Tips for Parenting a Child with ADHD (cont.)

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Develop organizational aids

Children with ADHD have poor executive functioning skills, which means, among other difficulties, that they have trouble organizing their belongings and tasks. Some parents (in cooperation with teachers) have found it helpful to provide color-coded binders and notebooks for each school subject, as well as a homework sheet in the front of the binder that lists homework for each school day. Others may find that purchasing a second set of textbooks for the home is useful for the child who frequently forgets to bring the proper materials home. Help your child develop an organizational system for his/her room and belongings and stick to it.

Remaining in regular email contact with the child's teacher can also be an important way to maintain consistent communication about homework assignments and tests. Many parents find that seeking additional support from their child's school in the form of informal services like seating and instruction breaks can be very valuable in helping their child be academically successful. Many children also benefit from more intensive educational supports in the form of an Individualized Educational Program.

Of course, your home should be well-organized too. Modeling effective organization skills in front of your child can help him/her realize the importance and benefits of good organizational skills.

Eliminate distractions

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While this sounds obvious, many home environments are simply chaotic and full of distractions for the child with ADHD. Be sure that your child has plenty of quiet time and space to complete homework and other tasks. A homework space that is free of external distractions like television, video games, or rooms in the home where most people congregate is key to successful completion of assignments.

Set small, attainable goals

Think of changing your child's less positive behaviors like training for a marathon. Just like no one would expect you or anyone else to go from never running at all to completing 26+ miles, it is unfair and unrealistic to expect your child to change 15, 10, or even five behaviors immediately. Don't expect dramatic changes overnight. If your goal is to have your child sit still politely through a restaurant meal or family outing, break the process down into small and attainable goals like not interrupting a conversation for five minutes, remaining seated for 10 minutes, etc. Be sure to offer plenty of praise and rewards when these small goals are met.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2014

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Parenting a Child with ADHD - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms associated with your child's ADHD.
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Parenting a Child with ADHD - Success Question: In what areas does your child with ADHD excel? How did you help your child find his/her passion?
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