Children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be a challenge for their teachers, peers, and parents. However, with the right strategies, parents can help their children to perform better in school and fulfill their potential for learning and academic achievement. The following are a few tips from physicians and parenting experts to help parents help their children with ADHD.
All children need to have their basic needs met in order to learn. Children who come to school hungry will not be able to concentrate on or participate well in class. Nutrition is even more important for children with ADHD. These children need to start the day with a filling and healthy breakfast that is low in fat, sugar, and simple carbs. Fruit, yogurt, and nuts, for example, can provide an excellent start to the day.
All children do better in school with a good night’s sleep, but children with ADHD tend to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Their parents need to spend more time establishing bedtime routines that help the child feel calm. Consistent routines are very important, and experts advise sticking to the same bedtime every night, even on weekends, to help the child adapt to it.
Children with ADHD need strong advocates in their parents, but it’s also very important that parents and teachers work together as a team. Parents should be very open about their concerns and talk with the teacher about behavior plans that work at home. When parents and teachers are on the same page, they can provide a united front to the child and also work together to make sure the child’s needs are met.
Parents should follow a consistent behavior plan that includes simply stated rules, rewards for good behavior, and natural consequences for bad behavior. Experts advise breaking down complex tasks into a series of steps and presenting them as a checklist the child can check off. The key to success is following a behavior plan consistently. Plans can include both home and school activities.
Parenting a child with ADHD can be difficult but very rewarding, since so many children with ADHD grow up to become highly creative and intelligent adults. To learn about parenting a child with ADHD, read more here.