Impulsivity and inattention can lead to negative behaviors and interactions in children. These behavioral characteristics are common in children with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Some parents who do not understand the source of this behavior tend to interpret this as merely inappropriate and maladaptive. Thus, children are punished and dealt with inappropriately. The frequent punishment can lead to more behavioral problems and issues with self-image. One way to address this is to make sure that parents should obtain a professional consultation for their children to attain proper diagnosis and a well-established medical and psychological management.
Raising a kid with ADHD is challenging. Parenting a child with this condition is a wholly different experience from caring for a non-neurodivergent child. Regular rules and routines may not be effective for them. Depending on your child’s specific needs, you will need to adopt different techniques. The first step is to accept that your child will have different functionalities than other children. But with the right guidance, you can help them live the best possible life.
While children of all races and ages can have ADHD, studies show that black children are more prone to have this condition. While ADHD is mostly genetics, other factors can also contribute to this developmental disorder. A child’s socioeconomic status and internal and external environments impact their mental well-being, too. As parents, we must foster their growth and make the best of what they have and can have.
To make sure your child gets the professional attention that they need, take them to a therapist. They can help manage your child’s ADHD and avoid its negative consequences. These include depression, poor social skills, low self-esteem, and possible juvenile delinquency. Therapy can also make your life easier as a parent since it can help your child control their emotions and behavior.
Here are five therapist-approved ways to calm down your kid with ADHD.
Personalize A Daily Routine For Your Child To Follow
Children with ADHD can show erratic behavior, especially when they don’t follow a specific routine. When children don’t have a specific set of tasks in their minds, they can be more hyperactive. If left unsupervised, they may be unable to do anything throughout their day. Giving them a set of instructions can lessen their mind’s tendency to fret about. When they don’t have a task to accomplish, they will exert their energy elsewhere.
Kids with ADHD thrive with structure. They will likely be less unpredictable when they know what they need to do. Create a specific routine for your child to follow every day. Cover all of their daily activities. Take their mealtimes, homework, playtime, and bedtime into consideration. Also, be specific with the details. Does your kid need to do homework before or after dinner? How much TV is allowed before bed? When there is a structure to follow, your child will be less prone to hyperactivity.
Avoid Distractions As Much As Possible
Children are already easily distracted. However, neurodivergent kids are even more so! Children with ADHD welcome distractions more than other kids. These disturbances can come in many forms. More often than not, this happens because they are overwhelmed with a big task. Because of these, they are unable to focus and are easily diverted. To avoid this from happening, you can break down tasks into smaller chunks.
You can also eliminate distractions by creating a dedicated space for your kid. This room is where they will do homework, play, and take a break without interruption. It is crucial to make the area neat and free of clutter. Organize everything in such a way that they know where everything goes. Technology should be regularly regulated, too. Set specific hours for TV, computer, and video-game usage. Without supervision, these can be the cause of impulsive behavior.
Reinforce Expectations Every Time
Don’t invent rules as you go. Doing so will only confuse your kid’s mind. If you already have a set routine in place, still guide your child every time. They may feel lost at what to do next, especially at the beginning. Being vacant for long periods may also trigger their hyperactivity. So, make sure you always remind them of what they need to do next. Reinforce what they can expect on a day-to-day basis.
When it’s time to do something, prompt your child a few minutes beforehand. You can cue them to shut off the TV, start the day’s homework, or come to the kitchen for dinner. When needed, remind them consecutively after some time has passed. Doing so will promote the behavior of following routines. When they arrive, be sure to thank them for being on time. Would you please encourage your child by rewarding them for good behavior?
Practice Relaxation With Your Child
Children with ADHD have difficulty remaining composed, especially when things are hectic. A busy environment can cause sensory overload. It confuses your child and may trigger their erratic behavior. When this happens, you and your kid will both get stressed. At times like this, make sure to stay calm and think. Remember, your emotions will influence your child. So, be as relaxed as possible.
Therapists recommend some relaxation techniques for both you and your child. Some examples include breathing techniques, visualization, and yoga. Physical activities can be relaxing, too. You can try taking a stroll in the park, cleaning your house, and walking your dog. Find which ones suit you and your child. Don’t forget to talk to your child and ask them for their input.
Go For Positive Parenting
It can be frustrating when your kid has sudden bursts of energy. It is easy to yell and perhaps, think about physically disciplining your child. However, before you do this, take a deep breath and think. How will this behavior affect your relationship in the long run? Yelling, spewing nasty comments, setting ultimatums, and the like are all examples of negative parenting. All these can traumatize your child.
