I Have No Patience for My ADHD Child: Proven Tips to Help You Cope and Reduce Stress 

Julia Ovcharenko, CEO of Numo ADHD
May 21, 2024

Do you have a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Are you familiar with feeling like you have no more patience to give?

And then feeling guilty for even thinking you have no more patience for your kid?

No, you’re not evil. Only human. 

[Grim ADHD Parenting, Hopeful!]ADHD Parenting Reality Can Be Grim… But There’s Hope

No doubt, raising a kid with ADHD is not for the fainthearted. It is also very likely for a parent to feel like they have no more tolerance for their child's ‘antics.’ Whew! Having a child with ADHD can be hard on the family, and it is not uncommon for a parent to get to a point where they just say “I have no patience for my ADHD child.” 

But your child is not an ADHD child; a kid battling cancer is not a cancer kid. Your child is one of about 5%1 of the world’s children with the condition. ADHD is one of the most common childhood neurodevelopmental disorders.

But there is a ray of hope! 

Although ADHD may be difficult to manage, its symptoms can be treated. It is also possible for a parent to experience a stronger bond with their kid and a reduction in stress levels. How? By getting help and learning skills for regulating their child's behavior. 

In this article, we present some compelling suggestions for coping with the issues of parenting a kid with ADHD. Yes, even if your patience is at an all-time low.

Before breaking things down, here’s a quick outline of what to expect in this article:

  • What Exactly Is ADHD? It’s us summing up the condition in a few words.
  • What Does Your Child's ADHD Mean for You? See how normal it is to lose your patience like any other parent.
  • How Can You cope? Did you know it’s okay to accept help in tough times? You are not alone.
  • Managing Your Child’s ADHD. We know you care about your kids, so we discuss proven strategies like medication, therapy, and community. How does Numo help you?

What Does ADHD Mean?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder² that impairs a child's ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate emotions and behavior. As a parent or caretaker, there are things you can do to help your child with ADHD manage their symptoms and succeed in life. 

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[ADHD child manifestations]ADHD and the Parent: How Patient Can You Be?

For many parents, keeping cool when their kids act up is challenging. Some of those symptoms that confound parents worldwide include:

  • Tantrums and angry outbursts
  • Inability to sit still
  • Not wanting to do chores
  • Not wanting to go to bed
  • Playing games non-stop
  • Refusing to obey instructions

These are familiar sources of anxiety for parents. Relax. You are not alone. Parents of children with ADHD worldwide struggle with managing their children's impulsivity, restlessness³, and inability to focus. Most end up becoming impatient with the situation. 

[Problem is not a child]The Problem Is ADHD, Not Your Kid

You must make peace with knowing that your child's conduct is not their choice. It all boils down to their medical condition. Parental training⁴ in behavior management and attachment enhancement can help you understand how to cope with your kids' ADHD and prevent irritation and frustration from setting in. 

In addition, you get to learn strategies to help restrain your children's harmful conduct. Rather than become gloomy and frustrated, you can work with your kids to develop their innate abilities. 

Medicine, counseling, rewards and consequences, and setting rigid boundaries and punishments all fall under the umbrella of interventions. Positive reinforcement is one approach that has shown promise in lowering relapse rates.

[Reality of ADHD Parenting]It’s Okay Not to Have It All Together: Understand the Reality of ADHD Parenting

As parents, you should prioritize your well-being and happiness and seek assistance whenever you feel the need to do so. Losing your patience is human, and being helped by family members, close friends⁵, and trained experts should always be appreciated. 

If you think about it, your friends and family are the best people to come through for you when dealing with a child with ADHD. And if you don’t have any of the above, you can always find like minds online, like in Numo’s ADHD closed community. You need all the help you can get.

It can be challenging to remain patient with a child with ADHD. Notwithstanding, you must realize your child’s symptoms, especially when they are signs of ADHD. It is also essential that you acquire all that is required to regulate your child's activities. 

[Coping with Stress]Coping with Stress as an ADHD Parent: Happy Parent = Happy Kid

It can be challenging to parent a kid who has ADHD. Admit it: you’ve probably had your inner voice say once or twice “I have no patience for ADHD kids!” It probably happens at those extremely vulnerable moments when you’re tired and feel like you’ve run out of patience and energy. 

And while you must exercise much patience while interacting with a kid with ADHD, it may be challenging for many reasons. Bear in mind, however, that you owe it not just to yourself but to your child to get the help you need and take care of yourself. This way, everyone stays healthy and happy. Win-Win!

[Parent's well-being]A Few Top Tips for the ADHD Parent's Well-Being

  • As a parent, prioritize your well-being as an individual. Learn to prioritize your needs while caring for a kid diagnosed with ADHD. 
  • Get enough sleep
  • Work out often
  • Talk to loving family and friends

The above are all examples of coping behaviors⁶. 

Although parenting an ADHD kid can be challenging, there are strategies you can employ to reduce the effects on your family life. They can help you deal with the peculiarities of parenting a child with ADHD.

  • Positive reinforcement, limits, professional assistance, and routines 
  • Keep your sense of humor; you’ll need it constantly
  • Approach life with an attitude of acceptance
  • Remember, laughter is one of the best medicines
  • In the words of Dr. Seuss, "You are off to great places, today is your day, and your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!"

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[Help your child]How to Help/Engage a Child with ADHD: Yes, you can help make their lives easier

Several approaches and aids can assist in managing your child's behavior with ADHD and reducing stress levels. 


A proven technique is the establishment of transparent boundaries and reliable routines⁷, as put forward by clinical psychologists Drs. Russell Barkle and Becker. Don’t be afraid to give kids a clear boundary in all aspects of their lives. 

