Skip to Content

Embracing ADHD: Penn Holderness Encourages Spectacular Living

Penn and Kim Holderness, renowned for their viral videos covering a wide array of topics such as the pandemic and parenting, along with their podcast that delves into diverse subjects including ADHD—the focal point of their latest book published by Harper Horizon, an imprint of HaperCollins Focus. The couple engaged in a conversation with us, shedding light on their book, the unique challenges posed by ADHD, how it has brought richness to their lives, their triumphant victory on The Amazing Race, a beloved video creation, and more.

Newsweek _ What inspired the decision to pen this book?

Penn Holderness _ The motivation to write this book stemmed from a personal necessity. Recognizing the amplified complexities ADHD introduced to juggling familial responsibilities, I realized the imperative nature of sharing this narrative. I experienced moments of inadvertently disappointing those around me, prompting the urge to articulate this journey.

What is the experience like of raising a child with ADHD while navigating the challenges of ADHD yourself?

P _ The dynamics vary based on the intensity of concurrent tasks. Initially assuming the role of a stay-at-home father to my daughter, I grasped the unique workings of the ADHD brain. The concept of hyperfocus, wherein exceptional performance is achieved when deeply engrossed in a task of personal interest, resonated with me. However, seemingly simple activities like listening to my child while driving posed challenges. Witnessing the disappointment in my children’s eyes when I failed to fully engage underscored the delicate balance required.

Managing emotions with ADHD likely intensifies the experience.

P _ Individuals with ADHD often battle feelings of shame. Acknowledging the condition is pivotal—it separates the individual from their brain’s impulses, offering clarity rather than excuses. Embracing this understanding unveils the fascinating facets of the ADHD brain.

Balancing the needs of a child with ADHD alongside one without presents unique challenges. How do you navigate this equilibrium?

Kim Holderness _ In the role of a partner, fostering independence and establishing personalized systems are crucial. While I extend unwavering support, the onus lies on the individual to devise strategies tailored to their needs. Communication plays a pivotal role, allowing for transparent dialogue and mutual understanding. As a parent, the responsibility intensifies, demanding patience and consistency. Embracing the magical creativity inherent in the ADHD brain, despite the hurdles, evokes a sense of awe and gratitude.

Your portrayal of ADHD incorporates humor. How has this facet benefitted your professional journey?

P _ Purposefully gravitating towards ADHD-friendly roles, such as live news television, has been instrumental in leveraging the unique traits of the ADHD brain. Embracing platforms like social media, which offer brief yet impactful content delivery, align seamlessly with the essence of ADHD creativity and spontaneity.

K _ Engaging with social media comments as a dialogue enriches the experience, fostering connections with the audience. While acknowledging the positive impact of social media, moments of overwhelming negativity necessitate a temporary disengagement to preserve mental well-being.

Are there specific video creations that hold a special place in your hearts?

P _ Among our portfolio of content, the Hamilton mashup video stands out as a memorable creation. The spontaneity and rapid execution of this project underscore the essence of ADHD creativity and adaptability.

Embarking on The Amazing Race at the onset of the pandemic introduced unique complexities. How did ADHD influence this experience?

P _ Contrary to hindering our progress, ADHD served as a catalyst for success during The Amazing Race. The structured nature of the competition, coupled with the absence of distractions like phones, provided an ideal environment for leveraging hyperfocus and accomplishing tasks efficiently.

What overarching message do you aim to convey through your book?

P _ The core message revolves around dispelling feelings of inadequacy and solitude associated with ADHD. Embracing the uniqueness of the ADHD brain, reframing it as a wellspring of creativity rather than a deficit, empowers individuals to construct personalized systems for optimal functionality, ultimately unveiling the brilliance inherent in their cognitive processes.