Instead of acting aggressively, try to be calm and positive. Studies show that opting for positivity has immediate good results. Examples of positive parenting are smiling, hugging, reward systems, and allowing flexibility. Children are more prone to demonstrate behavioral improvements when exposed to positivity. With this, their heart rates can slow down, and their breathing is calmer.
To Wrap Up
Parenting will always have its challenges. Fostering the growth of a child with ADHD will have its extra tough times, too. However, remember that you, as the parent, set the tone for how your child will live. Don’t let your child’s disorder rattle you. Instead, be nurturing and patient. If you need more expert advice, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a therapist. With their support, your kid’s childhood years with ADHD can become much more manageable than you think.
Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health conditions kids can have. It affects their emotional health, personal behavior, overall well-being, and social interaction. This condition holds a lasting impact on their childhood, which can extend into their adult lives. These risks, among other things, make it essential for professionals to treat and diagnose ADHD early.
Several factors like stress can worsen it. Being a Black child isn’t easy because of the discrimination rampant in our society. Even though we’ve taken a few steps to address this issue, we’re still so far from genuine respect and total inclusivity. We’re still miles away from providing Black people a safe environment. Children suffer the most in a society rife with discrimination, especially those with other health conditions that challenge them.
If a Black child has ADHD, a therapist can help address their circumstances. But before anything, know that therapy won’t be able to solve all of their problems. After all, racism isn’t an individual problem mere talking could solve. It’s a systemic and cultural injustice that we need to upheave and correct. However, therapy can help children improve their behavior, build relationships, understand themselves better, and much more.
Improving Their Behavior And Habits
Some ADHD signs involve behavior and habits that could negatively affect a Black child’s mental and emotional well-being. It may come in the form of impulsive decisions, forgetting things, or being unable to get along with others. Therapy can help them reinforce better behavior and develop healthier habits.
A therapist can facilitate this improvement by using rewards and consequences. First off, they will set a clear list of actions they need to address. Then, they will determine whether those actions should be rewarded or met with a consequence. The therapist will make these clear to the child to help them understand what’s happening and what should change.
This stage is crucial for a Black child with ADHD for them to develop healthier habits. They can also avoid future challenges by breaking poor behavior and learning more agreeable and pleasant alternatives. With this, they’ll connect better with others and grow up with good routines and habits.
Setting Good Examples
A therapist will also help set good examples for Black children with ADHD. This way, they’ll know which behaviors they could follow. That may involve the therapist letting the child finish talking to show them how to wait for their turn patiently. Or the therapist may employ a rule of raising hands before speaking to encourage them to resist talking or butting in.
It will help the child see firsthand what they should do. Focusing on someone in front of them can also guide them in recognizing behaviors they need to adapt.
Helping Them Build Relationships
ADHD can cause its bearer to have difficulty connecting with others. This may be due to behavioral patterns like daydreaming, making careless mistakes, or having trouble taking turns. Whichever the reason, Black kids with ADHD may find it challenging to establish friendships and other relationships.
Therapy can help them avoid this problem. A therapist can guide the child to learning how to establish connections with other people. Apart from addressing bad habits, these professionals can also aid children in developing behaviors to help them socialize. Therapists can also talk to the kids to help them understand their feelings and experiences with others.
Taking Care Of Their Mental And Emotional Well-Being
Mental health conditions like ADHD can negatively impact a child’s overall well-being. They could also lead to other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, emotional instability, feelings of isolation, or anger issues. These conditions could then cause problems and challenges for the kids.
Therapy will serve as one step toward preventing these by addressing ADHD and its effects. Behavior modification, or sometimes, medication, can help lessen a Black child’s burden for even a little. A therapist can aid them in taking care of their mental and emotional well-being by addressing these things. It’s already hard living as a Black person in a society that’s still not fully embracing diversity. But therapy could at least alleviate some of the weight.
Aiding Them To Understand Their Community’s Experience
Therapy would also entail letting Black children know about their community’s plight and experience. This is for them to understand the problems they encounter every day. It’s also so they would be able to recognize discrimination when they encounter it.
A therapist will aim to let a child become aware of at least the basics of their situation. That’s to prevent them from navigating the world with a veil over their eyes, so they’ll know how to express themselves better. Being aware would help them communicate their emotions and needs to others.
To Wrap Up
Being a member of the Black community isn’t easy, and it’s even more difficult when there are mental health conditions involved. Black kids with ADHD deserve even more attention because they don’t fully understand the world yet. Moreover, we can’t expect them to take care of themselves. Having them see a therapist can help them in the process. Many therapists who can help specialize in children’s therapy and are fully aware of the plight of Black people.
