Parenting Skills When Children Have ADHD
It can be extremely challenging for the entire family to raise a child with ADHD. But learning specific parenting skills in relation to ADHD is highly important for the health of the child as well as the relationship between child and parent.
One thing that is really useful for parents is to join a support group that is both educationally and socially supportive. Listening how others are coping with ADHD is one way parents can learn how to interact with their special children. If you do not have a local support group, join an online forum or support group.
One very important thing a parent needs to do is set clear goals and limits for themselves and their children. This may be very difficult when you have both an ADHD and a so-called normal child. After these goals and limits are set, it is crucial to be as consistent as possible.
Give your child choices for what they can do. Do not tell them exactly what they will eat, wear and do. The more choices they have, the more independent they will be as time goes on.
However, do not give unlimited choices for each action. For example,the choice of clothing should be limited to two choice. The choices in food should be which two vegetables out of four available.
Keep in mind that a parent's relationship with their child is essential in any family, but it is doubly important with ADHD children.
For a relationship to work, you need both time and a willingness to listen and notice. You must make yourself aware of the good behaviors not just the bad behaviors. Spend at least fifteen minutes to half an hour a day with your child with no distractions. Ask him or her about their day. Try to eat dinner with them as often as possible. Turn off all distractions at meal times --- no TV. Simple things like this are the most important in keeping good connections with your child.
Discipline and ADHD
Even though it may seem like an ADHD child has more bad behaviors than good, emphasize the good ones as much as possible.
The more you emphasize the good behaviors your child does, the better their self-concept will be. Remember that rewards are usually more effective than punishments. In order for the reward system to work, you will have to catch them doing the proper things.
When your child has misbehaved, try to stay as calm as you possibly can. The more out of control you act, the less seriously discipline is taken. Make sure when rules are broken that there are very clear consequences and that they are delivered in an unemotional manner.
Yelling at a child with ADHD is extremely destructive. Yelling at any child is simply teaching that child that yelling is ok.
Make sure that the relationship behaviors displayed between parents are good ones. Children watch what you do, and they will imitate what they see later on in life. Make sure your behaviors are positive ones.
Remember to be strict but kind. It is good to be firm, but being overly firm is not good either. All children need firm boundaries, but ADHD children especially.
Time out for Parents of ADHD Children
It is important that parents have time for themselves, or it is only natural that you will become stressed out. Set up certain times of the day or evening that the children can be supervised by someone else, or can entertain themselves for a short period of time.
This is your time to sit quietly and recover your inner calm. This is especially true for mothers who always feel they need to give 100% of themselves at all time. Martyrs do not make good parents.
Copyright 2006 Answers For Your Health/ADD/ADHD
You may reprint this article in your blog or newsletter as long as this tag is in place.
Sharon Owen publishes Answers For Your Health. The Many Faces of ADHD is one section of Answers For Your Health. You want your health questions to be answered in plain English not doctor speak. For more information on ADD or ADHD see ADHD Searching For Answers.
Check out these fine resource:
Living with ADHD
Get More Information on Focus ADDult for Adults and Teens.
Get More Information on BrightSpark for Child ADD and ADHD