Parenting a Child with ADD / ADHD
The needs of a child with ADD/ADHD can overwhelm families and make home life a chaotic - but they don't have to. You can use strategies to influence and channel your child's behavior and can use exercise, the natural environment, and possibly diet to alleviate ADD/ADHD symptoms. And you don't have to go it alone, either. Find out how to begin turning frustration and chaos into appreciation and enjoyment of your child with ADD/ADHD.
Parenting a child with ADD/ADHD
If you have a child with ADHD, you know how frustrating it can be when your kid doesn't listen, do what you asked, or finish what was started. With the constant monitoring your child requires, it may feel as if he or she is the one running the home. This added stress can breed resentment, causing you to focus on your child's deficits while overlooking successes and positive traits. On top of that, you may also feel guilt over your frustration.
But despite the difficulties ADD/ADHD can cause both for you and your child, it doesn't mean that family life has to be chaotic and frustrating. There are many things you can do to lessen the impact of your child's condition. Living in a home that provides both love and structure is the best thing for a child or teenager who is learning to manage ADD/ADHD. With patience, compassion, and plenty of support, you can deal with childhood ADHD while enjoying a stable, happy home.
Tips for family life
It's important to remember that the child with ADD/ADHD who is ignoring you, annoying you, or embarrassing you is not acting willfully. Having ADD/ADHD can be just as frustrating as dealing with someone who has it. Kids with ADD/ADHD want to sit quietly; they want to make their rooms tidy and organized; they want to do everything Mom says to do, but they don't know how to make it happen. If you keep this in mind, it will be a lot easier to respond to you child in positive, supportive ways.
Believe in and support your child.
- Recognize everything that is positive, valuable, and unique about your child.
- Trust that your child can learn, change, mature, and succeed. Nurture your child's talents and channel those aspects of ADD/ADHD that can be channeled positively. Today's dreamer may be the next J.K. Rowling.
- Let your child make mistakes and learn from them, but be there for comfort when mistakes cause pain.
- Promote a healthy self-esteem by nurturing the skills your child needs and communicating your unwavering love, approval, and support.
Keep things in perspective.
- Remember, your child's behavior is related to a disorder. Most of the time it is not intentional.
- Hold on to your sense of humor. What's embarrassing today may be a funny family story ten years from now.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. One chore left undone isn't a big deal when your child has completed two others plus the day's homework.
- Be willing to make some compromises. If you're a perfectionist or someone who prizes order and decorum, your child is not the only one who needs to change.
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