How to effectively parent youth with mental health diagnosis: Parenting a child with ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD).Part 1

This week we will discuss parenting a child who is hyperactive.
Children and teens with ADHD experience symptoms such as being very active, unable to sit still, talkative, and cutting into adult conversations. They may be reluctant to hold your hand when crossing a busy street and may even run across before you are ready to do so. They may have difficulty waiting their turn or get impatient as you wait in line at the grocery store. As they get older, they may no longer run around your home but may be constantly fidgeting, tapping, etc. You may find they are so forgetful it is unsafe to have them around appliances without supervision. Are they leaving the stove on, their hair straightener plugged in, or asking you to bring their homework folder to school? These are some of the symptoms you may already see in your child/ teen with ADHD.

Here are some tips to help you parent your child with ADHD:

Burn off energy. Encourage children to burn off excess energy through physical activity. Let your child run around outside, ride a bike or play pretend sporting competitions with siblings or neighbors. Indoor toys such as skipping rope and mini trampolines are other options. Enroll them in sporting activities in your community or encourage activities that the whole family can do together. Activities that involve constant motion may be better than those with lots of downtimes. These improve their attention and can strengthen your bond as a family.

Fidget tools
If it is challenging to get them to sit still long enough to do their homework, consider having your child sit on a fidget stool, an exercise ball, or having a fidget toy in hand.

Healthy sleep routine
Try to ensure regular bedtime hours and the opportunity to wind down before bed. A calming routine may include quieter activities such as coloring, a short bedtime story or a warm drink, and the opportunity to use the bathroom.

Keep them occupied.
Encourage your child to help out with tasks at home, helping with meal prep or short periods of playing board games with a sibling. Endeavor to limit screen time.

Caregiver self-care.
Be mindful of your mental health, pick your battles as you continue to parent through symptoms of hyperactivity, and avoid constantly expressing your dissatisfaction about your child’s behavior. Seek support and possibly ask others to care for your child so that you can get a break.

Download a free mental health tip sheet to help you and other caregivers understand your child’s mental health better.

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