If your child has recently been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, getting the diagnosis is the first step in moving forward and helping your child face the challenges that having ADHD will put in their path. You are going to want to make some adjustments to your parenting style in order to help your child succeed.
1. Reinforce Good Behavior
When a child has ADHD, their behavior often doesn't conform to regular social standards. They may move around more in the classroom than their peers, and they may become distracted more easily by tasks that don't challenge them. They may get reprimanded for their behavior, which is why it is really important to praise your child and encourage their teachers to do the same when they get things right. Just like any child, your child wants attention, and giving them attention for positive behavior will help your child learn what is acceptable behavior.
2. Help Your Child Exercise Daily
Most children who have ADHD have a lot of energy. Help your child funnel that energy in an appropriate manner through exercise. You may want to incorporate more exercise into your daily life than you would otherwise. Maybe you start each day with some jump roping and a walk around the neighborhood. Maybe you go for a walk or a bike ride as a family every evening. Find ways to get exercise as a family and for your child to get exercise in age-appropriate manners, such as team sports. Make sure your child's teacher knows how important it is for your child to participate in all recess and P.E. activities.
Getting enough exercise will help your child use their energy in an appropriate way. Getting enough exercise will also help improve your child's ability to concentrate and focus when they need to.
3. Help Your Child Think Things Through
One of the impacts of having ADHD is that your child may not have the same impulse control as others. Help your child with this by modeling how to think out loud. Help your child by guiding them to stop and think things through out loud when they are faced with a challenge. This will help your child think about their actions and learn how to control their impulses and will help you learn about your child more.
Parenting a child with ADHD is similar to parenting any child; you need to model your parenting so that your behavior helps your child succeed and so that you set your child up for success. Parenting combined with ADHD treatment can help your child live a productive, optimal life.
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