Child Development and Parenting
Doesn’t it hurt when someone labels your child as abnormal? It does, right! We all need to understand what is abnormality after all. When you ask a clinical psychologist, you’ll get to know that abnormality doesn’t necessarily mean mental retardation. It simply means that the thing or the person being called abnormal doesn’t fit well on the norms and standards of society. Anything that is away from norms is abnormal. Then wouldn’t you be considered abnormal when you’re way more intelligent than the normal population? Yes, that’s how it works. We, humans, tend to cringe away from things or people who do not either comply with us or fit on our criteria of normality. It is all subjective perception.
Still, when someone calls our children untamed wild devils or simply abnormal, we feel agony. Who wouldn’t feel agonized on that? And who knows it better than parents with children with disabilities?! Child Parenting special needs can be very challenging. A child with disabilities such as ADHD is specifically hard to deal with as children with ADHD are often misunderstood as simply uncouth and undisciplined instead. The reasons for such misunderstandings are the symptoms that are behavioral in nature and that are associated with misconduct and misbehavior. That is also why it is very important to identify and diagnose the disorder first.
Parenting Child ADHD
Here are symptoms that characterize Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in accordance with DSM 5;
- Inability to pay attention to details (such as during homework or school)
- Finds it hard to remain focused
- Inattentive to someone talking to them seems as if they’re not listening
- Fails to complete tasks
- Doesn’t attend to or follow instructions
- Are messy and careless, keeps losing personal belongings
- Easily distracted
- Forgets to carry out daily activities (such as chores)
- Fidgeting or tapping motions with hands or feet
- Make physical or motor movements in settings where doing so are considered as inappropriate
- Excessive talking
- Finds it hard to wait for their turn, impatient
- May take belongings of others without permission
- May butt into conversations or activities where they aren’t welcomed
So, ADHD children aren’t just attention-deficit and hyperactive but have conduct problems as well. ADHD children mostly have deficits in executive functions as well (such as decision making, control over emotions, organization, etc.). Struggles of being a special needs child are real! You cannot understand how to help ADHD children unless you deal with your own problems and cope with those struggles because ADHD child parenting can be REAL challenging! So here’s a list of problems Parents of ADHD children face and how to cope with them. We’ll also discuss how to help ADHD children in this article.
Struggles of Parents of Children with ADHD
This problem is faced by not just the parents of ADHD children but by other parents with children with disabilities. A child with disabilities is usually unable to carry out his daily activities on his own or keep his personal belongings organized. When these children have chronic illnesses parents starting thinking about how long life feels and they start losing their faith in good times. It seems that things will never get well which is in fact wrong because special needs children can be trained and taught to live more independently. As a parent, you may also feel hopeless because you implicated every single tip, technique, you eve became a psychologist studying all those applied behavior techniques, applying reinforcements but nothing really worked, did it?
This failure may have caused exhaustion and fatigue. ADHD children are hyperactive and don’t really listen or obey their parents which also causes fatigue to specifically mothers running all the day here and there with children having to ask them again and again to do stuff.
Questioned Morale and Ethics
Another problem that parents face is their morality being questioned when they try to go a bit rough on their children. Are you violating human rights? Are you being too rough on the poor chap? Even if there’s no one else to point fingers at you, you keep doing it, self-blaming and cursing. You’re in constant struggle and agony. Some parents even cringe on the thought of giving medication to their children for help they feel like they’re drugging the child
This all develops self-doubt. You may start questioning yourself about being a good parent.
As already discussed above, stigmatization is one of the most painful things parents go through. It hurts! Parents often feel pained that their child is being misunderstood and stigmatized with bad labels. Some even face bullying problems.
Research studies indicate that all these factors lead to depression.
Dealing with People and Complaining Teachers
Dealing with the questions of other people and complaining teachers when the child isn’t making progress also gets very exhausting and depressing. Taking your severe ADHD child out in public settings is specifically stressful.
How to Cope with These Struggles?
It’s simple but not that easy unless you really try with determination! Here are some tips;
- Keep not just the child but yourself healthy and nutritious as well
- Seek support, join communities or ADHD parent support groups.
- Do not forget to take short breaks, let your friends or family babysit the child sometimes which is also beneficial for the child with disabilities.
- Adopt an optimistic approach to life. We’re not asking you to be realistic but optimistic instead!
- Be flexible regarding your schedule and child’s behavior
- Never forget that your child is not causing trouble on purpose. Even if he/she is, there must be a reason or some confused latent emotion.
When you feel good about yourself working with children with disabilities get easier. Now if you’re feeling better, here’s how to help ADHD child;
- Keep things very organized and neat
- Be immensely patient with your child
- Adopt step-by-step teaching strategies
- Spend quality time with your kid
- Learn as much as you can about your child’s disorder
- Implement a routine
- Do not be over-assertive
- Advocate your kid, speak out loud to people who stigmatize or bully
- Engage your child in physical activities as ADHD children are energy-bombs
And never lose your faith in good times!