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Tips for parenting a child with ADHD

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Parents who have a child with ADHD have to cope with someone who has “fight-or-flight reactions to stress,” which makes it very difficult for parents to enforce rules. Children with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may not know what to do as they don’t do what they know – but parents can train and inform themselves on when to be firm, and when to be patient. Here are some targeted tips for parenting kids with ADHD.

1. Have an ADHD child? Stay calm

Child specialists and psychologists have one major advice for parents with an ADHD child – stay calm. Both Kapalka and Palladino emphasize the importance of staying calm. “Once the parent is out of control, the child’s anger becomes even more escalated, assuring that the interaction will result in a non-productive outcome,” says Dr. Kapalka, reported psychcentral.

Don’t argue with your child. While doing homework – try not to push the child. Say sentences such as, ‘I understand this is no fun for you,’ and be silent and loving in body language.

2. Watch your own behavior

“If you’re inclined to be a worried, rescuing parent, remind yourself that the more you do for your child, the less he does for himself,” says Palladino. The key is to “Support, but don’t get into the driver’s seat.”

For example, during a homework session, it’s alright to ask “Do you need more of those papers with the lines and boxes on them to finish these long division problems?”

3. Create pressure-free structure

According to Palladino, structure involves “star charts for young children, calendars and planners for older ones, and clear rules and sensible routines, especially at bedtime.” Structure helps in decreasing distractibility and disorganization.

It’s best to avoid putting pressure. So don’t use threats and set unreasonable deadlines and punishments – as these create fear.

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4. Allow ADHD children to make choices

To help teach children self-control, “Parents must provide ample opportunities for children to be faced with choices of how to respond,” says Kapalka. While Palladino suggests using a technique called “structured choice,” which gives your child two choices that help him or her in making a decision. For example, parents might ask, “Do you want to do your math or your science assignment next?” or “Before we can go, your room needs to be picked up. Do you want to start with the clothes on the bed or clear the top of your desk?”

5. When an ADHD child breaks a rule: Set reasonable consequences

As a start, Palladino suggests that parents ask their child what should happen if he or she breaks a rule. This helps children to be aware of their actions, and this can also help in encouraging positive behavior.

6. If the child breaks a rule don’t take it personally

It’s in your child’s “job description” to break rules some times. When this happens, don’t react as if it was specifically directed at you – just be normal in your reaction.

7. An ADHD child doesn’t misbehave on purpose

Parents of kids with ADHD “subconsciously make erroneous assumptions about why their child is misbehaving,” says Kapalka says. In reality, he says, “Children are very goal-directed and do what they do with the hope of obtaining an outcome they seek, which usually pertains to something they want to do or get, or something they are trying to avoid  such as chores, home work or bed time,” reported psychcentral.

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8. With an ADHD child you must be persistent

According to Kapalka, kids with ADHD may “require more trials and exposure to consistent consequences in order to learn from that experience.” One technique may work or may not – you just have to give other methods a try.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: February 06, 2015

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