Parenting can be difficult as a general rule of thumb; it can be particularly overwhelming when a child has been diagnosed with ADHD. Consider the following helpful tips if you have a child with ADHD.
1. Make your health and attitude a priority.
Parents are responsible for creating structure and consistency in the home. This becomes next to impossible to do if you are not feeling emotionally or physically well. It becomes far too easy to negatively react to a minor issue when feeling overwrought.
Diet, exercise and stress reduction methods are necessary to maintain a positive outlook. Take time out for yourself with meditation, a nightly bath, or an evening walk - or another routine to help you relax. Get the support that you need. Join a support group for parents of children with ADHD, and speak with doctors and teachers for advice. Take a break if you need it; even when that means a friend, family member or volunteer babysits your child.
2. Create predictable structure in the home.
Children with ADHD may perform better when tasks occur in a predictable place and order. Routines must be established and all adult family members in the home should assist with supporting the schedule.
There are a number of things that you can do. Establish rituals such having your child select clothing for the next day before going to bed, and have book bags prepacked for the following day with all books or materials and placed in the same place every day for easy grab and go. Clocks and timers can be used to help children transition activities and have enough time to get ready for school or complete activities.
3. Encourage physical activity.
Like many young children, children with ADHD have plenty of energy. Physical activities and organized sports can provide an invaluable outlet for them.
Children with attention problems do well with certain sports and physical activities. It is important that the child enjoys the sport and it suits their strengths. Pets are also wonderful additions to the family to reduce stress, and encourage play in young children. One of the side benefits of all of this activity is that children will have an easier time winding down and getting a good night’s sleep.
Still looking for more advice? We are ready to help. Reach out to our team at ADHD Associates for assistance in the treatment and monitoring of children with ADHD/ADD.