ADHD

Updated 14 June 2017

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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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).

Read more:

Does your child suffer from ADHD?

A natural approach to ADHD




 

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ADHD Expert

Dr Renata Schoeman has been in full-time private practice as a general psychiatrist (child, adolescent and adult psychiatry) since 2008, currently based in Oude Westhof (Bellville). Renata also holds appointments as senior lecturer in Leadership (USB) and as a virtual faculty member of USB Executive Development’s Neuroleadership programme. She serves on the advisory boards of various pharmaceutical companies, as a director of the Psychiatric Management Group (PsychMG) and is the co-convenor of the South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) special interest group for adult ADHD, and co-founder of the Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation (www.gb4adhd.co.za) She is passionate about corporate mental health awareness and uses her neuroscience background to assist leaders in equipping them to become balanced, healthy and dynamic leaders that take their own and their team’s emotional, intellectual, social health and physical needs into account. Renata is academically active and enjoys research and collaborative work, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at local and international congresses. She is regularly invited to present at conferences and to engage with the media. During her post-graduate studies, she trained at Harvard, Boston in neurocognition and neuroimaging. Her awards include, amongst others, the Young Minds in Psychiatry award from the American Psychiatric Association, the Discovery Foundation Fellowship award, a Thuthuka award from the NRF, and a MRC Fellowship. She also received the Top MBA student award and the Director’s award from USB for 2015. She was a finalist for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa’s Businesswoman of the Year Award for 2016, and received the Excellence in Media Work award from SASOP during 2016.

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