Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a problem which can go unnoticed in a child. Parents may feel that their child is a bright and only being curious but they do not realise that some of their activities are not typical of their age. What the parents find to be signs of curiosity are actually symptoms of impulsive behaviour, inattention and hyperactivity. A child with ADHD is generally found to be grappling with low self-esteem, power struggles, tantrums and school problems.
Tips on Parenting a Child with ADHD
- Be Honest with Your Child – Do not try to evade the news of the condition from the child. Many parents try to conceal the fact by telling lies. They would say that the medicine they are giving them is some sort of vitamin. The child is not fooled by such tricks. They know that it is a medication. Since, it is not a child’s fault, being secretive about it is only going to reinforce the guilt. By being open, you will take your child into confidence and be able to instil the belief that his hyperactivity is a part of him and can be controlled for the better.
- Do not misinterpret your child's behaviour– It is easy for parents to misinterpret the behaviour of their child with ADHD as something much more serious. The grades of children affected with ADHD can be variable, 90 one day, 65 the next day, 75 on another day and then 95 again. Parents may think that their child should be consistent naturally but this disorder would not allow them.
- Do not allow it to become a convenient excuse for your child – You child may tend to furnish this disorder as an excuse for shirking work. They may say, “I will not do my homework. I am troubled with ADHD.” Help them overcome such a thought by saying something like “It might be harder for me to do my homework as I have ADHD but I still can.”
- Impose rules but calmly – You may have a chart of responsibilities for the child to follow with a system of rewards. Make sure that the rewards are immediate rather than delaying them for months as they will not work on a child with ADHD. You need to be in control of your own temper when imposing consequences because parents may be inclined to vent their anger or frustration in the heat of the moment. It could be difficult for parents to control themselves if they suffer from ADHD too. Take time out before discussing a situation of correcting your child’s behaviour if it has shattered your nerves.
- Do not compare your child with other children – Parents either compare their child with ADHD with normal children and bring their self-esteem down or try to solve all of their child’s problems. Even this attitude will ultimately lower his self-esteem and he will never be able to solve his own problems.
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