Parents often ask me for the keys to raise their ADHD kids into effective, happy adults. Sometimes it’s hard for them to see that the struggles of today will eventually transform into the successes of tomorrow. Between the daily reminders about organization, homework completion, doing chores and treating others respectfully, it can be easy to lose your temper and your faith that your efforts will pay off. Will your ADHD sons and daughters will learn the life lessons you are trying to teach them? How can you maintain your cool, your hope and your positivity in light of the inevitable bumps you will encounter?
In over 25 years of working with youth and families, I have seen that there are ways of being a capable ADHD parent and raising capable ADHD kids that really work. They are what I call the 5 C’s of ADHD parenting: self-Control, Compassion, Collaboration, Consistency and Celebration. By using these tools, you can reduce your stress, create peace in your family and increase cooperation and love all around.
- Self-Control: learning to manage your own feelings first so you can act effectively and teach your ADHD child to do the same.
- Compassion: Meet your child where they are, not where you expect them to be.
- Collaboration: Work together with your child and co-parent (if one exists) to find solutions to daily challenges instead of imposing your rules on them.
- Consistency: Do what you say you will do–over and over and over again.
- Celebration: Acknowledge what’s working and doing more of it, day after day after day.
The trick to using the 5 C’s is making them part of your parenting routines. Take time to cool off when you are aggravated with your son; show concern and support for your daughter when her struggles annoy you; talk about any problems and come up with alternatives as a team; be steady and predictable, even when you feel like giving up; stay positive and notice what is going well, no matter how small.
Start today and you will see a difference before you know it!