Parents of ADD / ADHD children want to approach parenting with as much helpful information as possible. Children with ADHD / ADD grow up facing a lot of challenges in life and it takes involved and informed parenting to help them lead a life that is as happy, healthy, and productive as possible. The great thing about this is that there are a lot of practical things that parents can do to help manage ADD / ADHD in children. Here are a few tips.
It helps if parents can live by example and show children the kind of person they hope their children can be as they grow up. Giving children an excellent role model is a positive way of setting goals and something to aspire for.
Discipline can oftentimes be an unpleasant thing both for parents and for children. However, disciplining and setting a structure for children with ADD / ADHD is a very important aspect of teaching them self-regulation. Consistently showing them what behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable helps them set limits for themselves. It may be a slow and painful process sometimes, but sticking to your guns and being consistent about disciplining your child can yield great results which they can hold on to even in their adulthood.
Of course, when parents discipline their children, it's important to know what behaviors to punish. There is a good and a bad time to discipline, in the same way that there are helpful and not-so-helpful kinds of punishments. Knowing the difference can mean a lot in ever reinforcing good behavior and self-regulation. This is a great preparation to help your child approach independence, especially when they are near their college years.
Providing your child with goals to achieve and helping them set a timetable for these goals can also be very helpful. The main challenge of children with ADD / ADHD is their ability to focus on one thing and see it through to the end. Setting goals and undertaking a project together, setting a deadline and providing your child with the encouragement and means to stick to this deadline, can help your child in many ways. It's not just accomplishing goals, it's also about earning the healthy self-esteem that goes with achievements, no matter how small. It's also helpful in strengthening parents' relationship with their children.
Spending time with your child is also very important. Do activities together that are physically healthy, which will help calm them down and “take the edge off”, so to speak. Many residential treatment centers that help children with ADD / ADHD comprise lots of healthy and fun physical activities for this purpose.
Give your child plenty of opportunities to succeed. Entrust them with responsibilities while at the same time giving them the support they need to see these responsibilities through. Some parents put large calendars on their children's walls, reminders in places that are often seen and visited by the kids in order to help them get focused and stay on top of their projects. Minimizing the distractions in the house (particularly in the places where children study) is also very helpful.