ADHD Dad with ADHD Daughter question

or directly your dad's would have done more of when you were growing up?

I've made lists of 8 specific things and 8 meta things. It exceeded reddit's limit of symbols per comment, so I'll now post part 2 of the comment as a reply to part 1.

(1) Specific stuff:

  1. Teach her to deal with mistakes in a healthy way. The checklist of Ray Dalio's 6 questions (its open-access version is under 'The six questions' in this article) is now always on my desk, on a separate sheet of notepaper.
  2. Teach her to deal with problems in a healthy way. Stuff like "It doesn't pay to get discouraged" and this extended version of the Rubber Ducking technique (and yes, it works better when done aloud) is on my another sheet of notepaper on my desk.
  3. Teach her to deal with unpleasant thoughts & feelings, with hopelessness in a healthy way; and the mental-health benefits of living a values-focused life instead of a goals-focused life. (a) I've found The Happiness Trap by Dr Russ to be great, very readable (great use of metaphors & analogies, which makes it easier to remember stuff) (had seen it recommended in ADHD sub multiple times; it's based on ACT therapy, which is much much more effective than CBT for ADHD-ers, based on the comments in ADHD sub). Apparently, there is an illustrated version of that book as well (maybe it's suitable for kids?). About values vs goals, he has this short explanatory video although it doesn't do justice to his explanations in his book. // I haven't been able to put into use all the tools from the book, but the ones that are usable for me, have a great power. // (b) Meditation is helpful even to ADHD brains. Apparently, there are now even meditation apps for kids. Calm app has some narrations by popular personalities & maybe someone your daughter respects is on that list; and I know that Chris Hemsworth did guided meditations for kids for Centr app. Or check out instructions under "Mindfulness meditation made easy" in this article on Harvard university' website. Even 5min make a great difference, even if you kept getting distracted.
  4. Teach her the difference between (a) shame vs guilt, (b) belonging vs fitting in; and related stuff about (3) perfectionism vs. striving to be your best. I'm not into Brene Brown' books, I barely got through her first popular book, The Gifts of Imperfection, but she has great explanations of those things in that book. For stuff about shame, check out her 2nd TED talk about shame (this video with a transcript below).
  5. Teach her to learn effectively & efficiently. Check out these printouts with neuroscience-based advice: 10 rules of good studying and 10 rules of bad studying (this 2-page PDF) // a somewhat different version for kids (this 2-page PDF) // They are from the books that a popular & free online course on Coursera, Learning How to Learn, is based on. // And a trick for learning better from course videos: I find that I retain much more information I don't look at the video and just stare at an empty browser tab or look down. The lecturer, their movements & expressions, the background are just too distracting…
  6. Make sure she gets enough of physical exercise or long walks. Turns out, when your body & brain are growing, the lack of physical exercise can hinder your IQ forever. Also, lack of exercise affects the mood & hopefulness in a negative way. Check out this article (with links to supporting research studies) about increasing your dopamine levels 'naturally' (dopamine is our brain's fuel for getting things done, in a way; it gets eaten away in ADHD brains too soon, too fast). // About its "section 3 Consume probiotics': there is no need to take probiotic supplements (plus, they can be harmful). At least 2-3 foods from this list of 11 probiotic foods will be easily available to you, plus you'll get lots of nutrients that are important for an ADHD brain.
  7. Get her into journaling & doodling. It's a powerful self-care & thinking toolkit. (a) When you reflect about stuff in writing, it compensates for ADHD-caused working memory issues; it's much much easier to process stuff. You can write bulleted lists, make mindmaps, etc. (b) Better retention of information! (check this study) (c) As for doodling, could be via these Lynda Barry's visual diary exercises. She also has 3 explanatory books that are made as comics, about writing & doodling (the exercises listed above are from one of those books). Maybe they are helpful. // (d) A general, freeing approach to comics-style doodling: it's just making marks on the page; the goal is to just make yourself/your future self giggle. (d) Plus, doodling during lectures improves focus, comprehension & retention of the information.* These two articles (#1, by The Wall Street Journal and #2, by Harvard Medical School) provide explanations behind that, personal accounts & links to the supporting research studies. (e) Comics-style doodling is a quick way of doing self-expression, and it unlocks productivity. // (f) A meta-way for getting her into journaling & doodling: make sure she has enough of notebooks that she likes. Personally, I use a blank-sheets notebook even for journaling — grids & ruling feel too restrictive…
  8. Make sure you and her know how nutrition affects ADHD symptoms. Just some facts:
  • Iron deficiency increases ADHD symptoms.
  • Vitamin C is needed for & improves iron absorption & proper memory function. But the more refined carbs you consume, the more vitamin C your body needs.
  • Caffeine intake (tea, coffee, stuff with cocoa, energy drinks) within less than 1h of your iron intake (from plant foods) decreases iron absorption from plant sources. // Stats about herbal teas+iron // stats about caffeine+iron (e.g. "One study found that drinking a cup of coffee with a hamburger meal reduced iron absorption by 39%. Drinking tea, a known inhibitor of iron absorption, with the same meal reduced iron absorption by a whopping 64%).
  • Sufficient hydration is important. "Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills" (source) Also: if you feel thirsty, it means you are ALREADY in the dehydrated state.
  • And my personal experience: if I let refined carbs into my body in the morning, at least half of my day will be destroyed. The sweeter that "food" was, the more I get primed for seeking easy pleasure; and the higher my impulsivity is.
/r/adhdwomen Thread