How to raise a child with attention deficit disorder
Raising a child with ADD, otherwise known as attention deficit disorder, can be difficult for parents who don’t understand their child’s condition and how it affects him. Helping a child learn and grow positively requires caregivers to have knowledge about ADD, and to implement plans to help their child adapt to surroundings and minimise potential difficulties, while encouraging positive behaviour.
Where to begin
The initial stages of raising a child with ADD successfully involve gaining knowledge and advice from professionals. Doctors and educational psychologists can help parents understand a child’s learning style, and recognise potential difficulties, providing them with suitable solutions to implement.
Parents who realise their child’s ADD may be triggered by allergies and toxins in their home can take steps to remove dangers from their living space and provide a safe environment, free from harmful substances which may leave their child with difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly. Lead based paints, certain foods and normal household cleaning products are potential triggers.
Once parents understand that much of the behaviour their child displays is due to ADD, they can be mindful about not labeling them unjustly or accidentally undermining them for acting in a manner they can’t help displaying. Parents can also modify their home life to fit in with their child’s ADD, such as providing a bright, quiet room for their child to study in, and helping them break down study periods into twenty minute sessions to aid concentration and absorption of knowledge.
Children with attention deficit disorder can have mood swings ranging from frustration and high energy, to a dreamy or depressed state. Learning to recognise wha’ts going on for their child emotionally, can help parents bond closely and provide support with their child. As ADD children are often misunderstood by their peers and adults, parents can keep an eye on self esteem and encourage their child by offering praise when he’s done well.
By being aware of changes in behaviour, moods and difficulties relating to their child they can deal with problems head on as they arise, before they escalate. For example, children with ADD often suffer from sleep deprivation as their brains refuse to close down at night and racing thoughts continue long after the bedroom lights turned out. If this occurs, parents can seek help from a professional who will work out a plan to make sleep time more productive and positive.
Parents can successfully raise a child with attention deficit disorder by arming themselves with knowledge and professional help, rather than struggling to cope alone. They can also help their child stay positive and happy by offering them confidence boosting praise where appropriate, sticking to boundaries when it comes to house rules, and by being loving and understanding.
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