It is natural to think that your child can't concentrate, always loses something, fidgets or talks excessively, and doesn't listen to what you say or want to do. Additionally, your child takes risks that endanger both themselves and others. With a child like this, it's not always simple to keep up with them, much less stay one step ahead of them.
In this guide, we want to take you through 10 management strategies which are time-tested and effective to parent a child with ADHD better:
Learn about the disorder as much as you can
ADHD might look very different in different children, even when diagnosed with the same type. As a parent, it is important to read more about the disorder and educate yourself on your child's unique needs and how their life will be impacted at home and in other settings.
A large chunk of information is available online, but not all of it is accurate and scientifically backed. Keep in mind to only refer to sources which are authentic and reputable.
Discover the right treatment for your child
ADHD treatments usually involve a combination of multiple strategies, which are listed below:
- Psychotherapy: Talk therapy can provide a secure space for your kid to express their thoughts and the problems that come with living with ADHD.
- Behavioural Therapy: Approximately half of all children with ADHD also have behavioural issues. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most common and effective therapies.
- Medication for ADHD: ADHD medication is more prevalent than you would assume. Medication is prescribed to about 75% of children with ADHD as part of their treatment regimen. Only use medication when your doctor/health care provider prescribes it.
- Social skills development: You or a therapist can assist your child in developing the skills required to create and maintain positive interactions with other children.
Managing your or your partner's ADHD (if present)
ADHD parenting can be even more challenging if you struggle to manage your ADHD. If your child has ADHD, there is a 41% and 51% probability that it is passed down from a biological parent.
You may argue with your child more, feel more agitated, and even put your child in danger of damage owing to your inattention caused by ADHD. Here are some techniques which you can use to parent better:
- Diagnose and treat your or your partner's ADHD.
- Attend a class on behavioural parenting.
- Assign homework responsibilities to the parent who does not have ADHD.
- When feasible, have the parent who does not have the disorder manage time-sensitive activities such as school projects, doctor's visits, etc.
Avoid using labels
Children who are regularly told negative things about themselves begin to believe them. No matter how aggravating your child's behaviour is, never label them "lazy" or anything else that may be considered harmful.
Remember that some of the problematic behaviours you attribute to ADHD may be shared by all children of that age.
Express appreciation and praise them for doing good
Praise for a task well done is a terrific approach to inspire your child to perform the same thing again. However, experts have shown that praise may be much more important for children with ADHD.
When you praise a child who has ADHD, they will improve even more than their neurotypical classmates since the prospect of earning a reward motivates them more. This system is referred to as positive reinforcement.
An example of positive reinforcement could be rewarding your child with thirty minutes extra of video game playtime for cleaning their bedroom.
Help them stay organized
Children who have ADHD frequently forget things, feel lost, become confused, and even lack organization and management. Make sure everything has a place, as this will assist your child. This will offer them a sense of control and lessen their worry. Additionally, divide up larger activities into smaller ones to prevent overload. Finally, use calendars or organizers to assist them in keeping track of dates and activities.
Make them ready for transitions
Children with ADHD may find it more difficult to switch from a favourite pastime they are engaging in, such as playing video games or watching a show, to a task they should be performing instead. These shifts may result in rejection or outright temper outbursts.
Try preparing your child for the change beforehand by doing one of the following things to make the experience positive for everyone:
- To help your child understand what will happen when going over the daily schedule with them.
- Mark the changeover by acting, such as crossing off the task they just completed.
- Give them a compliment or reward for a smooth transfer.
Recognize your child's strengths
Several children with ADHD excel in particular areas, such as art, sports, technology and creating things – building on these abilities will give your child a feeling of accomplishment and achievement.
As your child pursues these hobbies, ensure they have the chance to succeed and that untreated ADHD does not compromise their strengths.
Additionally, try to avoid using these activities as rewards for good behaviour or as a form of punishment when your child misbehaves by not allowing them to participate.
Check-in with teachers and peers
Maintaining contact with your child's instructors and peers is crucial. This will enable you to keep track of your child's progress and the difficulties they are encountering. Additionally, it will enable you to offer aid and support when required.
Seek Social Support for Yourself
A parent's mental health may suffer as a result of raising an ADHD child. It is crucial to look for support from those experiencing the same thing. This can be a terrific opportunity to connect with other parents who share your experiences, obtain advice, and vent.
At Rocket Health, we strive to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health and build a strong community which fosters growth and a safe space for everyone. Join our community CancelStigma using the link below. We promise to be your strongest cheerleaders and warmest support system!