Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition that can cause abnormal levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD often have trouble focusing and attending to a single task or sitting still in one place for long periods. Many people experience inattention and changes in energy levels. ADHD can have a significant effect on studies, work, and home life.
ADHD Parenting Tips
Living a life with an attention deficit child can be frustrating, even overwhelming sometimes. But, parents can help their children overcome daily life challenges, channel their energy positively and bring peace to their family. If parents along with other family members keep in mind that having ADHD is just as frustrating for your child, it will be a lot easier to respond in positive, supportive ways. With patience, compassion, and plenty of support, parents can manage childhood ADHD while enjoying a stable, happy home.
Raising a child with ADHD is different from raising a child in traditional childrearing practice. In this case, normal rule-making and household routines become almost impossible, depending on the type and severity of your child’s symptoms, so parents need to adopt various approaches. It can become frustrating to cope with some of the behaviors which result from your child’s ADHD, but there are ways to make life a little easier. Parents should accept the fact that children with ADHD have functionally different brains from those of other children. While children with ADHD can still learn what is acceptable and what isn’t. One most important thing to remember is that – the earlier and more consistently family members will address the child’s problems, the greater chance they will have for success in life.
Parenting Tips for ADHD Child: Do’s and Don’ts
Parenting children with ADHD can be challenging at times. These tips may be useful for parents who have children with ADHD. However, it’s important to remember that no two children are similar, and what is helpful best for one family may or may not work for another.
Here are a few Do’s you as a parent can try for your ADHD child –
A) Parenting Tips for ADHD Child: Do’s
1. Limit Distractions
Children with ADHD easily become distracted. Screen time is one of the major distractions children encounter. Television, video games, and the computer encourage impulsive behavior and needs to be regulated by parents. The usage and time should be monitored and regulated by parents. By decreasing time with electronics and increasing time doing engaging activities outside the home, your child will have an outlet for built-up energy. Allow them to go out and play which will channel their energy positively. Engage them in sports such as football, mallkhamb, swimming, and badminton which requires paying attention to a task for a longer period.
2. Establish a routine and stick to it
Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed in completing tasks when the tasks appear in a predictable pattern and predictable places. As a parent, it is your job is to create and sustain structure in your home, so that your child knows what to expect and what they are expected to do. Establish simple and predictable rituals for your child’s meals, homework, play, and bed. Have your child arrange clothes for the next morning before going to bed, and make sure whatever he or she needs to take to school is in a specific place, ready and easy to grab.
3. Set clear rules and expectations
Children with ADHD need consistent rules that they can understand and follow easily. Make sure you are making the rules simple and clear. Write down all the rules and hang them up in a place where your child can easily read them. These children respond very well to organized systems of rewards and consequences. It’s necessary to explain what will happen when the rules are followed and when they are broken. As a parent, it is important to stick to your system: follow a good reward or a consequence schedule to maintain your child’s faith in you.
4. Praise your child when they do something good
Always lookout for good behavior—and praise it. Praise is especially important for these children because they rarely get praised by anyone. These children almost always receive correction, remediation, and complaints about their behavior—but very little positive reinforcement. A smile, a compliment, or other rewards from you such as any small gift can improve the attention, concentration, and impulse control of your child with ADHD. Do your best to focus on giving positive praise for appropriate behavior and task completion, while giving as few negative responses as possible to inappropriate behavior or poor task performance. Reward your child for small achievements that you might take for granted in another child.
5. Break bigger tasks down into smaller manageable tasks
For someone with ADHD, few tasks can feel too complex and tiring. Whenever possible, break these tasks down into easily achievable goals. For example, if a child has been asked to clean their wardrobe, it may be helpful to break this into smaller tasks, such as firstly cleaning the clothes compartment, then the books then the shoes, and so on.
6. Work as a team
This means that parents along with other family members who are involved in taking care of the child should be on the same page regarding treatment plans and goals. Sharing information with the others involved in your child’s care is essential to ensure that your child receives appropriate needed support. Treat your child’s teachers as allies and work together for optimal outcomes at home and in the classroom as well. Consider consulting a professional as well in a few cases who can also help out with your child’s symptoms severity and appropriate treatment plan.
B) Parenting Tips for ADHD Child: Don’ts
1. Avoid getting angry unnecessarily
An important thing to remember is that your child’s behavior is caused by a disorder. S/he is not doing things purposefully. ADHD may not be visible on the outside, but it’s a disability and needs to be treated. When you begin to feel angry or frustrated, remember that your child can’t “snap out of it” or “just be normal.”
2. Don’t be negative
It’s better said than done. But, it’s all about the perspective. Staying negative is not going to help you deal with your child effectively. It will only create questions like “Why my child?” Instead, you can help your child by staying positive and encouraging him/her to stay positive. What is stressful and embarrassing today might also vanish tomorrow.
3. Don’t worry about the future
Just because your child doesn’t finish cleaning up his/her wardrobe today doesn’t mean she/he’ll never clean it. You don’t have to teach your child to master everything right now. With parents’ support and guidance, the child will learn each new skill when they are ready. Build your way to the future instead of worrying about what it might look like. Staying in the present will help you stay positive as well.
4. Avoid labeling
Any label can be harmful to kids, whether we call them lazy or coward. Children hate labels. Labels can be very hurtful and kids tend to keep them in mind, which in turn crushes their self-esteem. Never label them as ADHD or a hyperactive child.
5. Don’t set unrealistic goals
Set clear expectations for your child. Setting unrealistic goals will lead you to distress. Know your child’s limits and then set up your goals. For example, if you expect a child who has difficulty sitting at one place for 5 minutes to sit at one place for 15 minutes, it will be difficult for him. But, if you’re setting the expectation of 7 minutes, s/he can achieve that, which can boost his self-confidence as well. Setting realistic goals boosts a child’s self-confidence and the parent’s trust in the child as well.
6. Don’t command
Instead of commanding, you as a parent can explain. A parent or caregiver can give reasons for what they are asking the child to do, and where it is age-appropriate for the child. Keep it simple but expect to be asked to elaborate. Explaining the reasons for doing a task can alleviate worry and confusion in a child with ADHD. When explaining things, a person should use positive and clear language. Explaining the reasons for asking the child to do a task is also respectful, and self-respect is crucial if the child feels they may be different from others.
Research suggests, that more than one child in ten in the US has ADHD. Having ADHD can feel isolating for a child. Even though ADHD is not completely curable, it can be managed and controlled by various strategies. Although raising a child with ADHD poses some extra challenges, with support and appropriate interventions, kids with ADHD can thrive.
To meet the challenges of raising a child with ADHD, parents need to be able to master a combination of compassion and consistency. Living in a home that provides both love and structure is the best thing for a child who is learning to manage ADHD.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult for the parents as well to help a child having ADHD. At such difficult times, counseling can be helpful. If you are looking for the best counselors for your child having ADHD, click on the link to book an appointment.