Caring for a child with ADHD means the Caregiver has to understand the challenges the child faces. Children with ADHD struggle with executive functioning, which means they struggle with the ability to think and plan ahead, and to control their impulses. They also are usually less organized and have trouble completing tasks. As the Caregiver or parent for a child with ADHD, this means you must provide extra guidance for your child and essentially overcompensate for the lack of executive functioning by assisting with extra planning, providing structure, and a way to redirect impulsive choices.
Often times children with ADHD seem like they are just plain ignoring their parents' instruction when actually they haven't "heard" them. It's important to remember that children with ADHD are very easily distracted. Thus patients is vital when interacting with a child who has ADHD.
The most important a Caregiver can do for their child with ADHD is to stay positive and healthy themselves and to keep things in perspective. Try not to take things personally. Not only are actions by a child with ADHD usually not intentional, because of their challenges, the children often have no other choice.
Structure and consistency are of vital importance when caring for a child with ADHD. Use rewards and consequences the children can understand and ensure the discipline is fair and consistent. Many children with ADHD like to push boundaries and need to know exactly where they stand with their Caregiver. If these boundaries and rules are not established, the child with respond negatively. Don't forget to use positive reinforcement and praise when warranted.
Caregivers should also schedule regular activities for the child with ADHD. Encourage healthy play time where the child can use up all his or her energy appropriately. Because children with ADHD may be susceptible to lower self-esteem, be sure to find an activity that suits their skill set.
Finally, when winding down the night, we encourage all families to decrease, if not eliminate all electronic activity. These just act as stimulus for the child and interrupt their sleep cycle. Along with their sleep schedule, we highly recommend Caregivers monitor the food intake of children with ADHD very closely. Get rid of fatty, sugary and junk food. Offer fruits and veggies daily and you will see a big difference!