At least one in 20 children in South Africa suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is according to research by Cape Town-based psychiatrist Dr Renata Schoeman.
ADHD is characterised by three main sets of symptoms – poor concentration, hyperactivity and impulsivity – and, when left untreated, can be among the most debilitating disorders to live with. The risks include academic, social, and emotional problems in childhood, which may impact on job performance, relationships and mental health in adulthood.
It is understandable why parents dread an ADHD diagnosis; not because the disorder is untreatable, but because they are unsure of how to help their child. Fortunately, all is not lost. There are many ways to help your ADHD child. Take a look at five parenting tips for ADHD below, but keep in mind that what works for one child may not work for another.
Five parenting tips for ADHD
In the 21st century, it is easy for anyone (especially children with ADHD) to get distracted if there is a smartphone, a television, video game or computer close by. Access to electronics should be monitored and limited.
Establish a routine
Having a set routine in place can provide essential structure for children with ADHD. Have meals at the same time every day and have rituals in place before bedtime like taking a bath, brushing their teeth, and reading a bedtime story.
Exercise is the perfect outlet for built-up energy. According to an article in Healthline, exercise may help to improve concentration and stimulate the brain in healthy ways. Try to find an exercise that your child enjoys and make sure to join them, as you will benefit too.
Understand your child’s thought process
Children with ADHD often speak and act before thinking. Encourage your child to verbalise their thoughts and reasoning, as this can help you understand their thought process and hopefully help curb impulsive behaviours.
Ask for help
You don’t always have to have all the answers. It is okay to ask for help. Consult a psychologist who specialises in ADHD or consider attending an ADHD Parenting Course. And, remember that it is not only your child that can benefit from professional help – A therapist can help you manage stress and anxiety. Finding a support group in your area can also be beneficial.
Home education can provide a nurturing learning environment for children with individual needs. Impaq Educationprovides all the necessary products, services and tools to enable your child to complete Grade R to 12 at home.