Having a child with ADHD can be quite a struggle as parents we want to do what’s best for our child but understanding ADHD is really the first step.

I have worked with so many children and parents through my 20-year career and is ADHD one of the things that I specialize in. I am a big advocate for children with ADHD.  The focus is always put on their behaviour.  They need to punish more, they need more structure, they are being spoiled by their parents, they should know better by now…  The judgment is not ok, and it makes us feel as though we are doing something wrong as a parent.  You did not cause the ADHD, however, how we respond can either help the child or feed into their behaviour and unhelpful reactions to the world around them. 

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 ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder, the parts of their brain that don’t put the brakes on are preventing them from making good choices.  Parents and caregivers must learn more about ADHD to give them the tools to succeed.

Children with ADHD really want to do well, but their actions give parents and caregivers the impression that’s not important to them.  Your children’s brain is under construction until 25, but ADHD can add extra stress and lagging skills to what they need to deal with.  Their executive functioning skills are usually one to two years behind.  Executive functioning skills are those skills we need to do well in life.  Organization, emotional regulation, time management, task initiation, and so on.  The executive functions that really show up are the poor social and emotional skills children have.  They look like they are 10, they are really 8 and they are functioning socially and emotionally as though as they 6.  It’s hard on everyone, especially the child.

Some don’t interact well with friends; they can make friends but have a hard time keeping them.  Due to impulsivity, children with ADHD have a hard time making good decisions. Their big emotions and rigid thinking can sometimes lead to acting out, sometimes with aggression. You may see them acting very frustrated and having a hard time tolerating other people’s rules. 

They want it their way, so as the adult we feel as though we need to enforce more rules. They are inflexible then we become inflexible which may lead to power struggles and arguments.  Your child needs consistency, visual prompts, timers, reminders, rewards, and lots of patience.  The number one thing that an ADHD child needs is love and understanding.  We have to step back and be mindful of how we are responding to them.  They are frustrated as well.  They want to do well; they just don’t know-how.  If they do know-how, their impulsivity, or emotion, or lack of task initiation get in the way of their success. 

Take your foot off the gas! Get ahead of the behaviors, instead of fighting fires.  This takes time and planning.  The best approach is working collaboratively with your partner, then meeting with your child to work it out together. 

A plan everyone agrees on, and helpful strategies and tools will help lift boost your child’s self-esteem.  You want to set them up for success, let them know that you love them.  Your child needs to hear that their ADHD is just part of the way they were born, and they need more support.  But they have many great skills and personality traits that make them amazing people, 

Books I highly recommend for explaining ADHD to Children/Teens

Adhd Books Recommendations For Parents

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Message me! lets connect and see how I can support you: michelle@momthemanager.ca