Caring for a child with ADHD has its frustrations. Here are some techniques that will help.
Consistency: It’s very important to be consistent with children who have ADHD. Expectations, rules, and discipline should remain the same so the child knows what to expect. Following through with rules and discipline when a child is acting out is more likely to prevent similar behavior in the future. Consistently rewarding good behavior when a child meets expectations will increase the likelihood of repeated positive actions.
Keep Calm: Parents and guardians who use a calm voice and an unexcited attitude generally have more success implementing discipline and addressing problem behavior. Raising your voice or acting violently simply models to ADHD children that their bad behavior is normal.
Plan for Problems: Parents , especially those of children with ADHD, need to plan ahead for inevitable problems. In the best of situations a child may have an outburst. In these chaotic moments, it would benefit the guardians of children with ADHD to have a calm, unemotional plan ready, one that doesn’t send a negative message to ADHD children.
Avoid Using Negatives: Negative words and phrases only reinforce negative behavior. These terms include “stop”, “don’t,” and “no” Instead, use phrases like "please," and "thank you" and always give an explanation for why the child should stop their negative behavior. For example, rather than saying, “Don’t touch that,”, try saying “Please leave that on the table. It means a lot to me. Thank you.”
Separate the Behavior from the Child: ADHD is a behavioral disorder. This means that the brain is causing symptoms that are almost entirely out of the child’s control. While negative behavior must be consistently addressed, keep in mind that the behavior is being disciplined not the child.
Stick to a Routine: Children with ADHD perform better when they are living with a set routine, one with the same bed time, homework time, meal time, and activity time each and every day. This routine should be kept by every member of the family for best results.
Be a Role-Model in Difficult Situations: Difficult tasks and situations often cause frustration in children with ADHD. This frustration can prompt children to act inappropriately as a way of venting. Parents or guardians who demonstrate to how to handle difficult tasks or situations calmly and logically in front of their children with ADHD are teaching valuable problem-solving skills by modeling the appropriate response to the challenge.
Quiet Space: Many children with ADHD benefit from having a special room for tasks such as homework and other activities requiring focus and attention.. This quiet space is ideal for reducing distractions and should be free of diverting pictures or colors.
Limit the Number of Playmates: Children with ADHD have a difficult time socializing in very large groups. This is because of the way their hyperactive and impulsive symptoms affect them. Limiting the child's playmates to 1 or 2 people at a time creates a more optimal environment for them to learn how to make new friends and forge relationships
Do Not Pity Your Child with ADHD: The number one rule is never pity your child because of his or her ADHD. . Coddling or feeling sorry for the child increases the feeling of difference from other children., which is not supportive to the child.
Allow your Kid to be a Kid: Children with ADHD need to have time to release some energy! Allowing kids to play outside can help improve focus and concentration. Make sure kids with ADHD have time to play, run, be outside, and take a break from their school work and chores.
If you would like to learn more about ADHD symptoms and parenting techniques, please call Acacia Wellness Center to set up an appointment. 208-498-1760