Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Children with ADHD

Having a child with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can present many challenges. It requires a lot of energy and can be very exhausting. However, as parents, there are many things we can do to help our children succeed and manage the symptoms of ADHD they experience. The important thing to remember is that kids who have ADHD are often lacking executive functioning skills which include being able to plan ahead, organize, complete tasks, control impulses and self regulate. Due to the deficits within executive functioning it is important for us as parents to provide that added structure and guidance for our children and remain patient as they work to develop those skills for themselves. The following are some parenting tips for raising children with ADHD:

  • Stay Positive: It is important that as parents we keep a positive attitude and remain calm and focused. By so doing, our children will be more able to remain calm and focused as well. It is vitally important that we keep things in perspective and remember that the majority of our child’s behavior is a result of the ADHD and not the child.
  • Stay Healthy: When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of your child. It is crucial that you remember that you do not have to face the challenges of raising a child with ADHD alone, seek support from doctors, therapists, community members, etc.
  • Establish Structure and Stick To It: Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed when there is a set structure that is consistent. Therefore, it is important to create and maintain a set structure in your home through developing a routine (e.g., follow the same routine everyday for getting ready in the morning, doing chores after school, getting homework done, going to bed, etc.).
  • Have Clear Expectations and Rules: Make sure that you have consistent rules that are clear and easy to understand. Children with ADHD often respond well to an organized system of rewards and consequences so coming up with some kind of system and making sure your child knows, understands and can follow the system is important. From there it is important that you stick to your system. Be sure that you are always consistent in following through with rewards and consequences as indicated by the system you set up.

These are just a few suggestions for things you can do as a parent to best help and assist a child with ADHD be successful. What are some other things we can do as parents to help children with ADHD?

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