The following is the second of two articles providing helpful ADHD parenting tips and information. Read Part 1 here to see the first two tips.
Additionally, they worry about medication decisions, and trying to negotiate educational needs with administrators. It’s easy to get frustrated, but DON’T PANIC! The following information can help you put it into perspective as you help as you raise your child to enjoy a life they are capable of live with the right support for their ADHD.
#3 Keep Them From “Buying Into The Lie”
Celebrate their differences by helping them acquire an appreciation of the gifts of ADHD, by managing it. Many kids are focused on the deficits and think they are defective, which is a lie you can’t afford to buy into! Dr. Ned Hallowell often talks about the gift of ADHD. There are a lot of positive traits that come from having high energy, a curious mind, and persistence! But be mindful of helping them look at their behavior from other people’s point of view so they can see what some behavior, no matter how well intended, can be misinterpreted. Helping identify passions and support their curiosity. Many life-long passions can be turned into meaningful work which is key to successfully living with ADHD
#4 Learn to Be Intentional and Leverage What Works
Help them learn to leverage their strengths and identify environments that work for them. Very few people will know and connect your child’s past experiences, their learning preferences, and future goals like you do. Looking at careers and work environments that compliment their strengths will help you both sleep at night when it comes to looking into the future careers. Understanding the types of executive functions that work well, and the conditions in which your child is successful and productive is an important conversation and needs to be talked about and developed over time. Start early talking about the good/bad sides of holding down work and how their special talents would be a good or bad fit.
#5 Teach Resiliency, Not Victimization
Know that s/he will experience utter disappointment…and a resilient spirit can be cultivated. This is difficult to think about but it is a must as your child grows and takes on more responsibility. Know that it’s not the end of the world and we always have choices in how we choose to handle life’s unexpected turns (our fault or not).
Developing coping skills and learning to manage disappointment with those who have self-regulation and impulsive behaviors need explicit teaching and techniques in managing emotions. Products, such as Tools for Life, help children develop awareness of emotions and options for managing those emotions are important to access for self-regulation and learning.
However, when disaster strikes (and it will) life will go on…College degree or not…Fired or downsized. What is important is how you model resiliency and by not becoming a victim of circumstance. I maybe getting philosophical here, but you can not keep injustice or harm out of life, so prepare your child for it. Additionally, rapid change is a part life as well and all successful humans need to learn to manage that life skills. Help them become aware of any victim mentality and blame, so they can move forward with action to get back on track, gaining some control of their life after such incidences happen. Develop the type of relationship which allows you to be privy to when devastating things happen and then provide the wisdom and support, that only you can give. Become an advocate and friend as they grow into adulthood and need you differently.