If you really want to be a supportive parent when your child has ADHD you have to understand one important fact. They may feel frustrated because he or she does not feel that there is enough support in the home.
Parents may feel that there is just not enough help available and it all becomes too much. The secret is to make sure that you are not making this disorder into an issue and that you have a few parenting hacks up your sleeve. Also read as much as you can on ADHD.
Here are 10 ways to make this task easier.
1. Help by Adjusting Expectations
We all forget things and are distracted. Given that the ADHD kid is very easily distracted we should adjust expectations accordingly. Just because one task has been omitted when all the others have been done need not become an issue.
2. Keep Calm
There will be times when patience runs out. If a parent loses self-control at this point, the whole issue escalates and can get out of control. Who is in charge?
3. Use a Notice Board to Make Behavior Objectives Clear
These behavior objectives, routines, and chores should all be written down so that you can easily point to them when non-compliance is likely to become a flashpoint. Younger kids will love star charts which will all go towards a reward or prize. Make sure that there are no:–
- threats, stress or unnecessary drama when parenting
- strict deadlines
- excessive punishments or withdrawal of special privileges for minor problems
4. Making Kids Accountable
Explain that certain behavior can have consequences. These are all clearly stated on the noticeboard. This saves loads of argument. There is no need for shouting or dramatic slamming of doors. Give the consequence as soon as you can after the non-compliance.
You have to avoid recriminations, anger, and resentment against the kid and concentrate on the actual problem. Often, parents are the ones who should take time out because of the stress of parenting a child with this disorder. A timeout can help us to calm down and tackle the problem with self-control.
5. Be Aware of the Limits of Medication
Medication can help with symptoms and children may become less hyper and even less impulsive. But it will not teach skills nor will it really change the underlying behavior issues which are the real challenges of parenting. For example, he or she will still need guidance on organizing tasks (routines on the notice board are invaluable here), social skills in dealing with friends and socializing. This is one of the secrets of parenting a child with ADHD.
This is also where parents have to role-play situations so that they learn not to kick a sibling but does he or she know what to do instead and how to handle the situation? This is at the core of behavior therapy and can help parents enormously, by attending parenting classes, joining a support group, visiting online forums or getting help from a therapist.
The director of the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University is Dr. William Pelham who is a distinguished ADD expert. He firmly believes parenting skills for this disorder can be learned from simple behavior therapy. These techniques should be tried first before any medication is given. This is the best way to help.
6. Understanding the Disorder Better
When you join a support group, new vistas are opened up. You meet other parents who are struggling and can exchange problems and solutions. It is a great way to get tips on parenting a kid with ADHD. There is also a lot of helpful info and advice now widely available.
Read and learn about the disorder because the more you understand what is happening in your child’s brain, the better you will be able to give the support and guidance he really needs. See the list of useful resources so that you can get started now on more effective parenting.
7. Playing with Children
Your ADHD kid can be extremely funny and intelligent. Yet, this aspect is often overlooked by parents as they concentrate on getting homework done and meeting deadlines to get them to bed on time and out of the house the next morning.
Spending prime time with them and just enjoying them is a great way to bond with them. Using fun activities and watching hilarious videos and playing silly games can be great ways. The secret is to keep your child’s strengths at the top of your list and also remind the child too so that his self-esteem can flourish. He or she will feel encouraged after getting this help.
8. Food is Much More Important than You Think
Without going overboard, you can easily help your kid with healthier food choices. Get rid of most of the processed stuff. Simpler, fresher food can make it easier for the brain to metabolize it. Adding protein at breakfast time can help. This avoids a sugar crash later on in the morning.
Research shows that hyperactivity, attention span, and focus can all be reduced by anything from 50% to 70%, just by making a few sensible changes to a kid’s diet. Well worth the effort!
9. Fresh Air for Your ADHD Child is Precious
Loads of studies now show us that exercising in the open air can help to relieve hyperactive and impulsivity. Children who do this on a regular basis are able to focus better when they have to sit down to do homework. This is in marked contrast to kids who are attached to electronic devices and who never get out at all. These kids are also at risk of becoming obese as if they did not have enough problems!
Start by encouraging the kids to play with one other child at a time, rather than with a whole group of peers as problems may emerge about turn taking and sharing. You may have to role play certain social situations where the child is required to be proactive. This is so important in helping them develop friendships.
Have you any other tips on parenting a child with ADHD? If you have, be sure to leave them in the comments below.