Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother
Disclaimer: This article is not to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult with a doctor if you believe you are suffering from the following conditions. The Green Crunchy Mother shares her life experiences only and what is working with her own children.
If you have a child with ADHD, you may have concerns about his or her performance in school. Or you may be struggling now with your child’s behavior in school. Let’s face it – having ADHD is hard, and so is living with it. But there are things you can do to set your ADHD child up for success in school. Here are some tips.
Remember your child’s behavior is not his fault. As noted above, having ADHD is difficult in and of itself, and it’s very likely that your child really wants to succeed and do as he’s told. Children with ADHD just don’t know how to do the things they are asked to do. Bear this in mind as you deal with and anticipate your child’s behavior.
Be your child’s advocate. Talk to her teacher ahead of time and keep lines of communication open between you, your child’s teacher, and other school authorities. If possible, set up weekly or monthly meetings with your child’s teacher to check on her progress and to share techniques and strategies.
Help your child know what to do. As pointed out above, your child probably wants to obey and be disciplined, but he just can’t figure out how to make that happen. So do some coaching ahead of time, and try to remember details – things that are obvious to you may not be so obvious to your ADHD child. Don’t just tell him to be still; teach him techniques to stay still. Teach him techniques to stay focused, to wait his turn in conversations, and so forth.
Sit down with your child and set realistic, doable goals. This is not a time for you to be telling your child what you expect her to do; this is a time for you both to talk about what she wants to accomplish and how you can help her get there. Write these goals down and remember them when you are dealing with behavior issues.
Listen without correcting. Let your child talk to you and avoid interrupting – remember, you have probably told him not to interrupt (this is sometimes a problem with kids who have ADHD). Let him tell you how hard it is, and take what he says seriously. Then ask him what he wants to accomplish and let him know you are there to help.
Develop a predictable routine for home. Try to keep things stable and consistent, as this may help an ADHD child feel more secure and therefore calmer.
Reward acceptable behavior that is a step toward your child’s goal. Try to avoid punishment, but focus on positive reinforcement. Maybe your child can earn play time or some other special treat. Try to make the reward fit the nature of the achievement – small rewards for small victories, and vice versa.