If your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), do not feel alone—5.9 million children between the ages of 3 and 17 in the U.S. are diagnosed with this disorder. Because children with ADHD have different brains from other kids, parenting them can sometimes be a challenge. However, if you modify your parenting techniques, you can make your child's life easier. Here are seven tips for parenting a child with ADHD:
Create a Strict Routine
When your child has ADHD, it is even more important to develop a strict routine that he sticks to every day. The more structured your child's routine, the less likely he will get distracted or act out. For example, after your kid gets home from school, have him complete his homework, eat dinner, play outside and get ready for bed.
Limit the Use of Technological Devices
Although technological devices do not cause ADHD, they can lower your child's attention span even more, according to Everyday Health. That's why it is best to not let your child watch television or play video games for more than two hours a day. If your child gets bored, encourage him to do activities outside of the home such as riding his bike or playing a sport.
Get Your Child to Exercise
Regular physical activity is very important for a child with ADHD. Exercise will help your kid burn off excess energy and improve his concentration. If your child hasn't already, encourage him to join a sports team, such as baseball or soccer, at school. There are also plenty of exercises your child can do around your neighborhood such as walking, swimming and running around with his friends.
Don't Ignore Aggressive Behavior
Sometimes children with ADHD will have outbursts and behave badly in public. Although the disorder is to blame for behavior, you can't just let your child off the hook. For example, if your child is being extra loud and running around while you are at a restaurant, take him outside for a timeout. This will give both you and your child a chance to cool off. Calmly explain to your child that his behavior is not acceptable and that he can't go back inside until he settles down.
Help Your Child Discover His Strong Points
Concentrating is more difficult for children with ADHD, so they may struggle in school and other areas. If your child does not believe he is good at anything, he can develop very low self-esteem. It is important to help your child realize that he has strengths. For example, your kid may be very good at drawing or playing an instrument. Point your child's strong points out to him. Once your child recognizes he has talents, he will have more self-confidence.
Give Your Child the Opportunity to Makes Choices
A child with ADHD usually has many thoughts running through his head, so you may be tempted to make every choice for them. However, it is a good idea to give your child the chance to make good choices on his own. For instance, if it's time for homework, you may ask your child if he prefers to do his science or English homework first.
Even if you give your child plenty of attention and encouragement, he would benefit from talking to a therapist. A licensed therapist will listen to your child's problems without judgment and help him manage his anxiety.
If you follow these helpful tips, you can help manage ADHD in your child so that he can live a somewhat normal life. For more tips or assistance, contact resources like Living Hope Clinic.