Parenting tips
ADHD children are innately slower in learning certain skills and in reality, may always need some strategies to deal with their areas of weakness.

What better way to prepare them for life than to teach them these strategies when they are young? You will notice that many of these strategies and tools require changes in the adult's behaviour, and not in the child's.

Since ADHD is a deficit, this only makes sense. Allowing the child extra time and giving them tools to comply to your demands tends to be more successful than demanding immediate obedience.
  • It is important to keep focused on the fact that ADHD is a deficit rather than then a behaviour.
  • Behaviours can often be an expression of frustration or an inability to comply with what is being demanded of them.
  • ADHD is a disability, a neurological weakness and reacting to your child as if he is doing these things on purpose can be destructive.
  • These kids can be very verbally hurtful when they are frustrated.
  • Teaching these children ways to express their frustration constructively can be a valuable life lesson.
  • Teaching them the skill of forgiveness by observing you, can also be a life long lesson.
  • Flexibility and a good sense of humour can be one of the most effective strategies a parent has. It also helps to keep us sane.
  • Using strategies and tools for organization and time management, such as charts, lists, agendas, post its, calenders, timers, reminder and alarms, can be very beneficial.
  • If your child has problems remembering tasks, even daily occurrences, lists taped to mirrors and doors can be helpful.
  • Since problem solving can be a weakness, practicing this skill together can help circumvent problems and teach this skill at the same time.
  • Actively reviewing a problem with your child, coming up with possible solutions, analyzing the possibility of success and choosing the best action, models and teaches an extremely important life skill.
  • Social skills may also need to be actively taught to these children since they do not naturally absorb them like other children.
  • Setting strategies in place that anticipate problems rather then reacting to behaviours is a most effective tool for both home and school.
  • Not demanding that the child change focus quickly can decrease the child's frustration.
  • Shifting their focus from TV to bedtime may need to be a gradual process.
  • A five or ten minute reminder of a transition, like “bedtime or dinner time is about to happen,” can ease frustration.
  • Ignoring reflex negative comments when transitions are demanded and waiting a brief period to see if the child complies on their own instead of getting into a power struggle can be helpful.
  • However, when a time warning is given and a reasonable amount of time is allowed for the child to comply, parent's need to follow through.
  • Lecturing is not an effective way to communicate with ADHD kids. They are masters at tuning out this form of communication.
  • For behaviour that cannot be ignored (like hitting) quick attention to consequences and redirection work much better.
  • Attending classes on parenting children with ADHD can be helpful. General parenting classes usually prove less useful.

These are a few brief points on parenting children with ADHD and are by no means meant to be all-inclusive or detailed. There are many resources out there to help with effective skills for parenting ADHD children.

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