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39 Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD

I posted on Facebook the following question, “WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED FROM ANOTHER PARENT OF A CHILD WITH ADHD?”  Below are the 39 Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD I got from my Facebook Followers.  #37 is a phenomenal bit of advice for a child with ADHD.  #10 will blow your mind.  Here they are:

39 Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD

  1. Do NOT get emotionally involved when they are having a behavior issue. Walk away if they won’t.
  2. Set specific rules and boundaries and always follow thru with discipline and accountability.
  3. With schools…they usually push for grades because good grades = more money. Most important is your child’s mental health. Don’t allow the school to push you around. Play nice but know your rights and find a school advocate if you’re having problems with the school.
  4. Peace at any price
  5. Pick your battles!
  6. YOU are their safe place.
  7.  Lots of negative behaviors are stemmed from boredom. They need activities readily available. (Legos, Kinetic Sand, Stem Buckets, Fidget Cubes, etc).
  8. A weighted blanket for sleep is a good investment.  (Bryan’s Note:  We tried this and didn’t help Cale, but hey if it helps your kid go with it.  Finding what helps your kiddo get to sleep is what’s important …..Ps. Check out my album ADHD Lullaby if you haven’t already).
  9. Let them be themselves. The world needs to accept them not for them conform to the world.
  10. To understand it can take my child a few days to remember something as that is how long it takes a memory to transition from short term to long term memory. He’s not lying when he claims not to have done, seen, or been told to, do something, the short term memory didn’t catch it but the long term one probably will given time.  (Bryan’s Note: One of the best pieces of advice shared).
  11. To actually listen.  It can take a child with ADHD a little bit to form their thoughts into words.
  12. It’s okay to cry alone so no one sees or hears. Or quickly eat a chocolate bar in the bathroom while your kids are bouncing off the walls.
  13. Your home can be fixed if things get broken.
  14. It’s okay to hug your wide awake child on the sofa at 2 am watching stupid YouTube vides because you know he can’t sleep due to his/her medication.
  15. It’s okay to be not okay. Tomorrow is a new day.
  16. To breath, just breath. Some days I find myself arguing with him and then I remember to just take a step back and breath.  If I’m calm then he calms easier.
  17. Have patience and understanding and give lots of love!!
  18. Try and breath before you take action. If you don’t, it may make matters worse.
  19. The best advice I was given was a schedule. As soon as he comes home he gets a snack and we have an hour of physical activity outside. If the weather is bad we compromise inside. We even have a small single person trampoline. Then he is ready to do his homework. I allow him to stand if he needs to. Then it’s dinner and more physical activity. I am more tired than he is at bed time, but it works for us. He still has bad days and I pull my hair out. But since we started the schedule it has led to more good days.
  20. You are their voice — their advocate! Make people listen and understand!
  21. Every child is different. What works for one may not work for others. Find what works for you.
  22. The schools see kids with ADHD as all being the same, they’re not.  You may have to kick and scream to get your child the help and understand they need from the school.
  23. It does get better (or they learn to manage it better) with age usually around 9th grade so hang in there.
  24. Meds may help but they are not a cure.
  25. Sports are a good way to let out energy.
  26. They are frustrated and anxious because they don’t understand what’s going on either. Anxiety sometimes looks like ADHD so learn how to breath together and de-stress.
  27. Empower yourself to advocate for your child.  (Maybe read School 504 Handbook)
  28. The most important one is to always pick your battles. Most things are not that serious.
  29. My ADHD child is turning 21 in June and has been med free since 10th grade. It does get better.
  30. Try putting them in private tutoring’ – total game changer, painful experience for the parent making the child follow through and do the homework and follow routine but undeniably fantastic scholastic results. My kids learned how to learn through private tutoring. The best recommendation I have ever been given.
  31. Get to know your child let them know you are there for them even when other people out in this world don’t want to take the time to get to know them.
  32. ALLOW the child to fidget; there are a lot of ways schools can adjust way to deal with their need to fidget.  (See School Fidget Bands)
  33. ALLOW him to chew, chew gum not on pens or pencils.  (See Chewable Pencil Toppers)
  34. ALLOW your child to stand at the dinner table, when sitting is difficult.
  35. Try not to “fight” his impulses, do what you can to adjust the child’s life so HE’S comfortable.
  36. I love the use of the word “Tidy.” My child always freaked out over the use of certain words.
  37. Another piece of advice I was given was to try to break tasks into manageable sizes, have photos of the finished product if possible  (i.e. tidy bed, tidy desk, tidy floor etc.) ADHD can make it difficult to envision a finished task, if you can’t picture that, then your brain can’t backtrack to the beginning in order to decide a start point.
  38. He is so literal in his thinking that word choice mattered. He is OCD about certain things. Time is one of them. The bell schedule at school drove him crazy because he was scared he would be late from one class to the other and was always in a hurry. He stayed in so much trouble for fidgeting and inclusiveness that I guess he over compensated in areas he could control to stay out of as much trouble as possible. The poor kid would go all day and not use the bathroom unless he was told it was a bathroom break. He is now 20 and one of the best employee at his job because time management matters.
  39. Build a mentor team of other parents of children with ADHD who you can call on for insight.

I want to thank each parent who shared a little bit of their world.  When my wife and I were first getting our arms around how to best help our child we found other parents and leaned on them for advice.

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