For instance: let them know they cannot throw food at the table. Always try to involve them in setting the boundaries, making sure they understand the WHY. In the scenario above, you might explain that throwing food could hurt another person and make a mess.


We are drawing on the suggested techniques by Drs. Russell Barkle and Becker, children who have ADHD benefit significantly by having a schedule and being organized. For instance, create a bedtime routine or chore chart. 

Establishing routines for young children is essential if you want them to feel safe and act less impulsively. Children with ADHD benefit from having strict rules and consequences in place. It helps them understand exactly what is expected of them, reducing their frustration.

Positive Reinforcement

As a parent, you can also include positive reinforcement in your training. Children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem and can benefit from more positive reinforcement⁸. If your little one solves that math equation that proved difficult, celebrate it.

Children with ADHD may benefit more from praise and positive reinforcement than punishment for misbehavior.

Check out a couple of incentive/reward hacks you can use:

  • Give a slightly increased screen time if they finish their school work faster than before.
  • ‘Chore Ninja’ stickers for doing their chores without being asked.
  • Offer them a chance to choose something for themselves – clothes, shoes, food, etc. If the choice happens to be unhealthy for them, allow a discussion on the effects and guide them toward making a better choice. The key is to keep them involved.


It may also be beneficial to get guidance from an expert. Medication and treatment⁹ for children diagnosed with ADHD have been demonstrated to be successful in treating symptoms of the illness. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that stimulant medicines like methylphenidate and amphetamine are the most effective and safest therapies for treating ADHD in kids. Clinical trials have demonstrated these medications to reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention deficits.


Children who have ADHD can also benefit a lot from therapy. They can learn healthy ways to cope with their symptoms and improve their self-worth. As parents, there is a need to have open and honest conversations with your pediatrician to choose the most appropriate course of treatment for your child.

Behavioral therapy¹⁰ for ADHD was shown to be more effective than medication alone. Children diagnosed with ADHD who get behavioral therapy may benefit from acquiring skills like planning, time management, and problem-solving. It may also show parents how to respond to their kid's behaviors helpfully and encouragingly.

Diets & Physical Activity Also Help a Ton!

Children who have ADHD will find a healthy diet and regular physical activity¹¹ helpful. 


Certain food groups improve concentration and reduce the tendency to act on impulses. A combination of the following should be regular in your kid’s diet:  

  • Fruits like Pears, oranges, and tangerines.
  • Vegetables: Root vegetables like beets, sweet potatoes, etc. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found in walnuts, salmon, and tuna.

You want to avoid sugary foods like candy and stimulants like soda and caffeine.

Physical Activity

Regular exercise helps boost mental health, improve stress levels, and enhance physical fitness. Some activities you could incorporate into your kid’s routine are:

  • Biking
  • Walking
  • Jumping jacks
  • Team sports at school, recreation centers, etc. 

[Do's and Dont's]A Few More Do's and Dont's of Parenting Kids with ADHD


  • Limit exposure to familiar sources of distraction. We’re talking about video games, computers, TV, gadgets, etc. These are known to encourage impulsive behavior easily.
  • Make sure they’re sleeping well. ADHD already makes it easy for a kid to lack enough sleep. You must remove anything that can worsen that – TV, gadgets, caffeine, sugar, etc. Try early on to create a soothing bedtime routine. An established sleep pattern can help reduce symptoms.
  • Encourage them to think before talking or doing. To combat impulsiveness, let your babies know it’s okay to pause before talking, doing anything, or even responding. And praise or reward them when they do so.


  • Let your child become the parent. It’s easy to give up in the face of ADHD behaviors that challenge. Don’t. Hold the reins like the parent that you are.
  • Be too hard on them. While laying down the law, allow for some flexibility. For instance, if 4 out of 5 assigned chores allocated were done, consider giving some grace with the last chore. 

[Wrapping Up]Wrapping Up

The roles played by family and friends while caring for a child with ADHD cannot be overemphasized. Studies have shown that children who have ADHD stand to gain a lot from merely being surrounded by friends and people who care about them. 

Additionally, try connecting with other parents and carers going through similar experiences. Try online forums like Reddit or Numo Tribe. The Numo community is closed, so it gives you that family feeling you need so much. You get to share your wins and challenges with people who genuinely understand what it’s like to have a child with ADHD.

So, dear Mamas and Papas, take a deep breath, relax, and tell yourselves: “I’m doing well on this journey of patience for my ADHD child.”

Now, if you remember nothing from all you’ve read, remember these:

  • You are not a monster for losing your patience; only human
  • You are not alone. Every ADHD parent can relate
  • Losing your patience with your kid with ADHD does not mean you don’t love them
  • It’s not THAT bad
  • The real problem is ADHD, not your kid
  • Look after yourself. You can’t pour out of an empty cup
  • Accept help
  • Change your outlook
  • Take advantage of proven strategies for helping your child
  • Be part of a community that lifts you

[Sources]Scientific Sources

  1. The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD: A Systematic Review and Metaregression Analysis. 
  2. Parental ADHD symptoms and parenting behaviors: A meta-analytic review. 
  3. Overdiagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Scoping Review.
  4. Trends in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder medication use: a retrospective observational study using population-based databases. 
  5. Psychometric properties of the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire among Chinese parents of children with ADHD or ASD. 
  6. Updated European Consensus Statement on diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD.
  7. Field of daydreams? Integrating mind wandering in the study of sluggish cognitive tempo and ADHD. 
  8. Genetics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.‐018‐0070‐0 
  9. Discovery of the first genome-wide significant risk loci for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. 
  10. Acute Physical Activity, Executive Function, and Attention Performance in Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Typically Developing Children: An Experimental Study. 
  11. The Association of Lifestyle Factors and ADHD in Children.
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