Guest post from Piper McIntosh
To be candid, It can be really challenging to be a parent to a child with severe ADHD. The inability to stay focused and become so easily distracted can lead to many difficult situations. Your child may become emotionally impulsive and unable to understand how to react in a lot of instances. Every child with ADHD is different and everyone’s parenting styles are different so this article just shares several ways that have made my experience ADHD parenting easier, thus making me more confident as a parent.
You need to teach
I have found there is a fragile balance that must be found between being firm and being patient and understanding with your child. You must be calm with your child, as becoming irritated immediately may cause your child’s stress to be multiplied. This won’t lead to any positive outcomes, so you should avoid escalating your anger when possible. You must also allow your child enough independence. You may lead them in the right direction, but they should be able to feel that they are making decisions for themselves. It will help to set goals for them with some sort of reward for them to look forward to once they accomplish that goal.
Being consistent in rewards
I used to be so scared of when my child misbehaved. Yes, you read that right. I was scared. Not of my child, but of how they would react if I punished them in the wrong way. I have learned that to be effective, I need to give consistent and reasonable consequences for their actions. Also, I am always sure to reward them for positive behavior. Take time to be patient and understanding with your child and explain to them why certain actions are wrong. They must know why they should or shouldn’t do certain things as doing so will allow them to better understand their actions and to act accordingly in the future.
I always longed for a way to keep my child calm. I, like many parents, have tried many different medications to achieve this outcome. With every medicine that worked somewhat, I also lost a part of my child, their personality and their humor. I did not want to change my child, just allow them the ability to be calm when it was needed. We started to implement certain activities for them to do when they become overwhelmed or need a break, for example, such as coloring or making music.
Take time for yourself
It can be difficult to be a confident parent sometimes. There are times when you won’t have all of the answers and times when you don’t know what to do. This is normal; however, your child needs a confident parent. They need someone to look up to that will inspire them to be confident in themselves. To appear more confident, you should have proper posture and take control of your actions. Keep your voice at the proper level and speak easily. You must also be sure that you are confident in yourself. If you don’t love yourself, it will be impossible to be able to love somebody else.
It is important to make sure that you are in control of your own emotions and take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is SO important, as a parent. You will often feel stressed but note that you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time to take care of yourself. You are strong for recognizing that it is important that you take care of yourself. This will allow you to properly take care of your children.
Practicing self-care is crucial for your health and for proper parenting. Take time to yourself to enjoy your own hobbies and spend time with friends and family. Have a daily routine that allows you to unwind before bed. Practice other ways that allow you to connect with yourself and have something that is purely for you. Meditating, practicing yoga, journaling, exercising, and reading are a few excellent ways to take time to yourself and keep your mental health in check. You must set a good example for your children and teach them for a young age to act in a confident manner. Keep the tips above in mind and you’ll get a bit better every day.
You are strong for recognizing that it is important that you take care of yourself.
Piper is a mom of four, two humans and two dogs! When she isn’t chasing one of them around she loves to attempt putting her thoughts into words. Inspired by all those around her, she tries to always see the good in every day and hopes to inspire others to do the same. She doesn’t have much “free time” but when she can sneak away she loves to go for a run, watch some reality TV, bake a new dish or deepen her yoga practice.