How to talk to my parents???

Hi! This is my first time using this, so I’m not sure if this is the right place. Anyway, I need some advice. I started watching Jessica’s videos on YouTube a couple of months ago, and I am realizing that adhd is a possibility for me. I have a really hard time focusing, I am easily distracted, all of my ‘friends’ say I am really loud and really talkative and I talk way to fast. I am very hyperactive most of the time, except when all of a sudden I fell like I can get nothing done. I also (as a 12 year-old) have a really hard time regulating my emotions. I will break down over everything, even the smallest things. But, I am really nervous to bring it up to my parents. I tried telling them in a subtle way by explaining my symptoms but not actually specifying adhd. I am just really nervous because I feel like I am making up my symptoms just because I subconsciously want to feel ‘special’ or something, and them when I realize I am fidgeting or zoning out when someone is talking to me, I internally beat myself up and get mad at myself for trying to make myself different from others. One part of me believes I have it, but the other thinks I’m faking it and I worry that if I work up the courage to talk to my parents and go to a doctor they will say I don’t have adhd and I’m gonna feel so so so stupid. So I just kinda need advice on what to do. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!



Every single word you said is me right now. Every fear you listed every single word matches to me so much. (Yeah I ain’t got any advice but I need some currently)

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Honestly, the fact that I know someone else is in the exact same boat made me feel SO much better. Thanks!


Seems to me the way to answer this question is to talk with your parents about your concerns. Be polite and respectful but don’t worry so much about being subtle. Speak the truth as you understand it. Tell them how you feel, that you are concerned and experiencing difficulty. You might suggest that they watch some of Jessica’s videos. Parents want to help their children even if at times they choose not to see something that may be a “problem”!

My son has ADHD and was diagnosed when he was 5 years old. It took my wife over a year to convince me to have him evaluated. He is now an adult, happily married and successful as an electrical engineer. Best thing that ever happened was having him evaluated so that we could give him the help that he needed to be successful.

Best of luck . . . and if you wish . . . stay in touch here!



Thanks for that Barry. But how do you suggest we get over that fear of not knowing what they will say or how they will react?

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btw: I forgot to say how impressed I am that at “only” 12 years old you have such keen insight (and obvious intelligence)! Those qualities will certainly work to your benefit.

PS: I say “only“ with respect . . . as a 74 yr. old man . . . with ADHD!



Only one way to find out. Sometimes parents see the same thing that their child sees about themselves but they too are afraid to bring up the topic. It may very well be a relief for both you and your parents to open up a dialogue.



Okay! It’s probably gonna take me a while to do it because…well…I’m not sure my parents even know that I watch a bunch of YouTube and stuff, but since I do, I tell you guys! Thanks so much!


Oops I meant when I do


Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Gus1053!

Yes, this is probably one of the best places on the forums to post this.

One important question to ask yourself is whether these symptoms started recently (within the last few months), or whether you’ve had them (or related symptoms) for years. ADHD-like symptoms can have other causes, but some of those causes could also be other conditions which occur alongside ADHD, called “co-morbidities”. For example, learning differences, anxiety or depression.

Or new symptoms might have another cause related to changes in your body’s growth (hormones, change in sleep needs, need for more exercise).

Adolescence can bring rapid changes, so symptoms might change, or may increase in severity.

As a parent (and recently-diagnosed ADHD “Brain”), I would encourage you to talk to your parents.

  • Now that I’ve learned more about ADHD, I can see how my parents have similar traits (my mom is more mild than me, my dad is about the same severity, but with some different traits… but if he was a kid again, he almost certainly would be diagnosed easily.)
  • I can also see ADHD traits in my kids, but none of them have been evaluated for it, so far it’s just been me. (I have two brothers, but neither of them seems to have ADHD.)

ADHD is more common than most people think, and not everyone with the condition is as much affected as the stereotype.Everybody is unique in combination of traits and severity of those traits.

With many of the struggles that I’ve gone through in life, I do wish that I’d learned of my ADHD at your age. According to ADHD experts (doctor’s and researchers), the earlier that a person is diagnosed and get the treatment that works best for them, the better the impact on their life.

(Parents might be hesitant about medication, but there are non-medication treatments as well.)

My best advice is, be honest with your parents about your concerns. You know your parents best, so you should have a good idea how to approach them.

  • If you can bring the subject of ADHD up directly, great!
  • Otherwise, you might talk about the symptoms (which you may have noticed that I also call “traits”).
  • Or, ask them something like “does this sound like me?” and list the symptoms that you’ve observed in yourself.
  • You might bring up examples about yourself that your parents would recognize. (When I told my parents about my diagnosis last year, at 45 years old, I reminded them of examples of ADHD symptoms that were present in my youth, based on stories they had shared with me over the years.)
  • Since ADHD often runs in families, if your have any blood relatives who have been diagnosed, then it may be another point in making your case.

Note: ADHD can only be diagnosed by trained professionals, such as a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, mental health counselor, social worker, etc. The list of diagnostic professionals can vary from country to country, and in the USA it can vary from state to state.


Thank you so much! I have always been a pretty energetic and restless kid, and I am have always been easily distracted. I can’t really remember so much about memory, but would you say having people repeat back to me what they said if it is a verbal multi step question, or directions for what to pack in a bag would count? I think I have always had trouble with things like that…


Also, I don’t know if this is just me, but I feel like there is a constant buzz in the back of my head that is like ‘Hey! Look! We’re cool! Think about us! Don’t worry, all of the boring stuff can wait!’ It is sort of like a magnet that wants to distract me from what I am doing. Can anyone relate?


