Tips for Parents

We have gathered a variety of useful strategies and techniques to
give to parents of children with AD/HD and/or related conditions.

These have been tried out and found to be effective by parents of children with this condition. Some have been collected from colleagues in other countries and others are unique to our own experiences.

Put those that speak to you on your fridge or in other prominent place in your home to remind you to use them.

Teach your children to respect each other through example and intervention:

  • siblings towards each other
  • parents towards each other
  • family towards neighbours

Avoid the following behaviours:

  • blaming each other for the AD/HD !
  • talking negatively to, or about, your children !
  • expecting your children to fail !
  • speaking negatively about each other !

Focus on what your child is doing right by:

  • Using the token system to re-inforce good behaviour.
  • Getting the teacher to use the same system in school with your child.
  • Praising your child for every little achievement.

Make routines work in your home by:

  • Involving your child in discussions about rules and routines.
  • Writing down routines as sequences of tasks (2-5 items only) and post where easily visible.
  • Reviewing lists regularly with your child.
  • Allowing for free time in daily routines.
  • Being realistic about time needed for tasks.
  • Praising effort, not just results.

Remind yourself of the benefits of establishing routines:

  • Routines make daily activities manageable.
  • They help improve efficiency and daily functioning.
  • They allow your child to focus on one thing at a time.
  • A predictable schedule makes a child feel safe and secure.
  • Routines make life easier for parents !

Be aware of how successful routines are formed:

  • Usually routines don’t work because parents give up too soon.
  • To be really successful, routines should be seen as a way of life.
  • Effective routines take consistency and commitment.
  • Remember that success takes time, sometimes months - and even years
  • Don’t give up!

Help your child summarize texts by:

  • Locating main idea (point).
  • Identifying two to three supporting sentences.
  • Talking him/her through this until s/he is ready to write it down.

This makes homework less of a chore !

To make reading less daunting:

  • Look at title, headings
  • Look at bold-faced text
  • Read the first two sentences of each paragraph
  • Look for key words and phrases
  • Look at the Conclusion (summary)
  • Ask child to repeat what s/he knows now

Help your child with revision:

  • Help your child revise efficiently by making notes clear, visual, colourful.
  • Help your child make up index cards of key information during homework.
  • Draw up a revision timetable with him/her.
  • Help with memorization by asking questions after each revision session.

To help your child revise by ear:

  • Get an audio book so that s/he can listen to it while reading the text.
  • Record his/her voice while answering questions – this helps the information go into long-term memory.

To build your child’s self-esteem:

  • Give praise and encouragement regularly.
  • Focus on the positive.
  • Listen to your child.
  • Allow him/her to make decisions.
  • Believe in your child and show this always.
  • Find out what s/he is good at and develop this.
  • Expect the best outcome.

To improve motivation:

  • Set achievable goals.
  • Break difficult assignments into smaller chunks.
  • Keep your child’s self-esteem high.
  • Make sure that your child is achieving in some area.
  • Compliment your child for every little thing s/he achieves.
  • Keep close contact with teachers.

Children and adolescents with AD/HD can be very challenging, but they need:

  • a balanced environment;
  • to learn how to have positive relationships;
  • to learn how to respect siblings/parents;
  • to learn how to think before they act;
  • to learn how to manage their negative symptoms.

For this, they need positive role models!

  • Teaching your AD/HD child to respect his/her siblings.
  • Teaching siblings to respect the AD/HD child.
  • Modelling the required behaviour and vocabulary of respectful interaction.
  • Encourage friendships and let your child invite friends home as often as possible.
  • Teach your child to take a deep breath before s/he says or does something, and think about how s/he’d feel if someone said or did that to him.
  • Praise your child often, and specifically, to boost self-esteem.

Believe the best of your children and they will become who you want them to be!

Make sure your child understands the AD/HD symptoms s/he has.

Encourage him/her to question him/herself when apportioning blame to others.

Teach him/her to self-analyse his/her actions.

Be ready to praise his/her efforts in this respect.


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ADHD Europe asks for better provisions for Teenagers with ADHD who continue to need access to mental health services after they turn 18.
This must be a priority across Europe so please sign the Declaration:
DECLARATION HERE

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