Most parents can relate to the fact that children’s energy levels and short attention spans can be a bit overwhelming some days. In fact, just watching your children run about might be enough to wear you out at times! As moms and dads of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, you may experience additional challenges as you work to strike a balance between managing behavior and helping your kids regain focus both at home and at school.
First, it’s important to recognize that ADHD is a medical condition and that those affected have a difficult time with self-regulation in certain areas. As a parent, doing your research, planning ahead, and keeping a positive attitude are all things you can do to create a roadmap for your child’s success. Employees at the NYU Child Study Center also offer these tips for working through the ins and outs of raising a child with ADHD:
- Rely on routine. Plan the day, and be a stickler about regular activities and bedtimes following a consistent daily schedule both throughout the week and on the weekends.
- Create a workable plan. Sit down with your son or daughter to address areas such as homework and leisure to help them achieve the balance that works best for them.
- Remember to have fun. ADHD can be stressful for kids, too. Allow time for fun in the daily schedule and plan to take frequent breaks.
- Form a support network. Keep in constant contact with teachers, aides, administrators, medical professionals, and other parents who have knowledge of your child’s ADHD. Talk about what’s working and what’s not.
- Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities. After-school activities can help build confidence and relationships with others. They also serve as a creative outlet for excess energy.
- Celebrate even small accomplishments. Recognize that progress is achieved one step at a time and build on small victories.
There are many resources and tools available these days for parents and children with ADHD. Take advantage of every resource at your disposal. If you need additional help or direction, contact your local Family Guidance Center, a trusted source for family behavioral healthcare.