When your child gets diagnosed with ADHD, it can feel overwhelming. You may have no idea where to start. Fortunately, there are so many different treatment options, but how do you know which ones are right for your child? If you are anything like me, you’ll go on a late night google search information binge trying to figure it all out. But before you start swimming in the sea of prognosis, medication options, therapy options, and other people’s advice, STOP FOR A MINUTE. Listen up. Do these three things before you do anything else. 1. Choose Love- The behaviors that have lead to this diagnosis have been frustrating for you, to say the least. You may even feel resentful toward your child. But remember your child is suffering too. Many kids who get this diagnosis feel like they are labeled as broken. They feel “deficient” and “disordered”. (Can we please give this condition another name?!) Now is the time to reaffirm your love for him. 2. Allow your Grief- Your expectations of your child’s life are shattered. This isn’t how you thought this would go. It’s ok to feel sad about it! Just be sad (or angry, or embarrassed, or overwhelmed) for a while and don’t judge yourself for whatever your are feeling. Most of us are really bad at this. We’ve learned to resist our feelings or just avoid them altogether. (Pizza and Netflix binge, anyone?) But feelings don’t just go away because we ignore them. They are persistent and can wreak havoc in other areas of our lives if we aren’t careful. I spend a lot of time with my clients teaching them how to allow their feelings. It’s a skill that takes practice, but the benefits are life changing! If you aren’t sure how to do this please contact me and I will give you the step by step process in a free mini session. 3. Remember, ADHD means one thing- It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. It doesn’t mean your son is inferior to his peers. It doesn’t mean you did something in your pregnancy to cause this. It doesn’t mean he’ll never be successful. It doesn’t mean he’s stupid. It doesn’t mean he’ll never have friends. It’s a diagnosis. It’s just a description of how his brain works. That’s it. Don’t make it mean all these other painful things that aren’t true. You’ve got this Momma. All the other decisions you’ll need to make can wait. Do these things first, and you’ll be in a much better place to handle it all.