All preschoolers can be challenging, but some parents of ADHD preschoolers feel lost about how to handle things. However, you can see immediate results with these five easy parenting tips for ADHD preschoolers.
1: Be consistent
One of the most important things that parents of ADHD children must do is to determine what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is unacceptable early on. Like neurotypical children, ADHD children benefit from consistency--punishing them for certain behaviors one day and then ignoring those behaviors the next day prevents them from understanding the importance of avoiding that behavior.
2: Develop a Points System
Conversely, it's important to notice and reward good behavior in order to instill positive modification. One of the ways to make this system of positive and negative reinforcement concrete is to develop a "points" system in which children earn points for good behavior. You can then allow them to redeem these points for fun activities such as playing video games or watching television.
3: Offer structured choices
While the aforementioned boundaries are important, it is equally important to give ADHD children enough time to actually make the right decision. A simple way to get them in the habit of good behavior is to offer structured choices--that is, they get their choice of two or three things that need to be done. For example, if you ask a child if they want to do their homework, they may honestly answer "no." However, if you frame the question as whether they would like to complete their math or science homework first, you help to steer them towards positive choices.
3: The Power of Positive Attention
Children with ADHD crave lots of positive attention. You can use this to promote good behavior by going out of your way to notice and praise the child's good behavior. For instance, as the child works on their homework, go out of your way to encourage them by noting their hard work and how close to completion they are.
4: Accentuate the Positive, Ignore the Negative
By paying more attention to good behavior and less attention to negative behavior, you can use your child's desire for positive attention to help modify behavior. Remember that younger children will respond more positively to touch, while all ADHD children will benefit from you noticing and praising their strengths on a daily basis.
5: Be Flexible
These rules, like those you set for your own child, should be considered flexible. While consistency and rules are crucial for any child, those with ADHD don't always adapt to changes as quickly as neurotypical children. If you are too strict, too soon, it may keep them from learning.