Raising a Child with ADHD

It can be a challenge for parents to raise and manage a child with ADHD, so here are some tips to aid you in taking care of your child as best you can.

WORDS NURULHUDA SUHAIMI

 

Read up on ADHD

This allows you to “understand that ADHD is not unlike any other medical problems and ADHD children are not lazy, naughty or being wilful”, advises Dr Lim Boon Leng, psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness.

 

Adjust Your Communication Style

Be sure your child is paying attention to you before speaking to them, rather than resorting to yelling. Try to keep your sentences short too, as a child with ADHD typically has a poor attention span.

 

In addition, Jeanie Chu, clinical psychologist from The Resilienz Clinic recommends the following strategies that can help to correct problem behaviours associated with ADHD:

 

Self-care

As parents, you might focus all of your attention on taking care of your child, but this can be stressful and it might start taking a toll on you if you don’t take some time out for yourself. Ensure you maintain a healthy and balanced diet, exercise regularly, sleep a sufficient number of hours, and find ways to deal with your stress. If possible, lean on the rest of your family members, friends, your child’s doctor, and his teachers for mental and emotional support.

 

Establish structure and adherence Both of these components, along with consistency, are important for children with ADHD. Do this by “setting and following daily routines and/or rules”, says Chu.

 

Set Clear Expectations

“Simplify and explain the rules and consequences of problematic and desired behaviour. Explain what will happen when these rules are broken or adhered to. Be consistent with following through with the rewards or consequences,” explains Chu.

 

Encourage Exercise and Sleep

It is important to ensure your child engages in physical activities as it can help improve his ability to focus, as well as promote his brain development. Furthermore, staying active can result in better sleep, which has been proven to help reduce the symptoms in children with ADHD.

 

Diet and Proper Nutrition

Ensure your child is eating his meals regularly, and try to avoid giving him junk food.

 

Cultivate Patience and Socialisation

Help your child improve in his social interactions. For instance, teach him to wait patiently for the other person to finish speaking, and learn to read non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language.

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