For many years, people with disabilities, learning differences, or mental and emotional health challenges have been stigmatized. Often, the ways that society has emphasized and measured intelligence and skill are not consistent with the way that God views us, especially where ADHD in children is concerned.

Unfortunately, the environments structured to unlock our potential in childhood, at the most vulnerable time of life, often do the opposite. Sometimes they squash our inquisitive nature instead of unleashing God’s creativity in those with diagnoses such as ADHD.

Antiquated thought has given rise to myths that limit our perception of individuals with ADHD. Over the years, we have categorized those diagnosed as “scatterbrained,” intellectually deficient, underachievers, and somehow unable to overcome the stigma and symptoms attached to the diagnosis.

As we have progressed with discovering more about the brain that God has masterfully created, we continue to grow in our understanding of Him, ourselves, and others. Fresh understanding eclipses the wrong information and practices of the past. As we seek to equip our children and youth with relevant tools for life, it is essential to understand the ADHD diagnosis. Also, we need to help our children navigate its impacts while advocating for them.

Unpacking ADHD in children

In children, ADHD is characterized by challenges with focus and emotional regulation. This can look like impulsiveness, being fidgety, interrupting others while talking, or blurting out thoughts. Sometimes kids with ADHD experience difficulty regulating emotions and behavior.

While we may be tempted to focus on a collection of behaviors alone, we may need to explore a combination of approaches. Children with ADHD can be helped when adults are planful with the organization of activities and environments, maximize learning styles, and incorporate medicine and therapy to best serve children with ADHD.

Although those with ADHD are often multi-talented in areas that are not valued or measured in traditional learning environments, we can still use practical strategies to support their success in school and beyond.

You may even recognize behavior patterns in your children that might have been present in your own childhood. Without being uncompromisingly rigid, creating a stable and predictable schedule and structure in your home will be significantly helpful for a child with an ADHD diagnosis.

Likewise, be a flexible parent. Defining zones for certain activities and developing household systems or routines can help your child manage chores and responsibilities. Both physical and relational boundaries can help a child with ADHD to use the individual and family space to be productive without overstimulating their senses.

Learn how they learn

Build on kids’ natural gifts and ways that they seem to learn best. Is your child a visual learner? Does your child piece together pictures and words to connect and remember? Perhaps, they are an auditory learner who responds to music, sounds, rhythms, or hearing in order to better understand and retain. Maybe a kinesthetic approach is more adaptable to their need for hands-on engagement to fully grasp and recall.

If they learn visually, for example, find a creative way to map your family’s chore chart with colors, words, and images that appeal to your children. For your auditory learners, consider using digital timers, announcers, or music as a means to engage them in managing their activity.

Furthermore, those who require more hands-on may coordinate physical moves such as dance or sport-inspired activity to help them connect with what needs to be done at home or in other environments.

Embracing all types of different learning styles can help cultivate environments that breed self-esteem, success, and satisfaction, in childhood and beyond.

Advocate for your child by familiarizing yourself with the legal accommodations and provisions made available to your child in all settings. Partner with teachers and paraprofessionals in your school district. Adapt your homeschooling practices. Engage in developing solutions and processes that support your child’s learning approaches and maximize achievement.

Remove the limitations

Learning is not limited to academic environments. Multiple approaches to exploring, testing, and recalling new information can be applied in any setting. Learning stimulates curiosity and piques interest in further discovery. Lead from your child’s natural abilities and interests. Encourage them to develop what God has placed in them. Locate resources online and in your community to grow and groom their hobbies and curiosity in developmentally appropriate ways.

Find real-life applications to transfer what and how they learn into home responsibilities, involvement in community-based sports or activities, or your local church and youth fellowship. Involve everyone in the family and be intentional about verbalizing and affirming their contributions to the family and the world, beyond the ADHD diagnosis.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. – Psalms 139:13, 15 NIV

When you are frustrated with your child’s academic grades or behaviors, it may be challenging to see him beyond his or her diagnosis. This is especially true when you feel you have done all you could as a parent to equip them. The best gift that you can give is to lean more toward love and acceptance. Ask the Lord to help you see them again through His eyes.

Your child is uniquely outfitted with innate abilities and skills. They will take their confidence cues from you, as the parent. Ask for God’s wisdom to foster a healthy sense of identity in how He uniquely fashioned your child. They are more than the limitations often associated with learning differences, just as adults are more than the collection of their faults and failures.

When parents nurture a sense of being loved unconditionally and comprehensively, it yields healthy attachment, which deepens a child’s awareness of being accepted and approved where it matters most. It buffers them against incidents or environments where their qualities may not be regarded with the same level of celebration. Most of all, it boosts their resilience and ability to face a world with a knowledge of who they truly are.

As a parent or caregiver, your investment as an everyday champion supports your kids over the long hall. They will even thrive when they are apart from you if they know you love them and are for them.

You won’t be present in every room, hallway, practice, or table. Your young ones will be on teams, in clubs, classes, or organizations where they are stretched and tested, and sometimes bullied and shamed. Despite those challenges, the good that you have nurtured in them will appear and flourish. Like life does with us in adulthood, character and skills reveal themselves in times of difficulty and duress.

Next steps

While you may want to rescue your children from the impacts of a life with ADHD, engage God’s wisdom and guidance. He created this young one in His Image. He was your child’s first parent, before giving them to you. Gather the essential information needed to champion their strengths and needs. Model how to approach difficult circumstances without leaving them to flail unsupported in any environment.

Listen to the Holy Spirit. Share your concerns with your child’s education professionals and have an honest dialogue with the medical practitioners about the symptoms and side effects of medicines, should you choose that route. Finally, get the support of a therapist to build skills, coping mechanisms, and support for your child and family.

If you are seeking out a counselor for these purposes, reach out today with your questions. We will happily help you identify a counselor from our practice who can help you.

“Peeking Through the Foliage”, Courtesy of Drew Dizzy Graham,, CC0 License; “Yellow Petals”, Courtesy of Martin Adams,, CC0 License; “Focus”, Courtesy of Romain Vignes,, CC0 License; “Reading”, Courtesy of Getty Images,, Unsplash+ License


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