Again, therapy won’t be able to make all their problems go away. The experiences faced by the Black community aren’t just simple matters people can talk through. The problems are systemic, cultural, and institutional, so we should uproot them from their source. Still, therapy can aid Black children with ADHD in taking care of their mental and emotional well-being.
Therapy can help them point out behaviors that need to be changed. Following this, a therapist can aid them in developing healthier habits by using a system of rewards and consequences. Therapists can also help Black children recognize good behavioral examples by letting them know which actions are favorable.
These can help a Black child connect well with others and build strong and lasting relationships. Addressing these things will aid in taking care of the child’s mental and emotional well-being. And to make sure they grow fully aware of their circumstances, a therapist can help them understand their people’s plight.
For the child, moving forward would entail self-advocacy, better behavior, and awareness of their reality. And, of course, an understanding of what they could do about their circumstances.
There is a quite popular saying that parents can feel whatever their children are feeling and vice-versa. Parents are happy when their children are happy. Children can get sad when their mom and dad are not in the best mood. A family goes through both joys and hardships together. That is why many parents work hard to nurture their family and provide only the best for their children.
But what happens when a child gets diagnosed with a disorder? Parenting is already challenging enough as it is. According to statistics, ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses in children or youth. Does your kid having ADHD mean you have failed to become a good parent? No. It only means your child needs your love, understanding, and support more than ever.
It is natural for children to have trouble listening or following orders, especially during their formative years. They may get naughty from time to time, which is expected of them as they are still growing and learning. A little tantrum at the supermarket or your kid being loud at home is all part of everyday life as a parent. Their unruly behaviors are part of their developmental process.
So when should you start worrying if your child or children may have ADHD? ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder where children become overactive and may possess impulsive behaviors. If not provided a healthcare professional’s attention, it is a medical condition that may progress until your child reaches adulthood.
ADHD symptoms share similarities to signs of disciplinary problems with kids. Many parents and other adults often mistake ADHD symptoms and write them off as simply “misconduct.” These ADHD symptoms include difficulty paying attention, sudden outbursts of emotions, inability to finish tasks, talkative, and more.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, up until this day, is one of the mental disorders with no definite cure. As parents, you must seek a psychological expert’s assessment and diagnosis. Therapy or counseling is often a treatment approach recommended by mental health providers to help your child cope.
How Counselors Can Help Your Child With ADHD
Parents with children struggling with ADHD often complain about academic and social impairment due to the disorder. Aside from medication for ADHD, counseling is also an effective way to help children mitigate the symptoms of the psychological illness.
Counselors may work hand-in-hand with parents, your child’s pediatrician, and school teacher so your kid can perform better. In counseling, numerous techniques are used to help your child have better focus, complete tasks or chores needed, and exhibit less hyperactivity.
ADHD can severely disrupt your child’s life as the disorder can become very overwhelming. Having your kid attend counseling sessions will help him/her improve his/her daily life.
Effective Activities To Help Your Child Have More Fun At His/Her Counseling Sessions
Children with ADHD often have difficulty focusing for long periods of time. Counseling may become boring or dreading for them. You may request your child’s counselor to incorporate activities to help your kid stimulate their awareness and control. That way, counseling will be something your child will look forward to.
It is believed that the mind and body are interconnected. When the body is healthy, an individual’s state of mind is also doing well. Having a child with ADHD do some physical exercises is like hitting two birds with one stone. They will become physically more fit while at the same time channeling and using up all their energies.
Board games, flashcards, bingo, and puzzles are only some of the play-based programs that can help kids with ADHD. These interactive activities will encourage them to develop social and cognitive skills, such as problem-solving. They will also be able to open up their curiosity and let their imagination run wild.
Drawing, painting, or any other form of art has long been used in different therapy types and counseling. Research suggests art-based activities are not only fun and engaging but also therapeutic. ADHD can become very distressing for children, and doing art can help them soothe their minds.
Sports benefit a child not only physically but also emotionally and mentally, like exercise. Different types of sports can teach your child plenty of skills. Team sports such as basketball or soccer may help your child build rapport with other children. On the other hand, martial arts training can be a good learning ground for your child to develop self-control. Your kid’s counselor may work together with a sports coach or trainer.
If your kid is struggling with ADHD, do remember that you have not failed as a parent. Having a mental illness is no one’s fault. Not the parents’, nor ever is it the child’s.
Show your parental support with more love and warmth. Find a trustworthy counselor for your kid as soon as possible. And always remember to ask if your child is comfortable and having fun during his/her counseling sessions.
CDC characterizes Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a neurodevelopmental disorder that persists from childhood until adult stages. Children diagnosed with ADHD may find it hard to pay attention, control overexcitability, and manage impulsive behaviors.
