For experienced parents, a child with ADHD presents a different set of difficulties to manage. For new parents, they need to know that the parenting rules and guidelines differ with a child that suffers from ADHD. In many ways, it’s all about behavior modification for everyone in the household. Impulsive, unpredictable behavior is far more the norm for children with ADHD too.
To help parents cope better, here are four tips to deal with ADHD more effectively.
The Dos and Don’ts
While a child with ADHD might seem completely unpredictable, they’re not. Even though their brains work differently to other children, they do understand the concept of an action and the consequences of their actions.
While narrowing the list of dos and don’ts is not a bad idea, parents must be clear about what is and is not acceptable. They need consistency with this, otherwise the child will get confused. Some physical outbursts and outright refusal to comply is to be expected, but parents can keep the rules simple and reward their child when they follow them correctly. This reinforces the importance of the rules.
Signs of aggressive behavior in a child with ADHD are not uncommon and are to be expected. Parents need a plan to handle it, especially when in public situations. Using a de-escalation technique is best to calm the situation down. Rambunctious outbursts to get energy out are acceptable in short bursts, but anything more than that or a blatant breaking of established rules is not.
When in a public place, the child acting out must be removed from the situation. Removing them allows for time to calm down. Children can be told that they’re responsible for their behavior and public outings won’t continue if they cannot control themselves. Find a balance between the natural release of energy and them becoming abusive, distracting to other people, or trying to break objects.
Tasks and Breaks
Parents should break home tasks into smaller actionable chunks compared to their other children. When the task is smaller, a child with ADHD has an easier time dealing with it.
It’s also important that they get regular breaks to let off steam. Pushing them to excel academically at whatever age in their development isn’t going to work. They must be allowed to learn at their own pace.
There are new ADHD treatments that are worth considering. For parents who don’t wish to medicate their child, biofeedback is an interesting option. It uses feedback from sensors painlessly applied to the surface of the skin to measure responses like muscular changes, temperature, etc.
The idea with biofeedback is to let the child get used to seeing the readouts for how their brain responds to their behavior. They tend to get fascinated by the technology and enjoy working with it to gain a better control. Through biofeedback, children often have improvements in impulse control, concentration levels and duration, and have a better memory too.
As a parent, we all want the best for our children. Taking care of a child with ADHD isn’t easy, but it’s entirely possible to still be the driving force in their development.