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Parenting Kids with ADHD

Kids with ADHD can succeed at school and grow up to be well-balanced individuals.  The right treatment plan has a lot to do with how well an ADHD child turns out, but good parenting is also necessary for the successful treatment of ADHD.   Here are some tried and tested parenting tips that work on kids with ADHD.

Set down specific rules and remain consistent

Let your child know what specific behaviors are expected.  It’s important for you to be as specific as possible to avoid confusing your child and to ensure that this desired behavior is repeated in the future. For instance, instead of saying "clean up after yourself," tell your child to pick up his or her toys after playing or to make the bed every morning.  Be consistent about these rules to avoid confusion.

Establish routines

Children learn by following routines, but this is especially true for kids with ADHD.  Be strict about mealtimes, bedtimes, and the time they should be awake and ready for school. Place a limit on how long your kids can play video games, watch TV, or surf the Internet, especially on week days.

Assign chores

Assigning chores to your kids not only teaches them how to be responsible and independent; it also helps them establish their routine.  Place a note on the kitchen table about the tasks your child is responsible for and what time he or she is expected to accomplish them.  If you have more than one child, alternate the chores every other day so that they can experience doing a variety of housework.

Create a separate study room free from distraction

Kids with ADHD can sustain their attention in a room that is free from distraction.  Transform your spare bedroom into a study room or library where your kids can do homework in peace.  If there is no spare room for a library, relocate your kids’ toys and computer from their bedroom to the den so that they can study in a distraction-free room.

Motivate your child with small gifts

Also called positive reinforcement, motivating your kids with small rewards encourages desired behaviors.  These rewards should be simple token gifts like a piece of candy, collectible stickers, or a simple toy.  For older kids, use a more complex reward system where desired behaviors can earn points towards a bigger prize.

Never withhold your love and affection

Kids with ADHD also need signs of your love, encouragement, and support. You can show your kids the negative consequences of bad behavior by withholding certain privileges, but never withhold your love as a form of punishment. Doing so can damage their self-esteem.