Having an ADHD child can be challenging, from struggles at school to behavioral issues, ADHD kids can be a handful. Parenting an ADHD child can feel like a constant battle of wills. Here are some tips from the pros to help you navigate ADHD parenting!
1. Limited choices, but choices. Many ADHD kids need to feel in control. By offering them choices, they are still in control of the situation. (Not too many, that can be overwhelming!)
2. Structure is a positive influence for ALL kids, but you will see a difference in your child if you maintain a regular schedule. With routine and structure, a child knows what to expect and when, allowing them to be in control of themselves, and you to impose consequences!
3. Speaking of consequences… And consequences goes both ways! Reward positive behaviors, impose consequences for negative choices. Keep your consequences the same, and remind them frequently, their brain moves on much quicker than most!
4. Stay positive. “I want you to pick up your toys now,” clearly defines your expectations and wants. “Don’t you dare forget to clean up!” has negative implications. Clearly define what you want, not what you don’t want.
5. Be consistent! You cannot expect your kids to do as you say, and not as you do. Kids learn by example!
6. Small steps. Large tasks can seem overwhelming to a child that cannot stay focused long. “Clean your room,” will get you maybe a tenth of the way there before your son or daughter is on to the next thing that caught their attention. Keep it simple. “Pick up your toys,” “Put your dishes in the sink.” Take big chores and tasks and break them down.
7. Have your house rules on display. A visual image helps them to remember, as well as gives you a frame of reference when needed. Make it fun! They can help you design a poster to hang, which allows them to be a part of it.
8. MAKE TIME FOR YOU. I cannot stress that enough parents!! When you feel that you are at a breaking point, remember that losing your patience will only frustrate an ADHD kid more! They panic because your expectations are no longer clear and concise. Create a system where you alert your partner or another adult that you need to step away. Remaining calm and in control is the way to get through to your ADHD child. Remember, your child already may feel a loss of control. Your loss of control is a recipe for chaos. Step away, calm down. Make sure at some point in your day you make down time for you too. Bedtime, early morning, whatever works, but have some YOU time.