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Updated 13 August 2013

Parenting a child with ADHD

Consistency is the key to success in effective parenting of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

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Consistency is the key to success in effective parenting of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Give love and attention with firm limit setting. Be positive with your child. Tell him/her what you want, not what you don't want.

The emphasis should be on what is to be done as opposed to what is to be stopped. Don't punish your child for things beyond his/her control, such as impulsive behaviour or inattention.

A child with ADHD frequently fails to meet demands. He/she must have the chance to try again, succeed and receive your praise.

Routine
Set up specified time periods for waking, bedtime, chores, homework, playtime, TV time, etc. Explain changes in routine ahead of time. Set up clear and concise rules of behaviour for the whole family, with consequences for breaking rules. Instructions must be clear and simple. Ask your child to repeat instructions.

Act - don't yak
Your child must have a quiet, special place in which to do homework undisturbed. Stimulation should be kept at a low level, such as playing with one friend at a time and one game at a time. Say what you need to say, but say it once, briefly, clearly and calmly. Act - don't yak.

Limits
Allow your child choices within limits. Teach appropriate verbal communication skills. Be aware of the difference between incompetent behaviour (this must be educated) and non-compliant behaviour (this must have firm limit setting and consequences).

Try to see the world through the eyes of your child. Join an Effective Parenting class or support group. Develop your skills in behaviour modification, token reward systems and positive reinforcement.

Adapted from: Guidelines for Parents of Children with ADHD by Barry Zworestine (clinical psychologist) and Karin Seydel (educational and counselling psychologist).

(Health24)

 
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