Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to see us again this week! Today we’re wrapping up our series “Homeschooling with ADHD” by talking about the non-ADHD children in the family.
Since children with ADHD can be extremely unpredictable, it’s easy to spend an entire day just helping them to manage their emotions, work on their impulses, and communicate their feelings. Before you know it, your children who don’t have ADHD have gone an entire day without spending any meaningful time with you.
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Challenges for Parents
It’s not that we don’t love those children as much as our special needs kids. It’s that they don’t seem to need as much hands-on attention as the others. While this can be a huge help on the days when your ADHD kids are really struggling, it can also leave those children feeling neglected.
In our family, Tigger (our oldest child) has ADHD. We suspect that Roo (our youngest boy) also has it as well. On top of that, we have Piglet (the seven-month old) who naturally needs a lot of care.
Pooh (our oldest boy), though, does not seem to have ADHD, at least as far as we can tell. He’s capable of long periods of concentration and he can sit still very well for a four-year-old. He’s also very deliberate in his actions, often taking time to think something out before he speaks or acts.
These qualities are great assets to our family, but they can also make it seem as if he’s self-sufficient. But he’s not self-sufficient. He’s a four-year-old boy who needs his parents’ time and attention just like the other children.
Making Time for Your Non-ADHD Kids
When Jay worked away from home, I would be so overwhelmed with the other three children that I’d simply forget to spend time with him. Inside, I’d be grateful that he could keep himself entertained for long periods of time, because it freed me up to care for the other kids.
But I started to forget that he needed me, even if he never said it. One of the first things he told me after Jay started working from home was that he’d been wanting to spend time with me for a while, which made me feel terrible.
So I’m learning to accommodate him just as much as our special needs kids. I stop now and talk to him separately from the others. I show him regular affection during the day. I’ve even scheduled specific times where the two of us do activities together.
Jay spends a lot of time working with him and teaching him everyday. Interestingly, his temper tantrums (which had become an almost daily occurrence) have practically stopped. He just needed us to slow down and remember that he needs attention too, even if it doesn’t look like it.
How do you spread your time between all of your children? Have you used any specific strategies to make sure your non-ADHD kids get what they need from you? Share your suggestions with us in the comments!
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Adapting as a Teacher
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Making Lifestyle Changes
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Preparing Kids to Learn
- Homeschooling with ADHD: Managing Expectations