How to Deal with ADHD as a Parent

A lot of parents I work with have shared that they don’t have ADHD and don’t understand it. They ask, “Why can’t my child just do their homework?” I totally get it. If you don’t have the same ADHD brain as your child, it’s hard to understand how they work. As a person and mom with ADHD, I’m happy to share some tips I’ve learned through my experiences to help you deal with ADHD and thrive as a parent raising a child with ADHD. 

What You’ll Hear in This Episode

  • What it’s like to have ADHD
  • Wellness tips for your child with ADHD
  • How to keep your child with ADHD busy

What’s It Like to Have ADHD?

Imagine you’re in a room with traffic. There are cars all around you and it’s super noisy. You don’t know where you are in the room or where the exit is. You’re worried about not being hit by a car, while also trying to cross the street, while making sure your family is following you, while there are birds squawking in the sky, while kids are playing basketball across the street, while a construction truck blares its horn…

That’s what an ADHD brain feels like. There’s so much distraction and noise around you that it’s difficult to focus on one thing at a time. It’s hard to deal with ADHD for the kids who have it and the parents trying to raise the child. 

Wellness Tips for Your Child with ADHD

I always preach the importance of wellness when it comes to managing your ADHD in a holistic way. I personally don’t use medication to manage my ADHD (no shade to those who do!) I’ve learned to manage my symptoms through wellness. 

So, how do you help your child with ADHD?

1. Diet

Reducing sugar intake is my number one tip for helping kids manage their ADHD. We want to avoid the foods that cause hyperactivity. 

  • Red dye-40
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Fried foods
  • Preservatives
  • Processed foods
  • Caffeine

I know you can’t avoid these all the time, and kids deserve treats once in a while, but minimizing their intake of these foods will benefit their overall health and ADHD management.

2. Screen Time

Reducing screen time will help reduce ADHD symptoms. Kids with ADHD can focus much better when they don’t have a screen in front of them. People say they have the TV on for white noise, but it’s so distracting to ADHD kids. The screen and the noise are too much for their brain to handle, especially while they’re trying to focus on something like homework. Turn off electronics and don’t allow them to use their phones, computers (unless necessary), or tablets until after they finish their homework. 

3. Emotional Attention

People with ADHD are known for being sensitive. We require a lot of emotional attention, especially as kids. We need to feel our parent’s love and know they are proud of us. Words of affirmation are huge for kids with ADHD. You need to actually say the words because our actions are constantly being corrected. We need to hear that we are loved, appreciated, and valued.

4. Give Them Choices

Instead of always telling them what to do, give them a choice and allow them to make decisions. This will help them build self-confidence. Maybe it’s allowing them to pick what the family does on a Saturday. When you follow through with their suggestion, they earn so much confidence in themselves. 

5. Be Patient

Things aren’t going to change overnight with your child. You have to be patient with them and allow them to learn at their rate. When you deal with ADHD in the right way, your child can thrive.

Diet, exercise, sleep, and routines can greatly impact how your child will deal with ADHD. 

How to Keep Your Child Busy

You know how hard it is to get your child with ADHD to sit still. They’re constantly wanting to do something and be somewhere. They have a lot of energy!

During school breaks, how do you keep them busy and productive? The first thing is to have a routine. You should have a routine already when school is in session, but you should also maintain it during breaks. 

On summer break, help them learn new skill sets so they can grow. You could enroll them in a camp or class or teach them yourself. Here are some examples:

  • Basketball camp (learning a technique)
  • Sewing class (work with their hands)
  • Reading challenge (learning to sit still and read a story)
  • Gardening (learning about the earth, insects, and vegetation)
  • Cooking (following instructions)

The more you can teach them outside of school, the more they can apply those skills to the classroom. So, if they loved reading over summer break, they now know how to sit still to finish a task. I encourage you to try a few different things with them to see what they like doing!

I know it can be hard to deal with ADHD if you don’t have it yourself. But I hope this episode sheds some light on what it’s like to have ADHD and how you can be the best parent to your child with ADHD. Send me a message on Instagram if you have other questions about ADHD!

If you liked this episode, check out…

Episode 4: How I Manage My ADHD Without Medication

Episode 25: What is ADHD Impulsivity?

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To inquire about being a guest on the podcast, submit a topic, or ask a question for a future episode, please email Laila.

Laila is a Holistic Nutrition Coach and Math Tutor. She is goal driven and mission oriented and is here to support, encourage, and push you towards the results you want, ready to help people of all ages become mission-fit to explore their full potential. As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, she deeply understands the intricate challenges related to creating a new habit and sticking with it. Her online nutrition programs and online math tutoring cater to those with similar difficulties.

To learn more about Laila, or to inquire about working with her, visit

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