Relief For Parents Of Adhd Children
Parents of ADHD children often search for methods that will work to provide a happy and healthy household. This article offers ideas to help the parent maintain a sound state of mental health.
There is an abundance of literature available about the child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Theories regarding causes, diagnosis, treatment and behavior modification abound for this common and actively studied condition. While many of the books will state that the parent plays a pivotal role in the life of the child with ADHD, there’s little information for methods for the parents in dealing with the frustration, exhaustion and overwhelming emotions that are so often a part of the equation.
Parents in general are not perfectly centered people who have the correct answers for everything. It is especially disappointing to follow the textbook solutions suggested for ADHD behaviors, only to have them not work. The perfect kids and perfect parents only exist on television. Real life in the parenting world is full of challenges in the best of circumstances. ADHD is a world of its own.
Here are some ideas designed for the parent of an ADHD child. The suggestions in books focus on the child, assuming the parent doesn’t have the moods of anger, fear depression, frustration and failure combined with a poor self-concept and self-blame that are so often found in these individuals.
The parents of an ADHD child must attempt to maintain a certain mindset, though, for the health of the child, siblings and general well-being of the family. This is an active process and a daily one.
The most common relief suggested to parents in the ADHD books centers on relaxation techniques. This alone will not work for long unless larger more global ideas build the foundation for a healthy mental state. Other ideas include:
1) Remember everyone has problems. It’s easy to fall into a victim state of thinking, “Why did this happen to me?” It’s counterproductive. Though it may sound trite, look at the differences caused from living with ADHD as a unique opportunity to discover what’s beneath the surface.
2) Let go of perfect. The ADHD child is not misbehaving to get at the parent. The notion that children are expected to always respond to the authority of the parent no matter what won’t work. There are methods which will work and will instill respect, but they are generally not the same as the “children are meant to be seen and not heard” philosophy of bygone days.
3) Let go of the future. Often parents of ADHD children worry that certain behaviors in the here and now will mean the child won’t go to college, hold a job or be accepted in society. Focusing on today and letting go of the future takes some of the pressure off. Was Winston Churchill a failure? Or Thomas Edison? It’s commonly believed they were both ADHD as children.
4) Quit pleasing. The ADHD child is often demanding, arguing even the most minor point until the parents are driven to distraction. Let the child experience unhappiness at times. Your “no’s” will undoubtedly be kinder than the “no’s” your child will receive later in life from the world. The parent doesn’t have to listen to every word of the child, especially if it is abusive. It’s not OK for the child to name call, curse or threaten. Walk away if you have to.
5) Practice daily forgiveness. Forgive others who look with disapproving eyes at your child and you as a parent, forgive the child for his or her mistakes and forgive yourself for not being perfect in each and every situation.
6) Recognize that you are planting seeds. Parents plant seeds of wisdom and knowledge in their children. Some seeds take years before they sprout. What is begun today may not show up as reality until later. Be patient.
8) Listen to your inner voice. Grandparents, relatives, professionals and friends often give conflicting ideas of how to raise your children. Listen to your inner voice, trust it and worry less about what others think. You are the one raising your child and you know better than the others who have all the answers.
9) Be consistent in discipline. Be flexible, too. Listen to your inner voice to find this balance.
10) Resist the urge to give knee-jerk reactions in situations. Try to anticipate that problem behaviors will arise. When a child gets an adult to blow up, they know they gotcha. Your responses are important. Wait at least a few minutes sometimes before even saying a thing.
11) It’s not all the parent. The mainstream of modern psychological thought places the parent as the sole character in the development of the child. While the parent has a great deal of influence, everyone has his or her own special inborn attributes. Parents are important, but they are not the entire formula in the development of a child into an adult.
12) Remember the ADHD child has strengths as well. Remember that these exist.
13) Try to put yourself and your marriage before the kids. Parents who give it all to the kids often feel resentful and drained. The better you are, the better you’ll be for your child.
There is no magic potion for the parent of an ADHD child. Putting the situation in perspective helps, though, from the everyday uncertainties of what the household experiences. Follow the suggestions of the experts that feel right and let trial and error have its day. Many ADHD children grow up to be happy successful adults. The parent who can keep a positive attitude about the day at hand can lay a better foundation for their child’s future.