What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterized by impulsivity, deficits in sustained attention, and hyperactivity.
Children with ADHD have difficulty delaying gratification and often act without thinking. They may interrupt conversations, blurt out answers without being called on, or have trouble waiting their turn. Under stress, children with ADHD may respond emotionally through an outburst or tantrum.
Children with ADHD find it hard to concentrate and are easily distracted or bored. In such situations they may make careless mistakes, daydream, or fail to complete tasks. They may also forget to bring home books, have trouble remembering assignments or misplace things frequently.
Children with ADHD seem to always be on the go. They become especially restless in structured situations such as the classroom and may tap their fingers, fidget, wriggle their legs, rock or leave their seat.
Here are 5 Helpful Tips For Parents:
1) Structure, Structure, Structure!
Children with ADHD function best under consistent and predictable circumstances.
- Create colorful charts or checklists of your child’s daily routines. Help your child check off activities as they are completed.
- Place timers, clocks and other cues around the house as reminders to stay focused and to complete tasks on the routine chart.
- Give your child clear, specific instructions. For example, instead of asking your child to help clean the kitchen, request putting away the silverware or wiping the table.
2) Homework Help
- Help your child establish a quiet, uncluttered space free of distractions, to complete homework.
- If your child tends to forget their textbooks at school, consider keeping a second set at home.
3) Reward System
- Use rewards to encourage good behavior. Rewards may include praise, special privileges or activities, or quality time with parents.
- Provide consequences sooner than later. For example, take away a privilege that same day, as opposed to grounding your child from a friend’s birthday party the next week.
4) Think Positively
- Children with ADHD can be incredibly creative, energetic and attuned to things we may fail to see. Look for your child’s special talents and highlight them.
- Remember that ADHD is strongly rooted in heredity- you and your child did not choose this disorder.
- Rather than attempt to tackle every aspect of your child’s behavior difficulties, focus on making one or two changes at a time.
5) Take “YOU-time”
- Being a parent of a child with ADHD can be both trying and exhausting so it’s important that you take time to recharge. Allot time throughout the week to do things you find enjoyable or relaxing.