Yes, I can totally relate to that. I’m naturally easily distracted, whether it’s by some outward stimulus or random thought. Since I’m also mostly introverted, I’m usually more distracted by thoughts and ideas in my own head than I am by whatever is going on around me.

I also normally have a brain-fog sensation in my brain almost all the time, mostly in the back of my head. I started on a new medication this week, and it helps my brain to be more clear and my thoughts to be more orderly.

  • I don’t have any of the Hyperactive-Impulsive traits, so I have just the Inattentive presentation of ADHD.

From what you described about yourself, it sounds like you may have three Combined presentation (both the Inattentive and the Hyperactive-Impulsive presentations). If your parents do have you tested, I’d be curious if I guessed correctly.

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Hi @Gus1053,

Welcome :grinning:

It’s really scary bringing something like this up to your parents. I agree with @Brooklyn here, there is no need to be subtle. Pick a time where you feel comfortable and your parents can pay attention to you. Say what you mean, be honest and let them know that this is important to you.

If I were you I would try to use detailed, personal examples of where you are struggling when talking to your parents. Say that you have found some information online about ADHD and that it sounds like something that you may have and you would like to look into it. You don’t have to have all the information, you are simply asking for their support.

​If your mind is stuck on the worst-case scenario, it might be useful to write it down. Then write down the best-case scenario and then consider the most likely scenario which is probably somewhere in-between.
This helps me see the range of possible outcomes instead of getting stuck on the negative outcomes.

It is normal to question whether you are actually struggling or just “making it all up”. When I was in university I had to be rediagnosed with dyslexia. Even though I know I have it and had received a diagnosis before, a small part of me was convinced that they were going to tell me that I was making it all up. Just because the nagging voice in your head is loud doesn’t mean that it is right!

Even if you don’t have ADHD (although it sounds like there is a good possibility that you do), you are still having difficulty and you deserve support.

I hope it goes well and there are many people here for you if you need anything :grinning:.


Hmmmmmm . . . :thinking:


Even after repeated (more than once . . . ) I will mix up the sequence in a multi-step process. The other day I was reading the instructions (to my wife) on how I was going to connect jumper cables from her car to mine (to get my dead car battery to show some “spark of life” . . . :joy:). She had the exact same instructions in front of her that I was reading to her. If she had not corrected what she heard me say (incorrectly . . . multiple times!) . . . Who knows!

Same thing if someone gives me verbal instructions on how to get someplace as I’m driving (or not . . . driving). No chance of me remembering more than one or two steps in the sequence. I often have to have things repeated to me several times. Without a GPS, verbally telling me “turn right” / “turn left” I’d be lost in a minute. and then when I get lost, my anxiety kicks in and things get even worse.

And then of course, how many times have I written clear instructions out on paper . . . Only to forget where I put the piece of paper when I needed it.

Enough said already?

So, welcome to the :brain: tribe my young friend!!


For any of your symptoms/traits, ask yourself if you experience them “often”. This is a key word in the diagnostic criteria. If you have symptoms which you wouldn’t say occur “often”, then they might have another cause.

This could be due to Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD, particularly if you have other H-I traits.
However, it’s possible for other conditions to cause Hyperactivity.

  • I knew a kid who had an allergy to red food dye. I’m pretty sure that he had ADHD as well, but his allergic response tripped him up into a full hyperactive state.
  • When I was a kid, I had a neighbor (another kid about a year younger than me) who had a genetic condition (an extra gene, but not the one that causes Down Syndrome) that caused him to have bizarre behavior. He could seem calm one minute and highly-impulsive the next.
  • A person who has bipolar disorder (aka manic-depression) can seem to by H-I when in a manic state, but this will be cyclical (occurring for a little while every few weeks or months), and thus not “often”, but would be “sometimes” or “occasionally”.

@Gus1053, since you said “always”, then it sounds like it would fit the ADHD criteria.

General memory issues may or may not be caused by ADHD.

Inattentive or Combined presentation of ADHD are likely to be a cause working memory issues.

As an Inattentive, I usually have to write down a list of steps or items. If I have to memorize a list list longer that three items, I have to use mnemonic devices (“memory tricks”), such as putting the words to music, or following a rhythm, pattern, etc. But this does not fix my memory issues, it is an accomodation, a tool to use to overcome a limitation. (It’s like how I wear glasses because I’m nearsighted! The glasses don’t fix my eyesight, they are an accomodation to offset my nearsightedness.)


@Gus1053, Welcome to the community!

May be just show them what you wrote here? If it is hard for you to talk to them, you can just leave this page open on your phone or computer and leave it where your parents can easily see it!

The important thing is to find out whether you are ADHD or have some other condition so that you can get appropriate help.

If you are concerned about how your parents may react, remember that they have your best interests at heart, not matter how they may react initially. But they are not perfect so give them time to come to terms with this if necessary.

Good luck!


Okay, so what I did is talked to my mom earlier, but did not specify adhd. I am returning to a full day of in person school, (I have only been going for 2 hours a day) and hopefully my symptoms will become more apparent during that time. My mom said what I am feeling is probably because I have not had much schoolwork and I am under stimulated. If once I transition to full person school, the fact that I am not getting enough work and time in school will not be a factor, so that might help them in helping me. But thank you guys so much for your support because I probably wouldn’t have talked to my mom if you guys isn’t encourage me!


Nice job!!!

Also I do want to say you built up the courage fast! I have been trying for like 3 weeks and everytime i am so close something stops me. Congrats dude keep us posted.

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Honestly, the only reason I did is because me and my mom went on a hike with our dog and it took us 3 hours, and I kept trying to do it every minute until I did it at the VERY end. But thanks! And I hope you get a good result when you talk to your parents!