5 Things You Can Expect When Raising A Child With ADHD

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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We are raising a child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Before you mourn for us, or send up intercessory prayers on our behalf, let me say- it’s not as bad as the world makes it out to be. Sure, there are days when we want to lock ourselves in a closet, put headphones on, drink latte’s laced with quadruple shots of espresso, and listen to Norah Jones. But what parent doesn’t have days like that? For the most part, it’s a great journey!

Our son has ADHD. He is packed full of creativity. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes, that’s not such a good thing. When we hear the words, “Oooo guess what, I have a great idea!” we know to either begin duct taping things as though we were bracing for a hurricane, or call our claims adjuster on speed dial. Super fun!

If you are parenting a child with ADHD you understand. There are hard days, yes, but there are also many days where you can celebrate in ways that parents of the so-called “normal” child cannot. We’ve had a lot of fun over the years laughing at the unbelievable and “innovative” things our son has done. They’re unique, to say the least.

If you have been, or are just beginning the journey of raising a child with ADHD, here are 5 things you can expect along the way:

1. If they can reach it, they will swing from it.

Fortunately for my son, the person who built our sunroom installed reinforcement lumber slats between the ceiling joists. You and I would look at that and say, “Great! Something to keep my roof from collapsing!” A child with ADHD would look at that and say, “Sweet! Something for me to swing like a lemur from!”

Case in point: The other day my daughters had a party at our house. They invited several friends and, because my son is a resident of our house, he was there. But honestly, what’s a 9-year old kid really going to do at his pre-teen sister’s party? If you say ‘very little,’ you would be correct. Pizza and root beer floats were being served and he became bored quickly. I turned for a second and when I looked again, he had scaled the furniture (in a split second) and was dangling from the reinforcement slats between the ceiling joists. As he did, he gazed down at the party guests with a look that said, “You just witnessed awesome, ladies!”

2. You will be asked the same question repeatedly.

I’m considering asking my wife is she’s interested in changing her name to “Hey mommy.” I think this phrase is said to her more than her own name. “Hey mom, could we go to the store?” “Hey mom, could we go to the store now?” “Hey mom, is it almost time to go to the store now?” You who are on this particular road can relate, can’t you?

3. There will be noise. 

The other day my 9-year old was chasing his little brothers through our house and I was sure, at any point, that our windows were going to blow. Have you ever seen that movie where the little boy can create such a high-pitch sound that he makes actual human beings implode? That might happen to you if you hang out at our house for any length of time!

4. You will not sleep.

We are, at last count, 9 years behind on sleep. It’s rare that either one of us sleeps through an entire night. There’s so much to be said and done, at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, as far as our son is concerned!

5. The future is bright.

I have no idea how God is going to use my son, but I’m confident- He will! The future is bright. While my son can drive us to drink or bang our heads against the wall, most days of the week, he is packed full of creativity, and compassion, and a genuine love for people. Sometimes my wife and I talk about that “some day.” We dream of what that day will look like. Will he be a preacher, or a care-giver, or a person who gives back to the world in some way? We believe in that day because we believe in our son! Yes, his present and his future are both bright.

If you have a child with ADHD, be encouraged. Life moves in interesting ways. The future holds so many bright promises for them. We understand the trials. We are there with you. But we know the promise of a great tomorrow!

Question- Are you parenting a child with ADHD? Can you relate? What other expectations could you share? Leave a comment in the comment section.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.