DO Communicate a Sense of Optimism
Outside of your home, your son is likely bombarded with criticism and negativity from adults and peers alike. For this reason, it’s important that you communicate confidence in him and your awareness that change and growth is possible. You grew and changed. And he will too. Progress is not linear for the ADHD child. Two steps forward, one step back. Make it a goal to spend more time paying attention to positive behavior than to negative.
DO Create Structure and Predictable Rituals at Home
Your son needs predictability and routines. He may not WANT structure but he NEEDs it. Set up consistent morning, bedtime, and homework routines to help create a peaceful environment at home.
DO Schedule Alone Time With Your Son
Schedule in your calendar regular alone time meetings with your son. Treat these times like they are sacred. Even 15 minutes of alone time twice a week will go a long way in building your bond with your son. Allow him to choose the activity and let him take the lead in your conversation. If he doesn’t feel like talking, that’s OK. The time with you alone is invaluable to him and sows the seeds of connection in your relationship.
DO Keep Behavioral Corrections Short and Sweet
At times you may want to download your frustrations with your son in a flurry of words and emotions. These actions may feel good in the short term, but in the long term aren’t very effective. Words work in inverse proportion with your son’s listening. The more you lecture, the more your son will tune you out. Instead, when you want to alter behavior, make your statements short and sweet, focused on the behavior. Wait silently for compliance and impose an immediate consequence if your directive is not followed.
DO Interpret Your Son’s Behavior Benignly
Remember that your ADHD child does not behave badly to make you miserable or anyone else miserable. Knowing this will help you feel more patient and less upset with his behavior.
DO Remain as Neutral as Possible
Stay as calm as possible. When you are upset, your child’s behavior worsens. Then, the problem becomes yours instead of theirs. Take a break if you need one.