Raising children is hard. Raising a child with ADHD sometimes seems impossible. ADHD is frustrating for you as a parent and equally as frustrating for the child afflicted with it, but there are steps you can take to help your family cope with and manage ADHD.
Appropriate Versus Inappropriate
Sit down with your child and discuss the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Children with ADHD cannot clearly see the line between what is appropriate and what is not. Decide what behaviors you as a family can live with and explain it to your child. Set a reward system: appropriate behavior is encouraged and rewarded, negative behavior is punished. Be consistent. Talk to teachers because the system must carry over to all aspects of your child’s life.
Structure, Structure, Structure
Children with ADHD respond better to consistent patterns. It is easier for their brains to follow when consistent patterns are set. However, once a structure is in place, do not change it or deviate from it.
Break It Down
A child with ADHD can be easily overwhelmed. It is important to help them avoid feeling this way. The best way to go about it is to break tasks down into manageable pieces. By making everyday tasks manageable, the child is able to feel some control over their life.
Keep Chaos Away
Your child needs organization and quiet for many things in their life. Create for them a quiet place to do homework and keep everything around them neat and organized. When the world around them falls into chaos so too will your child’s mind.
Be An Advocate
Your ADHD child needs your voice because all too often children with ADHD are tagged as troublemakers. Don’t be shy about asking your child’s school for help. ADHD falls under a specific set of guidelines called section 504. The school and teachers must provide your child with specific accommodations to help them succeed. Stay in contact with teachers and monitor closely to ensure that everything is being done for your child.
Children with ADHD often feel bad about themselves. Help your child see the good in themselves. Point out when they are doing things the right way and praise them for it.
Seek Medical Assistance
ADHD is a disorder. It cannot be cured, but it can be treated with medication. Medication combined with behavioral therapy will help your child immensely. Don not be afraid to talk with your doctor about alternatives. Some doctors prefer medication, others like behavioral therapy, and still others want a combination of the two, but ultimately it is up to you and what you are comfortable with.
ADHD is not easy to live with, but it is possible to have a happy family life even so.