How To Stop A 3 Year Old From Throwing Tantrums How Can Parents Help Their ADHD Child?

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How Can Parents Help Their ADHD Child?

Parents help their ADHD child more effectively by understanding what is going on and why he exhibits the behaviors he does. In this way, they can put the behaviors in context and respond accordingly. Parents help the majority by providing an external structure, while helping them learn to develop their own internal mechanism of responsibility and organization.

These 25 guidelines will serve both to provide that structure and to foster internal controls:

• Unconditional love.

• Be consistent. Make sure your child knows what to expect.

• Develop routines. Provide predictable and consistent routines and rituals.

• Follow-through.

• Be firm–set limits and boundaries and stick to them.

• Have clear, definable and realistic expectations.

• Develop an effective behavior-management system with clearly defined goals and meaningful rewards and consequences.

• Teach compensatory strategies.

• Be a great role model. Set good examples for dealing with frustration, anger, etc.

• Provides outlets for channeling negative affect.

• Seek help and support, if needed (eg – CHADD, parent support group)

• Help your child develop his OWN strategies – what works for him. (Make charts, lists, sticky notes and so on to help you keep track.)

• Teach your child to self-evaluate. “What’s wrong with this picture?” Or, “Have you checked your list?” Don’t point out mistakes, problems or omissions – help him find them himself. (This goes for school work – but also for cleaning his room, doing his chores and other responsibilities, too.)

• Give tasks and responsibilities and hold your child accountable. Help him internalize responsibility. Again, cue reminders rather than telling. For example, “What should you do after dinner?” it is much less confrontational or degrading.

• Limit behaviors to avoid chaos (for example, play with one game at a time and put it away before choosing another activity).

• Give limited choices. Help teach simple decision making. Don’t ask, “What do you want for breakfast?” Instead, give a choice of, “Would you like – cereal or waffles?”

• Accept your child’s limitations. Play to strengths and work around weaknesses.

• Help your child learn to organize. Develop a simple system of organization not only for school, but also for toys, clothes, etc.

• Separate unacceptable behaviors from the child. You love him, even when you need to punish the behavior.

• Catch the good – every day! There are always things you can find to praise and strengthen.

• Fosters positive self-esteem by helping to pursue successful paths.

• Find reasons to be positive–improvements, behavior improvements, and even attempts to improve. “I really like how you tried to ___.”

• Recognize their feelings–even when they are in the form of acting-out behavior, oppositional behavior, and bad attitude. These behaviors can all be the result of frustration, negative self-esteem, etc.

• If he is on medication, have different expectations for behavior when the medication is in his system versus when it wears off.

• And, again, the most important – Love unconditionally and make sure he knows!

Parents help their ADHD child more to understand, provide clear expectations and structure while encouraging them to act independently. Of course, unconditional love is the foundation for all these other guidelines. Your child needs to know that you love them – no matter what!

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