5 Tips For Raising Kids With ADHD

A father helping his son with his homework in his room.(BlackDoctor.org) — Parenting a child with ADHD (also known as ADD) can be toughand sometimes the situation can feel almost impossible. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to control the chaos and be more effective as a parent.

Here are 5 tips that parents can effectively use with their children:

1. Be honest with your child about ADHD.

Some parents hide the disorder by telling their child, for example, that their ADHD drug is a “magic vitamin.” But most kids aren’t fooled: they know that it’s medication.

ADHD isn’t a child’s fault. It’s a brain disorder that causes youngsters to have trouble with concentration, ability to complete tasks, or plan for the future. By being open, you help to lessen the stigma  for them.

2. Don’t turn ADHD-related problems into a character issue.

Children with ADHD may not perform as consistently as peers who have no problems with focus and concentration.  Often, kids with ADHD are very bright. They know what to do, but they simply don’t know how to get started, they don’t stick with it, and people may misinterpret that.

3. Don’t let ADHD become a convenient excuse.

Yes, ADHD makes many tasks harder, but children should learn to take responsibility. Don’t let them make ADHD an excuse for something. For example, many young children quickly learn to say things, such as, “I don’t need to do my homework because I have an attention deficit disorder,” but you have to let them know that that’s not going to cut it.

4. Enforce rules and consequences calmly.

For a child with ADHD, it helps to have verbal and written expectations. For example, parents could post a chart that lists the child’s responsibilities and the house rules.

Rewards are fine, but make them immediate, such as TV time or gold stars that can be redeemed for prizes. Since children with ADHD have trouble with planning for the future, it may not work to offer a new bike for a year’s worth of good grades.

Parents must be clear about consequences and enforce them right away, calmly and clearly. While parents may often feel frustrated, avoid punishing in the heat of disappointment or anger.

5. Help your child discover their strengths.

Children with ADHD are often compared unfavorably to others. Hence, some develop low self-esteem and depression.
Problems with self-esteem occur as early as age 8. Many teens with ADHD, especially if undiagnosed, develop a learned helplessness. “They say, ‘Nothing ever goes right for me. Why should I even bother to try?’ There’s a lot of demoralization and depression that goes along with it. But if you help them to focus on what they’re good at, you can help them through these feelings.

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