Do you feel as if your child has a difficult time with paying attention and staying organized? Does your child struggle to plan ahead, control impulses or complete tasks? Life can be challenging and, at times, frustrating with a child that has ADHD. Some of the keys to positively handling situations such as these are to develop compassion for your child as well as use consistent strategies. Below are some tips to assist you and your family.
6 Tips For Parents of Children With ADHD:
Tip #1: Stay positive and healthy yourself
A positive attitude can go a long way towards modeling healthy behaviors for your child. Focus on taking care of yourself, whether that is through exercising, taking time for an enjoyable activity, reading, enjoying a personal hobby or even taking a relaxing walk with a pet while you focus on breathing. Your state of mind greatly impacts the richness in your interaction with your child. When you are in a positive state, you are also more open and engaged with the child.
Tip #2: Establish structure and stick to it
Discover ways to incorporate a routine and try to simplify your child’s tasks. Consistency is very important so the child knows what to expect and when to expect tasks. Do your best to stay neat and organized in order to better assist the child in modeling healthy behaviors.
Tip #3: Set clear expectations and rules
Communicate clear guidelines and rules so that the child understands what is to be expected of them. It can be helpful to break down the expectations in simple statements or steps as well as write them down for the child to remember and reference.
Tip #4: Encourage movement and sleep
Encourage the child to exercise and become involved in activities that interest them. Make sure that your child is getting an appropriate amount of sleep as insufficient sleep can increase the inattentiveness and may lead to over-stimulation. Other tips include decreasing television time, creating a time before the child goes to bed to “wind down” by engaging in quieter activities. One of my favorite activities is reading a child’s favorite bedtime story or having the child read the story to me.
Tip #5: Help your child eat right
Help your child eat a balanced diet that includes fresh foods, fruits and vegetables. Children with ADHD are more prone to skip meals or eat unbalanced meals. Assist your child with eating healthy so that their bodies are receiving the proper nutrients for an activity. One way in which you can assist him/her with this is to get the child involved in meal planning and decisions for daily/weekly meals.
Tip #6: Teach your child how to make friends
Children with attention or hyperactivity difficulties sometimes have a difficult time making and keeping friends. Work with your child in order to improve their social skills by role-playing and choosing playmates carefully who also have similar language or physical skills.
Reference: www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_parenting_strategies.htm, Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D