Parenting a child with ADHD can be pretty frustrating sometimes, since the symptoms of this disorder can present parents with many challenges. George Kapalka, Ph.D, clinical and school psychologist, says that kids with ADHD “often lose track of their things, have difficulty staying on top of homework and seem generally scattered when attending to chores or assigned tasks,” and that “[t]hey tend to easily get overstimulated and they overreact to frustration or failure.” Even though raising a kid with ADHD can be pretty challenging, there are still a few strategies you can use to make your job easier. Here are a few extremely useful tips for parenting a child with ADHD that will help you transform problems into strengths:
1. Stay Calm
In my opinion, this is one of the most important things you should remember when parenting a child with ADHD. Even though it might be difficult sometimes, you need to remain calm, so you’ll be able to see things more clearly and help you child solve their problems. George Kapalka says that, “Once the parent is out of control, the child’s anger becomes even more escalated, assuring that the interaction will result in a non-productive outcome.”
2. Adjust Expectations
Kids with ADHD are very easily distracted, so try to adjust your expectations accordingly. Try not to ask more than they can offer you and make sure you are not overreacting if they make a mistake every now and then. Just because they omitted something while they did everything else perfectly, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them credit for their hard work.
3. Make Behavior Objectives Clear
When parenting a child with ADHD, make sure you make behavior objectives clear. You can even use a notice board, where you’ll be able to write things down so you can easily point to them. Make sure, though, that you don’t enforce strict deadlines, that you don’t punish your kids excessively and that you reward them for their victories.
4. Make Your Kids Accountable
Make your kids accountable and let them know that their behavior has consequences. Try to remain calm and explain to them why it is so important to follow rules. Show them how their actions impact other people and how much influence they can have on their own well-being as well.
5. Play with Your Kids
Play with your kids more often and make learning fun. Try not to concentrate only on getting homework done and meeting deadlines. Spend quality time with them and enjoy the time you spend together doing things you both love. Play silly games or watch hilarious videos and bond with them because this way, you will help them boost their self-confidence and increase their self-esteem.
6. Give Your Kids the Chance to Make Choices
Always give your kids the chance to make choices in order to help them learn self-control. George Kapalka states, “Parents must provide ample opportunities for children to be faced with choices of how to respond.” Also, you could use a technique called “structured choice,” which basically gives your child two choices that steer them in the right direction.
7. Be Persistent!
Try to realize that your child isn’t misbehaving on purpose and be persistent! George Kapalka says that kids with ADHD may “require more trials and exposure to consistent consequences in order to learn from that experience.” So, just because you’ve taught them something using a certain technique and it didn’t work once or twice, that doesn’t mean that it’s ineffective; you just have to keep trying.
Parenting a kid with ADHD is never easy, but with a bit of patience and a lot of determination, I’m sure you’ll be able to help them turn their problems into strengths. Do you know any other useful tips for parenting a child with ADHD? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!