I Have No Patience for My ADHD Child: Helping Your Child Flourish

Child with ADHD | How to Help My Child with ADHD
Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge

Parenting is a journey filled with challenges, and when your child has ADHD, those challenges can be uniquely demanding. It's easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and at times, completely drained. However, it's important to remember that every child, regardless of their neurodiversity, has incredible potential waiting to be unlocked. 

If you have an impulsive kid like David whose kindergarten teacher told his mom, Martina, “David can’t keep his hands to himself and that is a problem.” It’s when calls like this start to come repeatedly that parents go to me and say, “I have no patience for my ADHD child. I don’t want to feel that way but what else can I do?”

Patience is an essential virtue when parenting ADHD children. While parents need to have patience, it doesn't mean enduring challenges silently. Instead, it involves developing resilience, empathy, and effective coping strategies for ADHD children. The first step to addressing having no patience is to understand your child’s challenges.

For example, when our children struggle with focus, that means that they can have trouble with listening, getting stuff done, and even getting along with others. So, if your ADHD child breaks everything, don’t fret. They may simple lack focus. In fact, most children and teens with ADHD are very smart. They just need guidance and support from you.

How to Deal with Kids with ADHD

Wherever you are in the journey of guiding your child, teen, or young adult with ADHD, there is always a way to help your child be successful in school, home, and life. Embrace their uniqueness, foster a supportive environment, and remember that your unwavering support can be the key to unlocking their full potential.

ADHD and Not Listening

Children with ADHD often face challenges in maintaining focus and processing information. This can manifest as difficulty in listening, following instructions, and staying engaged in conversations. Recognizing this struggle as a symptom of their neurodevelopmental condition is the first step toward finding constructive solutions. Complaining that “my ADHD son gives me anxiety” is not going to help. 

To address the issue of not listening, it's essential to understand how the ADHD brain functions. ADHD is characterized by differences in neurotransmitter activity, particularly in areas responsible for attention and impulse control. Taking into consideration these neurobiological factors can help parents approach the issue with empathy and patience.

ADHD and Attention Seeking

ADHD and attention-seeking behavior can be interconnected due to the unique challenges individuals with ADHD face in regulating attention and managing impulses. The core symptoms of ADHD, including difficulties in sustaining focus, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, can lead to attention-seeking actions as individuals attempt to cope with these challenges. 

An ADHD child needs constant attention and this ADHD attention-seeking behavior may manifest as a way for them to compensate for their struggle to maintain focus or regulate impulses with the help of external stimuli or recognition.

Seeking external stimuli or validation becomes a way for individuals with ADHD to offset their struggles with maintaining attention and regulating impulses. This attention-seeking behavior may manifest as a constant need for recognition, engaging in impulsive actions, or seeking out novel and stimulating experiences to stay engaged.

ADHD and Inappropriate Behavior

ADHD can be associated with various inappropriate behaviors stemming from challenges in impulse control, emotional regulation, and attention maintenance. Common behaviors include impulsivity, hyperactivity, difficulty adhering to social norms, and emotional dysregulation. These behaviors may manifest as interrupting others, restlessness, struggles with social interactions, and mood swings.

Approaching inappropriate behaviors with understanding and implementing strategies such as creating a structured environment, setting clear expectations, providing positive reinforcement, and engaging in social skills training can be beneficial. Additionally, behavioral therapy should be a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. 

ADHD and Patience 

Is impatience a sign of ADHD? Parents should know about the ADHD impatience spectrum, indicating that ADHD and impatience go together. However, impatience manifests differently in individuals with ADHD. Some may struggle with waiting for their turn, while others find it challenging to complete tasks that require sustained focus (Nyberg et al., 2003). 

As ADHD is characterized by difficulties in regulating impulses, impatience is a natural byproduct of this challenge. Children with ADHD may act on their impulses without fully considering the consequences, leading to impulsive behavior that can be frustrating for both parents and the child.

Why is My Patience so Low When Parenting a Child With ADHD?

Parents of kids with ADHD face unique challenges when it comes to raising their children. You have a smart kid who just can't get stuff done and that is so frustrating for both of you. It is important to remember that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting or poor discipline, and it is not a result of a lack of willpower or effort on the part of the child. ADHD is a neurological condition that affects a child's ability to regulate their behavior and control their impulses.

As a parent of a child with ADHD, it is important to understand that good behavior cannot be simply taught, but rather requires a combination of behavioral modification techniques, and environmental changes to help manage symptoms of ADHD. Behavioral interventions and teaching social skills can help a child with ADHD learn how to manage their behavior and interact appropriately with others.

