Parenting tips for ADHD
As a parent, your child requires your understanding and support, which you must try to provide as best as you can. Keep in mind the following parenting tips for ADHD dealing with your children.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Communicate effectively
Before considering any other strategies to help your child at home, first, you must know how to communicate effectively with them. Children with ADHD are sensitive and tend to take things personally. So, instead of saying “everyone one gets distracted sometimes”, you can say “everyone has things they struggle with”, or in place of “if you can focus on things that you find fun, you can focus on work, too”, you can say “you need to do your work even if it is hard to focus on”. Never tell your child that “having ADHD is not an excuse”, for it may not be an excuse, but it is an explanation as kids with ADHD often cannot control their actions due to struggles with self-control and emotion-management. What you can say to them instead is, “Can you explain what happened?” or “What do you think you could have done differently?” allowing them a chance at reflection instead of dismissing their problem. Also, do not ask your child to hide their condition as it may hinder people from trying to help them and make the child think of their situation as something wrong or something to be ashamed of.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Help them Focus
Children with ADHD tend to lose focus quickly and are distracted by minor things. As a parent, you will need to help your child focus. While they are working on a school project or something related to extra-curricular activities, you can help them
- practice mindfulness
- get started on projects right away
- break projects into chunks
Parenting tips for ADHD – Limit Directions
You must limit instructions to one or two at a time to not confuse or overload your child. Set a timer for your child to work before they can take a break. Learn how long it takes your child to complete specific tasks to avoid putting pressure on them, as ADHD can make it hard for kids to keep track of time.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Be open to new ideas
Ask your child what works for them and be open to ideas, like listening to music while working or wanting to work in a noisy environment. Then, come up with a signal to direct focus back to the task when the child starts to get distracted, like a gesture or a particular word.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Collaborate with your child
Talk about what they want to work on and how long it would take them and set goals based on that. Then, give warnings to your child according to the stopping points agreed upon by both of you.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Get Organised
You may also help them get organised better by making colour-coded charts to show everyday tasks or school-related work priorities. Older children can use apps to keep themselves organised and track assignments and tasks. Having a timetable and specific time allotted for completing homework and assignments will also help your child stay organised.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Check risky behaviours
Children with ADHD are impulsive and can engage in risky behaviours at times. You may have to monitor your child’s activities to prevent them from engaging in risky behaviour without spying on them. Monitor them by doing regular inspections, checking up on where they are, and keeping computers and other electronic devices in a common area.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Self-control
For helping with self-control, you can create a quiet place at home where your child can calm down, a special place they can go to when things become too difficult to handle, provide rewards and positive reinforcements for practising self-control. Acknowledge their efforts out loud by saying things like, “I appreciated that you waited patiently”. It takes time for children to learn to develop self-control, so you, too, might have to be patient and practice simple changes in how you talk to them when they behave “out-of-line”.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Boost confidence
Take steps to boost your child’s confidence, starting with having a special one-on-one time with your child during the day. Praise your child for small accomplishments and tell them that you love and support them unconditionally.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Build on strengths
Find out your child’s strength. Children with ADHD tend to have specific strengths that are not apparent, but over time, you will recognise their strengths. For example, your child might have a great memory or is physically strong, or they might be good at computers. Find those strengths and build on them so that your child has a sense of accomplishment.
Parenting tips for ADHD – Self-care of parents
While you are taking care of your child’s needs, it is equally important to set out time for yourself. Engage in activities or hobbies that are of your interest. Rejuvenate yourself.