Raising a child who had ADHD can be very different from raising a child without it, as any parent with multiple children would tell you.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder certainly isn’t a new behavioural condition, but it is a condition that has come into the mainstream over the past ten years, with more beginning to understand the symptoms of the condition.
Below, we’ve put together parenting advice to help you cope with raising an ADHD child…
Simplify your child’s life
One of the biggest issues for children who suffer from ADHD is having too many distractions or challenges, so try your best to simplify your child’s life and avoid unnecessary stresses.
If you don’t have to send your child to an after-school club where they play up and cause issues, for example, then don’t.
You should also work to keep your home clean, organised and tidy so that your child knows where they can find their toys and accessories, and to instil a sense of calm and order in your home.
Not only is this good for their mindset, but it will encourage them to tidy up after themselves and keep bedrooms and living spaces clean and orderly.
Decide what is and isn’t acceptable
It doesn’t matter whether your child has ADHD or doesn’t – you should be able to set rules and boundaries in your home that your child has to stick to.
Take a minute to think about the ways in which your child may misbehave or overstep the mark, and create a list of rules that he or she must follow.
The hardest part will be enforcing these rules, but with some time and persistence, you’ll be able to develop your child into one that is rule-abiding and sensible.
Work with a specialist doctor
It’s all well and good giving up your job and spending all of your time raising your child, but you should not go into the battle alone.
Doctors for Kids with ADHD are able to offer you ongoing advice and support, whether it’s a health-related concern or something mental.
If you can find a specialist doctor who lives locally, they can be on call should you need to ask for a second opinion, and regular check-ups will ensure your child is developing healthily.
Encourage regular exercise
Physical activity for children with ADHD is essential – if they don’t have a way to burn off excess steam when they’re out of the house, then they’re going to burn it off when they’re in your house.
Research shows that partaking in regular exercise, whether it’s a walk, going for a jog or even attending the gym or a fitness class, can reduce impulsivity and help your child to unwind when they’re at home. Experiment with different exercises to see what works.
No parent should have to work 24 hours a day – you need to take some downtime and have a moment or two to relax on an evening.
Plan a date with your partner, get lunch with friends or go for a walk in the afternoon.
There are so many ways that you can squeeze in some alone time – consider respite care from your local authority or a babysitter if needs be.
Nobody said that raising a child with ADHD would be easy, but with some support, you’ll be able to get there and develop a unique and special bond with your youngster. Best of luck!