Raising a child with ADHD brings about difficult challenges for parents. These five essential tips for parenting a child with will benefit the child, their siblings and the parents. By following some specific guidelines and tips, the family as a whole will benefit.
Establish Rules and Consequences
It is extremely important to establish rules and consequences and enforce them. Specifically establish and verbalize, even make a chart, exactly what the expectations are for the child. Remember to stay age and ability appropriate for chores, behavioral goals, social goals, etc. Be just as specific with what consequences will be the result of bad behaviors and what rewards will result for meeting goals or completing chores. Reinforce all successes! Don’t just focus on the failures or botched attempts. Be consistent with enforcement so that it becomes a natural routine for the child. Good behavior and trying to achieve specific goals (keep goals at easy levels to achieve and build upon them) can become the routine rather than occasional.
Be Involved With Teachers Daily
School for children with ADHD presents a multitude of problems and situations for parents. The best way to stay abreast of what is happening at school is to be involved with teachers daily. Establish some form of daily communication. Whether a daily note, phone-call, email or text message, communication between teacher and parent is absolutely necessary. This helps provide the teacher with information from the parents as to how they deal with situations at home. It keeps the parents informed regarding homework, social issues, any learning problems or other issues at school. By establishing a close working relationship with the child’s teacher, being involved with the school daily, a parent can help their child to achieve social and educational goals.
Develop and Maintain Daily Schedules
A child with ADHD responds well to daily schedules. Developing and maintaining a daily schedule that is posted on the wall for the child can really be a help. It allows the child to visualize what they are suppose to be doing at what time and can help them to achieve their goals and expectations. Keep a clock next to the schedule. Organizing the child’s day into scheduled activities, class times, meal times and bedtime provides a way to stay focused for short time spans on designated endeavors.
Make Bedtime an Enjoyable Experience
Going to sleep and staying asleep can be real challenges for a child with ADHD. Likewise, enforcing bedtime and keeping the child in the bed can be equally challenging for parents. Creating a relaxing and fun routine for bedtime can change it from being a major confrontation to one that is an enjoyable experience. Start with shutting off electronics like television or games an hour before bedtime. Read a book, play a board game, talk, or do something other activity that settling and relaxing. Reinforcing care and love through an hour of peaceful quality time before bed will help the child relax and unwind. This routine will allow parents to wind down as well.
Find Time for Yourself and Your Partner
Many parents of ADHD children neglect themselves and their spouse. It is really important to take care of yourself and take care of your relationship. You are doing this not only for you, but for the child’s benefit as well. A stressed out parent is not a good parent. Take a weekend trip, go on a vacation or just have a date night. Find time to have a life beyond that of being a parent to an ADHD child.
Following these five essential tips for parenting a child with ADHD will not cure all problems but will definitely help the child, the parents and the entire family to better handle the situation.
About the Author
Scott Morgan is a board certified Austin divorce lawyer who regularly blogs on the subject of divorce and family law. You can read his blog at AustinDivorceSpecialist.com.