It’s only natural for parents of children with ADHD to be concerned about how they will perform in school. The symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can create behavioral problems that often interfere with a child’s learning in school. However, there are a few things you can do to help your children with ADHD succeed in school. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Look Past the Behavior.
Certain behaviors can be a problem, but you need to remember that your child’s behavior isn’t the root of the problem, it is a side effect of their medical condition. The disorder makes it hard for children to concentrate and focus on the things they are told to do. Therefore, try to keep this in mind as you struggle with the behavioral side effects of ADHD and do not punish them for every little thing.
For example, many parents end up in a running battle regarding the child with ADHD keeping their room clean. Tell them each week that it is time to clean up their room. Be clear about what you want, but accept 75% if that is all they are able to give you. Reward what they do accomplish, rather than punish them for what they don’t accomplish.
2. Increase Communication.
Since we know that children with ADHD have a hard time focusing on what they are asked to do, increase the communication between you and your child.
Try to remind your child frequently about the details s/he needs to remember. You can also research various techniques for helping children with ADHD focus and help them perfect these techniques. We have included some suggestions at the end of the article on where you can find more information.
3. Support and Advocate For Your Child.
One of the best ways to show your support for your child is to stay in constant communication with your child’s teachers. Schedule regular meetings with teachers and other school administrators to discuss your child’s progress and various strategies and techniques that are most successful in helping them stay on task and complete their classwork and schoolwork.
4. Listen More.
As parents, we tend to predict what our children are going to tell us and often interrupt them as they talk. However, this isn’t good, especially with children with ADHD. Take the time to listen to your child. Let her tell you about the struggles they are and take everything they say seriously. When they are finished talking, share your thoughts with them and ask careful questions. Try not to correct during these conversations, such as correct their grammar or try to tell them not to feel that way. Recognize and respect what they are telling you and try to come up with a positive action plan together on how to cope with some of the things that might be troubling your child with ADHD or offering a bigger challenge than you might realize.
5. Help Your Child Set Goals.
Children with ADHD have a hard time concentrating on small tasks, let alone long-term goals. However, this doesn’t mean your child isn’t capable of setting and reaching goals. It just means you will need to help him, often by breaking up the task into much smaller chunks that can be achieved in a shorter time frame.
Take the time to talk with your child and find out what his goals are, both big and little. Write them down and help your child achieve them by breaking large goals down into smaller, more achievable goals that you can track on a progress chart. Reward them for each milestone that they hit with a gold star or some more tangible reward, like money for their allowance or their goal.
6. Create a Steady and Predictable Routine at Home.
Children with ADHD thrive in steady and consistent environments. Creating a daily routine at home will give your child the environment they need to succeed by taking the guesswork out of what will happen each day. Just think of the difference between a child at school during term-time and a child on summer vacation. The behaviors and attitudes will be very different. Maintain a ‘term-time’ attitude all year round, and you can help your child with ADHD succeed and achieve.
7. Implement a Reward System.
All children need rewards, but rewards are especially vital for ADHD children because these children don’t have the normal motivational drive others without the disorder possess. Therefore, by implementing a reward system that focuses on positive behavior and achievements, you will be helping your child remain focused and motivated to reach all of their goals and succeed at school and at home.
These are just a few suggestions to help your child succeed at school through coping with ADHD in these time-tested and proven ways. For more information on ADHD in children, you might be interested in: