Parenting a child with ADHD is certainly challenging.
In addition to the struggles children already go through with sitting still and focusing, you will also have personal struggles with your own patience level and a society that is not nearly as tolerant as it pretends to be.
Fortunately, there are ways to be successful at parenting a child with ADHD, helping them to grow into responsible and successful adults.
ADHD children struggle to stay on tasks, making it difficult for them to get ready for school, finish homework and complete other tasks.
Their lives depend on routine to help them function, and your child will look to you for the routine. Have a set bedtime, breakfast time and nap time.
When parenting a child with ADHD try to stay on schedule whenever possible.
If the routine will shift for any reason, talk to your child about the pending change to help him or her prepare for it.
People parenting a child with ADHD sometimes worry that their children will become inflexible if the routines are too rigid.
This can occur in some instances, but it is far preferable to a child who is constantly overwhelmed by a changing routine that cannot be predicted. The times don’t have to be set in stone, but the pattern of activities should be.
Your child will really start to struggle as he gets into school. Organization is a huge challenge for ADHD children. You can help by establishing a clear routine for after school.
It may start with a snack to help her calm down, and then it can flow smoothly into homework. As soon as the homework is completed, it should be placed back in the school bag for the next day.
When parenting a child with ADHD this should be a regular part of the routine.
You might also want to consider introducing charts to help your child get accustomed to the afternoon routine.
The chart could clearly spell out the afternoon routine, with spaces for them to check off each step when it’s done.
Once the chart is filled in, the work is in the bag and the bag is ready for school the next day, they are free to go do something else.
These charts can also help your child get ready for school in the morning. Over time, the routines will become second nature and help your child to be more organized.
The charts can also be used for helping your child start doing chores and helping out around the house.
When your child is working on homework, make the process easier and faster by eliminating distractions.
When parenting a child with ADHD turn off the TV and the radio so she can focus. You may also want to stay nearby to keep an eye on the progress and ensure that they are staying on track.
Children with ADHD are notorious for losing track of time. They are happy to drift in a cloud of timelessness, only to then be left running around furiously because time has run out.
Part of your routine when parenting a child with ADHD can include giving your child time limits for the various activities.
Don’t give your child unlimited time to get dressed in the mornings, he will start to play. Tell him he has five minutes, and hold him to that.
Place clocks around the house, including the bedrooms, so your child will start to make better use of his or her time.
Parenting a child with ADHD means you will always be trying to teach your child how to accomplish tasks in a reasonable period of time, you should plan on offering incentives.
The reward can be as simple as spending a little extra time at the park, or stickers on a piece of paper. For many ADHD children, a hug and praise from you is all the reward they need.
4. Stay Busy
Children with ADHD are easily bored, and they tend to get wound up when boredom strikes.
When parenting a child with ADHD keep boredom issues at bay by keeping the kids busy. This can include educational activities like visiting the zoo or parks.
Sign them up for lessons in music or various sports teams. Children who do not have the benefit of going to school and getting that routine should be taken on regular outings to parks, museums and other places.
Keep in mind, however, that even kids with ADHD need some down-time. Take care not to sign them up for so much that they are running non-stop.
Parenting a child with ADHD requires maintaining a schedule. Plan a few evenings at home to just relax and play.
Creating a schedule where your child runs from sunup until sundown can leave you with a child who is stressed, cranky and even more difficult to manage.
5. Be Organized
A place for everything and everything in its place should become the mantra of everyone parenting a child with ADHD.
Kids with ADHD thrive on structure, and that includes in their physical environment. You can teach your children organization by modeling it yourself.
Get the house organized and teach your child where to find items. When he or she is done using something, have them take the time to put it away.
Consistency is a vital part of this, but your child will gradually learn how to maintain an organized space. Patience will also be needed as teaching your children organization will be an ongoing process.
Parenting a child with ADHD is challenging and rewarding.
They will require a great deal of extra patience, and you will be forced to become more organized than you ever have been in your life.
However, by following these tips you can help your child overcome the challenges of ADHD and become successful.
Elizabeth Valencia is a freelance writer and a proud parent of three children. To save money she tries to keep her child on her car insurance policy for as long as possible.