Your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. Perhaps you were the one who suggested having them evaluated. Alternatively, maybe a teacher was the first to notice their symptoms. Either way, you’re glad that you finally understand why they’ve been dealing with these symptoms. Now that you have a diagnosis, you can better help your child and chart a clear path forward.
However, you’re wondering how you can best support your child so that they can thrive even with ADHD. You want to make sure they can still reach their full potential and tap into their strengths, in spite of their diagnosis. Here are a few strategies that parents can apply to support their children with ADHD.
Benefits of Working with a Therapist
Your child might have received their diagnosis from a counselor associated with their school or a therapist at an external practice. Either way, a diagnosis means that it’s a good idea to continue with therapy for the time being. It’s okay if you or your child would prefer to seek out a different therapist. It can take a bit of trial and error to find the right fit! Through therapy, your child can learn valuable, age-appropriate skills for managing their symptoms.
Furthermore, after taking time to get to know your child and their symptoms, their therapist can assess whether or not your child might benefit from medication. It can be tough to figure out if this is the right choice for your child. A qualified therapist can help guide you in that decision.
Implement Consistent Rules and Routines
All children need predictable routines and a sense of structure at home. But when your child has ADHD, upholding consistent rules and routines is especially important. Make sure that you stick with specific morning and evening routines, and ensure that your child has a particular amount of time blocked off each day to focus on homework or other assignments. Many adults with ADHD struggle with time blindness and have difficulty being punctual, so use timers and alarms to help your child get an idea of how long certain tasks take.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Children with ADHD can be especially vulnerable to mood swings based on their diet, exercise levels, sleep routines, and other factors related to their physical health. Teaching your child healthy habits is essential for their well-being. Stick with a consistent bedtime, plan nutritious meals, and keep your child’s caffeine and sugar intake in check. You can also help your child find a form of exercise that they enjoy. This can be an outlet for your child to let off steam!
Identify Channels for Your Child’s Energy
Your child has a lot of energy, and they don’t always have to suppress it. It’s a good idea to guide your child in identifying a way to channel this energy. For example, your child might benefit from taking gymnastics or dance lessons, picking up a creative hobby, or trying out another extracurricular. You don’t need to overload your child’s schedule, but identifying one or two activities that serve as outlets for their energy can be beneficial.
Maintain Screen Time Limits
Too much screen time can reduce your child’s attention span even further. Your child might be old enough to use a tablet or laptop for schoolwork, but keep an eye on their screen time. Even if their friends have smartphones, you do not have to give them one yet, or give them unlimited time on it.
Are you seeking support for your child with ADHD? Working with a therapist can help you get the help you need. Reach out to learn more about your options for scheduling a session.