Parenting a complex ADHDer is a long and winding road that can often feel like you’re going in circles. The territory can be monotonous and familiar and you may even start resorting to auto pilot to keep things moving along. But there are definite seasons where uncharted territory catapults us into a frenzy, unsure how to proceed. It’s in these times that the “what ifs” can start stock piling and suddenly we feel a pressure to figure EVERYTHING out or surely our kid will forever be derailed.
We’ve been here more times than we can count. All of a sudden things stop working so well – and we know it can all go downhill quickly – so it sets off panic! School tends to be what has sparked this for us and we know we aren’t alone on this one. I can’t count how many meetings and interventions we’ve collectively made to tend to the tenuous relationship between home and school. Trying to make a place work. Trying to keep the plan we thought was a good one in place. Having plans are great, but the reality is it can equate to over planning for a complex ADHDer – and that can be to everyone’s detriment.
What we’ve found, especially in regards to school, is what works best is finding what works for now. We’ve been there, where we’ve researched and interviewed and found just the right place for our kid to learn and grow for the long haul – only to find it was only a fit for a year. Instinctively sometimes we’ll push and pull to make it work, but it doesn’t. That has left us frantic as suddenly we have more options to consider than we can count and we don’t even know where to start. It can be paralyzing to sift through it all to find what is best – especially if we start trying to make long term plans. We get it – change takes a lot of work so why not make changes that can stick for the long haul??
Well, we can. But the odds are we’re just fooling ourselves if we ever think we’ll be one and done with a complex ADHDer. What we have found to be the best next move is looking for just the best next move. Not a forever move – just a what’s best for now move. If you’re structured and you like to have a plan (like us) that can feel like a band aid. It kind of is. But getting our complex kids through to the very next stage then assessing what they need at that point is kinda the name of the game. It ensures they have what they need instead of them needing to be something they aren’t to make one place work.
Maybe you’re there right now, standing in the realization that your kid needs something new and the plan isn’t working. You probably feel overwhelmed and a bit exhausted at the very thought of starting over. Your mind is probably heading in the direction of infinite WHAT IFS. We don’t give advice, but we love to share what we have found to work. That being said: have your moment and lament being back at the drawing board. Then take a deep breath and remind yourself – you don’t have to make a whole life plan for your kid right now. Just find the very next right step for right now. Just one step.
We’d love to know how you’ve been navigating through these kind of parenting struggles. Please share your journey with us. If you’re in the middle of some changes right now remember – you’ve got this! We’re cheering you on!