Parenting children with ADHD can be tough. Probably, you have read a number of books on the subject, you know all about the benefits of positive parenting. You know what to do and may even have a behavioral chart on the wall.
But even the best intentions are not always enough. Sometimes, the frustrations boil over and we react, with negative parenting. We yell, we scream, and then we feel guilty.
Yes, we have all been there at one time or another. No matter how much we know that patience is the key, we have none left. It may be that we had a hard day. There is much that a parent must be responsible for. We must work, find ways to make sure our family is financially taken care of. That the bills are paid and there is food to eat. We must take care of household: there must be clean clothes for everyone each morning, the household chores must be done. Parenting is not just fun and games but takes a great deal of work. And parenting a child with ADHD increases the workload.
It is no wonder we find it difficult to keep it together all the time. We certainly can be forgiven our occasional digressions into negative parenting.
When these digressions come more often, however, it may be that you need to find some ways to de-stress. Here are five quick ideas to get you started:
- Solutions for Busy Moms website offers a Free Stress Relief Kit to help. There are several things to help unwind: a guided visualization, recipes for quick breakfast smoothies, an inspirational e-book, ideas for relaxing, and an audio recording on learning to love ourselves.
- Include time for yourself in your daily schedule. Take 10 minutes on your way home from work to stop at the park and take a walk. (Does it really matter if you arrive home at 5:30 or 5:40?)
- Join a web community with people that can relate to your situation (like the community here at ADHDCentral.)
- Take some time to send an email to friends. Just taking a few minutes to reach out to your friends can help you feel a connection to something pleasant.
- Hire a babysitter to take one evening a week/month (depending on your budget) to get out of the house without the kids. If your budget doesn’t include babysitting, you can get together with friends and trade babysitting so that each of you have an evening out or an evening alone with your husband without spending much money.
Remember that occasional outbursts do not indicate that you are a bad parent. This is probably more normal than parents that can always cope with daily life. Forgive yourself.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.