Here are nine quick and easy parenting tips for folks with ADHD children. Even if you are a parent with ADHD yourself, these parenting tips are pretty easy.

Parenting Tip #1Don’t take it personally
Don’t take a child’s behavior personally — usually it’s not really about you. Listen carefully to what the child is NOT saying and when the storm begins to calm, ask your child what is “really” wrong. You may get an unexpected answer.

Parenting Tip #2 – Keep it simple
Keep your sentences S-I-M-P-L-E, SHORT and TO THE POINT. Try to avoid multi-directional (complex) commands.

Parenting Tip #3 – Get eye contact
Establish eye contact BEFORE you ask for direct your child to do something.

Parenting Tip #4 – Keep calm
When worried or upset about something your child has done, keep your voice even and calm, regardless of how you feel. Most ADHDH children have very finely-tuned central nervous systems. Loud or sudden noises and movements can shake them up and only exacerbate the problem.

Parenting Tip #5 – Meet with the Teacher
If you know your child has a learning disability or an attentional problem, make sure you meet with your child’s teacher at the start of the school year, or as soon as possible after holidays conclude.
Work on developing a “contract” with your child around behavioral and/or learning issues.
Remember and remind the teacher: It is absolutely essential to preserve your child’s dignity, self-esteem and privacy, publicly and privately.

Parenting Tip #6 – Catch your child being good
Respect your child’s strengths and praise them often. “Catch” him or her being good! Children with special needs blossom with IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK, positive and negative, because they are often unsure of themselves and need to know whether they are performing correctly or incorrectly.

Parenting Tip #7 – Prepare for transitions
Prepare your child for an upcoming change prior to the actual transition. Give 10-5-2 minute warnings before bedtime, for example. Children with attentional problems and learning disabilities usually have difficulty with transitions.

Parenting Tip #8 – Respect sensory issues
If your child has sensory integration problems or similar issues, RESPECT THEM. Do NOT try to force a hypersensitive child to wear an item of clothing s/he cannot tolerate (ie: wool sweater instead of cotton). Also, seek out a Sensory Integration specialist (a subspecialty of Occupational Therapists.). Hypersensitivity can be reduced with proper intervention, especially in early childhood.

Parenting Tip #9 – Check it out!
When in doubt, check it out! If you are concerned about your child’s academic or behavioral performance, consult the teacher, principal and/or a professional to get suggestions and emotional support.

Hana Julian is a licensed clinical psychotherapist specializing in ADHD across the life span, offering teletherapy sessions. Email or send a WhatsApp text to +972-54-310-1933 for a free consultation.

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