Friday, April 6, 2012

Raising a Child with ADHD

Raising a child with ADHD is not easy, it is a very frustrating and stressful life long journey. I know it seems like they aren't listening to you when you talk, or just don't care about their schooling. I know this because I have a 13 year old boy with this condition. The truth is though, that even though it may seem like they don't care or listen, most ADHD children DO care and WANT to listen, pay attention and do well. I know my son always says "I just want to be normal" and it breaks my heart. I always tell him he is normal, he just has to try a little harder at things. But, the reality of it is, that little things like sitting still, doing homework, remembering to bring things home and turn them in that we think are easy are an everyday struggle for our ADHD children. They honestly want to all those things, it's just a lot harder for them.
Most ADHD children are on some type of medication such as Adderall, Ritalin, or Concerta, and though these can help with the symptoms, it still can be hard for your child. Some of the most important help your child can get for his/her ADHD is non medication help from you.
Now, I am not saying I don't believe in medication, my son is on Concerta, and I'm not saying anything is your fault. What I am saying is that children who suffer from ADHD need a different type of parenting at times.
One of the best ways to help your child with ADHD are organization, Children with this condition tend to be more unorganized then others their age. So, taking a little extra time to organize things with your child such as school materials, toys, and things like this can really help them to be better prepared for school and know where their things are.
Another strategy that can help is a consistent routine. Children with ADHD need to have more of a routine than other children as well. For example, my daughter who's 10 can get up for school and do her morning routine different everyday and she gets everything done, she is able to just do it on her own. My son though, who has ADHD, has to have a specific routine each morning or else he will forget homework, to brush his teeth or will be late for the bus and I'll have to drive him. So, getting a routine together helps the child to remember everything they are to do because it is the same thing they do everyday. This also helps your child not get frustrated, I know my son will get extremely frustrated if he's running late or forgot something.
Setting a specific time for homework each night and giving the child a small 5 minute break after each subject can make doing homework a lot less stressful on him/her as well as you. ADHD makes it very hard to pay attention to things they are not particularly interested in, so doing homework with little breaks helps them to let their mind wonder for a bit and then be able to focus again for the next subject. This is a great strategy because if a child with ADHD sits (which is hard for them to sit still) and is told to continually focus/concentrate (which again is a struggle) it get very stressful and frustrating for them and then it will turn into a fight with you and a very long night of work for the both of you.
Like I said and have explained a little, there are many things you can do to not only help make things easier on your ADHD child and make them more successful, but, make things easier and less stressful for you as well. I know my son was and still is to an extent very dependable on my help to remember things and get things done, but, these strategies give your child the tools to be more independent and will be able to use these tools for the rest of their life to be more successful with their ADHD as well as their life.
~S Overly


  1. I really understand the part where he just wants to be normal. its so sad when ur child wants to just fit in. My child is almost six, and i see how kids are cruel although he forgives anyone who is mean to him, and still considers them a friend, it breaks my heart to see how he is treated sometimes. Im thankful my boy is so forgiving and has such a kind heart. but it still hurts knowing he is treated differently.

  2. Yes it is. It would break my heart when he would say he wanted to be normal and didn't want help. I have always tried to tell him he's not different he just works harder that's all. I too am very lucky to have a big hearted caring boy. Luckily we moved in October and his new school friends are very nice and understanding. Thanks for the comment :)