Parenting Tips for ADD

Learn about AD/HD. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child. The organizations listed under “Additional Information” (at the end of this fact sheet) can help you learn more about the disability.

Praise your child when he or she does well. Build your child’s abilities. Talk about and encourage his or her strengths and talents.

Be clear, be consistent, be positive. Set clear rules for your child. Tell your child what he or she should do, not just what he shouldn’t do. Be clear about what will happen if your child does not follow the rules. Have a reward program for good behavior. Praise your child when he or she shows the behaviors you like.

Learn about strategies for managing your child’s behavior. These include valuable techniques such as: charting, having a reward program, ignoring behaviors, natural consequences, logical consequences, and time-out. Using these strategies will lead to more positive behaviors and cut down on problem behaviors. You can read about these techniques in many books. See “Resources” at the end of this publication.

Talk with your doctor about whether medication will help your child.

Pay attention to your child’s mental health (and your own!). Be open to counseling. It can help you deal with the challenges of raising a child with AD/HD. It can help your child deal with frustration, feel better about himself or herself, and learn more about social skills.

Talk to other parents whose children have AD/HD. Parents can share practical advice and emotional support. Call IGNITE Advocacy to find out how to find parent groups near you.

Meet with the school and develop an educational plan to address your child’s needs. Both you and your child’s teachers should get a written copy of this plan.

Keep in touch with your child’s teacher. Tell the teacher how your child is doing at home. Ask how your child is doing in school. Offer support.

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