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Effectively Parenting a Child with ADHD

Parents who have come to terms with the symptoms associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are ready to utilize the most effective parenting methods to help your diagnosed child overcome obstacles and put his energy to good use. Parenting a child with ADHD or ADD can be tough, but it's important to stay motivated and patient so that your child can follow suit.

Addressing ADHD Issues Head-On

The earlier and more often you address your child's problems with ADHD, the more likely he will succeed. You have the power to help your child meet his needs and goals, regardless of his medical disposition.

The symptoms of both ADHD and ADD can be somewhat reduced and controlled if both you and your child are willing to follow the steps below:

  • Stay positive. When you stay calm and focused, your child is more likely to listen to what you have to say. Yes, you will get frustrated, so take time to compose yourself before reacting to your child's actions. A positive attitude will help you keep things in perspective and prevent you from sweating the small stuff. Remember, most of the time your child's behavior is directly related to his ADHD diagnosis.
  • Give yourself a timeout. Raising a child with ADHD can be tough and requires a lot of strength and willpower. In order to keep your composure in front of your child, take some "me" time. Parents of ADHD children may want to seek support from loved ones, doctors, therapists, and/or teachers. You can also give yourself a break by hiring babysitter so you can take a night off every now and then.
  • Establish structure. Create a schedule and stick to it. A behavior chart is a great way to work together with your child to set up a process. This way your child with ADD or ADHD will be able to meet and understand expectations. Establish specific rituals for dinnertime, playtime, study time, etc. You can even create a "quiet place" in your child's room that will help him settle down before bed. Also, keep your house organized and all family members should put back items where they belong.
  • Set clear-cut rules. In order to behave appropriately, children with ADHD need a specific set of rules to follow. Remember to make the rules simple and explain consequences for breaking them. Feel free to reward your child when he follow rules, but never let a broken rule go unnoticed.
  • Encourage exercise and sleep. Insufficient sleep can make anyone have trouble focusing, but especially kids with ADHD. You can help your child fall asleep by replacing television time with relaxing activities, such as reading and listening to music. Physical exercise will also help your child sleep better and can reduce the symptoms of ADHD and ADD.
  • The siblings of children with ADHD need attention too. They often feel ignored because all the attention goes to the child with ADHD.

Make sure every family member gets time to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle of life, including your child with ADHD. Relaxing every once in a while will help everyone deal with the issues related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.