Luckily, some effective therapies can go hand-in-hand with medication.
A trusted Family Therapy help with managing the stress and struggle of living with an ADHD-diagnosed family member. A therapist can help sort out each family member’s emotions, opinions, and concerns and create a more positive environment for the child with ADHD.
Family Therapy sessions may help in reducing tensions in the family that may worsen or appear while raising a child with ADHD. Therapists in this area of practice help caregivers, parents, and children to create their preferred solutions towards family-related conflicts.
Therapists are equipped to plan and set up behavior modification strategies that enable families to work together in helping their family members with special needs. You might call your family doctor or ask your pediatrician for referrals in the field of Family Therapy.
Social Skills Therapy
Social skills therapy helps people with ADHD, especially children, learn how to interact, behave, and manage emotions more acceptably. Unlike other children, kids with ADHD might find it hard to move and socialize as normal and fluent as others.
It uses various techniques such as role-playing, videotapes and films, interactive practices, and also personal coaching in helping children with ADHD achieve their goals.
These goals usually depend on your child’s needs and preferences. But most of these needs could be the following:
- Adhere to groups dynamics and group situations
- Giving and reciprocating praise and criticism
- Face and cope with daily frustrations
- Taking turns in actual conversations
- Asking for help and raising questions
Also, your Social skills therapist might decide on what setting your child might be more comfortable with. Your Counselor may set up your child in well-controlled personal sessions or group dynamics where your child may interact with a small group of children.
Behavioral therapy clings in developing strategies your child can use in behaving and managing emotions for specific situations. It is an effective co-treatment for ADHD. Also known as behavior modification, behavioral therapy allows your child and his teacher to cooperate in forming desired behaviors through various rewards and praise-based feedback. This theory believes children are more likely to adhere to new behaviors when receiving praise from trying or reinforcing an act towards change.
An example of this will be using a token reward system in devising and applying support to your child’s positive behavior. Parents are highly encouraged to modify their behavioral therapies to help suit their children’s specific needs and preferences with ADHD.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapists use talk therapy in helping children with ADHD open up, share, and realize their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Therapists in this scope of practice focus on providing practical solutions to children’s struggles with this disorder.
Similar to Behavior Therapists, they allow a system of rewards and consequences to support and shape your child’s behavior. This includes reframing negative thoughts with positive ones that are more realistic and appropriate.
The overall goal of CBT is to help kids build self-esteem and treat various anxiety and depression tendencies.
A more advanced therapy style called Psychotherapy may also be used in managing your child’s ADHD. This disorder can bring children problems interacting with peers and authorities, making them face more struggles handling and managing their relationships.
Psychotherapy helps children explore various behavioral patterns, which may create better choices for them in the future. It can also help your child share his or her thoughts and feelings while coping with ADHD.
Parent Skills Training
Parents of children with ADHD are also asked to assist and facilitate their youth’s growth and development while continuing therapies and counsel at home. Parent skills training helps you amplify assistive techniques and traditional tools to understand and manage your child’s behavior and attitude. Various techniques that are recommended in this type of therapy and training for parents include:
- Timeout – Children with ADHD will only learn in non-stressful situations. When you feel that your child is feeling overwhelmed or out of control from overstimulation, you might want to take a short break or a ‘timeout.’
- Immediate Rewards – Parents may use their point system or any interactive means to give timely praise and reward for their child’s good behavior or work.
- Motivating or Striving for Success – You may form and create situations that motivate your child to achieve success. An example would be limiting your child’s playmate so they would not feel too overly stimulated in play-based activities.
- Stress Management – In teaching your child the skills he needs, there can be moments where your child can feel stress. Stress-relieving activities such as meditation, low-intensity exercises, or relaxation strategies are used in times like this.
- Togetherness – Feeling togetherness and being in strong bonds at least once or twice a week can help look for opportunities where your child can flourish and grow. At the same time, bonding with your child once in a while may help in pointing out areas of improvement and giving helpful praises in your child’s daily tasks and activities.
Support Groups allow children with ADHD to connect and hear about the experiences, struggles, and coping mechanisms with the same disorder. The duration of support groups is usually in regular meetings, which allow relationships and support networks to fortify and be built. Also, hearing from other parents of children with ADHD may ease the worry and stress of many parents in their daily routines.
Support Groups for ADHD are most beneficial in children who are recently diagnosed with the disorder. Mental health psychologists, therapists, or volunteer organizations may facilitate and manage these support groups in general.
Many therapy styles help manage your child’s ADHD. While most therapies occur once a week for a few months, the duration of treatment still depends on your child’s perceived goals and preferences.
