What Your Friend Wants You to Know About Parenting Kids With ADHD

I am part of an elite group of moms.

We’re moms parenting children with ADHD.


Like most things about parenting, I was an expert before I had children of my own. I was so sure about so many things.

ADHD issues were one of them. How moms dealt with their kids whom they “claimed” had ADHD was another one. I put “claimed” in quotes because I wasn’t sure it was a real thing. I’m embarrassed for my younger self. Now I’m a mom of a child with ADHD and there are a few things I wish other people could see.


1.We are past worrying about things that don’t really matter like matching clothes and combed hair. That’s extra credit.We’re just praying our kids remember to shower and put on clean underwear. There are times I ask my son, “Do you even remember the last time you showered?” {He thinks this is funny. That’s why I can share it without embarrassing him}. Our kids have so much noise going on in their heads. We’ve learned to focus on the things that matter most.

2.It’s simultaneously infuriating and hilarious at the same time. The stories we have to tell are epic. The places our children have misplaced things.  The lengths we have gone to help them set up systems that keep them organized. It’s the stuff of sitcoms. We laugh because the alternative is despair. We’re pretty sure our kids are going to be able to feed and dress themselves appropriately on their own some day, but the journey to get there makes us doubt.


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3.Please don’t judge us for “bailing out” our kids. We’ve heard the comments that warn  us that if we just let the child fail their assignment or go to practice without their shoes, they will learn their lesson. We know you mean well, but you don’t know the entire story.

Sometimes kids forget things because they were careless. Yes. That absolutely happens. In that instance, it might be best to let the chips fall where they may.

There are other times it’s not because they were careless. It’s that they have 5 big assignments due on the same day and they worked their tails off to do a good job and they remembered to bring everything but one important thing. In that situation, I’m going to choose grace.

Our children can learn just as much from lovingly administered grace as a harsh consequence.

4.Sometimes it’s a behavior issue. Sometimes it’s a brain chemical issue. It’s hard to tell the difference, but we’re working on it. There is no excuse for being a lazy jerk. They have consequences they have to deal with that you don’t necessarily see. You may have seen me helping my 11-year-old put together his homework binder that was falling apart. You didn’t see the other things that he had to handle without me.

5.We are so thankful when you love our kids. When you see who they are past the disorganization, we are grateful. We know it’s not easy. We fail at it ourselves. So, when our friends tell us something encouraging about our kids or seem to actually enjoy them, we’re full of warm fuzzy feelings.


Do you have children who struggle with ADHD? What’s your biggest issue right now? I’d love to hear from you.


4 thoughts on “What Your Friend Wants You to Know About Parenting Kids With ADHD

  1. This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you Amy for always loving my kids and for sharing some great insight on parenting a child with ADHD!

  2. Until someone actually parents a child with “issues” whether ADHD or OCD or as is common, both, you can never understand. When we lived north we used to arrive at places when it was snowing outside only to discover shoes were left at home. Unfortunately we didn’t know about the issues until our son was 13. I wish I had known what was going on before. I might have been less Mommish and more teacherish.
    I can not tell you how many coats and for some reason belts have been replaced over the years and I was not always kind. All in all it is our job to help them “process” and hopefully if we get it down with them during their at home years, it is our goal that they will go out and function in society as grown ups. The high side of this is that these kids are usually very smart. It is however because they are all over the place with all the thoughts running through their heads that people misunderstand them. God has given you and Miranda your kids because he knew you would be the best to understand them. Keep plugging. I love the stories. We really need to all do lunch and share. There is hope. Mine is living on his own, in an apartment and getting to work and school every day and getting/preparing food for himself. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

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