Helping Your Child Grow With ADHD

An ADHD diagnosis can be a little intimidating for parents, especially if you’re not certain what, exactly, it means. However, with the right support, children can grow up happy, and healthy, and become productive young adults. Here, we’re going to look at some of the tips that can help you get there with them.

Write down your journey

Journal writing can be helpful for anyone, but can be especially so for children with ADHD. However, while you can teach them to write their own journal in time, right now we’re talking about creating a journal specifically about ADHD symptoms and management. Making a note of outbursts, avoidant behaviours, and other symptoms of the condition, you can start to also make note of what has been improved, what techniques you have been trying, and what your child has specific difficulty with. The day-to-day experience of parenting a child can be hectic enough that it’s tough to notice any trends, so writing it down can help you really develop a focus, which in turn you can use to develop new strategies.

Keep instructions clear and simple

Getting your child with ADHD to help with chores can be a struggle. If you try to take their attention away from what they’re currently enjoying, that’s where a lot of emotional outbursts and defiance can start to show. After that, you need to make sure that you’re keeping instructions simple, giving them one at a time. Telling them to do one big vague chore (like tidying their room) or telling them to do multiple steps at once can be overwhelming. Break it down, step by step, and ask them to do only one step at a time for the best chance of success.

Reward their success

One of the good reasons to write a journal of your child’s behaviours and struggles is that it can also make it easier to start to notice their success. It’s easy for parents to miss the little changes in their child’s behaviour. However, any improvements should be praised and acknowledged. You can, of course, offer a tangible reward once in a while, but even the simple affirmation and recognition can be valuable to your child, and they can feel a sense of accomplishment when they are able to maintain good behaviour.

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Be their voice at school

There’s a lot that you can do at home to help your child work on their behaviours at home but once they’re at school they are, to some degree, out of your hands. It’s a good idea to talk to the school or their teachers about the condition and to ask what support they might have available. You can get a better idea of how they’re doing at school, where they’re excelling, where they’re having trouble, and what accommodations the school can offer to help them.

Consider behavioural therapy

Medication is often the first line of treatment for ADHD, but many doctors will admit that alone, it’s not the best strategy. Usually, they recommend a combination of medication and behaviour therapy. However, while the therapy does address the behaviours of the child, it’s often directed to the parents, as well. Helping you learn how to work through the problems you experience with your child, and how to approach certain behavioural patterns can help you be much more effective at home. They can also introduce things like play therapy to help children open up more about their experiences and emotions.

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Mind their diet

A healthy lifestyle is important, regardless of who you are, but with children and preteens with ADHD, it’s extra important. Aside from a good night’s sleep and enough physical activity, you want to make sure that they are getting the nutrients they need to ensure the proper development of their brain as they grow. Aside from everything they should have as part of a balanced diet, you might also want to consider options like kids ADHD natural supplements. Any change to diet, supplements, or medication should involve a consultation with their doctor, too, of course.

Work on their self-esteem

ADHD can be difficult to live with, at times. It can make socializing more difficult and can present problems at school. These problems can start to affect a child’s self-esteem, so it can be important to find activities that can help boost it. Whether it’s spending time together by going on fun outings and activities, or you help them find an interest they can be passionate about, be it arts and crafts, sports, or otherwise. Aside from being fun, these activities can certainly be a necessary form of self-care for many a growing child.

Start talking with them

It’s important that you’re the one to open up communications when you notice that something is wrong with your child. They may not have the confidence or words to start talking about how they feel, so asking direct questions like “what problem are you having the most trouble with right now?” can help to be incisive and help them get to talking specifically. As your child gets older, you need to make sure that you’re talking to them about the risks of impulsive behavior, too. As children come of age, things like alcohol, driving, and sex become a potential part of their lives, and it’s better to talk about it than to simply quietly hope for the best.

Help them accept ADHD

As they get older, and approach teenage and preteen years, children with ADHD might get the understanding that, in some ways, they’re not like a lot of other children. Fitting in and belonging can seem so important at this age. Children can begin to resent things like any medications, supplements, or therapies designed to help with ADHD. Taking this time to reinforce that there is nothing wrong with having ADHD, nothing wrong with accepting it, and that it’s no one’s fault can be important.

Every child with ADHD is different, so many sure that you’re not following any tips that are too specific, for instance, to certain behaviours that they might not manifest. Over time, you will learn to adapt to the needs of your child in particular.

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