Monday, 14 January 2008

ADHD Parenting Tips

By Alvin Toh

Parenting can be very stressful for anybody, even with children not suffering from ADHD. Children suffering from ADHD have a much shorter attention span than other children and also get angry much easier.

Parenting through these difficulties will help raise a happy, healthy child. Here are 9 ADHD parenting tips to help you cope with and support your ADHD child.

1. Set down clear rules for your child to follow. These should be consistent. Do not change the rules as this can be very confusing. Make sure both parents use the same rules.

2. Establish routines. All children thrive when they follow a routine but this is especially true of ADHD children. Be strict about the times that things take place but be aware of the fact that your child may have a short attention span. Limit the time children can watch television, play video games or listen to music. Sticking to these rules allows time for the children to think on their own and to use their creativity.

3. Assign weekly or daily chores. Use a chart to keep track of progress. Children love to get a gold star when they complete a task. For ADHD children, this can be a great ego boost. Be sure to explain exactly how to complete the task and even demonstrate it to them yourself.

4. You need to prioritize. Make sure all of the important things get done. If your child doesn't do something unimportant then don't get too worked up about it

5. Time management - Many children with ADHD struggle to manage their time. You should teach them how to do this. For older children, you may want to consider using electronic organizers or planners.

6. Break large tasks into smaller pieces. ADHD children may struggle to stay focused on one large specific task. By breaking it down into smaller ones, you can make the task less frustrating for you and your child.

7. Patience is a virtue. Raising ADHD children requires lots of patience. Don't get overwhelmed when certain tasks aren't completed, just make sure you reward them when a job is completed.

8. Communicate with your child. One of the best ways to help ADHD children is to spend time with them. Set aside some time each day to talk to your child and get to know him. Help him to learn to communicate well with others and to know that he can come to you with any problems.

9. Be a good role model to your child. This is one of the biggest factors that will determine the outcome of your child as an adult. Although it may not seem like it, your child watches you and strives to be like you.

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