disengage. No one is going to win. Ever.