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Helfen Sie Ihrem Kind, mit seiner ADHS klarzukommen

von NFI Redaktion

Understanding and Supporting Your Child with ADHD

It is not uncommon to have mixed feelings regarding the diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in your child. The behaviors that led to it can cause stress in your family and social life for a long time. Alongside all your other challenges, you may also worry about how your child (and others) will react to the „labeling.“ However, don’t let this stop you from talking to your child about it. Working together to understand how your child’s brain functions can be a first step in improving their symptoms.

Jen Mackay learned when her son James was 6 years old that he had ADHD. „It was a bit of a relief because we felt it explained some of the things we were seeing,“ she says. She was also confident that the diagnosis meant they would find the right tools to help James. „He was a constant ‚behavioral problem‘ in his preschool and transitional kindergarten classes, which was very discouraging for him. In fact, we decided to take him out of public kindergarten because I didn’t want him to think he was bad. Looking back, I wish we had been able to diagnose him and start treating his ADHD earlier.“

So, finding out that your child has ADHD can be a good thing, and you can help explain it to them by focusing on the positive aspects.

Knowledge is Power

ADHD often runs in families. This means that neither your child nor you have done anything to cause it. On the other hand, now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can do both to help your child succeed.

„We assumed that he would benefit from knowing what he needs to work on and that everyone can improve with time and practice,“ says Mackay. „He had the best heart and loved all his friends. It was confusing when they were upset because he was so impulsive and did things that bothered his friends or didn’t listen to his teacher. We talk about how it can be advantageous to understand that certain things are difficult (e.g., personal space and remembering homework) because it allows you to consciously make an effort to learn and get better.“

Everyone Has Strengths and Challenges

Children with ADHD are often criticized for their behavior both in and out of school. Therefore, it is important to balance this with lots of praise when they do things you would like to see more of. Point out when your child completes their homework on time or clears their plate without being asked.

„As we get older, we talk a lot about how every single one of us has things we’re really good at and things we struggle with,“ says James‘ mother. „We talk about facing our difficulties and just keep learning, growing, and doing better – and we talk about leveraging our strengths.“

There’s Always More to Learn

If you find out your child has ADHD, you both now have the opportunity to improve the situation. By having the information you can use to work with your child’s mindset instead of against it, everyone is happier and can view the diagnosis as a good thing.

Learning and Growing Together

When you ask your child to work on the skills that need improvement, be prepared to do the same. Educate yourself about ADHD and how it affects your individual child, as each person with this condition is different. You can achieve this by ensuring your child receives a comprehensive assessment involving their doctor, therapist, and teacher. Working with an ADHD parent coach can help you learn specific parenting strategies and techniques that you can apply at home, likely leading to better behavior.

For example, consistent routines and rewards for specific behaviors can help children with ADHD know what to do and remember to do it. „I’ve instilled a whole range of habits with James, like making sure he eats applesauce and yogurt like clockwork every morning and takes his medications (pre-dosed for the week in a pillbox),“ says Mackay. „Another hack is ‚Showtime‘ every day at 5 pm. We limit screen time at home, but maybe not as much as some; instead, we use the 5 o’clock hour as an incentive to get chores done after school. I use that quiet time to prepare a healthy dinner that we eat together as a family. Even though he’s a teenager now, I still provide a lot of incentives to accomplish things that need to be done.“

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