While early diagnosis of ADHD helps attend to treatments right away, the choice of therapists or care provider is also a factor in treatment. Be selective in choosing a Therapist. Make sure the one you will be hiring is experienced enough to work alongside children with ADHD.
Talk therapy can be costly. People who have no health insurance or can’t afford to get one for one or more sessions may want to consult a therapist online for free. Free online therapists are often hard to locate, but it is possible.
Studies reveal that teletherapy, online therapy, or e-therapy, could be as successful as conventional face-to-face therapy. Some groups and private therapists provide free online treatment to people experiencing depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses, even for people with ADHD. The number of sessions for clients is not unlimited, though.
For some individuals, several sessions may be sufficient to provide them insights into the next steps you can do to help yourself, but they would need further therapy for others. The limitation of free therapy sessions may help a person decide whether therapy is the best option.
If you are looking for free online therapists, you can try finding them in these places:
- Mental health organizations. Some charities and mental health groups provide free therapy services, which typically have a typical field of focus. For instance, domestic violence refugees may provide a specific number of counseling sessions to domestic abuse survivors.
- State Health Divisions. State health websites may offer local mental health services, including free online therapy.
- The workplace. A lot of employers provide some form of therapy service to their workers. These worker assistance programs are accessible through HR departments, and some plans may involve offering online therapy.
- Universities or colleges. Several health facilities at universities or colleges provide free or affordable therapy services to students, including stress management programs and other mental health services. Most of these may be made available online.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about online therapy and its effectiveness in managing depression.
Is online therapy as effective?
In a number of instances, online therapy offers a similar quality of care. Numerous studies have revealed that online therapy is just as efficient as face-to-face sessions to manage various mental health illnesses, including depression and anxiety.
What are the most effective ways to treat depression research paper?
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, is one of the most effective and popular ways to manage depression. It is particularly effective when it is done in conjunction with antidepressant therapy. Also, treatments like vagus nerve stimulation or electroconvulsive therapy are most widely utilized for patients who do not do well with the first two treatments.
What is the best online therapy?
The online therapy platform with the best live chat sessions is BetterHelp, while the best platform for couples is Regain.
Why is online therapy bad?
Any therapy that is not in-person, like email, chat, and texting, deprives the client of a crucially vital communication method. A significant part of what we convey to the therapist comes from our tone of voice, gestures, facial expression, and body language.
Why do I lie to my therapist?
If you are lying about the treatment itself – say, you lie about whether you find it useful to you – you may be doing this to evade confrontation. You may also be lying about getting more out of the therapy than you are so that you can please your therapist.
Is it okay to cry during therapy?
Yes, it is quite a typical reaction during a therapy session, as the sessions are often done to make sure that you can vent out your suppressed pains and emotions. In fact, if you do cry during therapy, the session can be considered successful and has achieved its goal.
What should I not tell a psychiatrist?
These are things that you should not say to your therapist or psychiatrist:
- “I’m really angry at you at the moment.”
- “Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to do what you’re advising me.”
- “Actually, this does not seem right.”
- “How much longer should I be doing this? I don’t think I can take it anymore.”
- “When I heard what you said, I totally felt like I want to stop therapy and not talk to you anymore.”
Can psychologists tell if you’re lying?
Psychologists can detect people who are lying by:
- Initially asking questions that are neutral.
- Watching for signs when they have stopped chatting about themselves
- Finding the hot spot
- Listening to one’s cadence, tone, and sentence structuring
- Observing minor facial expressions
What are the 5 signs that someone is lying?
Some signs to watch out for when someone is lying to you include:
- People are inclined to alter the position of their head quickly.
- They usually stand really still.
- They could also present with breathing changes.
- They usually repeat their words and phrases when they talk.
- They might give out too many details.
Do you look away when you lie?
When a person is lying, he often finds it hard to look you in the eye directly. He would rub his eyes to avoid looking at you, or he would look down. On the other hand, psychologists agree that when someone looks to the right upper corner, he is most likely lying, while glancing to the left upper corner indicates that he is telling the truth.
How do you tell if someone is lying about cheating?
Here are some signs to watch out for if you suspect that your partner is cheating and does not admit it:
- He gets defensive.
- He lies about other issues and things.
- He touches his face often.
- He makes too much eye contact.
- He would include the word ‘honesty’ in his sentences often.
- He would manage a fake smile.
- His pupils are usually dilated.
How does a guilty person act when accused?
If you blame a person for lying or doubt their story, be attentive to how the person reacts. A guiltless person may be insulted and will most probably question you. However, a guilty person may go further up to the point of defending himself. You may also see him scream, cry, or even accuse you if he is actually lying.
Is getting angry a sign of lying?
