Tips for self-care
- Take care of yourself. Caring for your own physical and mental health is an important part of helping your child. And it will help you have the energy you need to take care of your child.
- Educate yourself about ADHD. You will be better able to help your child if you understand the condition.
- An important part of behavior management is teaching your child that actions have consequences.
Tips for your child
- Help your child build self-esteem. Encourage a sense of belonging, confidence in learning, and an awareness of his or her own contributions.
- Help your child get the most out of school. Promoting school success will help your child academically, socially, and developmentally.
- Help your child get things done. Your patience, persistence, and creative thinking can help your child learn skills and accomplish tasks at home and at school.
Help at school
In the classroom, more demands are placed on children to sit still, pay attention, listen, and follow class rules. So elementary school teachers are often the first to recognize ADHD symptoms. Many times teachers advise parents to have their child tested or to see a doctor.
Most children with ADHD qualify for educational services within the public schools. If your child qualifies, you will meet with school personnel to identify goals and plan an individualized education program (IEP). This usually means that your school will try to accommodate your child's extra needs. This may be as minor as placing your child at the front of the class. Or it may be as involved as providing classroom staff to help your child.
Your doctor will talk with you about setting realistic and measurable goals for your child's behavior at school and at home. Your child's specific problems and needs will be taken into account.
Helping your teen
Regular communication among parents, teachers, and doctors benefits a teen who has ADHD.
You'll need to stay closely involved with your teen. The teen years present many challenges, such as increased schoolwork and the need to be more attentive and organized. Making good decisions becomes especially important during these years when peer pressure, emerging sexuality, and other issues surface.
Use consequences that are meaningful to your teenager. These may include losing privileges or having increased chore assignments. Parents and teens can work together to establish reasonable, obtainable goals. And they can negotiate rewards when those goals are met.