ADHD Parenting Tips: Stay Positive & Healthy

side profile of mother reading to her daughter(BlackDoctor.org) — As a parent, you set the stage for your child’s emotional and physical health. You have control over many of the factors that can positively influence the symptoms of your child’s disorder.

The Power of a Positive Attitude

Your best assets for helping your child meet the challenges of ADHD are your positive attitude and common sense. When you are calm and focused, you are more likely to be able to connect with your child, helping him or her to be calm and focused as well.

  • Keep things in perspective. Remember that your child’s behavior is related to a disorder. Most of the time it is not intentional. Hold on to your sense of humor. What’s embarrassing today may be a funny family story ten years from now.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff and be willing to make some compromises. One chore left undone isn’t a big deal when your child has completed two others plus the day’s homework. If you are a perfectionist, you will not only be constantly dissatisfied but also create impossible expectations for your ADHD child.
  • Believe in your child. Think about or make a written list of everything that is positive, valuable, and unique about your child. Trust that your child can learn, change, mature, and succeed. Make thinking about this trust a daily task as you brush your teeth or make your coffee.

When You Take Care of Yourself, You’re Better Able to Take Care of Your Child

When you take care of yourself, you’re better able to take care of your child. As your child’s role model and most important source of strength, it is vital that you live healthfully. If you are overtired or have simply run out of patience, you risk losing sight of the structure and support you have so carefully set up for your child with  attention deficit disorder.

  •  Take care of yourself. Eat right, exercise, and find ways to reduce stress, whether it means taking a nightly bath or practicing morning meditation. If you do get sick, acknowledge it and get help.
  •  Seek support. One of the most important things to remember in rearing a child with ADHD is that you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to your child’s doctors, therapists, and teachers. Join an organized support group for parents of children with ADHD. These groups offer a forum for giving and receiving advice, and provide a safe place to vent feelings and share experiences.
  •  Take breaks. Friends and family can be wonderful about offering to babysit, but you may feel guilty about leaving your child, or leaving the volunteer with a child with ADHD. Next time, accept their offer and discuss honestly how best to handle your child.

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