12 Rules for Parenting a Child with ADHD

Most parents are good parents. But if your son or daughter has attention deficit disorder (ADHD), “good” may not be enough. To ensure that your child is happy and well-adjusted now and in the future — and to create a tranquil home environment — you’ve got to be a great parent.

Fortunately, it’s easier than you might imagine to go from good to great. All it takes is a few small adjustments in your  strategies for parenting a child with ADHD and the way you interact with your child. Here’s what works, and why:

1. Accept the fact that your child — like all children — is imperfect.

It’s not easy to accept that there’s something not quite “normal” about your child. But a child who senses his parents’ resentment — and their pessimism about his prospects — is unlikely to develop the self-esteem and can-do spirit he’ll need in order to become a happy, well-adjusted adult.

“For a child to feel accepted and supported, he needs to feel that his parents have confidence in his abilities,” says Ken Brown-Gratchev, Ph.D., a special education instructor at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon. “Once parents learn to look at the gifts of ADHD — things like exceptional energy, creativity, and interpersonal skills — they can see the shine inside their child.”

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