Parenting a child with ADHD offers challenges. But you may not be able to find solutions for the challenges you face as a parent of a child with ADHD in a run-of-the-mill parenting guidebook. The impulsiveness, hyper-activeness and distraction of your child means they can need a lot of attention. Not to mention, behavioural problems need to be dealt with in the right way, which can be difficult to know how to do. Additionally, ADHD can be linked to childhood anxiety. To help you on your parenting journey the Centre For ADHD Awareness Canada has four strategies to guide you while parenting a child with ADHD:
In an ideal world our children would be perfectly respectful and do everything we tell them to. Unfortunately that’s not the case. You’ll probably have to let go of what the perfect relationship between you and your child should be. While parenting your child try to take a problem solving approach. Having a rigid stance that only benefits you can often lead to a power struggle so try to find solutions for you that benefit both you and your child.
While children with ADHD need structure and consistency they also need flexibility and support. Children with ADHD learn what to expect through rules and structure, so consistent rules and discipline are essential. However, too much rigidity without any understanding of their limitations or effort to help them succeed can be frustrating for them. Some flexibility and support can be very helpful to help your child develop and grow.
Rules are essential in any parent-child relationship, and with an ADHD child they offer a form of structure in your relationship and in their life. As your child grows and matures to the point of having some input into the rules that are made around them they are more likely to comply when you take their contributions into consideration. However, once rules are set negations should end. The rules should only be negotiated again when they are formally reassessed again.
The most effective discipline tool is positive reinforcement for good behaviour. However we often are too busy and distracted to think to reward our child for simple good behaviour, like playing quietly to not disturb others in the house. With young children praising good behaviour and ignoring irritating behaviour is a great way to guide them to better behaviour more regularly.
Like any parent, as a parent of a child with ADHD you want to give your child what they need to succeed. If your child has ADHD we offer comprehensive behaviour assessments along with innovative and multi-faceted approaches to treatment to help your child get the support they need. Contact us to find out how to start helping your child achieve their full potential.