Chimpanzees, Parenting, and Fun

By Peggy Gomula, PCI Certified Parent Coach®

“One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.”

–Jane Goodall

Good Morning!

“…having a child should be fun.” I was so excited when I found this quote. I sure wish I had seen this quote when I was in my “witch on a broomstick” phase. I like to think that I might have paused for a moment and realized that I was missing something.

When you really look at it, “fun” was what missing from my parenting at that time. I viewed parenting as a chore; something that I had to do; something that was my “duty” as a mother; something that was confusing, difficult, exhausting, and definitely not fun.

Thank goodness I found someone to help me see the fun part of parenting. There were still times raising my three daughters with ADHD that were confusing, difficult, and exhausting, but when I added in the fun, it made those times so much easier.

When I let go of what I thought was the right way to parent, I was finally able to see what fun parenting could be. When I realized that my children were never going to change, that they would always have ADHD and therefore would always be a challenge, the fun began. When I started to reframe some of those negative ADHD traits and see my children as eager, energized, spontaneous, out-of-the-box thinkers who had many moments of brilliance, I was able to let go of the way that I thought they should be and let them take me on a journey that, at times, was definitely a fun one.

So yes, parenting is hard. And parenting children with ADHD can be even be harder. But don’t concentrate so much on the difficulties, or you’ll miss out on the fun! When life gets tough, think of Jane Goodall and her chimpanzees having fun (which should at least bring a smile to your face), and then go out and have some fun yourself.


Peggy provides parent coaching services both in-person and online. She specializes in helping families navigate the challenges of ADHD.

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