While many parents wish it existed, there is no universal parenting manual. Each child is different. They have their own quirks and unique gifts. However, it can be more of a challenge when you’re dealing with a child who has ADHD. Consider some of the beneficial tips you can implement in order to raise a healthy, happy child who has ADHD.
1. Seek Education
Even though millions of people struggle with ADHD each day, a lot of people still don’t know what it means to have ADHD. They don’t understand the challenges and nuances. They don’t understand how it takes a lot more than willpower to manage ADHD. As a parent who wants to fully support their child, it’s your job to educate yourself.
Tap into various resources such as books, therapy, and self-paced courses in order to learn how to serve your child in the best way possible. There are plenty of people who live self-sufficient lives with ADHD. When you can tap into the resources and implement the strategies into your child’s life, you’ll give them the tools they need to be a self-sufficient child (and eventually, an adult) with ADHD.
2. Environmental Factors Matter
Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. With ADHD, it’s very easy to become distracted. Once a distraction pops up, it’s difficult to get back on track. By assessing the environment, you can help to mitigate the chances of distractions and their ability to cause harm.
For example, if your child is sitting down to do their homework, pay attention to whether they’re comfortable or not. Sometimes, the chair might serve as a source of pain or discomfort. As a result, it causes them to fidget and focus on their physical discomfort instead of the work in front of them. A simple change like investing in an ADHD chair could help your child stay still for much longer because they’re comfortable.
3. Create Trackers
In the implementation of routines and systems where many children thrive, find the right combination of habits for your child. With ADHD, children can quickly lose track of time, tasks, and responsibilities. As a result, they end up falling behind.
Help them become more self-sufficient by utilizing habit trackers. Create trackers that they can check off each time they finish certain tasks. Whether they need to feed the fish, make their bed, or take their vitamins, create a tracking system where they can use crayons, color-coding and visual cues to signal the completion of tasks. Put it in a visible space that allows them to always be reminded it exists.
4. Avoid Preaching
Imagine if you had somebody on your shoulder who constantly reminded you of everything you needed to do even if you didn’t feel like doing it. This wouldn’t feel good. Don’t be that voice to your child. Instead, help them get on track by sparking conversation.
In the afternoon, your child probably has homework. Instead of telling them to go do their homework, invite them to consider what they need to do next. Do this with a question. Ask them what they need to do right now in order to be prepared for the following day. As they talk about the things they need to do, invite them to follow through. It helps them develop those mental processes where they consider what’s coming up and what they need to do in order to prepare.
5. Prioritize Personal Self-Care
Parenting is no easy task. There are so many moving parts and demands that can easily overwhelm you. Do your best to get the support you need in order to be the best parent to your child. This includes prioritizing your own self-care. Cultivate your own self-care regimen each day. See a therapist, and find additional ways to pour into yourself. You can’t pour from an empty well.
As you work to be the best parent you can be, give yourself grace. Yes, there will be days when you drop the ball. When those days come (and they will), apologize to your child, have the harder conversations with yourself, and vow to do better. By implementing these tips and handing out tons of grace, you’ll be able to effectively raise a child with ADHD.