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.”