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How can I manage the stress of parenting a child who has ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
It is definitely possible to manage the stress of parenting a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Just as your child with ADHD will have to work extra hard to make it in life, you will have to work extra hard to make it as a parent.

By providing structure for your child, your life will become easier in the long run. Start by educating yourself on everything to do with ADHD: symptoms, medications, educational rights, peer relationships, and more. Learn strategies to help your child through hardships.

Above all, be consistent when communicating with your child with ADHD. Get his teacher, grandparents, and other caregivers on board, too. This is your support team. Teach them about ADHD if they aren't familiar with it already. Become an effective disciplinarian. If you don't know how to discipline your child, consider seeing a therapist to learn behavior modification techniques. These work well to teach your child appropriate behaviors. Use a system of rewards and consequences to shape your child's behavior in healthy ways.
Irwin Isaacs
Psychology
Stress results from what you tell yourself about a situation.  Therefore it is important to make special note of all the positive attributes your child has.  Your child with ADHD might be a talented artist or musician.  Your ADHD child might be skilled in one or more academic subjects.  Acknowledging the positive attributes of your ADHD child will help you manage your stress.
 
It is also extremely important to establish structure and routines for every aspect of home life.  This will have a beneficial effect on your ADHD child, and you as well.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Learn about ADHD, participating in your child's treatment, and staying positive and encouraging will help you remain as cool as a cucumber.

Providing structure, discipline and support for your child, will help him stay more relaxed and on track for success.

For help disciplining your child, consider behavior modification therapy.
 
And don’t forget friendships, exercise, a healthy diet, and yoga. These stress busters are great for you and your child, especially if you do them together.
Arlene Feuerberg-Isaacs
Psychology
It can be extremely frustrating dealing with a child with ADHD.  It is very important that there is structure in your life and the llife of your child.  It is also important to focus on your child's positive attributes. For instance your child might be a good reader, or have advanced verbal skills, or might be a talented artist or musician.  As you reinforce the recognition of whatever positive qualities your child has you are helping his or her self esteem which will in turn help his or her behavior and thereby help to reduce level of your stress.

 

There are several simple things you can do to reduce the stress of parenting a child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). One of simplest is to make certain that you find time for yourself. Take breaks and make time to have some fun or enjoy a favorite activity. It may also help to speak with a therapist or share experiences and advice with other parents of ADHD children.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.