Helping Your Child with ADHD When You Also Have ADHD

CADDAC National Director

I often chat with parents who ask me how they can be expected to organize their child with executive functioning impairments when they have the same issues. If this is something that you struggle with, or find it challenging to calm tempers and put household strategies in place Dr. Mark Bertin’s recent Huffington Post article would be a great read. He talks about using a collaborative family approach to address the many issues that arise in households dealing with ADHD. Access Dr. Bertin’s Article

I always found working on complex organizational tasks and chores as a team with my kids lead to better outcomes. Telling one of my son to go and clean his room usually ended with a room that was even messier than before and escalated emotions, not the good kind, on both our parts. But, when we tackled this chore together, the room ended up clean and we were able to feel a sense of shared accomplishment. Working through the process with my son also forced me to think about what executive functioning skills were lacking and what the underlying impairments might be. It also made me consider how I might be able to help him practice these skills.

Another Tip

Once you’ve finished cleaning the room take pictures of various parts of the room, print and post them. This will help your child visualize what a clean room looks like – dirty clothes in the hamper, cleans ones in the drawers, toys in the bins, books on the shelf etc. Most kids with ADHD find visual cues, knowing what the end product is meant to look like, very helpful.

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