Having a son or daughter with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be challenging for both you and your child. You may feel frustrated at their lack of focus and discipline, and they can quickly become frustrated with themselves as well. Learning to recognize the symptoms and knowing what to expect can help both of you manage the condition better so that your child can still be happy and productive in their life. Here are four things that every parent should know about helping kids with ADHD.
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Kids Don’t Outgrow ADHD
It’s important to realize that ADHD isn’t just some childhood phase that your kid will grow out of someday. For many people, having ADHD is a lifelong struggle that can impact their work and home lives in a variety of ways. With time, they can find ways to manage it better, whether it be through focus exercises, medication, neuro-feedback sessions, or basic coping mechanisms throughout the day.
However, in order to do that, they need help right now in their youth to find ways to work with and around their condition so that they can carry those methods into their adulthood.
Early Treatment Is Crucial
Getting early treatment for your child can help both of you avoid certain problems that are often associated with untreated ADHD. This treatment should include working with doctors and mental health professionals, like those at Smarter Parenting, who can customize treatment plans to help your child better cope with the condition. ADHD often includes problems with impulse control that cannot be handled with regular disciplinary methods.
Professional help and guidance can help you and your child recognize when their disorder is interfering with their thoughts and actions, and how the child can take pre-emptive steps to handle it. While it isn’t ideal, medication can often become necessary, especially if their impulsiveness gets to the point that they frequently become injured.
Distractions Aren’t Intentional
In the early stages, you might believe that your child is intentionally getting distracted to avoid certain responsibilities in school or around the home. However, this isn’t the case. The fact of the matter is that so many areas of their mind are firing up at once, that focusing on just one is like trying to keep cats out of trouble in a china shop. Increasing the stress and pressure on them will only add to the problem. Instead, help them find coping mechanisms to focus their minds.
Fidgets like spinners and stress balls can help direct the excess energy in their minds and bodies, giving them more mental space to focus on the task at hand. White noise, such as wordless music, can achieve the same effect in some circumstances, as well. Understand that finding what works is an effort of trial, error, and research that may take years before you finally see your child excel.
Time and Patience Are Required
To properly cope with ADHD, you and your child will need a lot of time and patience. Getting frustrated or expecting your child to progress quickly while undergoing a certain treatment could be detrimental. Children with ADHD often respond better to parents who show compassion and are willing to take the extra time to help manage the condition. If you and your child are struggling to find the time and patience to deal with ADHD properly, consulting with a counselor or another professional in the ADHD field is advisable.
There is a lot to learn about having a son or daughter who’s been diagnosed with ADHD, but making yourself aware of everything that’s involved with the condition can be highly beneficial for both you and your child. With the right knowledge, you’ll make the entire process of managing ADHD easier for everyone.