4. The Most Effective Treatment for ADHD Involves a Team Approach That Is Tailored to Your Child’s Individual Needs
The treatment team will consist of your child and the people who are directly involved with his or her day-to-day care — you and your child’s other parent, your child’s teachers, pediatrician, and any other adult who is regularly involved in a caregiving, teaching, or coaching role.
Team members work together in a collaborative and unified way to develop a treatment plan, support and implement treatment strategies, and monitor progress on specific goals and target outcomes. This team approach is necessary in order to ensure consistency across settings to help your child manage his or her ADHD-related difficulties.
Helpful strategies include routines, consistency, structure, external supports, clear expectations, and consequences, rewards to shape desired behaviors and teach positive coping skills, and for many children, medication may also be an integral part of treatment. There is no “quick fix” or “cure” for ADHD. Know that for most people managing ADHD is a lifelong process, but it is a hopeful process and one that can be managed successfully with the right supports in place.
5. Try to Separate the Child From the Behavior
If your child experiences significant difficulties in his or her ability to control impulses or regulate activity, it can be very frustrating for those around him or her. Though children with ADHD are often very clear about what they need to do and how they are expected to behave, they may have great difficulty doing it because of ADHD impairments. Their behavior can appear very willful and purposeful and can often lead to negative reactions from others. These negative reactions can take a toll on a child.
Understanding the impairments, even taking a disability perspective in regard to the ADHD, can help parents and teachers put things in perspective and readjust thinking patterns. Though the behavior may be bad, the child is not.
When you are in situations with your child that have frustrated you beyond control, consciously delay your response and take a deep breath (or two or three). This can help you keep calm and allow you to better think through how to respond to the situation in the most effective, beneficial way.
6. Parenting a Child With ADHD Is Challenging. Consciously Work to Take Good Care of Yourself So That You Can Better Parent
Raising a child is a demanding, emotional, rewarding, yet often energy-draining task! When that child has ADHD, these feelings and your need to supervise, monitor, redirect, teach, structure, organize, reward, punish, protect and nurture are often multiplied tenfold!
Self-care is important. Carve out special time each day for yourself. Surround yourself with positive people. Join an ADHD parent support group. Nurture your marital relationship and make sure you and your spouse/partner are on the same page around parenting. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and eat healthily. When your body and mind are strong, you will have more patience, energy, and enthusiasm to tackle each day with optimism, joy, and creative parenting. And your children will benefit tremendously!