When a liar gets defensive or unfriendly, he may attempt to twist the truth and make it against you. He becomes aggressive because he is furious that you have uncovered his lies, which may cause a lot of pointing fingers.
What does hatred do to a person?
It is draining. Intense emotions also elicit the surge of stress hormones to the brain. When one bottles up his feelings like hatred, a release of these hormones is constant, which may cause increased inflammation throughout the entire body and may even result in significant health problems.
How do I stop feeling hurt?
Here are some simple things you can try to stop feeling upset or hurt:
- Spend a few minutes breathing and contemplating your feelings without criticizing or analyzing them.
- Put a name to your feelings to detach these feelings from the kind of person you are.
- Please do not attempt to neglect your feelings or deny that you have them.
- Acknowledge that nobody harms a person unless they are hurting as well.
- Accept that you might have contributed to the circumstance that you’re in.
- Do a kind deed today.
- Try to meditate regularly.
Online therapy can definitely help people manage their depression and anxiety, along with other mental health illnesses. Studies reveal that online treatment is as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy. People should check with their school, college, workplace, and national and local organizations to discover more about the accessibility of free online therapy.
If, for some reason, online therapy is impossible to access, people can choose a range of other free or affordable resources. With support and treatment, individuals with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders can begin to improve or feel better.
I grew up with a big sister named Olivia, who always acted strangely for as long as I could remember. We had a five-year age gap, so she should be reading and writing when I entered preschool. However, I could remember Mom teaching us how to do that together, and it was often I who could answer our mother’s questions. Sometimes, Olivia would sit in front of the blackboard quietly; other times, she would begin to wail when Mom acted stern and then flip our little tables, tear our papers, and break our crayons.
In my young mind, I thought Olivia’s actions were ordinary, especially since Mom and Dad never got angry or scolded my big sister. Whenever she had a meltdown, I noticed how they would take a deep breath and exhale as slowly as possible with their eyes closed. Once my sister had calmed down, they would clean up after her and even smile sweetly at her. So, when I acted up when Mom gave me broccoli for the first time and threw the food on the floor, I was so shocked when she yelled at me and told me to go to my room and repent for wasting food like that.
That was perhaps the first time I felt resentment toward my family. I resented my mother for scolding me for something that my big sister always did. It was not food that she wasted but also clothes, art materials, and grandma’s plants in the backyard. They shook their heads, but they did not say a word.
Of course, I also resented Olivia during that time. I wondered why my parents treated her like an untouchable all the time. They could not bear to scold her or put her on timeout; whatever she did seemed acceptable to them. It did not even seem to bother them when she peed in her pants every time she got mad.
Understanding The Situation
I stayed resentful towards my family for a couple of years. I felt like Olivia was the favored child in the house, so I tried to distance myself from everyone and not show any emotion. For instance, when my mother made me stay on the porch after my big sister took my favorite pen and I screamed “like a maniac,” I did so without begging Mom to let me back inside. It did not matter if the mosquitoes had my blood for lunch and snacks; I just remained there without crying or frowning. I only went in around dinnertime when my father picked me up and took me back to the house.
My resentment evaporated, though, when I entered middle school. One of our topics was autism disorder back then. During the lecture, the teacher said, “It is often challenging to figure out who has autism based on face value alone. Even doctors take months or years to diagnose someone with this condition. But you can notice some of the common symptoms, such as being unable to communicate, learning slower than their peers, living in their own world, and throwing meltdowns like a little child at any age.”
I went home on that day and asked Mom and Dad if Olivia had autism, considering those were the same symptoms I saw in her for years. They came clean, embarrassed for not telling me sooner. “We did not know how to explain it to a child,” Mom uttered. “Your father and I don’t even understand autism. We just try our best to raise your sister well.”
One Out Of My Three Kids Ended Up With Autism
My relationship with my parents and Olivia improved instantly. I understood my big sister and helped look after, even though I was much younger. This experience allowed me to handle things better when I had kids, and my eldest child ended up getting diagnosed with autism-like Olivia.
Ever since I learned about it, I reacted in the opposite way that Mom and Dad did – I talked about it to my two younger children. I did not give them the medical jargon; I merely said, “Listen, guys, I hope you will always play with Jess and not get mad when she throws a tantrum. Your big sister does not feel well, so you should be there for her.” Luckily, I raised great kids. Though they were still young, they did as I asked. I even found out that the little ones acted as Jess’s bodyguards at school and looked out for her all the time.
No matter how complicated autism is to talk about in front of children, you should do it. Keeping them in the dark for an extended period might cause them to resent their ill sibling as I did with my sister Olivia. I regretted feeling that way when I found out about her condition, and I carried that with me even now.
