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To say that trying to assist a child suffering from ADHD is difficult would be quite the understatement.
Between tantrums, restless nights and the general exhaustion that comes with parenting such a child, there’s also the lingering sense of helplessness. We love our children, which is all the more reason to find new ways to support them even when their symptoms significantly impact their behavior.
Don’t feel as if you’re alone in this struggle. Approximately 11% of children suffer from ADHD in the United States. Many parents have shared their success stories and strategies so it is possible. Here are six major tips for parents looking to help their children manage ADHD together.
Understand the Severity of their Symptoms
First and foremost, it’s essential to speak with a doctor who can properly diagnose your child’s condition and how much it impacts them on a day-to-day basis. Not all children are created equal when it comes to ADHD, but having a doctor-driven plan for managing their symptoms is an absolute must-do.
Rather than be in denial about your child’s condition, start by being proactive enough to get professional help. Don’t let the price tag of your child’s treatment hold you back from helping them, either. Considering that you can find online discounts for Vyvanse and other ADHD medications, treatment is arguably more affordable than ever.
Let Them Move
Perhaps this goes without saying, but children suffering from ADHD need to have as many opportunities as possible to get their energy out throughout the day. Between encouraging outdoor playtime and taking them along when you exercise yourself, the need to move can’t be overlooked in hyperactive children.
In addition to encouraging a healthier lifestyle, letting your children get their energy out can help manage their aggression, encourage better sleep and ultimately avoid tantrums.
Examine Their Diet
There’s a decent amount of debate out there concerning how much diet directly impacts symptoms of ADHD. If nothing else, conventional wisdom tells us that the healthier a child’s diet is regardless of their hyperactivity level, the better off their overall wellbeing is.
From managing their blood sugar to keeping them fueled to compensating for medicines that decrease their appetite, consider healthy snacks for children with ADHD such as whole grains, fruit, and veggies to be the main staples of their diet.
Stress the Need for Structure
One of the most important aspects of taking care of a child with ADHD is structure. Outlining specific times and expectations for activities is essential to managing their behavior. From playtime and dinnertime to bedtime and beyond, establishing consistent rituals day after day should be a major priority
Rethink How You Discipline Your Child
It doesn’t matter what your parenting style might be: tantrums are inevitable and you have to take action in terms of discipline. That said, you can’t always take a conventional approach to discipline since your child’s condition is involuntary. While their behavior might get on your nerves or otherwise be unacceptable, remember that they’re not totally at fault.
Disciplining a child with ADHD can be exhausting, but needs to be done on a sort of case-by-case basis. Positivity and reward systems can go a long way: encouraging good behavior should be emphasized over criticizing their missteps.
Learn Patience Yourself
Finally, accept your child’s condition and understand that there are going to be some bumps in the road. Whether through meditation, exercise or even therapy in some cases, learning to cope with the hurdles associated with childhood ADHD is essential. The sooner you explore ways to keep your cool, the better.
Every parent wants to support their child, and helping children with ADHD requires special attention to detail. By sticking with these tips, you can set your child up for success in a positive, loving manner.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.