Parenting an ADHD child can be exhausting and frustrating. The demands of managing this disorder can test your patience and put a strain on your relationship with your child. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6.1 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Managing ADHD is difficult, but with all of the research and development concerning this disorder, by no means is it impossible.
ADHD Parenting Tips
ADHD or attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is a chronic condition that often begins in childhood and persists throughout adolescence. Wake Forest Pediatrics understands the struggles of parenting and managing your child’s ADHD. Here are some strategies to help you manage your child’s needs and keep them on track.
Learn Your Child’s Unique Challenges
The most common sign of ADHD in children is hyperactivity. However, there are several characteristics that children with ADHD exhibit on a day to day basis. Healthline outlines a few behavioral signs, including:
- Becoming easily distracted or having trouble focusing
- Low attention span while playing or doing schoolwork
- Squirming, fidgeting, or difficulty sitting still
- Excess talking and interrupting
- Doing things in a loud or disruptive manner
Learning about your child’s unique challenges and how their symptoms arise is essential in managing ADHD in your child.
Learn Positive Reinforcement Strategies
Studies suggest positive reinforcement increases performance in children with ADHD, specifically concerning cognitive tasks. CHADD offers five effective positive reinforcement strategies, including:
- Praise your child immediately when they behave well or follow directions
- Use multiple ways to thank or praise your child as reinforcement when you are pleased with their behavior
- Be consistent with your expectations to avoid confusion and distraction
- Be aware of your child’s surroundings and mindful when they become overwhelmed or overstimulated
- Use visual cues and be in arm’s reach of your child when giving directions
While ADHD ranges in severity from child to child, positive reinforcement is immediate feedback that often can result in similar behaviors in the future.
Give Your Child Grace
Remember that your child’s behavior is related to a disorder, and most of the time, they’re not intentionally acting problematic. Try to avoid setting unrealistic expectations and instead celebrate the small wins. By rewarding your child’s positive behavior you are contributing to the overall success of your child. Some ways to acknowledge your child’s accomplishments include indulging in a special treat, taking them on a fun outing, playing their favorite game, or cooking them their favorite meal.
Seek Support And Treatment
Many treatments and treatment combinations can aid with managing ADHD in your child. Some common ADHD treatments include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Parenting skills training
- Social skills training
- ADHD medication
Although there is no cure, these treatments can successfully relieve many of the symptoms associated with ADHD. Additionally, your child’s school most likely offers services and accommodations such as an individualized education program (IEP) or a 504 plan that can get your child additional support.
Be Kind To Yourself
While giving grace to your child and their condition, be sure to not set your own needs and emotional well-being on the back burner. To prevent becoming overtired or running very low on patience, try seeking support of your own, taking breaks, and prioritizing your mental and physical health.
If you have a child with ADHD and have been struggling to find the best way to manage their symptoms, you are not alone. Many parents struggle with helping children with ADHD on a daily basis. Wake Forest Pediatrics can provide your child with an evaluation and develop an individualized treatment plan that works best for them. We know it can be challenging to find help, but we are here and ready to assist! For more information, call our Wake Forest office at 919-556-4779 or our Knightdale office at 919-266-5059, or visit our website.