Disciplining a child with ADHD can be overwhelming, and parents need to seek support and guidance. Behavioral management strategies can help manage a child's behavior, and it is important to work with your child's healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment, which may include ADHD medication.

How to Get a Child With ADHD To Listen When You Have No Patience

Here are some ways to support your ADHD if you feel like your patience is running thin. Remember, your child co-regulates with you, so you have to model the right behavior all the time. Self-regulation is the key to managing ADHD and most other mental health issues in children and teens. If you’re asking how to be more patient with my child, here are some tips on how to handle a child with ADHD:

1. Create a Supportive Environment

Building a supportive environment at home and in school is crucial for an ADHD child's success. This includes establishing routines, providing clear instructions, and offering positive reinforcement. Creating a structured and nurturing atmosphere that fosters their growth.

2. Encourage Effective Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, and it's especially vital when parenting a child with ADHD. Learn how to communicate effectively with your child, their teachers, and other caregivers. Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and collaborative problem-solving.

3. Embrace Neurodiversity

Instead of viewing ADHD as a limitation, embrace the concept of neurodiversity. Your child's unique way of thinking can be a tremendous asset. Discover how to channel their creativity, energy, and enthusiasm into activities that not only engage them but also promote their personal development.

4. Tailor Learning Strategies

Traditional learning methods may not always be the best fit for children with ADHD. Explore alternative learning strategies that cater to their individual needs and strengths. From incorporating visual aids to interactive learning, discover approaches that can make education an enjoyable experience for your child.

5. Seek Professional Support

Recognize when it's time to seek professional support. Whether through counseling, therapy, or IEP or 504 educational interventions, professionals can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your child's specific needs.

How to Address ADHD Parent Burnout

Self care for people with ADHD and their caregivers is necessary. Addressing ADHD parent burnout involves a multifaceted approach centered on self-care, realistic expectations, and seeking support. Parents can mitigate burnout by prioritizing regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and mindfulness activities. 

It is crucial to set achievable expectations for oneself, recognizing the inherent challenges of parenting a child with ADHD and understanding that some days may be more demanding than others. 

Delegating responsibilities, establishing and adhering to routines, and seeking external support from healthcare professionals or support groups are essential steps to prevent burnout. Connecting with other parents who share similar experiences provides a sense of understanding and solidarity, reducing feelings of isolation.

In addition, celebrating small victories, taking regular breaks, and learning about ADHD help create a more positive and informed mindset. The establishment of clear boundaries, both in terms of personal commitments and the constant demands of parenting, is vital to prevent overwhelming stress

What Do You Say to Your Kid with ADHD Not Listening So They Will Listen? 

Well, it is actually how you say stuff to them that matters. Here is the basic framework to set up and improve communication, especially if your child has not listening ADHD and you lack patience by the day. This strategy is effective even for ADHD in 3 year old boy. 

First, get their attention. That doesn't mean yelling. It means calmly getting them to disengage from what they are doing so they are ready to hear you.

Second, tell them, “ I will be telling you something. Are you ready?”

Third, wait for them to reply with, “Yes.”

Fourth, then give them directions or information.

Fifth, reinforce attempts and successful execution of the task

crying boy | Dr Roseann

How to Deal with ADHD Aggression: ADHD Techniques for Parents

Dealing with ADHD-related aggression can be challenging, but with patience, understanding, and proactive strategies, it's possible to manage and reduce these behaviors. Here are some suggestions:

1. Stay Calm and Maintain Perspective

In the face of aggression, it's crucial for caregivers to stay calm. Remember that the aggressive behavior is likely a result of ADHD-related challenges, not intentional harm. Take a step back, breathe, and try to maintain perspective on the situation.

2. Identify Triggers

Understand the specific triggers that lead to aggressive behavior in your child. This could be frustration, overstimulation, or difficulty communicating. Identifying triggers helps you anticipate and address situations before they escalate.

3. Teach Emotional Regulation

Work with your child on developing emotional regulation skills. This might include teaching them to recognize and express their emotions verbally, use calming techniques like deep breathing, or encouraging them to take breaks when they feel overwhelmed.

4. Establish Clear and Consistent Expectations

Set clear and consistent expectations for behavior. Clearly communicate the consequences of aggression, and consistently apply them. This helps your child understand boundaries and expectations.

5. Provide a Structured Environment

Children with ADHD often benefit from structured environments. Establish routines and schedules to create a sense of predictability, which can reduce anxiety and aggression. Structure can help with ADD in toddlers, too. 

6. Encourage Physical Outlets

Offer opportunities for physical activity to help release excess energy. Engaging in sports, outdoor play, or exercises can be beneficial for children with ADHD. Outdoor activities can greatly help when teaching coping skills for kids with ADHD

7. Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Work on teaching your child problem-solving skills. Encourage them to express their needs or frustrations verbally, and guide them in finding alternative ways to handle challenging situations. Problem-solving is one of the main coping skills for ADHD children.

