Being a parent to a daughter with ADHD is an incredible journey. However, the path can quickly become unruly when facing your child’s inattentive symptoms. Dealing with the daily mess and clutter, homework that is days past due and the constant nagging can take an emotional toll on you and your daughter.
It can take years of trial and error to understand that certain do’s and don’ts of parenting aren’t as effective for your child, even if those methods work for other kids. All of this can feel isolating, but you and millions of other parents and their kids are not alone.
A proactive approach to parenting girls with ADHD can create the best possible outcome for her overall wellbeing. To be a proactive parent means building a positive and empowering connection with your child, with the goal of bringing out the best version of herself with patience, mindfulness and unconditional love.
As parents, we owe it to our child to take a deeper look into her current thought processes and to place ourselves into her shoes. Being a girl with ADHD is no easy feat, especially with the modern pressures that girls face as they grow into independent women.
We’ll delve into some key points about becoming a proactive parent and what it means for you and your parenting a daughter with ADHD.
5 Simple Tips for Parenting a Daughter with ADHD
If you have a daughter with ADHD, it can be an overwhelming and emotional journey. Although I can’t give you everything you need to know to make parenting a daughter with ADHD easy (it will never be easy), these simple strategies and tips can help make the ADHD parenting journey just a bit easier.
Take One Step at a Time in Your ADHD Journey.
This is a common phrase but rings true when it comes to guiding our daughters with ADHD. Her brilliant mind is buzzing with innovation, creativity and new ideas, even if she does seem quiet and reserved. With so many potential roads in life, it can become overwhelming for a child with ADHD to lay a proper foundation of measurable goals. Encouraging your daughter to take baby steps will help her focus on one small goal at a time in order to tackle the bigger tasks ahead.
Help Her Navigate Strong Emotions.
As your daughter learns and grows, the way she feels about herself and the world around her will change. Some days will be more difficult than others. Racing thoughts can quickly turn into overwhelm and further aggravate ADHD symptoms. When this happens, allow her to step back, take a break and breathe. As she decompresses, encourage her to sort her emotions and thoughts aloud to you. After verbalizing these thoughts, you both can work together to decipher the root cause of the emotional shutdown. Allowing your daughter to confide in you will build a stronger, more trusting relationship. She’ll feel relieved knowing you will always hold a safe space for her.
Strategize with Your Daughter
It is important to provide your daughter with genuine thought and care without becoming a “helicopter” parent. Parenting a child with ADHD proactively will require more patience than you’ll likely realize. Building a strategy based on routine is especially important for girls with ADHD. Repetition, reassurance and redirection when she falls off the path of concentration will help build healthy habits for her present and future success. Again, baby steps are the foundation to achieving measurable goals.
Think Before you React to ADHD Outbursts.
Earlier, we mentioned helping your daughter carefully navigate her emotions. The same applies to you, the parent, as you navigate your own emotions. It is easy to allow negativity to manifest in difficult circumstances. When we act out on our feelings of anger, confusion and frustration, remember that these are natural core responses to stressful situations. If this happens, forgive yourself. Remember that you and your child are only human and growing through this journey together. Moving forward, take a moment to pause and breathe before reacting. When it comes to your daughter’s emotions, she will take whatever reaction you display deeply to heart. Be careful in your choice of words, as she will model her own behavior based on your reactions.
Be Your Daughter’s ADHD Advocate.
Naturally, a growing girl’s self-confidence will ebb and flow through the course of her growth. A child with ADHD may have more difficulty recognizing her own self-worth due to social, academic and cognitive struggles. Think back on the times in which she has made you immensely proud. Remind your daughter that she is loved and will always have your support. Reassure that you will provide her guidance while still respecting her independence, which is imperative to her growth as an individual.
All in all, parenting your child with ADHD will be completely different than any other child. Your daughter is more than her ADHD diagnosis and deserves your utmost attention and patience as her trusted guide. Not only will your daughter learn to cope with ADHD with your support, but she’ll learn to use her new-found coping skills to excel in ways she didn’t think was possible.