If your child was recently diagnosed with Attention Hyperactivity-Deficit Disorder (ADHD), you may feel isolated, overwhelmed, and unsure of your next steps. The parents of more than 6.4 million children in the United States know how this feels. Your family does not have to figure this out alone.
Qualified behavioral health care providers can help you come up with a treatment plan that may include therapy or medication, as you see fit. Additionally, can take steps at home to set your child up for success. Below are five ways that parents can help their children with ADHD thrive.
1. Learn Everything You Can About ADHD
The first thing you can do as a parent of a child with ADHD is to learn as much as you can about the disorder and how it affects your child. For example, you should be sure to know what type of ADHD your child has and which symptoms challenge them the most. Furthermore, you can learn about parenting techniques that can help your family overcome obstacles caused by ADHD.
Be sure to get information about ADHD from reliable sources. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misunderstandings out there about ADHD. While authoritative online sources can help, you should seek information from your child’s behavioral health provider first. Your child’s provider should make you feel comfortable enough to ask any and all questions you have. They may also be able to give you helpful resources and tips.
2. Create a Routine For Your Child
Structure and routine are especially important for children with ADHD. Being able to predict parts of their days can give these children one less thought in their minds and help them organize their thinking. Consider creating routines that help your child throughout the day, particularly in the mornings, meal times, and bedtime.
If the thought of reorganizing all your days to fit a strict routine stress you out, do not worry. Just adding a few predictable moments to your child’s day can start helping. For example, you can start by going for a walk with your child each morning and reading a book at bedtime. As these rituals become habits, you can add more to your routine, if you’d like.
3. Ensure Your Child Gets Healthy Sleep and Exercise
When you’re creating new routines for your child, be sure to prioritize sleep and exercise. Plenty of regular exercise can help your child burn off excess energy, which is a common issue for children with ADHD. Consider enrolling your child in sports that require near-constant movement, such as soccer, hockey, and basketball. Some families find that yoga and martial arts help their children burn some energy while they cultivate mindfulness and discipline,
Anyone can struggle to focus when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, whether they have ADHD or not. For children with the condition, getting plenty of sleep is vital. Rest helps them concentrate and control impulses. If you set an early bedtime for your child and create a healthy bedtime routine, you can set them up for success.
4. Boost Your Child’s Confidence
When a child struggles with the symptoms of ADHD and constant redirection from adults, it can take a toll on their self-esteem. Furthermore, the diagnosis itself can make children feel bad about themselves. That’s why it’s essential for parents to purposefully build up the self-esteem of their children. You can do this by:
- Setting aside special time for bonding with your child
- Teaching your child best practices for making friends
- Building on their strengths
- Praising every positive action they take, even the small ones
These things can reinforce positivity within your child and make them feel capable.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Parenting can be hard in many different circumstances, including when a child lives with ADHD. It’s vital to take time to acknowledge those feelings and care for yourself. Whether you simply need some self-care time or your need help working through your feelings, be sure to take the time to care for your own mental health.
If you or someone else in your family needs help coping with your child’s ADHD, please contact us. Our mental health care providers are here to help.