8. Seek Professional Support

If aggressive behaviors persist or escalate, consider seeking expert care and professional support. A mental health professional, such as a psychologist or behavioral therapist, can assess the situation and provide targeted interventions.

9. Involve the School

You don’t have to learn how to deal with ADHD children alone. Collaborate with your child's school to create a consistent approach to managing aggression. Share strategies that work at home, and work together to implement a supportive plan at school.

How to Handle a Child with ADHD and Help Them Focus at School?

We can learn a lot from a good teacher. They know how to tame an unruly mob and get them learning. They do that with a lot of patience and structure and routine of course. Kids with executive functioning problems really can struggle in school despite high intelligence and that can show up in a variety of ways. These should be the focus of ADHD coping skills for students:

  • Disorganization
  • Trouble switching between and within a task
  • Difficulty shifting attention
  • Slow response times
  • Trouble with reading and writing
  • Careless mistakes
  • Forgetfulness
  • Task completion

The first thing a parent should do if their child is struggling at school is to meet with the teacher. In my blog, How to Prepare for a School Meeting, I show you exactly how to do that. Know that what an ADHD parent does at home can help with school. Consistency and routine with lots of positive reinforcement can change behavior. 

Follow these tips and you won’t say “I have no patience anymore.” Instead, you will be a confident parent that says, “I have patience and know how to handle how to handle a 4 year-old with ADHD!”

How Can I Help a Child with ADHD Without Medication?

Despite what you may have heard or been offered by your pediatrician or even the school hinted you should do, there are many science-backed ways to reduce and even reverse ADHD symptoms in kids. In my book, “It's Gonna Be OK!™” I lay out the step-by-step way of just how parents can do that. 

My favorite brain-based solutions for ADHD that help children and teens get focused, follow directions better, and complete tasks are:

5 ways to help a child with ADHD

I want parents to know there are safe and effective alternatives to medicating their child with ADHD. Through research, we know that ADHD medication is toxic and 100 percent of the time has side effects and some can be serious. Here are 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Medicate Your Child With ADHD.

I have been using neurofeedback with children, teens, and young adults for a long time. For some reason, parents trust a toxic and potentially dangerous psychiatric medication over this highly researched (tens of thousands of studies), safe and effective therapy (Lofthouse et al., 2011). 

Just because you may not have heard of neurofeedback, it has been around for over 50 years and is an effective therapy that every parent of a child or teen with ADHD (and mom or dad too) should consider!  We work with clients all over the world and can even do neurofeedback remotely with them too.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that affects many children and can have a significant impact on their mental health and behavior. Kids with ADHD often struggle with inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can affect their ability to learn and interact with others.

Can 3 Year Olds Have ADHD?

Yes. ADHD can look very different from person to person. One can be more inattentive and another can be impulsive and angry but they are both ADHD. The commonality that I can see from a QEEG brain map is a brain that has too many unfocused brain waves and not enough focused brain waves. This leads to brain dysregulation that impacts how a child “puts the brakes on.”

Does My 6 Year Old Have ADHD?

The diagnosis of ADHD is a complex process that involves a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional, typically a pediatrician, child psychologist, or child psychiatrist. It is essential to consult your 6 year old ADHD child with a healthcare professional to assess your child's behavior, development, and any concerns you may have.

ADHD symptoms often manifest in early childhood, but it's important to note that many children may display signs of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention at times without having ADHD. ADHD is diagnosed when these behaviors significantly impact a child's daily functioning and are present over an extended period, often six months or more.

What Should You Not Say to a 3 Year Old with ADHD?

Parents worry a lot. Parents of kids with ADHD or other clinical issues worry a REAL LOT! I get it. I am a special needs mom times two, so I understand what it is like to be driving the worry train. I show parents every day how to get off it. 

What should I say to help my kid with ADHD (or not say) is a conversation I have every day with a guilt-ridden parent who thinks they did something wrong to create their kid's ADHD. Listen, no one ever thinks they will have anything but a “typical” kid but 54.2 percent of kids in the US have a physical or mental health problem. Yep. Scary, right? 

Why Do I Have No Patience With My 4 Year Old ADHD Child?

Does my 4 year old have ADHD? Parenting a 4 year old with ADHD can be particularly challenging, often leading to feelings of impatience. This low patience may stem from unrealistic expectations, a lack of understanding about ADHD, daily stressors, challenging behaviors associated with the condition, and a potential lack of support. 

How to Help my ADHD Child Who Seems to be as Impatient as I am? 