If you explain your autistic child’s mental health to their siblings, you can protect their mental health, too.
The hard truth is that it is difficult to love someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder fully. It’s hard always to be hesitant of what to say and often feeling like you’re walking on bombs that might explode anytime. You walk on tiptoes, not knowing what step or words will set off the bomb of emotion. This is something that you want to avoid.
If someone in your family is diagnosed with ADHD, you know by now that they suffer every day. Life for them is tougher than the rest of the members who don’t have it. Everything is extreme and overblown. Their intelligent brains are always actively formulating, wondering, building, and never stopping. Can you just imagine what it feels like to a roller coaster in your brain that never ceases to turn and tumble?
From emotional flare-ups to intense opposing behaviors, ADHD manifests several features that may be dangerous to relationships – to families, couples, and friendships. It is a shadowy condition filled with opposites and exaggerations. For example, in terms of focus, you most certainly have noticed that your loved one finds it hard to concentrate when they are distracted or feeling emotional. But when they are very curious about a specific subject, they focus so profoundly that it’s so difficult to get them out of the zone that they’re in. Starting them with an activity is daunting but making them stop is more challenging.
Indeed, true love must be unreserved, but ADHD presents with circumstances that push you to your boundaries in terms of loving someone, even a family member. Whether it’s your husband, your child, or any member of the family, ADHD puts relationships to the test. The most preferred way to set your mind at ease and bring peace into the family is to start learning a different mindset to manage the emotional chaos that ADHD carries to the fold every day and all the time of the day.
Trying to understand what your family member with ADHD feels will help you improve on how to deal with them and become more loving, patient, empathic, and compassionate. Keep in mind these characteristics that your loved one with ADHD presents.
They get easily worried and anxious
As profound thinkers, they are overly wise to the things, people, and words around them. When they are in a crowded restaurant with people laughing boisterously, they feel like they’re in the front row of a rock concert. A sad news clip can set them up for a whole depressing day.
It’s hard for them to focus when they’re emotional
If they’re worried over something or if they feel annoyed, your loved one with ADHD cannot and will not think about anything else. This makes it difficult for him to communicate properly or work efficiently.
They focus too extremely
When they set their minds on something, on the other hand, they delve deep into it, and you won’t pull them off from that something very easily. They would go way too deep.
They have very active minds
The ADHD brain never ceases. The ordinary on and off switch is nowhere to be found in that brain of theirs, and there are no brakes either. This is something that one has to deal with.
They appear to be listening, but they’re not absorbing
Your loved one may be looking at you when you are talking, watching your mouth move, but the first sentence will take a long time to absorb. They hear you, but their mind is somewhere else. They are contemplating the opening and closing of your mouth and how your eyes are looking at you.
It’s difficult for them to work on one task consistently
Rather than concentrating on something or someone facing them, individuals with ADHD look blankly at the beautiful painting hanging on the wall, or that weird insect moving vigorously in the air. Like going through a maze, they move in one path, but they can’t stay on for long. They’ll soon be busy finding a new path.
When they begin a task, they find it hard to stop
When they’re doing something interesting, they can do it for hours without stopping. Even when they’re exhausted or hungry or thirsty, they won’t get food or water because they can’t keep their eyes and minds off their target.
They are not able to control their emotions
For a loved one with ADHD, their emotions are over the top and hard to contain. The intricate wires in their intelligent brains cause their feelings and thoughts hard to process. They require more time than usual for their systems to operate efficiently.
They are talented and profoundly perceptive
When they look at the outside of a box, they see what’s inside. This is one of the most beautiful and interesting aspects of ADHD and what makes them geniuses. Artists, writers, performers, and inventors flourish in this area.
Truly, your family member with ADHD can be difficult to love and care, but when you get to understand the affliction that they are battling against every single day, your heart will soften. Love and affection will take over anger and annoyance. Now you see a soul that wants only to be understood and accepted.
It is quite disappointing that some people think that having ADHD during this pandemic is a disaster. That no matter how they try and think about positivity, they often believe that people like us with the condition won’t make it in a day. It is not that alarming, but quite hurtful though. Yes, we may be struggling with some mental health issues, but we are confident that the emotional aspects are all the same with those individuals who don’t have a mental condition like us.
When other people think about ADHD, impulsiveness often comes first in their minds. Well, not that it is not correct, but some interpretations during this pandemic are not that true. Others assume that we get to feel pressure ten times more that we don’t think about our actions and responses anymore. Honestly, we do know what we are doing. It is just that we can’t control ourselves sometimes, especially when we feel too anxious. But who else doesn’t? I mean, most people struggling during this time acts impulsively. These people do not think through their decisions and rely on quick feelings too.
