Lessons from Ep.728 – “ADHD by Gender”

ZPR Blog, Weekly Podcast, Zen Parenting

Hello, fellow Zen Parenting Radio listeners! As someone who knows people deeply affected by ADHD and has often wondered if a bit of it runs in my own veins—and possibly the family tree—this latest episode from Todd and Cathy struck a deeply personal chord. In a world where ADHD often carries a stigma or misunderstanding, this episode felt like an essential guide for parents, friends, and anyone who has ADHD in their life. So, let’s dive into the treasure trove of insights that Todd and Cathy have so generously shared with us.

The Zen Motto: “The best predictor of a child’s well-being is a parent’s self-understanding.”

Todd and Cathy start the episode on a strong note, reiterating their guiding philosophy. In the complex world of ADHD, understanding oneself as a parent is the cornerstone for understanding your child’s unique struggles and needs. This episode serves as a perfect testament to that belief by offering an array of perspectives on ADHD.

What is ADHD?

Before diving into gender-specific issues, Todd and Cathy take a moment to clarify what ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults but often starts in childhood. ADHD impacts a person’s ability to maintain attention and can also involve hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Importantly, they stress that ADHD is not about a lack of intelligence or capability; it’s about how the brain manages information.

Debunking the Myth: ADHD Is Not Just a “Boys’ Disorder”

Perhaps one of the most eye-opening parts of the episode is when Todd and Cathy bust the myth that ADHD is a “boys’ disorder.” While ADHD is often associated with hyperactive young boys, they stress that the disorder also significantly affects girls—but in less noticeable ways. Girls may not display the ‘typical’ hyperactive symptoms; instead, they might be inattentive, daydreamy, or emotionally volatile. Because these symptoms can be subtle, many girls go undiagnosed, which can have long-term ramifications, like developing anxiety or depression.

The Gender Gap in Diagnosis

The disparity in ADHD diagnosis between boys and girls is staggering. Cathy brings up some alarming statistics and anecdotes about how boys tend to be diagnosed more frequently simply because their symptoms are more “visible.” This inequity isn’t just a statistical concern; it’s a real issue that can lead to a lack of necessary support for girls. Todd and Cathy urge parents to be vigilant about noticing less obvious symptoms, particularly in girls, to ensure they get the help they need.

The Emotional Aspect of ADHD

“Kids with ADHD aren’t giving you a hard time; they’re having a hard time.” This powerful quote from Cathy really hits home. Todd and Cathy delve into the issue of emotional regulation, explaining that children with ADHD often find it incredibly challenging to manage their emotional responses. This segment is an eye-opener for parents who might misinterpret emotional outbursts as deliberate disobedience rather than a cry for help.

Get Ready With Me (GRWM)

One of the more entertaining but enlightening segments is when Todd and Cathy discuss the YouTube trend “Get Ready With Me” (GRWM). They talk about how these seemingly trivial routines can be monumental tasks for someone with ADHD. In a GRWM video, each step is laid out, making the process appear simple and manageable. For a child with ADHD, breaking down tasks in a similar step-by-step manner could be a game-changer.

Treatment and Parenting Strategies

Treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all. Todd and Cathy highlight the importance of a comprehensive approach, often involving medication, behavioral therapy, and lifestyle changes. They also offer concrete parenting strategies, such as establishing clear routines and using positive reinforcement, that can make daily life easier for kids with ADHD.

P.S. Further Resources

For those looking to explore this topic in more depth, Todd and Cathy didn’t leave us hanging. They frequently cited experts and recommended reading:

  1. CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
  2. Taking Charge of ADHD” by Russell A. Barkley
  3. Smart but Scattered” by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

There’s a lot to digest here, but every bit is worthwhile. Until next time, let’s strive to infuse a little more Zen into our parenting journeys.

A Compassionate Listener and Zen Parenting Radio Devotee

Best, Brad

Listen to the full episode here

Take Action: