Having and raising a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) requires extra effort. It’s not your usual childrearing where you can leave them in their cribs and let them be while you do household chores. The earlier you master your approach, the higher the chances of your child having a healthier lifestyle.
Most kids with ADHD are expected to have deficits in their executive function. It entails that they have difficulty in thinking and planning, controlling impulses, completing tasks, and organizing. As a parent, you need to focus and provide extra guidance in these areas so that they can acquire these skills in their capacity.
Although various challenges come with raising kids with this disability, there will always be parenting hacks that you can rely on. Here are some of them.
Awareness is often the first step, and greater awareness may be necessary before action can happen. — Ben Ringler, MFT
Define Rules But Allow Some Leeway For Your Child
You should clearly define the rules around your household. Reward good behaviors and discourage unwanted ones consistently. However, you should also take into account their ADHD-related problems and provide some leeway in handling them. Take note that they are fully capable of adapting to change and allow them to learn from their mistakes.
Don’t Dwell On The Small Stuff Too Much
If your kid forgot to do one of their chores, don’t make a big deal out of it. They might have done three more chores plus their school homework. That’s already a feat for somebody who has this disability. Stop being a perfectionist because you will never be satisfied with their performance. It will only be detrimental to both you and your child.
Always Stay Calm
Many psychologists emphasize the power of staying calm. If you’re out of control in terms of emotions and words, the child’s anger will also escalate. Being in this two-way battle will result in a non-productive discussion and outcome. These situations will also delay the tasks even longer. Always remember to diffuse instead of disengage.
Misalignment in any parenting relationship can be downright ugly—but when a child with special needs is involved, it’s even more critical that parents align themselves effectively to ensure the child is getting the care and support they need. — Liz Matheis Ph.D.
Take note that you are your child’s role model and source of strength. Therefore, you need to be on his or her side every step of the way. You can only do this if you take care of yourself and engage in a healthy lifestyle. You can employ self-care by doing the following:
- Ask for support. Do not think that you are all alone in this challenge. Some people are willing to lend a hand every time you are feeling down. These include your family members, your child’s doctor, therapists, support groups, and other friends.
- Have a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to eat right, regulate sleep patterns, exercise regularly, and meditate. If you’re not feeling well, acknowledge it, and get help.
- Take breaks. Don’t be guilty of leaving your child to another person for a day. It is an effective way to have time for yourself and take sanity breaks.
There are a lot of psychological, medical, or sociological practices to address ADHD. But you still have to keep all of these in mind as a parent. Being in this situation requires a lot of planning. Rest assured that everything will be fulfilling and pleasurable in the end.
Honestly, one of the best ways to be a “good parent” is to simply love your children unconditionally. — R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.