If you’re the parent of a child with ADHD, you’re not alone. In fact, an estimated five percent of children have received this diagnosis, and that figure seems to be increasing each year, although scientists aren’t exactly sure why.
By the time a doctor has diagnosed their child with ADHD, many parents are no stranger to the condition. In fact, usually they aren’t surprised when they’re told their child has ADHD.
While there are many obstacles that children with ADHD and their families will face, there are ways to make everyday life smoother for everyone. Here are a few ideas for helping both your child and your family on your ADHD journey:
- Establish a soothing home atmosphere that is unlikely to trigger your child’s ADHD. I know, easier said than done. But, as any parent of a child with ADHD knows, often, despite these kids’ best efforts, they have a difficult time remaining focused. And sometimes it’s because their environment is overly stimulating. One way to combat this is to create and maintain a clean, organized living space – in your child’s bedroom and throughout the house. This article offers great advice on creating and maintaining a calming, serene home environment to help combat troublesome ADHD symptoms.
- Build structure your child can depend on. It’s obviously important for all kids to have a reliable routine at home, school and in social settings, but this becomes an even more crucial factor to helping ADHD children succeed. If your family has had trouble in the past adhering to routine and behavioral guidelines, then now is the time to really set some boundaries and stick with them. If this concept feels like a losing battle, this resource provides ideas on creating a routine for your child that you may not have tried yet.
- Consider adding a furry, four-legged friend to your family. Dogs have a reputation for being man’s best friend for many reasons, and the benefits they offer children and adults in managing ADHD is just one more item to add to this list. If you’re not already a puppy parent, this article provides information on some of the ways a pooch may be able to help your child cope with ADHD. A dog can be a fun way for your child to learn to stick to a routine and can provide your kiddo with a companion with whom to burn off excess energy.
- Understand that ADHD isn’t black and white – it’s different for everyone. If you’re feeling frustrated over your little one’s ADHD, try to remember that your child’s symptoms may be completely different from a seemingly similar child with the same diagnosis. Some ADHD children are hyperactive; others may get hyperfocused on solo activities, such as creating artwork in coloring books, and appear quite reserved. This video provides insight into the many ways children can be affected by this condition, and what impact it may have on their families. Remember, no matter how your family is affected by ADHD, it’s normal – after all, you’re doing all that you can to support your child, and, for the record, you’re doing a great job!
Although many parents feel stress and anxiety over their child’s ADHD, there are many ways to show your little one your support. As time goes on – and often, through some trial and error to find what works best for your family – you and your child can both learn how to manage and cope with many of the pesky symptoms of this disorder.
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Vee Cecil is a wellness coach, personal trainer, and bootcamp instructor. Vee is passionate about studying and sharing her findings in wellness through her recently-launched blog, and you can also connect with her on Twitter.