Becoming a parent can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience but it doesn’t mean that it is easy because the truth is, parenting is hard. Parenting is both intellectually and emotionally draining. Oftentimes, it requires making a lot of sacrifices. Becoming a good parent requires hard work like knowing how to make your children feel important and loved while teaching them right from wrong. Learn this blog about parenting ADHD children.
Most parents are good at parenting. However, being a good parent is not enough especially if your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children with ADHD are usually busy which makes it a real challenge. The secret to becoming a great parent is in creating a peaceful environment to make your child happy and well adjusted not only today but in the future as well.
Fortunately, there are a lot of parents who are willing to share some tips to go from being a good parent to a great one. You just need to make a few adjustments for parenting a child with ADHD.
GIVE YOUR CHILD LOVE AND AFFECTION
More often than not, the best thing that a parent can give their children is love and affection. A warm touch and a caring hug can go a long way in showing how you really care about him or her. It isn’t easy to accept that there is something out of the ordinary about your child but you should learn to accept it for your child’s development.
Ken Brown-Gratchev, Ph.D., a special education instructor at Kaiser Permanente in Portland says that “For a child to feel accepted and supported, he needs to feel that his parents have confidence with his abilities.” Once you learn to accept that your child has ADHD and look at the gifts that your child has like – creativity, exceptional skills and interpersonal skills – you will see how your child shines in his or her own way.
Do your best to love your child with no boundaries. Let them know that you will always be there for them no matter what.
COMMEND YOUR CHILD
A good parent knows how to praise their children. As a parent, you should make your child feel proud of what he or she has achieved and feel good about themselves. If you don’t give them the boost of confidence that they need to explore the world on their own they will never learn how to do things independently. Hearing your child’s teacher describe your child to be “slow” should not stop you in doing everything you can to get your child what they need to do to succeed. Ultimately, kids with attention deficit disorder (ADD) can excel if they are given the help that they need.
When setting expectations remember to keep in mind that no parent is perfect and no child is perfect as well.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISCIPLINE AND PUNISHMENT
Discipline and punishment are two different things. According to Sal Severe, Ph.D., author of “How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too!”, Discipline is much more preferable since it teaches a child how to behave while Punishment, on the other hand, is the use of fear and shame to force a child to behave.
Oftentimes, simple behaviour modification is the best way to discipline a child with ADHD like defining an age-appropriate, achievable goal and rewarding each achievement until such behaviour becomes a routine. It is in rewarding a positive behaviour that your child would feel successful and increase his drive to do the right thing.
Remember not to punish your child for something that is not within his control. Take for example asking your child to pick his toys only to find him minutes later spreading his drawing books with his toys all over the floor while making stick figures. Most of the time, a child with ADHD would fail to do this since they easily get distracted from the chore that you have asked them to do. Distractibility is one of the symptoms of ADHD – it is something that he might not be able to control.
The best thing to do in situations like this would be to remind your child of the thing that you have been asking him to do. A punishment would make sense if your child would constantly refuse to do something.
When dealing with your child, it is essential to be calm and reasonable especially when you explain the rules that you are enforcing. This can be quite a challenge, especially when dealing with children who have ADHD. If at a certain point, you feel like raising your voice, take a break or excuse yourself or just let your child know that you are beginning to get angry. Remember that you won’t be able to help your child if you yourself is aggravated so it is important that you also take time out for yourself.
More often than not, a child mimics the behaviour of the people they see around them, so if you remain calm during an outburst it would teach your child to do the same. The calmer you are, the calmer your child will become.
HELPING YOUR CHILD
A child with ADHD usually has a deficit in executive functions such as the ability of thinking and planning ahead, organizing and controlling impulses. It means having to take over and guiding them while they slowly acquire their own executive skills.
It would be easier to respond to your child’s needs when you bear in mind that having ADHD is just as frustrating to your child as it is to you. Extending them more patience, compassion and showing them a lot of support will help you manage childhood ADHD while enjoying a happy home.
ENCOURAGING MORE MOVEMENT AND SLEEP
Children with ADHD usually have a lot of energy to burn. Allowing them to play outside and engage in organized sports will help them channel that extra energy in a more productive way by focusing their attention on a specific movement and skill.
Allowing them to engage in physical activity helps them improve their concentration skills and decrease depression. Children with ADHD would also benefit from a martial arts training like tae kwon do, karate or yoga which enhances mental control while working out the body at the same time.
All in all, a lot of kids with ADHD are exceptionally intelligent and are capable of figuring out things for themselves. So remember not to underestimate your child.