Having had the opportunity to care for a child with ADHD has been one of the biggest learning experiences of my life. The challenges, the breakthroughs, and then more challenges as he gets older.
One of the most important things to remember in rearing a child with ADHD is that you don’t have to do it alone. More than 1 in 10 children have ADHD in the United States. Other sources suggest this may be as high as 1 in 5 or 20 percent. Talk to your child’s doctors, therapists, and teachers. Join an organized support group for parents of children with ADHD–these groups offer a forum for giving and receiving advice–and provide a safe place to vent feelings and share experiences.
I believe this article from helpguide.org is one of the best tools out there, it was a game changer for me:
ADHD Parenting Tips
Life with a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) can be frustrating and overwhelming, but as a parent there is a lot you can do to help control and reduce the symptoms. You can help your child overcome daily challenges, channel his or her energy into positive arenas, and bring greater calm to your family. The earlier and more consistently you address your child’s problems, the greater chance they have for success in life.
How to help your child with ADHD
Children with ADHD generally have deficits in executive function: the ability to think and plan ahead, organize, control impulses, and complete tasks. That means you need to take over as the executive, providing extra guidance while your child gradually acquires executive skills of his or her own.
Although the symptoms of ADHD can be nothing short of exasperating, it’s important to remember that the child with ADHD who is ignoring, annoying, or embarrassing you is not acting willfully. Kids with ADHD want to sit quietly; they want to make their rooms tidy and organized; they want to do everything their parent says to do—but they don’t know how to make these things happen.
If you keep in mind that having ADHD is just as frustrating for your child, it will be a lot easier to respond in positive, supportive ways. With patience, compassion, and plenty of support, you can manage childhood ADHD while enjoying a stable, happy home.