Parenting a child is hard enough. But when your kid is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, it can be extremely overwhelming and frustrating at times. It is unlike your regular childrearing.
The first thing you need to do is to understand that kids with ADHD have differences in brain activities and development. This is why they sometimes struggle to sit still, pay attention, listen to what you’re saying, and follow instructions. You will need to find the right approach to manage your child’s behavior.
Parents with ADHD children face unique challenges, such as the following.
One common problem parents of kids with ADHD have to face are sudden outburst. They typically have more aggressive and angry tantrums. Like other kids, they can have sudden outbursts even in public.
When you already have lots of things on your plate and your child starts aggressive outbursts in public, it is normal to angry and frustrated. But remember that what your child needs is not your anger, but your understanding. What you need to do is to calm both you and your child’s nerves.
Take your child somewhere where there is less stimulation. It is best to remove him under the prying eyes of many people. Make sure to take him in a calm and decisive manner.
It is natural for overactive kids to exhibit mildly disruptive behaviors. This is how they try to release all those pent-up energy. But once your child starts showing destructive behaviors or is intentionally hurting other people or themselves, there is now a need to enforce rules to discipline their behavior.
Make sure you discipline with a purpose and warmth. When correcting their behavior, make sure you do it in a supportive and encouraging way. You can consult with your child’s therapist, so they can help you find ways to respond to your child’s disruptive behavior.
Keeping Them Safe
It is crucial that you childproof your home when caring for a child with ADHD. They can easily get hurt from their extreme curiosity and hyperactivity. Even your daily habits will revolve around your child’s ADHD.
To ADHD-proof your home, there is a need to make certain investments to ensure their safety in your own home. This can include installing a vinyl fence and safety gates, mounting your T.V. securely on the wall, and covering the fireplace. Window guards become a must, as well as investing in cordless window blinds, covering power strips, securing dressers and locking cabinets, the dishwasher, etc.
You need to make sure they don’t have easy access to all things that can harm them, including medications, toiletries, sharp objects, chemicals, and small appliances. There are other things you need to do to ensure they are safe at home. Going out with your overactive kid becomes an even bigger task as you need to make sure your attention is on him at all times.
Kids with ADHD can be impulsive and vulnerable. This is why it is important that your child takes the medication prescribed by his attending doctor on time. If his medication wears off and he was not able to take the next one on time, he can act on impulse and get hurt.
When you’re out with your child, it is best to hold his hand and be ready to grab him if he tries to run off. Explain to your child that there are rules he needs to follow for his own safety. Set limits on what he can do and where he can go.
It is only natural to put all your focus and energy into your child’s needs. But remember that you are your child’s source of strength. You should be a role model in all aspects, including self-care.
If you show your child that you don’t prioritize self-care, it will be easy for him to ignore all your reminders like eating healthy and on time and getting enough sleep. Ignoring yourself will only make you more tired, more overwhelmed, and more frustrated. Show your child that living healthy life, getting enough support, and taking breaks are essential for good mental health.
Remember that you don’t have to do everything on your own. There are ADHD support groups you can join, professionals you can talk to, and loved ones willing to assist you. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to take a break, for needing someone to babysit for you for a while, and for wanting someone to listen as you vent out your frustrations.
The stress of parenting kids with ADHD can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Thankfully, overcome these challenges is not impossible. Adopting different approaches that will work for your unique situation can make it easier for you to parent your little one.