Meet Doris. I just finished reading her email entitled Help! My child has ADHD. Now What? In my responses, we discussed the top 5 strategies to help raise children affected by ADHD. So, in this article, I’m going to map out those strategies and how to implement them.
However, before I share these key strategies, I want you to pause momentarily, take a deep breath, and recognize something important. Although managing your kiddo can be super challenging, rest assured. You are not alone. Here’s what I mean.
About 9.3% of children, or 5.64 million in the US alone, have been diagnosed with ADHD. Since you are reading this article, odds are you are among these parents and are curious–and for a good reason.
Discovering that your child has been diagnosed with ADHD can be overwhelming–leaving you unsure about the next steps.
As a Tustin therapist specializing in ADHD, understanding what your child is going through will make the journey much easier. So, fear not! This article will provide guidance, support, and practical solutions to navigate this new chapter of your life.
Here are my top 5 strategies for parenting children affected by ADHD.
1. Research and Reading
Understanding your child’s brain and how ADHD affects their behavior is key to making parenting easier. Seriously, this is a BIG deal!
Investing time in reading reputable books, articles, and online resources focused on ADHD is a crucial first step. By educating yourself, you’ll be better prepared to:
- Address your child’s needs with more confidence and less effort
- Advocate for them
- Provide the support they require to thrive
I advise you to seek out resources written by experts in the field. For example, professionals such as:
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Other professional educators
They can provide valuable insights and evidence-based strategies. Try any of the following resources to help you with the journey:
- ‘Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder’
- ‘The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture’
- ‘Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It’
Stuart Albon Alisha R. Pollastri:
- ‘The School Discipline Fix: Changing Behavior Using the Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach’
By understanding the nature of ADHD, challenging kiddos, and its impact on your child’s daily life, you will be better equipped to support them effectively.
2. Attend ADHD Workshops and Seminars
Seek out workshops, seminars, or conferences specifically geared toward kiddos with ADHD. These events often feature experts who provide:
- Valuable information
- Practical tips
- Opportunities for networking with other parents facing similar challenges
Attending such events can give you fresh perspectives. It can also give you new ideas and a sense of community which most parents learn to cherish.
3. Get Support: Connecting With Others
Connect with local or online support groups for parents of children with ADHD. These groups provide a supportive community where parents can do the following:
- Share experiences
- Exchange ideas
- Learn from each other’s journeys
For example, Megan Champion’s website offers a community for moms of neurodivergent kids. They understand the unique challenges you face. She provides a supportive space to help you through feelings of loneliness, guilt, shame, and doubt.
The Stowell Learning Center offers a weekly podcast. It also shows videos loaded with answers and solutions for kids with dyslexia and learning differences. Their Episode 63 featured Megan Champion, and they called it Dear Moms of Neurodiverse Learners. It’s a must-see while parenting children with ADHD!
If you are a mom or dad wanting to meet in person to get the support you need, check out Helping the Behaviorally Challenging Child in Tustin. They offer a monthly parenting support group.
Hearing from others who have gone through similar situations can offer valuable insights and emotional support. Having a space to discuss your challenges, find encouragement, and realize that you’re not alone is essential.
4. Consult With Professionals
Schedule regular meetings with professionals specializing in ADHD. Professionals therapists like me, or others such as:
- Pediatric Doctors
- Child Psychologists
- Child therapists
These professionals can provide:
- Expert Guidance
- Answer your questions
- Offer specific recommendations tailored to your child’s unique needs
It’s essential to build a collaborative relationship with professionals. This ensures that you receive accurate information and personalized support that translates to effective parenting.
5. Collaborate With Schools
Although working with school systems can be challenging, establish open lines of communication with teachers and school staff. This keeps you in the loop about your child’s progress, challenges, and available support services.
Try to attend as many of the following as possible:
- Parent-teacher meetings
- Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings
- Section 504 plan meetings
Try to actively participate in developing strategies to support your child’s educational needs. Working with schools can create a cohesive approach that benefits your child’s development.
Additionally, you can seek out online resources from reputable organizations specializing in ADHD. For example, CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADDitude Magazine.
These organizations offer a wealth of information, articles, webinars, and forums to support parents’ educational journey.
Remember, every child with ADHD is unique, so it’s essential to continually seek knowledge, remain adaptable, and work in partnership with professionals and other parents to tailor strategies to meet your child’s specific needs.
ADHD Parenting: Nurture Children Affected By ADHD!
ADHD Parenting can present challenges; however, following the above tips will help you better understand and support your child’s journey. Even so, it’s important to shift gears and approach things differently. For example, when your child exhibits undesirable behavior, consider collaborative problem-solving rather than imposing consequences to motivate your child to make better choices.
Start the conversation by helping them identify concerns that interfered with meeting your expectations. For example, “Hey Billy, I noticed that something seems to be getting in the way when you are expected to complete your homework before going outside. I bet there’s a good reason for that. Can you help me understand?”
Notice… how the initial question creates emotional safety and (most importantly) invites your child into the conversation.
Rather than interrogating or imposing consequences for poor choices, your calm presence, coupled with this approach, promotes the development of self-awareness and critical thinking skills. Doing so creates new neural pathways in your kiddo’s brain, which will help build the skills they need to meet adult expectations in the future.
So, remember, education and understanding are the keys to effective parenting. If you are ready to move forward in supporting your child with ADHD? Call me today for professional guidance and assistance!
As a therapist with ADHD, I work with families and loved ones with neurodivergent traits. I’ll help you find your superpowers and latent forces, like curiosity, creativity, enthusiasm, and desire so that you can relate to each other with more confidence and less effort.