ADHD is a well recognised neurodevelopmental disorder that involves problems with attention, impulse control, and in some cases, physical hyperactivity, and is one of the most commonly diagnosed behavioural disorders in children. Families can face a range of difficulties in managing the behavior of a child with ADHD, whilst also trying to maintain a balanced family lifestyle. The pressure and demands associated with trying to achieve this balance often result in tension and stress for the whole family. The time and effort required to manage a child with ADHD can also negatively impact siblings, leaving them feeling isolated or forgotten.
These symptoms can be very difficult to manage, both emotionally and physically, for the parent of a child with ADHD. The overwhelming responsibility you have to monitor their behaviour and keep them on track may leave you feeling completely drained, thereby reducing your ability to devote time and effort to other family members. If this is the case, you are not alone. This is a normal reaction experienced by many parents who have a child with ADHD, and it should not be endured on your own any longer.
As a parent, there are a lot of things that you can do to help control and reduce symptoms, and subsequently minimise stress. If you are a parent with a child diagnosed with ADHD, and are having difficulty staying positive and establishing structure, you may feel as though your relationship with your partner, or other family members is at risk. If this is the case for you, seek assistance from VCPS. It is important to be able to take care of yourself so that you can be a better support for a family member with ADHD, and are able to enjoy experiences with your family. Our psychologists are specialised in assisting in this area in a number of ways, including:
- Making changes to your parenting style to cater to your child’s needs
- Improving your organisational habits
- Developing a behaviour management plan to manage parent stress and anxiety
- Providing you with strategies on how to cope with extra demands
- Helping you and your family come to terms with your child having the disorder, either individually or as a family
- Providing emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative thoughts
- Educating you on the disorder, its symptoms, and the best practices for reducing these
- Assisting you in being the best support you can be for your child and the rest of your family members that may be affected
- Relaxation training
- Learning how to best help your child to manage their school work
- Helping to build up your own support system and self-care plan to reduce your stress and maintain a positive and happy life
If you think a family member may have ADHD but they have never received a diagnosis, an assessment with a qualified practitioner is recommended. VCPS has practitioners that specialise in conducting these assessments, which take into account home, social and school setting behaviours with rating forms for parents, teachers and youth. VCPS also has practitioners that specialise in assessments for ADHD in adults. The results of these assessments assist in developing informed intervention and treatment strategies.