Adjusting expectations, educating oneself about ADHD, seeking support, prioritizing ADHD self care, and fostering realistic expectations can help parents manage impatience more effectively in 4 year olds with ADHD. Additionally, maintaining open communication with healthcare professionals and educators, focusing on positive reinforcement, and connecting with others who share similar experiences can contribute to a more supportive and empathetic parenting approach.

My Son is Hyperactive. How to Calm an ADHD Child?

Can the way you parent a kid with ADHD make a difference? Yes. Oh, I mean heck yeah!  That is probably the single greatest reason parents join my CALM BRAIN Insiders Group because they want the tools and methods to help their child do better in school and at home. Calming the brain works best for ADHD in toddlers. 

How to Get a Child With ADHD to Listen

Most kids with ADHD struggle with listening and following directions at home and school. This gets in the way of doing their school work correctly, doing tasks on time, and just being able to remember when you ask them to do something. When you have ADHD, you simply don't alert in the same way. When your kid is engrossed in something they are hypervigilant. 

That means they are super focused on something. Part of ADHD is being able to have an unbelievable focus on the stuff you love and little to no ability to focus on low-interest tasks, such as cleaning their room, algebra, and putting their book bag away. I hope you just had an aha moment!

How Can I Help my Son with ADHD and Mood Disorder? 

I hear parents say “I have zero patience with my 2 year old ADHD child and I feel bad.” Some kids with ADHD also struggle with their mood and can be snarky and cranky, as well as super moody teens and young adults.  If you help on how to deal with kids with ADHD, then grab the Natural ADHD Formula Parent Kit. If you have a moody teen, then download this free resource, the Pahological Demand Avoidance Checklist.

Does Exercise Improve Attention?

Yes, physical activity can also help manage ADHD symptoms, as it can help to release pent-up energy and improve focus. Exercise can also improve executive functioning, which means improved task completion.  In addition, limiting screen time (including video games) can also be helpful, as excessive screen time can worsen ADHD symptoms.

How to Deal with a Hyperactive Child and Help Them Focus? 

Structure and routine can help our kids learn. Kids need the predictability of a routine but they also need their training wheels taken off. The hard part of raising a child with ADHD is balancing the extra learning time they need without overparenting. 

My Son Has ADHD Now What? How Can I Help Him Child Focus at Home?

At home, parents should put their energies into reinforcing desired behaviors and attempts to try. You should work on teaching your child and not constantly correcting. Parenting is always about teaching but with a child with ADHD, but they need extra reinforcement and practice to get it right.


Lofthouse, N., Arnold, L. E., Hersch, S., Hurt, E., & DeBeus, R. (2011). A Review of Neurofeedback Treatment for Pediatric ADHD. Journal of Attention Disorders, 16(5), 351–372. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054711427530

Nyberg, L., Bohlin, G., Berlin, L., & Janols, L. (2003). Inhibition and executive functioning in Type A and ADHD boys. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 57(6), 437–445. https://doi.org/10.1080/08039480310003452

Dr. Roseann is a mental health expert in ADHD who frequently is in the media:


Always remember… “Calm Brain, Happy Family™”

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Licensed Therapist who has been featured in/on hundreds of media outlets including The Mel Robbins Show, CBS, NBC, PIX11 NYC, Today, FORBES, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Business Insider, Women’s Day, Healthline, CNET, Parade Magazine and PARENTS. FORBES called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.

Dr. Roseann - Brain Behavior Reset Parent Toolkit

She coined the terms, “Re-entry panic syndrome” and “eco-anxiety” and is a frequent contributor to media on mental health. 

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge has three decades of experience in working with children, teens and their families with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, concussion, dyslexia and learning disability, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression and mood disorder, Lyme Disease, and PANS/PANDAS using science-backed natural mental health solutions such as supplements, magnesium, nutrition, QEEG Brain maps, neurofeedback, PEMF, psychotherapy and other non-medication approaches. 

She is the author of three bestselling books, It’s Gonna Be OK!: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child's Mental Health, The Teletherapy Toolkit, and Brain Under Attack. Dr. Roseann is known for offering a message of hope through science-endorsed methods that promote a calm brain. 

Her trademarked BrainBehaviorResetⓇ Program and It’s Gonna be OK!Ⓡ Podcast has been a cornerstone for thousands of parents facing mental health, behavioral or neurodevelopmental challenges.

She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, Neurotastic™Brain Formulas and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional (CIMHP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach.  She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF).

© Roseann-Capanna-Hodge, LLC 2024

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to give health advice and it is recommended to consult with a physician before beginning any new wellness regime. *The effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment vary by patient and condition. Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge, LLC does not guarantee certain results.

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