The diagnoses of kids with ADHD is at an all-time high. How do we raise them the best we possibly can so they can be the best versions of who they’re meant to be? Author, speaker, and parenting coach Brian King is here to give us a workable strategy guide for parenting ADHD kids.
Adults and children with ADHD think very differently, but as we discovered in the episode with Peter Shankman, this can be leveraged into a superpower. But what if you’re the parent of an ADHD child? The epidemic is growing past the resources parents have to educate themselves and cope.
Brain King suffers from ADHD and dyslexia. He also has three boys who have ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. But he doesn’t feel sorry for himself or his family. Brian King’s core beliefs are to be resilient in every situation. He had experienced times of fear and helplessness, like cancer and divorce. Working through these obstacles made him determined to always be solution-focused and to see the opportunity in every adversity. Even today, after being diagnosed with a genetic connective tissue disorder, and discovering two of his sons inherited it too, Brian remains optimistic and open to learning.
See every thing as a teacher.
Unless you suffer from ADHD, it’s difficult to understand why a child simply can’t focus. There are different neural pathways involved in attention. It is believed that the release of dopamine allows a person to concentrate on the things that interest him. An imbalance of the brain chemistry is what prevents those who have ADHD from being able to focus. Most medications to treat ADHD are used to keep dopamine levels at optimum levels.
Brian King says there are three factors he notices most in an ADHD family.
- Reactivity – ADHD kids are emotionally sensitive. This leads to bigger tantrums. Parents react to their child’s reactivity, compounding the problem.
- Incredible disorganization – Another common trait among ADHD children is disorganization. They have trouble following directions to clean up and organize, even when they’ve been told repeatedly.
- Parents’ Guilt – Many parents feel guilty for not being able to succeed on parenting their ADHD child on their own. The feel they’re supposed to be perfect and should not need to ask for help.
School and ADHD Kids
Most parents’ first concern is how can they get their kids to do better in school. Brian Kings says parents must look for clues as to why their kids might be resisting school. Are they being discouraged? Are they being embarrassed? Are they misunderstood?
There needs to be an alliance formed with the teacher.
Brain suggests creating a one sheet that lists what your child likes or dislikes. What frustrates him? What strategies have helped him in the past? Get the email address for every teacher your kid has and send them a copy. Let the teachers know that you will not be left out and that you will make sure that they have the resources they need to succeed. Instead of waiting till later in the school year when things start going wrong, be proactive.
Emotionally Supporting ADHD Kids
Brian King says that every parent must learn how to be mindful. When you’re mindful, you are aware of the present moment with your child. You leave the baggage from your own childhood behind and you can be in touch with your own thoughts and emotions without letting them overrule you. Then you’re in a place to choose a response. This gives your kids the space to do the same. They feel like they’re at home and safe in their own brain.
Brian King’s Dad Wisdom
Brian’s wisdom to others dads:
Always remember that we are in this together.
He says that nothing you’re experiencing is an isolated case or a new problem. Others have gone through it before you and are happy to pay it forward. Surround yourself with good dads. Humble yourself, and reach out for help.
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