Parenting ADHD children can be stressful, frustrating and overwhelming. ADHD children have a shorter attention span than other kids and they often anger easily when they don’t get their way.
Parenting through these difficulties will help raise a happy, healthy child. Here are 9 ADHD parenting tips to help you cope with and support your ADHD child.
1. Be consistent and set down specific rules. Changing the rules mid-stream can be confusing to the ADHD child. Be sure that both parents are on-board with the same rules.
2. Establish routines. All children thrive when they follow a routine but this is especially true of ADHD children. Be strict about the times that things take place but be aware of the fact that your child may have a short attention span. Limit the time children can watch television, play video games or listen to music. Sticking to these rules allows time for the children to think on their own and to use their creativity.
3. Assign weekly or daily chores. Use a chart to keep track of progress. Children love to get a gold star when they complete a task. For ADHD children, this can be a great ego boost. Be sure to explain exactly how to complete the task and even demonstrate it to them yourself.
4. Choose your battles wisely. Decide early on what things are most important and make sure that these things are the ones that get done. If the child wavers on an unimportant item let it go. What strikes the child one way one day may change the next. Be sure that your core values and beliefs are being honored.
5. Teach time management skills. ADHD children can benefit tremendously from learning the art of prioritization and time management. Often the child does not yet understand how to make these types of decisions. For older children utilize a planner or electronic organizers.
6. Break tasks down. Children with ADHD may not be able to stay focused on one task, especially if it is a large one. Break down each task into smaller, more manageable pieces. This will reduce the frustration level of you and your child.
7. Have patience. Parents already know that it takes lots of patience to raise their children with ADHD. To keep your own patience level up try giving tasks when there is plenty of time to complete them and enough time for you to follow up. Try to allow some room for error and always accentuate the positive things your child does.
8. Communicate with your child. One of the best ways to help ADHD children is to spend time with them. Set aside some time each day to talk to your child and get to know him. Help him to learn to communicate well with others and to know that he can come to you with any problems.
9. Be a good role model to your child. This is one of the biggest factors that will determine the outcome of your child as an adult. Although it may not seem like it, your child watches you and strives to be like you.