5 Common Mistakes Parents With ADHD Children Make, and How to Avoid Them

For parents of children suffering from ADHD, life can be quite stressful. It can be difficult to manage a child’s home and school life while also catering to their needs and ensuring you’re not making their ADHD worse. 

In many cases, it can also be hard to tell whether your child is really suffering from attention deficit disorder, or if they’re just going through a natural phase in their development. At certain ages, as their hormones are constantly changing, children can become more energetic, more aggressive, or change moods multiple times in a day. It’s important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms and recognize when your child is struggling, because it might be all because of ADHD. 

Let’s say your child has already been diagnosed with this disorder. How can you, as a parent, help them overcome this challenge and be confident in themselves? Parents tend to make certain common mistakes when dealing with these issues. We will go over these mistakes and show you how they can be avoided. 

1. Losing your temper and patience

Dealing with a child who suffers from attention deficit disorder is no picnic. Their emotions and attention are all over the place, and sometimes, it can become overwhelming for parents. We can’t stress this enough: do not lose your temper and yell or be mean to your child. Instead of making them calm down, you will likely get the opposite result; you might make them feel even more anxious and overwhelmed, and they will end up hiding their feelings from you and withdrawing. That’s definitely not what you want, as it’s important for your child to feel like they are not alone in this, and that they can count on your understanding, acceptance, and lack of judgment. 

2. Failing to understand the gravity of the situation

Unfortunately, mental health is still a delicate subject that many people simply refuse to accept or discuss. For parents, it can be scary to think that your child might be suffering from a disorder, so they might be tempted to ignore the problem and encourage their child to ‘get over it.’ The truth is that ADHD is not something that anyone can just get over, especially not a child, who has not yet formed coping mechanisms to deal with stressors. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the problem, especially if you notice that your child is becoming more aggressive or more withdrawn. Instead, talk to a professional and tell them your concerns, and they will be able to guide you in the right direction. Ignoring the problem will definitely not make it go away, it will only make it worse over time. 

3. Placing unnecessary pressure on your child 

While it’s important that you encourage your child to make progress, and push them to keep working, it’s also important that you don’t pressure them. Putting too much pressure on your child, telling them that they have to do something, or else, is a surefire way to instill even more anxiety and fear into a child. This could seriously hinder any progress, and instead of making the situation better, you would be making it worse, causing your child to feel overwhelmed. Keep your cool, no matter what, and try to bring positive reinforcement instead of relying on deadlines and consequences. Break any tasks or exercises into manageable pieces and try to limit distractions around the home that could trigger erratic behavior. Show your child that home is a safe place, and set an example of calm and positivity. 

4. Not celebrating small wins

Progress for a child suffering from ADHD can be grueling and slow, and at times, it can become frustrating for parents, as well. However, understand that any sign of process is a reason to celebrate. If your child has a good day, take time to acknowledge that and celebrate together in some way or another. Recognize the progress and the milestone and praise your child for this accomplishment. It might not feel like much, and the next day might be a bad one, but positive reinforcement and celebrating small wins can make the difference for your child. Failure to make progress can affect children without them even realizing it, and could lead to other, more serious mental health issues like depression. You can try to avoid this by being positive and acknowledging each small success; this will give your child the boost they need to keep working and keep trying. 

5. Not reaching out to a professional 

If you’re unsure about how to help your child overcome their ADHD, feel overwhelmed by the situation, or lost, there is no need to despair or go it alone. Your best bet is to reach out to the school, as they can recommend a counselor or therapist that can help you and your child navigate this issue and overcome challenges along the way. A professional with experience working with children suffering from ADHD can give you much-needed guidance, and offer tips and strategies to cope with this problem at home. 

If your child is suffering from ADHD, feel free to reach out to the Da Vinci Collaborative team and ask for support or guidance. Our counselors have years of experience dealing with issues like ADHD, dyslexia, or autism. Contact us and let’s start the healing process together. 

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