Parenting Strategies for ADHD Children

Many children appear to have a boundless amount of energy. For some, this rambunctiousness is just normal precocious childhood behavior. For others, it is a result of the behavioral disorder ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it more difficult for the sufferer to focus on complex tasks or to remain still and engage in sedate activity. If your child has diagnosed ADHD, your hands are not tied. There are many simple things that moms and dads can do to help children work past the disability to be successful, both at home and at school.

Many children appear to have a boundless amount of energy. For some, this rambunctiousness is just normal precocious childhood behavior. For others, it is a result of the behavioral disorder ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it more difficult for the sufferer to focus on complex tasks or to remain still and engage in sedate activity. If your child has diagnosed ADHD, your hands are not tied. There are many simple things that moms and dads can do to help children work past the disability to be successful, both at home and at school.

Follow Doctor's Orders

When your doctor delivers the diagnosis of ADHD, he will likely pair the news with advice. Listen carefully to what he tells you, and take advantage of any pamphlets or information he provides. He is your partner in caring for your child, and he likely had some words of wisdom that can help you as you begin to respond to your child's difficulties.

Build a Schedule

Children who suffer from ADHD do best when they follow a structured schedule. Get some poster board and markers, and write out a schedule. Let your child help you by drawing pictures to accompany the items on the schedule. Stick to the schedule, as it will make your life–and your child's life–much easier.

Cue your Kiddo

Set up a cuing system with your child so you can help him identify when he is letting his abundance of energy get the best of him. If you correct him verbally, he may respond in haste and create an argument; but if you provide a physical cue, he is more likely to internalize what you are telling him. For example, you could tell your son that if you notice him getting out of hand while dining, you will put your hands on his shoulders. When you do this, he will recognize you are gently reminding him to cool down for a couple of minutes.

Break it Down

Instructions can be a minefield of potential frustration for ADHD children. When giving your child instructions at home, don't pile them on. Instead, tell her to do one task, and wait until she completes it before assigning another. Likewise, if you are trying to tackle homework, break the assignment into steps so it doesn't seem so back-breakingly overwhelming.

Work Together

ADHD does not have to be a life-altering diagnosis. If your child learns to control his excess energy while he is young, he will be better equipped to handle adult life. Make it clear to your child that you are trying to help him. If he knows your corrections and cues are intended as a positive reminder instead of as a negative sanction, he may be more likely to cooperate to achieve the end goal.

Lavish Praise

You love your kid–so make sure she knows that. When initially dealing with ADHD, it can seem to your child that she is constantly being corrected. Praise her whenever you can to ensure she doesn't feel as though you are against her. Any time she does something good, tell her.

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