Raising children with ADHD can be stressful, time-consuming and hard work. Trust me I know, I grew up with two brothers that had severe ADHD. They couldn’t concentrate at all and the strength they had been incredible. Although my brother was 3 years younger than me, I wouldn’t ever pick on him. I made that mistake one too many times. He had the strength of a full-grown man, I encountered many broken noses and a few broken fingers as well.
My mother found it hard to cope as she had never really taken the time to understand it. I, on the other hand, researched it a lot (this became useful in later life). I ended up raising my brothers as I could calm them down and let’s face it I could cope better than my mom. I lost a large part of my own childhood because of this, but I do not blame my mom, she tried her best. Children with ADHD need extra support and she couldn’t give them what they needed.
When I was 16 I moved in with my boyfriend and although he was 34 he still had quite significant problems with ADHD himself. Perhaps falling in love with a man who also had ADHD was natural for me as I had been raising children with ADHD for as long as I could remember, it’s all I had known.
I wanted to share my own tips with the blog and hope that they help someone else out there.
Raising Children With ADHD Advice
Plan out the steps it takes to accomplish daily tasks, for instance, getting ready for school or completing homework, let them know what is expected of them. With many children, you can take each day as it comes and there may not be a huge amount of structure but this is really hard to do with children with ADHD.
Keep Instructions Simple
A child with ADHD most of the time will have a short attention span, its best to keep instructions brief or even break them down into smaller tasks. This is both useful at home and at school.
Instead of telling them off every time they misbehave ignore the bad behavior and praise the good behavior. I have found that even if you’re telling them off its still attention you are giving them so they’ll keep doing it. By ignoring it you’re showing that you will take no notice of bad behavior thus they learn they will it does not get the desired effect.
Set up a chart on the back of the door and every time something positive is done, they earn a sticker and then every time they get say 10 stickers they get a treat or present. This worked brilliantly for me as it also gave them something to work at and look forward to.
Read up on ADHD, knowledge is power. I find it very rewarding to also talk to other people in my situation to swap tips and get ideas. When raising children with ADHD the more you know about the topic the better able you are to helo support your child. Just remember not everything you read on the internet is true, just as not everything you try will work either.
Do What Works For You
ADHD is just one of them controversial subjects that everybody has an opinion on, trust your gut feelings and go with your instincts. You know what’s best for your child. Also, I found it helpful to share their progress with them and tell them how well or how bad things are going, so they too can help to change things that need changing.
Stay Away From Labels
Children with ADHD are quickly given a label. Remember you have to look at the whole picture. Each individual child has their own temperament and their own talents and interests. It’s easy to let the label of ADHD overshadow everything
Take Time Out
Believe me, I know that it takes a lot of your energy and you can often feel emotionally drained and alone when your raising children with ADHD. Even if you feel fine, remember you matter too. Take time out for yourself whenever you can. Take up those offers of babysitters and a simple long hot soak with a book at the end of the day is important. Your health matters even more so when you’re caring for others.
Children with ADHD can be hard work, there is no denying that my own mother could not cope and I had too. I do not regret doing what I did for my brothers.
ADHD does not change a child, each child is unique, and my brothers were just extra unique.
Have you any tips to add to help out parents raising children with ADHD?