Dealing with ADHD - Parenting U - Childrens Hospital & Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska



5 Simple Steps for Parenting ADHD Children

Connect, Play, Practice, Mastery, and Recognition

To help parents encourage their children to learn the necessary skills, I’ve created a five-step plan for parents to promote successful learning and lifelong joy:

  1. Connect.Connectedness is the first — and most important — step. Feeling rooted gives children a foundation of security. Children need unconditional love from one or both parents and benefit when they have close ties to their extended family, feel like they are a part of their school, and help care for pets.
  2. Play.Don’t take play for granted. Don’t think that your child will automatically learn how to play just because he or she is a child. Many children these days are not learning how to play. Knowing how to play is one of the essential keys to happiness in life. Make sure your child’s free time isn’t too programmed and regimented. Open-ended play, in which children can invent scenarios and solve problems by themselves, can help your ADHD child discover their talents and use their own resources.
  3. Practice. You can feel enthusiastic about encouraging practice and discipline if you understand and believe one basic fact: Practice and discipline build the bridge between play and mastery. Children may not understand this intellectually, but they experience it all the time. So do adults. When kids find out they’re good at something, they’ll want to do it again and again. Sometimes you may have to do some gentle nudging to ensure that your child sticks to an activity and experiences a sense of accomplishment. The best approach is to simply set the process up, over and over, rather than lecture. As the process repeats, the roots of practice and discipline will grow.
  4. Mastery. The feeling of mastery and the wish to experience it again transforms a child from a reluctant, fearful learner into a self-motivated player. One of the great goals of parents, teachers, and coaches should be to find areas in which a child might experience mastery, and then make it possible for the child to feel this potent sensation. When children achieve a skill — whether it’s learning to tie their shoes, play the piano, draw a flower, complete a math problem, or build a birdhouse — they’re further motivated to tackle new challenges; this, in turn, leads to a can-do attitude.
  5. Recognition.Although mastery is its own reward, another crucial element reinforces mastery while also leading to a wider feeling of connectedness. That element is recognition, the feeling of being valued by others, especially those whose opinions the child respects.  Approval and support from one’s parents, teachers, and peers for a job well done reconnect children to the wider world.  When kids think what they do affects their family, classmates, and team, they’re more likely to exhibit moral behavior and, ultimately, to feel good about themselves.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it can be difficult and scary, but remember — ADHD does not have to be a crippling disorder. With the right treatment and support network, you can help your ADHD child thrive.

Edward Hallowell, MD,is a New York Times best-selling author and world-renowned ADHD expert. A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane School of Medicine, Dr. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist and the founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health. He was a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 2004 until he retired to devote his full professional attention to his clinical practice, lectures, and writing.

Last Updated:9/10/2014
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Date: 06.12.2018, 14:19 / Views: 45495