ADHD or Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder relates to situations wherein the child is attention deficit and is provoked by impulsive actions and reactions. In my counselling sessions, I have noticed that parents of kids who have ADHD, find it difficult to manage routines smoothly. Albeit, this is just a phase and the role of parenting is essayed with few changes in parenting style.
Firstly, my sincere advice is to not label any child as ‘HYPER’. It is a very sensitive term which needs to be used only after a clinical test establishes a result. I regale that earlier children were named after Gods and Goddesses so that noble qualities will pass on to the progeny. The same holds good now. It is best to refer to the child without such labels. Even if clinically established, kindly do not refer the child likewise as it is huge blow to their self-esteem. They imbibe negative traits and believe that something is just not right with them.
Children who are clinically dragonized with ADHD are unable to manage themselves. They are sleep and rest deprived, concentration is impaired, unable to manage self-discipline and go through much with a series of rejection from authorities, peers, strangers as well as relatives. When a parent rejects them, it is all the more damaging for their present as well as future self-confidence.
Ten top tips for parents who are bringing up kids having ADHD:
- Take one day a time. Enjoy the current improvements and keep trying to make other things happen but go easy on time. Do not ridicule, shout, express anger or mete out harsh punishments as this way they will rebel.
- Plan but do make allowances. Monotony is boring for you as well as for others. Make it interesting and tweak the boredom by changing the routine for your child. This is a superb tip for worried parents.
- Stay organized and this way there will be less stress. When the role models are self-sufficient and organized it makes it easy for children to follow a routine.
- DE-stress It is vital for parents to have a de-stress routine. Recognizing their own stress level is important so that it does not pass on to the child. A child with ADHD is innocent and most things are impulsive and this can be difficult for the parent. Find out the stressor and an innovative way to distress.
- Discipline Inculcating discipline is hard work here! Moreover, the child sees it as an ordeal and may not be in sync with your parameters. I would suggest, preparation in advance sets the ball rolling. For example, if the child has to attend a party, it is vital for you do a role play and explain the situation and talk about discipline. When you know that the child has managed well, praise is a wonderful way to strengthen the self-esteem.
- Empathy – Like charity, empathy also begins at home. For e.g. it is time to ponder! How often do we binge on a diet? How often do we forget to stock the grocery? Don’t sudden guests bring a big shift in our routine. Just as adults compound their stress while managing change, kids with ADHD too are not ready for the big SHIFT.
- Practice – They learn from their environment. Take time off from the mobile, television, loud music and engage in calming sounds. Sensory interventions help children to calm down. g. barefoot walking on grass, sea shore music as a pre-sleep ritual and a nutritious diet.
- Appreciate Praise is calming. It is acceptance. It gives confidence to the child. Make it a habit and highlight concentrate on the good aspects he/she has done during the day.
- Ask for help Do not be shy to ask for help several times a day. Take help from your helpers, in laws, friends and also spouse. Do not do it alone.
- Love – Love yourself as a responsible adult – unconditionally. You are a brave parent and you are working it out so very well. Do not be harsh on yourself. Your child LOVES you!
For any counselling session please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
( Certified Counselling Psychologist and NLP Practitioner)