Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, affects millions of kids in the United States. And for those dealing with the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD, the worries, fears, and frustrations can seem overwhelming.
Because of the issues ADHD causes, children with this condition present unique situations that can strain parent-child relationships and take a toll on other relationships as well. The good news is that you can take steps to help your child succeed while also building a strong bond with your child and other family members.
At Nevada Pediatric Specialists, in Henderson and Las Vegas, Nevada, we help you overcome the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD so you can develop a supportive, nurturing environment that benefits everyone. If you’re not sure how to help your child flourish, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Get help early
ADHD can have profound effects on your child’s educational and social experiences and on their development as a whole. Getting medical treatment and supportive care early on is critically important for helping your child succeed in life.
Scheduling an assessment and evaluation at our practice is a good first step, and our team can also help you identify resources that can help guide your journey. The CHADD website is a good internet resource that also offers an online support group.
Look for opportunities to praise your child
Kids with ADHD are impulsive, and that means they tend to get yelled at and disciplined more often in school and elsewhere. Continual criticism can be devastating for a child’s esteem and confidence.
As a parent, you can help counteract the negativity by praising your child for even the smallest positive acts and providing plenty of opportunities for them to succeed.
Break down tasks into smaller steps
Setting your child up for success starts by understanding your child’s limitations and the challenges they’re facing. A big stumbling block for kids with ADHD is the difficulties they have with organization and focusing. You can help by breaking down big projects (including homework) into smaller steps or tasks.
Offering praise or small rewards for a completed task or project is another good way to help them stay focused and motivated. Build in occasional breaks to allow your child an opportunity to move and let off steam to help prevent frustration.
Provide clear expectations and realistic consequences
Every child stumbles, and providing some sort of consequences teaches your child the importance of following directions. ADHD kids often struggle with directions and multistep processes. Recognize those challenges, and try to set clear expectations right from the start.
When setting expectations and consequences, “realistic” is the key. Don’t expect too much from your child: Remember, the consequences of ADHD can last a lifetime, so avoid falling into a pattern of yelling and criticism. Establish good routines and positive outcomes now so your child can enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem as they get older.
Be your child’s advocate
Make sure your child gets frequent assessments along with psychotherapy and medication, if recommended. ADHD is a special need that requires ongoing treatment, just as if your child had a physical ailment like diabetes.
Educate yourself on the programs and services available for your child at school and at home, as well as support services available for other family members. Attend IEP meetings at school, and make sure your child receives the extra services they need to help them succeed. Visit Nevada PEP for resources in your area.
Get the support you need
There’s no rulebook for raising a child with ADHD, and sometimes the journey can seem especially difficult. At Nevada Pediatric Specialists, we provide families with customized support based on proven solutions, so you and your child can feel relaxed, confident, and successful.
To learn more about the ADHD treatment and support options we offer, call our team at 702-457-5437 or use our online booking tool to schedule a visit today.