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Beyond The Maze

How to Have a Harmonious House with ADHD

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ADHD and the word harmony generally don’t go together, there are meltdowns, sibling rivalry, arguments, defiance, nagging to get things done and frustration over the things that don’t get done.  However, there is a way we can make things a little more harmonious in the home with ADHD in the house and it starts with you.

Most of our frustration and anger is due to things not going the way they are ‘supposed’ to be going.  So, the situation is conflicting with our reality.

I had a situation just last night in my house where my son was stuffing about finishing his homework and it was frustrating me to no end.

I was in the kitchen trying to prepare dinner, meanwhile he was at the dining room table moving around the chairs to the table and playing with the dog while he was supposed to be doing his homework that was due the next day.

He just wasn’t in the headspace to be doing homework and it was maths!  He loves math, but he just wasn’t in the groove last night.  Boy I was frustrated.  I was sick of him moving the furniture around, walking around the table and annoying the dog and I found myself getting increasingly angry and frustrated.

If he just stopped mucking about for 5 minutes he could just finish his homework and the drama would be over.  How familiar does that sound?

In truth our realities were conflicted.   Mine was that he should just stop for 5 minutes and get it done, his was that he didn’t want to do it, so he stuffed about.  I needed to change my own perception to accept that this is what he needed to do to get the job done.  I am sure if my frustration wasn’t fighting his need to move about so much and accept the way he needed to do it the process would have been a lot more harmonious.

Here are few tips to help you through some tough situations:

  1. Accept the situation for what it is. Your idea of how you feel a situation should go is not necessarily how someone else sees it going or how it will pan out.
  2. Detach yourself. If you are unable to accept the situation then remove yourself from it.   Walk away and regain your composure if you can.  Sometimes just taking a couple of minutes to yourself to take a breath can make all the difference.  You can come back and re-assess with a different mindset.
  3. See the other side. Put yourself in the other persons shoes and see what is going on for them.   What are they thinking?   Are there other factors involved that may prevent the situation from going a certain way?
  4. Remember, how you think a situation “should” go doesn’t necessarily mean that is right. There may be many ways to do something and you must remember that your way isn’t necessarily the correct way, it is what you believe is the right way.
  5. Understand that the two realities may not even match. This means that your way of thinking could be completely different to your child or the person you are trying to get to do something for you.   Using the above steps will help you step back from the situation and accept that sometimes views don’t need to align for things to work, a simply understanding may suffice.

Once you can start accepting reality as it is at the time things will start to get better.  It doesn’t mean that you won’t still have your days where you are frustrated and get angry, but it will definitely help, not only in the home but in everyday life.

So, what is your reality?  How are you telling yourself things should go?

Think about it.

Paula is an ADHD coach, parent advocate and author who is passionate about helping parents with children living with ADHD and changing society’s opinion on ADHD.  Paula is available for speaking events also.

If you want more information on how to work with your ADHD child feel free to contact Paula at

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