How to Reduce the Stigma of ADHD as a Parent

Moms answer the question what it is like to parent a kid with ADHDParenting is hard, even under the “easiest” of circumstances. But when you have a neurodiverse child, it can create additional stressors. ADHD in children is not an easy subject. There is so much stigma around the topic in society, schools, and even our families. If you are like me, having a child diagnosed with ADHD can affect all parts of your child’s life — school, friendships, and even family relationships. The rollercoaster that exists daily, sometimes hourly, can be frustrating, isolating, and depressing. 

This is not bad parenting. This is not your child just being difficult. Sometimes they just do not have the ability — yet — to control certain impulses. Sometimes, they do not have the ability — yet — to focus in a setting that is not conducive for movement. 

So what on earth do you do? How do you parent through this and still maintain some sort of sanity? How do you get others on the same page (or do you)? 

>> LISTEN :: What It’s Like to Parent a Child with ADHD :: Momfessions Podcast :: Episode 42 <<

Parenting children with ADHD can be tricky because it is invisible. You cannot see how the brain is different, but you see the behaviors and characteristics manifest because of a neurodiverse brain.

Know that you are not alone and that this is really hard. Seriously, really hard. The stigma is real, but there are ways to navigate this every day through your family relationships and external relationships.

Parenting and Communication 

What if you and your spouse or partner are not on the same page with parenting a child with ADHD? One person may be more “old school” in the approach and maybe one is not. 

Just like we appreciate and accept difference of opinion, with your child, it can be downright hard. This is a situation where you have to over-communicate with one another. You have to be honest about your struggles and triumphs when it comes to parenting. So many of us grew up in a different era where neurodiversity was not even a word, or thought!

This is really hard to find the equilibrium with something we are only scratching the surface on. Do your best to communicate with openness and respect and remember that each person comes in with different experiences and opinions. 

But when it is all said and done, you have to come up with a plan of action for parenting your child that you both agree on. These conversations are hard but necessary, not only for you both but also for your child. 

>> RECOMMENDED RESOURCE :: Activities for Kids with Differences and Disabilities in the Fort Worth Area <<

External Relationships 

Many of us grew up in a time frame where ADHD was considered a behavior issue and bad parenting. As we know more about child development and the brain in general, we need to be better at communicating these differences. We have to tell the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers what our child is going through. Sometimes, they need an adjustment in order to be successful. 

A mother holds her head in frustration as she grips a cup of coffee.

If both parents are on the same page, it makes it much easier to explain a different type of routine, communication style, or structure. It creates an opportunity for those other relationships to be better equipped with education. 

>> RELATED READ :: For the Mom of Kids Who Don’t Have Learning Disabilities <<


You have to give yourself grace through this journey. You will make a mistake and you will have amazing days. Look at things through the lens of your child. They look to parents for guidance on how to emotionally regulate and for security.

Our children need to feel emotionally safe to be who they are, even if it manifests differently from other children!

So this patience is mostly for you, you need to accept that this road is not easy and will not be easy. But, as you try to reduce the stigma of ADHD, please realize how wonderful it is that you are creating that rock for your child to navigate their challenges of life being confident in who they are because of you.

Melissa is from Connecticut and moved to Texas in 2012. She is married to Willie, a Marine Corps Veteran and they have two children, Liam (2015) and Penelope (2020). Melissa runs her own Edward Jones branch as a financial advisor and serves her community by volunteering on multiple nonprofit boards. When Melissa isn’t juggling all the things as a working mom, she lives off of coffee and loves fantasy football and reading. Most of all, she loves to spend time with her family.


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