How can I help my child with ADHD

How can I help my child with ADHD

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It is difficult for parents to assimilate that their child has been diagnosed with ADHD. After receiving the diagnosis, reactions of disbelief, disorientation, helplessness, frustration, denial, anger, fear and even guilt begin.

These types of reactions are normal at first after knowing the diagnosis, however, It is essential that parents manage to get out of that storm of emotions and begin to assimilate what is happening to adapt to the new situation.

Once the child has been diagnosed, the professionals (doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists) who know the child, begin to offer parents a multitude of information about what ADHD is, causes, symptoms, most outstanding characteristics, etc. Furthermore, apart from the information they receive from professionals, parents often seek information on their own.

In the end, they are overloaded with information but still in need of guidance and advice to learn clearly and easily how they can help their child on a day-to-day basis.

In this article we offer you 5 simple recommendations so that you can put them into practice and help your child with ADHD at home:

1. Plan and introduce a daily routine in the family environment. Children with ADHD benefit greatly when there are established routines at home. It is ideal to consider it as if the day is full of goals to achieve (getting dressed, eating, brushing teeth, showering, doing homework, playing, preparing a backpack, etc.). Of course, every achievement the child achieves must be rewarded. We recommend that you make a schedule (the ideal is to do it together with the child) with the activities that they have to do during the day. In such a way that, with a single glance, you know what you have to do at all times. Later, you will convert those activities into habits and you will not even need to look at the schedule.

2. Strengthen your self-concept and self-esteem. What we say to children directly influences the construction of their self-concept, their self-esteem and of course, the way they behave. Talk to him lovingly, frequently highlight his positive qualities, criticize his behavior and let him know that he has not been appropriate, but do not rate or label him for it. On the other hand, children with ADHD often find it difficult to identify their positive qualities, encourage them to make a list of all the positive qualities that come to mind! If you can't think of many, you can help the whole family to complete their list of positive qualities.

3. Allow him to interact with his peers. Many times parents tend to overprotect their children to avoid being rejected by other children, and prevent them from attending birthdays, doing extracurricular activities, going to the park, etc. However, this is a mistake. Children have to have the opportunity to interact with other children. The child can learn social skills, control his impulsiveness and regulate his own emotions, but for this, he needs to interact with other children.

4. Help him resolve conflicts. Talk and reflect with your child about the conflicts he has had during the day. Teach him to look for the antecedents and consequences of the conflict in which he has been involved. Ask the following questions: what had happened before? What happened? What happened after? This will help you not just focus on the conflict and broaden the perspective of the situation. Finally, you can ask another question: do you think you could have acted in a better way? This will help you to think about how you can act if you find yourself in a similar situation in the future.

5. Prepare for the future. Encourage them to reflect on what behaviors are appropriate (taking turns, listening to other people, asking for things please, etc.) and what behaviors are inappropriate (interrupting, teasing, insulting, hitting, etc.). Once the child has thought a bit, you can make a list of the things that can be done during the day because they are “appropriate” and therefore it is a good idea to carry them out. And then you can make another list with those things that should not be done because they are "inappropriate" and, therefore, it is not a good idea to carry them out. Putting it down in writing will help the child to internalize it.

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