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ADHD in Children Health Center

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How a Child's ADHD Affects Siblings

10 Tips for Parents continued...

3. Make it personal. Treat your children like individuals, Wolraich recommends. Approach each child based on his or her needs -- just like you do for your child who has ADHD.

4. Carve out time. Make time for each of your children. Make them feel special and important, Wolraich says. Quality alone-time with each child really helps maintain balance with your kids and minimizes the resentment they might feel toward a sibling attention-getter.

5. Keep them active. Get your kids involved in extracurricular activities. For siblings of kids with ADHD -- and kids with it as well --these can provide an important outlet and give them a sense of self-efficacy and mastery, Berman says.

6. Open communication. Keep the lines of communication open all the time, Wolraich recommends. Don't hide your child's ADHD --help your kids get comfortable with it, understand it, learn about it, and adjust to having a sibling with the condition.

7. Focus on school. Watch your kids' grades and their reports from school, Berman says. School can be a good, unbiased indicator of how your kids are doing and whether they need some extra support at home.

8. Build sibling trust. Help your kids spend time together. Having a sibling with ADHD is their "normal," says Berman, so they need to learn how to make it work.

9. Teach empathy. As your kids mature and get older, a healthy home environment in which one child has ADHD can help the others learn empathy and understanding, Wolraich says.

10. Ups and downs. There will be moments when having a child with ADHD is hard for everyone in the family, but those moments are not all bad, Dickson says. You have to adjust, learn, and be patient -- with each of your kids equally.

Reviewed on December 16, 2013

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