Parenting a child with ADHD
Children, teenagers, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have trouble concentrating. Considered a mental disorder, ADHD has various symptoms and varying degrees of severity but can be effectively managed through early intervention.
ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattentiveness, and distractibility. This disorder typically manifests during childhood. It may also manifest during adolescence or adulthood. Children with ADHD may:
- Require many reminders to perform certain duties
- Have organizational difficulties
- Lack self-control or experience emotional outbursts
- Have trouble following instructions or directions
- Fidget and have trouble sitting still
- Find it difficult to share or take turns
- Having difficulty controlling their emotions appropriately
- My be defiant
Consistency is important when dealing with kids with ADHD. As a parent, it may be hard to spot certain behaviors that are considered signs and symptoms of ADHD. You may at first feel a bit overwhelmed, frustrated, and stressed out by your child’s behaviors.
The struggles of ADHD usually become more apparent when kids join schools. This may translate to issues with schoolwork or disruptions in the classroom.
According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), roughly 8.4% of children in the U.S. have ADHD, which is most likely to occur in boys than girls.
At Smarter Parenting, we can provide ADHD support to your child. Through behavior modification (skills?), we can assist you by teaching you how to model by modeling appropriate behaviors and teaching them skills to help them understand that there are better alternatives to their choices.
How to help a child with ADHD
Parenting is important in treating ADHD. How you respond to your child’s diagnosis, for example, may make the condition better or worse for them.
As a parent, there are certain things that you can do after your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, and Smarter Parenting can help you learn what those things are. Begin by understanding that your child or teenager has unique needs that can be addressed through the following targeted strategies.
1. Be involved
As a parent, it’s important to learn all about ADHD. Smarter Parenting can recommend behavioral techniques to shape your child’s conduct. By following our parenting classes, learning the skills, and coaching appointments, you’ll start noticing a change in your child’s behavior.
If your child is taking ADHD medications, it’s critical to administer the doses during recommended times as prescribed by your child’s physician.
2. Talk about ADHD
Your child may blame themselves for their condition. Always help your child to understand that ADHD isn’t their fault. Make sure they realize you don’t blame them.
Don’t be afraid of talking with your child about the disorder. ADHD support begins at home. By talking about it, you and your child can accept the disorder and find ways to deal with it and manage its symptoms. Make ADHD a family issue rather than your child’s issue.
3. Encourage your child
Positive reinforcement can help shape good behavior. Children with ADHD should learn about acceptable behaviors by receiving praise whenever possible. Praise and encouragement help them differentiate between what’s acceptable and what’s not.
You can also reward your child for a good job. Don’t think of rewards as bribes — they’re not. Once your child is done with their homework, for instance, give them some time to do an activity they enjoy— that’s their reward.
4. Set clear expectations
Children with ADHD need to know what’s expected of them. ADHD coaching can help parents establish clear expectations for their children, so they know what to do. You can write down those expectations for you and your child to remember and pin them in the living room or your child’s bedroom for them to see, read, and master.
5. Talk with teachers
For effective ADHD support, you must work with your child’s school. Get in touch with the teachers to discuss your child’s needs. Measures such as allowing your child to sit away from doors or windows can help to improve concentration.
6. Exercise and sleep
Physical activities such as walking, running, exercising, cycling, hiking, or martial arts can help children with ADHD burn off excess energy. Children are more likely to take these activities seriously if their parents often engage in them, too.
Physical activities can help children with ADHD by:
- Decreasing anxiety and depression
- Boosting brain growth
- Improving concentration
A good night’s sleep can also help manage ADHD symptoms. Low-quality sleep can make kids with ADHD less attentive and irritable. Some of the strategies that you can implement to ensure your child gets enough sleep include:
- Eliminating caffeine in their diet
- Playing soothing music to help them fall asleep faster
- Decreasing activity levels an hour before bedtime
- Increasing your child’s physical activities during the day
- Implement a bedtime routine that prepares your child to rest and relax
Consistent bedtime hours and a good sleep regime can improve your child’s mood and limit stress.
7. Introduce “wait time”
Children with ADHD struggle with impulsivity. They may take little or no time to think about the consequences of their actions or statements. ADHD coaching can help your child practice and train their line of thought before speaking out or replying to a conversation.
If your child learns to wait a moment before expressing what’s on their mind, they’ll have time to reflect and consider whether sharing their thoughts is appropriate or necessary. This may help them to limit saying or doing things without thinking them through.
8. Help your child with social skills
Children with ADHD may find it difficult to interact with peers and make friends. Through expert coaching, Smarter Parenting can teach you, as a parent, how to go about simple social interactions. We can also help your child learn to appreciate the significance of cooperating with their peers.
Don’ts for children with ADHD
As a parent, you shouldn’t give up on your ADHD child. Stay positive when you face a stressful event — always be optimistic. When you’re overwhelmed, breathe in, and regroup.
Parenting a child with ADHD requires planning. If you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or frustrated, the coaches at Smarter Parenting can help.
We can improve your child’s quality of life through our behavioral intervention techniques. If you’re wondering how, you can help your child with ADHD, our behavioral skills may be what you need. Your child’s life can be as fulfilling and pleasurable as that of any other child.