Parenting is the hardest job around, and parenting a child with ADHD can be extra challenging. The 5 tips below are free, available almost anytime, are good for both child and parent, and have no negative side effects!
- Focus on your child’s strengths. A kid with ADHD might not be great at tuning out distractions, but maybe she is great at divergent thinking, at being creative, or is wonderfully empathetic to others. Always keep your child’s strengths in your focus—it helps them feel better, helps you feel better, and helps keep your relationship positive.
- Take care of yourself so that you can take better care of your child. If you are tired or hungry or stressed, you are going to be less able to handle the curveballs your kid might throw.
- Stay peaceful. Parents who lose their temper more often have kids who do the same. One of the things your child needs to learn is how to handle upsets and frustrations, and one of the best ways for your child to learn this is by watching you.
- Get outdoors, get active. We all know that our bodies need exercise, but did you know that physical activity is also proven to help with mood regulation? It worked as well as an antidepressant in one study! Kids with ADHD especially need to run, jump, bike, hang, and roll around. Indoor exercise is good, but bonus points if you go outside. Play catch, play chase, play with the dog… anything that gets your kid—and you—moving!
- Create routines. All children, especially those with ADHD, need to know what to expect, and what is expected of them. Having a typical daily schedule, or even just regular routines will help everyone: for example: after school you clean out your lunchbox, eat your snack, play in the backyard for 30 minutes, then spend 15 minutes on homework.
The best news about these tips for parenting kids with ADHD is that they are great tips for parenting kids without ADHD, too.