Poor Time Management Skills
For individuals with ADHD, time management is quite confusing and hard. I certainly agree that people with a mental condition like us often fail to prioritize tasks and sometimes fail to handle their obligations. But in this time of the pandemic, people with ADHD are not the only ones prone to those unhealthy skills. Normal individuals without mental condition also suffer from a lack of self-esteem due to their inability to handle their time properly. It is not only us that live in a world full of uncertainties. So there is no sense in looking down on us just because we suffer from a mental illness.
Low Frustration Tolerance
Another disappointing thing is when people make us feel that we are overreacting about everything. That our condition is something that they can laugh about because they think we are not in control. Well, at the point of controlling our mood and reactions, they might be right. But for the majority of all individuals in the world, I can pretty much say that they also have low frustration tolerance during this time of the pandemic. People experience a lot of financial, emotional, physical, and mental issues that break them. So that means low frustration tolerance is not limited to us people with ADHD only.
Hard To Control Behavior
Perhaps this is the worse time for us with ADHD because others look at us as unreasonable individuals. As much as we want to behave generally as others do, there are limitations to what we can offer due to our mental health condition. When people tell us that we are unreasonable for not paying attention, having trouble focusing, and disorganizing, they are correct. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t listen. That doesn’t mean we intentionally want to present behaviors they dislike. Honestly, we can function and concentrate.
Can’t Handle Relationship
Sadly, for most people, they view individuals with ADHD in a very hurtful way. Most of them assume that because we have ADHD, we are no longer capable of being in a relationship. And that our mental condition is locked in psychological learning disorder that overlaps mental incapacity. But that’s not true. Yes, we encounter some problems with our relationship due to our behaviors, but we are still capable of loving and caring.
There are quite a few individuals with ADHD who might fit into other people’s descriptions. But I encourage everyone to learn more about our condition before handing out their judgment. If regular counseling does not work for you, you can always try talk therapy through BetterHelp. It may help you sort your thoughts and emotions better than talking to loved ones.
I know the situation can be difficult and challenging for individuals who are managing ADHD during this pandemic. However, if the system, plans, and organization of addressing the condition during this chaos get noted, there could be a slight chance of a better life. And if people with ADHD maintain their schedule the way they usually do, it can be a great help in allowing them to stay emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy amidst this global crisis.
The Important List Of Reminders
Ensure Enough Medication – If you are a person with ADHD and are taking medications, you need to have enough of what you are taking. Since the pandemic situation limits people from going outside, your number one priority is to avoid running out of your prescription. But you also have to consider the disadvantages of having too much. You might get caught up with too many drugs on your reach and become dependent on it all the time. With that, be sure to check regularly and only secure the amount you need so you can continue taking your meds.
Adjust On Your Routine And Stick With It – Now that you experience this weirdness of the situation, you need to stick to the new routine, you can come up with as much as possible. This level of disruption in your life will make it challenging to keep your focus on productive things. You have to try adjusting to your schedules and then try to work on it slowly and manageably. Make adjustments that are necessary for your living. But note that you can’t put things all together. So if you can also partition the things you can do in a day, it would be great.
Be Considerate In Meeting Your Body’s Needs – Normally, having an ADHD condition requires you to eat healthily. It will allow you to fuel your body with enough nutrients and energy. Yes, there will be times that you won’t have access to the healthy foods you usually eat. With that, you need to ensure proper exercise to compensate for that insufficiency. It doesn’t have to be a full-course workout session. You only need some physical activities that are enough to pump your immune system. You can do some push-ups, sit-up, jumping jacks, and so on. Then it would be best if you also got enough sleep to allow your body to self-heal and rejuvenate.
Secure A Social Connection With people – Having ADHD is challenging; that is why you need an outlet for emotional and mental strain. You need to ensure to keep contact with people even though they are not within reach. You can try and utilize technological devices to communicate with your loved ones and share thoughts with them. Ensure to have a meaningful conversation that can allow you to vent out emotions. Do not let yourself get drained with isolation and loneliness. Remind yourself always to find an alternative to connect socially.
Find Time To Meditate – In this pandemic time, there is so much negativity going on that can affect your current condition. So before it entirely takes a toll on your life, be sure you practice meditation. Be mindful of connecting your mind and body to your inner peace so that you can deal with this situation properly. Yes, things will not always go your way. But when you stay positive despite the chaos that has been going around, you will emotionally and mentally make it.
During this global crisis, it is hard to keep up with your schedule, especially if you have a mental condition. So be sure to keep up with these reminders. If you seek help, the BetterHelp psychologists may be what you are searching for. You can trust them to assist you for as long as you need them.