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ADHD and Your Family

Taking care of a child with ADHD might cause other relationships in the household to suffer. This doesn’t have to happen. Each member of the family can help build lasting bonds. That way, life can get better for everyone.

Man and woman in kitchen talking.

How you may feel

If you have a child with ADHD, you may feel guilty, worried, and tired. Try to get enough rest and do some things you enjoy. Ask family and friends for support.

You and your partner

It’s easy to blame each other. You may not agree on the child’s diagnosis, treatment, or discipline. Finding answers isn’t easy, but make an effort to talk each day. Now is the time to build new trust within your relationship.

Nurturing your other children

You may devote a lot of time and effort to the child with ADHD. As a result, your other children may feel left out. In an age-appropriate manner, explain ADHD to your other children. Do your best to spend one-to-one time with each of them. Try to use that time to focus solely on that child. Instead of using up your energy, you may find that these moments strengthen your relationships and help build your own emotional reserves.

Parent’s role

  • For yourself. Recharge and relax. Free up some time by finding a caregiver who understands ADHD. Ask a counselor or your support group about people who might be able to supervise your child.

  • For your marriage. Try to respect any differing opinions. Also, spend time alone as a couple. Talk about things other than your child and coping with ADHD.

  • For your other children. Do things with them. Ask about their hobbies, desires, and fears. Let them know they matter to you. Then help them relate to the child with ADHD.

  • Reward everyone’s efforts to act like a family.

  • If the stress seems unmanageable, consider marital or family counseling. Counseling can help strengthen your marriage , find better ways to handle problematic behavior, improve interactions with the child who has ADHD, strengthen family relationships, and resolve family conflicts.

The future holds promise

Your child’s ADHD symptoms are likely to change and evolve as he or she matures. But with time and ongoing guidance, your child can learn to manage his or her traits. Many adults with ADHD are happy and successful.

Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2019
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