I wish I hadn’t thought having ADHD was out of the ordinary. It’s really not out of the ordinary to have it; it’s actually really quite common. I notice it now in other kids in my town–I’m only 18 and I can notice it in kids younger than me instantly…I think having ADHD helps me understand the perspectives of other kids who have it. I can understand what they’re going through and how they’re thinking, that type of thing.
Get a psychiatrist
I think that if your kid has ADHD, first of all you need to get a psychiatrist who knows what they are doing. You can’t let the kid be the one to say, “I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that.” You have to be the one. The parents have to make sure that the kid is doing everything they are supposed to do to work past it. You have to have a system and some sort of standards the kid is expected to meet and you have to hold them to it. You can’t let them run amuck. It’s not necessarily easy to do all those things you are expected to do and if no one holds you to it you are just going to not do it because it’s hard.
Don’t abuse medications
If they aren’t already, I would tell kids to take their medication because it really helps. Also just to add information, in college a lot of people abuse their medication or people try to get medication if they are not prescribed it. So people should be careful with their medication and make sure they aren’t abusing it and just taking it when they need to.
Be supportive of your child and explain everything to them
For parents whose kids have ADHD I would tell them to be supportive of their child and to explain everything to them in a way they can understand. Children always want to know what is going on so just explain it to them. I would also say listen to yourself but also listen to what your child is saying. The effect the medication has may benefit your child even if they don’t want to go on it. But be understanding of your child, don’t blame them because they don’t do things quickly or they misplace things. Try to talk to them to find out what’s wrong and be inventive to come up with ways to help them pay attention and remember things.
I was resistant to therapy even though it was just about checking my medication because my psychiatrist was only interested in medication and we never talked about anything else. I thought, “How can she just put me on this without knowing me and my life?” I never had a good relationship with my psychiatrist because I never respected her. It is important to have someone who you respect otherwise any type of therapy can be counterproductive.