ADHD Parenting Tips

Deborah Health Guide
    • Despite the chaos that they can create, children with ADHD need structure and consistency. Help him stay on track with a daily chart of what he is supposed to be doing each hour. It may seem too structured to you, but a lot of people people with ADHD thrive using this simple method.
    • Acknowledge and accommodate your child's need to move. If she needs a break from the dinner table or other family time to work off some energy, don't be rigid. Let her get her excess energy out for a few minutes, as long as she understands that she needs to rejoin the group. A few short minutes will prevent a battle and the disruption of the whole family's enjoyment. Along those lines, consider letting your child do homework standing up or on an exercise ball. Being able to move actually can help them focus.
    • When you're really frustrated with your child's behavior, give yourself a time out. Parenting an ADHD child is undeniably difficult at times, and there's nothing wrong with taking a break from the inevitable nagging that you hear coming out of your mouth, and to cool down if you're getting angry.
    • Homework time can be challenging, to say the least, for a child with ADHD. Here are some tips on making it easier:
      • Let him have a short break between the end of school and homework time. The earlier in the day he does the homework, the better. And a short break instead of a long one will hopefully keep him from becoming too immersed in his break activity.
      • Create a homework area (not in your child's room) that is free of clutter and distractions.
      • Let your child do his homework in 15 or 20 minute chunks of time, with a five minute break in between.
      Make sure remind yourself and your child about the positive aspects of ADHD. Some of the best creative minds and successful business people have been inspired by their ADHD to accomplish great things. Your child is going to get a lot of negative feedback from adults and even other kids. You need to give them a way to balance out that negative feedback with positive reinforcement. People with ADHD tend to be creative, energetic and compassionate. What positive traits does your child have that you can point out to her? Praise your child frequently (as long as it's sincere). You need to praise your ADHD child for accomplishing those things that parents of non-ADHD children take for granted.
    • Remember that your ADHD child is rarely being deliberately disobedient. You may find it hard to believe, if you don't have ADHD yourself, that she can forget to do something, or even how to do it, when she had no trouble with it the day before. But one of the big problems with ADHD is the lack of consistency. There's a good chance that your child is twice as frustrated with herself than you are. Try not to see her behavior as a personal attack or deliberate challenge to your authority - chances are good that it isn't.
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    Published On: September 07, 2010