ADHD Parenting: A complete guide
ADHD Parenting may sometimes be frustrating. You take your child to school with hopes that everything goes smoothly and in the first parent-teacher conference things don’t go as planned. The teacher says that your child has difficulty concentrating and focusing. You are now asking yourself, what’s next? Is there a special test for ADHD? Does my child need extra classes? How can I help? This article is aimed at ADHD parenting, a basic guide for parents.
ADHD Parenting: What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Disorder is a learning disorder that affects a child’s brain structure, changing how the neural networks work. This makes it difficult for children to concentrate, pay attention, inhibit their impulses, etc. This is why children with ADHD tend to seem restless and fidgety. They may feel stressed when doing assignments, and they may feel pressure when doing assignments and get distracted by their environments or their own thoughts.
ADHD Parenting: Finding help for ADHD
It can be hard to raise a child, especially hyperactive children. You may feel like taking care of your kids is too much, but you should never be afraid to ask for help. These are some helpful resources that you can go to if your child has ADHD.
- To find out if your child has ADHD, you can talk to your pediatrician or a specialist to get a professional opinion. Your pediatrician may be able to recommend a child psychologist to make a more in-depth analysis.
- Talk to your family. They may be able to help give you a hand taking care of your children.
- Join special groups that can help you get access to educational, social, and healthcare resources.
- Talk to your child’s teachers. The child spends most of his time there so the teachers will able to see how he or she’s performing day-to-day.
- Help your child with their homework.
ADHD Parenting: Importance of individual development in children with ADHD
In this aspect, it’s important to give children with ADHD the possibility to start from zero every day. Children with this disorder can’t control their behaviors or have a hard time thinking about possible future consequences. Holding on to your anger because of behavioral problems usually makes the situation worse rather than fixing it. It’s important to adapt to the situation and work to improve your child’s situation.
A. ADHD Parenting: Be clear about what behaviors are acceptable and what is not.
It is very important to tell your child what is considered appropriate behavior and what is not, that way there are guidelines he/she can follow. ADHD parenting means teaching your child the consequences of their actions and to think ahead. Punishing a behavior one day and allowing it the next is detrimental for the child. Some of the behaviors that should be unacceptable are physical outbursts, or unwillingness to do certain things like turn off the television, go to bed, etc. when told to do so.
These rules should be simple and clear and if your child follows them there should be a reward system put in place. ADHD parenting means establishing a points system, where your child has to reach certain points to receive a reward of their choosing.
B. ADHD Parenting: Always allow some flexibility
Children with ADHD have a hard time adapting to different circumstances, which is why they can’t get used to a slow life. ADHD parenting means making sure to keep firm rules but allow for some flexibility. Help the child adapt to different behaviors. If they make mistakes, tell them it is fine since that will also be a learning experience.
C. ADHD Parenting: Create a structure
Keep a routine for your child to follow. This provides structure and it helps the child know what is expected of him/her at the time.
D. ADHD Parenting: Support physical exercise
Physical exercise helps the child drain all that excess energy into something productive such as a sport. It decreases impulsivity and helps increase concentration and focus.
E. ADHD Parenting: Keep regular sleeping patterns
Kids with ADHD need their rest, it’s important you establish a healthy, calming bedtime ritual. Bedtime may be difficult but lack of sleep exacerbates inattention, hyperactivity, and recklessness. Try to eliminate stimulants like sugar and caffeine and less television time.
F. ADHD Parenting: Have patience and learn to anticipate explosive situations
You have to let your child develop and learn for him or herself, and don’t get upset if they don’t perform well in school. With practice and training, children can improve their attention, focus, and memory. It’s common that parents are always in reactive mode, remember to try to anticipate situations where your child might run out of patience or might react badly.
The child will be happiest when they are able to control their emotions and make friends with other kids. This will be easier for them if they know that their parents will support them in any situation.
When it comes to ADHD, negative feelings and frustration won’t get you anywhere. Try to think about your child and act accordingly. You have to move forward with your goal to help your child improve every day.
G. ADHD Parenting: Pay attention to positive behavior
Positive behavior is sometimes ignored when it comes to children with ADHD. Parents are so focused on correcting behavior they miss good behavior when it comes along. This creates a setting of negativity for the child, giving the child the sense they can’t meet the expectations and lowering self-esteem. It is important to reinforce good behavior so the child has a point of reference what is good and what isn’t.
H. ADHD Parenting: Be a good role model
Children are known to imitate behavior, so being a good role model is essential. If you ask your child to be organized, practice the same, that way they have someone to follow. Remember learning curves take time but it helps to have a reference point to look up to.
I. Find counseling
ADHD parenting can be tiresome so it’s important to know when help is needed. There is nothing wrong with taking your child to a therapist. Therapist help with behavioral issues, emotional outburst and much more. This will give the parent a break from scolding and help the child modulate their emotions better. It is always an option for the parents to also go to therapy, so as to learn different techniques for handling situations and even understanding why certain behaviors happen.
ADHD Parenting Tips
ADHD parenting can be challenging, if you’re still not sure what you can do as a parent of a child with ADHD, here are some basic ideas for raising an attention deficit and/or hyperactive child.
-Try to make sure he has a normal life, that he has scheduled time for homework, playing, and exercising. Divide tasks into short periods of time and with lots of breaks.
-Don’t get mad. Calm down and reflect before you burst out.
-Modify the child’s learning to his capacities and don’t spend too much time on tasks that he can’t get past.
-Don’t continuously point out his mistakes.
-Establish clear and simple rules.
-When the child interrupts you when you talk, don’t pay attention to them. They will learn when it is appropriate to talk.
-Dedicate some time playing with him doing something he likes.
-The child needs to know that you love him and will support him through anything. Make sure you’re always on his side.
Do you have trouble with ADHD parenting? Do you have other tips you want to share? Leave us a comment below.
Molly is a writer specialized in health and psychology. She is passionate about neuroscience and how the brain works, and is constantly looking for new content from interesting sources. Molly is happy to give or take advice, and is always working to educate and inspire.