Parenting a child with ADHD: Tips for creating a supportive environment
Parenting a child with ADHD can often make you feel frustrated and sometimes hopeless. You might feel like your child just won’t listen, never stops and since they have ADHD… that’s it! They’re never going to stop, and they never will listen, and you’re going to feel frustrated and hopeless for the rest of time!
But it doesn’t have to be that way; just because your child has ADHD, it doesn’t mean that they won’t grow, mature and self-develop, but it does mean that you should pay attention to what kind of support they need.
Having your child’s back!
We all know the famous nickname for children with ADHD, ‘Naughty Child Syndrome,’ and I don’t know about you but I have definitely witnessed the awkward and common situation of a child throwing a tantrum, their parent struggling to calm them down, and along comes grandma saying that this has nothing to do with their ADHD, they’re just naughty! I’m here to tell you…Have your child’s back!
Such words can really have an impact on a child, along with trying to understand why they feel certain things or why they function the way that they do. Although you can’t control what other people say, having certain conversations in a calm manner and expressing that “actually I don’t really appreciate it when you call my child naughty” can really help with your child’s self-esteem and help them to understand that they’re not just a naughty child. Additionally, it will teach them that certain struggles that they are experiencing is something for both you and your child to figure out together and that you will support them regardless of their behaviour.
Have your own back!
The same applies towards you!
Sometimes, you might get some of those intrusive thoughts that will tell you that you’re not doing it right or you need to do more, and maybe you do, but you must make sure that those thoughts are coming from a healthy place. A place of development and improvement and not criticism and putting yourself down. Every child is different, so just doing your best to listen to your child and getting them extra support in those areas where they need it most is a very good place to start. Again, don’t be afraid to speak up!
Some members of your family, friends, or other parents might occasionally say something that makes you feel insecure and worried about your parenting. Respectfully establish limits, continue doing your research, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a healthcare professional for advice and guidance.
Help your child grow!
Part of growing up is finding out more about yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. So this is a big opportunity for you to help your child grow, develop and boost their self-confidence and help them to embrace who they are. Their weaknesses, I’m sure they hear about all the time! “You need to focus more” or “You’re not very good at sitting still”, so I’m sure they have an idea about which ones their weaknesses are, but you can help them find out what their strengths are. What good they can do and to learn to trust that the things that they are naturally good at can become something that they focus on more, maybe even make a career out of in the future.
Tips for you
Sometimes, it’s the small details that will help your child the most, so maybe focus on these small things to begin with.
- Planning the day
This can help your child to feel involved, and that way, they know what to expect on a day to day.
A routine can help your child in sticking to it and growing more independent as they do so. It is something they can learn to concentrate on, and bedtime routines are particularly beneficial for their sleep and how they concentrate during the day.
- Activities and exercise
Finding activities that your child enjoys can be a healthy way for them to use up some of their energy and can also improve their quality of sleep.
Child Counsellors at My Solution Wellbeing can provide your children with the skills they need to deal with some of their biggest issues as well as a secure place to express themselves, identify, and work through some of the challenges they experience.
By Eva Domingos, a counsellor at My Solution Well-being.
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