Tips for Parents With Adult ADD

Learn How to Keep Your Household and Family Life Organized

Severin Schweiger

When you're in charge of a household, it's up to you to plan the budget and the meals ... keep the calendar straight...vacuum the carpets ... and keep life running smoothly. Not an easy task for anyone, especially when children are involved. For a parent with ADHD, the task can seem almost impossible. After all, folks with ADHD have challenges with every aspect of "managing a household," from planning and scheduling to staying on task to providing a calm, predictable atmosphere for growing children.

Because life with children and ADHD can be so challenging, many parents feel overwhelmed. Even ordinary day to day life—with its boring routines, time restrictions, and unexpected events—can be difficult. Then, toss in a child with their own challenges, a sick parent, or an unemployed spouse, and things can quickly get out of control. Fortunately, here are some simple strategies parents with ADHD can implement at home to make life more organized and enjoyable.

Start By Improving Your Own Self-Image

Start by developing a positive self-concept. If you focus on what you can’t do, your children may adopt this same attitude—especially if they struggle with the same ADHD traits that are causing you frustration.

The Importance of Self-Care

Parents spend so much time putting their children first that their own self-care can easily get neglected. Parenting a child with ADHD can be isolating, overwhelming, and exhausting! You may question whether there are things you should be doing differently. It may even cause strain within the family and in your relationship with your partner. These feelings are human feelings and they are a normal part of being a parent.

Parenting With ADHD

Being a parent is tough; being a parent with ADHD raises the toughness factor. It can be overwhelming to manage and organize the family when you are having a hard time organizing your own life.

One study found that moms with ADHD struggle with such parenting practices as discipline, responding to children's negative emotions, and positive parenting. Both moms and dads with ADHD report higher levels of chaos in the home.

While research is minimal, studies have begun to explore how the following symptoms of adult ADHD play a role in parenting:

  • Cognitive processes: working memory, planning, inhibitory control
  • Motivational or arousal difficulties: response to incentives, delay aversion
  • Self-regulation deficits: self-monitoring of performance to detect errors or the need to regulate emotions or behaviors

Tips for Moms with ADHD

Moms are often the family manager, caregiver, disciplinarian, nutritionist, cook, homework helper, scheduler, taxi driver, mediator, nurse, and housekeeper. We fill so many different roles and these are just a few. We strive to be “supermom” and inevitably fail to measure up.

If these are common feelings that all mothers experience, imagine how a mom with ADHD feels! How on earth can she take on all these roles for her family, when she struggles daily with organizing and prioritizing her own life. If your child has ADHD, your need to create structure and organizational strategies increase two-fold.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Mokrova I, O’Brien M, Calkins S, Keane S. Parental adhd symptomology and ineffective parenting: the connecting link of home chaosParenting. 2010;10(2):119-135. doi:10.1080/15295190903212844

  2. Johnston C, Lui JHL, Williamson D. Adult ADHD and positive parenting – is there a relationship? The ADHD Report. 2014;22(1):1-5. doi:10.1521/adhd.2014.22.1.1

  3. Johnston C, Mash EJ, Miller N, Ninowski JE. Parenting in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Adhd)Clinical Psychology Review. 2012;32(4):215-228. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2012.01.007

By Keath Low
 Keath Low, MA, is a therapist and clinical scientist with the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina. She specializes in treatment of ADD/ADHD.