Parenting a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) can be challenging, even overwhelming at times. However, there’s no need to rush to a doctor yet because you can do your bit to help your child overcome the challenge. However, the earlier you act, the greater the chances of your child succeeding in life.
Raising a child with ADHD isn’t easy. Household chores that seem routine to other kids and parents can become difficult for children with ADHD because they have a problem understanding and organising their day: they cannot think and plan their day, they cannot organise themselves, they cannot control their impulse or complete a task on time. While some of these are common to most children considering that they are finicky, it also makes it difficult for parents to figure if their child suffering from ADHD.
Children with ADHD will do whatever is told to them but they don’t know where to begin. They will happily agree to keep their toys back in the drawers, write their homework, make their bed, or even clean their room, but they just don’t know how to make these happen.
There are ways you can help your child overcome ADHD with a little support, some compassion, and a lot of patience. You must start living with the fact that children with ADHD have brains that’s completely different from those of normal children and this makes them have impulsive behaviour.
In order to live with a child with ADHD, you will have to make changes to your behaviour and also learn to deal with your child’s behaviour.
One important point to remember is the impact that a child with ADHD will have on the family. They are slow to learn, understand, and do any task, can get easily distracted, and are pretty disorganised. These behaviours can interrupt family life.
Children with ADHD don’t think before speaking and will say things that may put them or their family members in an embarrassing situation. They can also get angry at the slightest instance and create a scene at the most unexpected times.
These issues can cause problems for the siblings of children with ADHD. Their needs are often neglected and they are given less attention. Their successes are not celebrated. They are also more susceptible to rebukes from parents than the child with ADHD.
For parents, taking care of a child with ADHD can be mentally and physically frustrating and this can cause exhaustion in the long run.
However, in order to bring up a child with ADHD, you need to learn certain lessons that will not just make your life easy but also that of the child.
Here are some tips that you can use to help your child:
Tip 1: Stay Positive At All Costs
ADHD can only be controlled with medications or self-efforts but not cured. There will be times when your child will test your patience with his/her behaviour and in this situation, you must stay calm and maintain a positive position. As a parent, you know best how to make a positive impact in the life of your child. You know what works best for him/her and what doesn’t.
When you have patience and composure, you will be able to connect with your child in a much better way by helping him/her to be calm and positive.
Please remember to make some compromises. If your child leaves something midway or never finishes it, be nice to him/her and tell him why it’s important to finish the job. If he/she doesn’t like it, give something else. It’s important you keep your child engaged.
Make him write the day’s work and ask him to check the work at end of the day. Have faith in your child. When you believe that your child can do wonders, he will do wonders. Just give him/her the time and space.
Tip 2: Be Flexible
You know that your child is suffering from ADHD and you know that what’s normal for other children may not be normal for your child so define the rules but be flexible.
Don’t be too strict with your child as that’s not going to help both of you. When you set up rules keep in mind that children with ADHD may not adjust to changes as early or easily as other children his/her age. Allow your child to make mistakes but you also need to point out the mistake so that he/she doesn’t repeat it. Do not discourage your child from doing anything just because you think it’s wrong. Children with ADHD disorder cannot make out good or bad behaviour, so you must tell them about it.
Tip 3: Decide Acceptable and Unacceptable Behaviour
Children with ADHD act on impulse and the ultimate aim of a parent should be to prevent that from happening. Make modifications to your child’s behaviour and tell him clearly what will be behaviours will be tolerable and non-tolerable at home, outside, and school. This may require you to have sympathy, affection, energy, patience, and strength.
Make rules that are simple are clear to understand as your child might have difficulty comprehending the rules in the first place. Reward your child every time they follow the rules. Make a list of house rules and paste it in a place where it is easy for him/her to read. Keep repeating the rules until your child remembers it fully well.
Tip 4: Manage Aggressive Behaviour
As mentioned above, children with ADHD may display aggressive behaviour at times and it’s pretty common among them. If at any time they show any aggression, tell them to calm down and enforce it they don’t listen. Due to their behaviour, even you might get angry and in that case, you need to count until 10 or tell your child to count until 10 until his/her anger goes away. Any behaviour, that is abusive toward you, family members, or other kids, must attract punishment.
Tip 5: Encourage Exercise and Sleep
Enough has been written about how crucial exercise and sleep are to the body. The benefits of exercise/ sports/ physical activities are endless: for one, they help the children get energy. They also improve concentration while reducing depression and anxiety. However, the most important aspect is it helps the children to get better sleep, which has been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of ADHD.
Send your child to sports where concentration is very important. Sports like football cricket, chess, athletics, gymnastics are very helpful in improving their attention.
We have all read about how insufficient sleep can seriously impact our body. Psychiatrists recommend ADHD patients to get mandatory 8-hours of sleep in order to reduce symptoms of the disorder. It helps the brain to function in a better way but will not solve the problem completely.
There are many ways you can improve your child’s sleeping hours:
- Reduce TV time both during the day and night.
- Reduce caffeine. While it’s okay to give tea or coffee once in a while, according to doctors, caffeine actually makes kids active and hampers with their sleeping hours. They are also addictive.
- Give them activities to calm their minds. Activities like colouring or reading a book are known to induce sleep.
- Spray scents that have a calming effect on the body.
Tip 6: Vacation/Holidays
Kids love holidaying just like adults. It’s very well know how holidays improve people’s performance. In a similar way, go on a long holiday once a year or shorter holidays many times a year. This will not just improve your child’s performance but also his effectiveness.
Tip 7: Make Friends
Children with ADHD often live as loners as they find it difficult to make friends. Teach your child how to make friends. The impact that friends have on one’s life is immense.
Please remember that children with ADHD are intelligent and creative. Once they make friends, they will ultimately figure out how to get along with them.