ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is not something we often think about in reference to African kids, but it is real and affects a lot of our children. Like with all challenges our kids face, the way parents handle this will go a long way to helping us raise well adjusted children. This article by Laurie Hollman, Ph.D gives several helpful steps on how to build a solid and secure relationship with your children who have been diagnosed with ADHD. (Not sure what ADHD is all about? Check this page from the CDC).
Many children and teenagers are diagnosed with ADHD. Parents are familiar with the list of symptoms and often get professionals to help their child modify their disorganization, distractibility, and hyperactivity. But rarely are the parents given guidance on how to handle their own feelings about their child’s problems and actions and many parent-child arguments and conflicts ensue which only worsen the child’s shame and confusion.
Parents care deeply about their child but don’t know what attitude or mindset to have when they are faced with their child’s irritability, loss of emotional regulation and control, disorganized homework and clothing, loss and misplacement of articles and assignments, and erratic judgment. Parents are often both saddened and angry all at the same time, feel a great deal of self-doubt in their parenting, and find themselves becoming frustrated saying things to their child they sincerely regret.
The Helpful Parenting Mindset
Seven Tips For Securing Your Relationship with Your Child
1. It’s essential to recognize that your child is not intentionally irresponsible and purposefully poorly self-disciplined.
He knows right from wrong and seeks approval. Look for all the ways you can to offer approval and recognize effort, if not success in organizing one’s things.
2. Be careful to not blame yourself or your child for his impulsivity. As hard as it may be, staying calm helps your child and yourself.
How can we blame a child’s brain for short circuiting any more than we would blame him for catching the flu? The difference is we nurture someone with the flu with soup and blankets and his aches and pains make sense to us. The child with ADHD needs nurturance, too, even when his pain doesn’t make sense to us.
3. Try not to see your child as lazy or willful because he’s neither.
The effort to stay focused for increasing lengths of time is extremely difficult for the child. Medicine helps him concentrate but then leaves him with side effects of loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It takes time to titrate the medicine to his individual needs and the parent needs to reassure their child they will find the right levels of medicine and when to take it.
4. Your child needs to know you are on his side and there through thick and thin.
Read the complete article here.