It may seem that you can do nothing to capture the wandering mind of a child who has ADD. Parents who have a child with Attention Deficit Disorder may feel that their hands are tied because the child’s disability makes it so difficult for him to focus. While you may not be able to overcome your child’s distractibility, you can do things to help your child focus.
Prepare a schedule. As FamilyDoctor reports, children with ADD thrive in highly scheduled environments as schedules help them stay focused on the activities that fill their day. Allow your child to help you create the household schedule. Supply her with markers and a poster board, and ask her to create a poster containing the schedule to place on the kitchen wall. By doing this, you encourage her to take more ownership of the schedule.
Explain rules and expectations to your child. While some parents have a tendency to dictate rules without explanation, doing so will likely not be effective when dealing with an ADD child. This child will perform better when the reasons behind the rules are explained to them in detail.
Help your child get organized. Organization often proves challenging to children who suffer from ADD because they lose focus before completing organizational tasks. KidsHealth recommends that parents dealing with children with this disorder sit down with their children daily and organize their materials. By keeping on top of the task, you can ensure that your child stays at least a bit organized, likely leading to better grades in school or a neater bedroom environment.
Supervise your child even more closely than you normally would. FamilyDoctor cautions parents that ADD children are more prone to impulsive actions, making them more likely to get into trouble. To ensure that your child doesn’t allow his failure to think before he acts lead him into danger, watch him closely.
Limit distractions during work time. Create a homework environment that is as quiet and distraction-free as possible. Before tackling homework, turn off the TV and the radio, and usher other children out of the room. If your child is particularly prone to distraction, it may even be necessary to create an environment free of windows and decorations, as all these things can prove distracting.
Provide engaging activities that require sedentary behavior. Encourage your child to complete puzzles, play quiet games, or engage in silent reading as much as possible, as these focus-requiring activities, help him to build his attention-maintaining muscles.
Meet with your child’s teacher. Teachers love parents who take an interest in their child’s education. If you know of ways to help your child stay focused, don’t keep these to yourself. Instead, share them with your child’s teacher so she can put them to use when teaching your child.