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1. Make rules, but make mistakes.
All children need clear and consistent rules and expectations in order to successfully navigate the world. However, everyday experiences present unique sensory struggles for children with ADHD and similar disorders. These children also need space and time to adapt to their new environment, which means they need parents who will support them when they make mistakes. For this reason, parents need to establish structured rules, but keep them in sight when the rules are not followed.
2. Focus on your child's strengths, not their struggles.
Many children with ADHD are used to hearing that their behavior is inappropriate or problematic. However, according to child and family therapist Angela Pruss, you can help your child by focusing on his or her strengths. When parents focus on their children's small victories and positive qualities, children become aware of these wonderful qualities within themselves. This helps children develop a strong sense of self-esteem, which children with invisible developmental disabilities can struggle with.
3. Find a way for your child to let off steam.
Many children with ADHD struggle with stored energy. However, the experts at Medical News Today say that burning off excess energy through exercise and physical activity can help children with ADHD improve concentration, avoid anxiety, and even promote healthier sleep patterns. But kids need a good role model, so you can help them by finding ways to blow off steam as a family. Try hiking, biking or even sports activities you can do as a family.
4. Model and teach emotion regulation skills.
Because children with ADHD and similar conditions have structural differences in the frontal lobe, they often have difficulty regulating their behavior and emotions. Parents can help their child by modeling and teaching emotional regulation. You can do this by sharing your emotions with your child and explaining how you control them. You can also give your child tools to help him or her calm down.
5. Establish a strong bond with your child.
Although children with ADHD get stuck in a state of great emotional excitement, there are ways parents can help them calm down. In fact, one of the best ways to help them calm down is simply to love them. When you build a strong bond with your child, you are helping his ADHD and teaching him to be an emotionally intelligent child. And when your child seems out of control, don't underestimate the power of a strong hug with lots of pressure - it helps.
6. Break down tasks into manageable chunks.
Children with ADHD only need to focus on one thing at a time. That's why the experts at Healthline recommend breaking things down into smaller tasks so you don't overwhelm your child. You can use timers, color charts, and short breaks between tasks to help your child feel more manageable. Experts also advise avoiding distractions and creating a quiet work space so your child can focus on tasks such as homework or reading without unnecessary distractions.
7. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Raising any child can be overwhelming at times, and that fact is no different than if you are raising a child with ADHD. So make sure you have a strong support system to help and offer new perspectives from time to time. Also, ask your child's pediatrician for a referral to a psychologist or other professional who specializes in ADHD. These trained professionals can provide counseling and help your child develop the skills needed to thrive in the world.
Although every child with ADHD is different, there are some tips that therapists will recommend that you not only raise your child well, but also help him or her thrive despite his or her condition. ADHD is not a problem, it just requires some unique skills. You owe it to yourself to adapt your way of thinking and approaching it so that you end up winning.