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How to Be a Good Example for Your ADHD Child - 15 Sep 2017 17:14

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How to Be a Good Example for Your ADHD Child

<h1>How to Be a Good Example for Your ADHD Child</h1>

<p>In life, our children emulate our behavior from the time they are young well into adulthood. When your child has ADHD, it is extremely important to be a good example. We need to show by our example how to manage ourselves and make good choices.</p>

<h2>Lead by Example</h2>

<p>When you are raising a child with ADHD, it can be challenging. They face many struggles in life, from learning differences to anxiety and sleepless nights. Sometimes within your household or even their classrooms, children with ADHD may feel that they stick out like a sore thumb. If you as a parent don't also have ADHD, it is easy to fall into a double standard in your household. For example, you may find yourself telling your child 'no caffeine' while you stand in front of them drinking a Diet Coke. When you are raising a child with ADHD, everyone is better served if you can set a good example for them. </p>

<h3>Practice What you Preach</h3>

<p>When you work full time and are trying to manage your child with ADHD, it is easy to fall into a life of double standards. For example, you tell your child to go to bed early while you stay up until midnight. As hard as it may be, as a parent of a child with ADHD, you have to practice what you preach. </p>

<p>For example, children with ADHD often struggle with organization. Often, you might find yourself lecturing your child about organizing his binder while at the same time trying to cook dinner for your family. However, being a good example for your child means modeling the organization skills we want our children to practice. So instead of telling your child to get organized, take the time each day to sit with them and get organized together. Sit with your child and go through both of your calendars together. Clean out your purse while they do their bookbag. </p>

<p>Children with ADHD also often struggle to go to sleep at night. We adults may not be much different due to the juggling act that comes with being an adult. According to ADHD coach Marla Cummins, electronics are fine for children with ADHD - in moderation. As adults, we often find ourselves glued to our smartphones, quite possibly from dawn to dusk, engaged in one task or another. </p>

<p>However, children with ADHD need a period of time at night to unwind. The blue light of electronics decreases the ability of our bodies to produce melatonin, which interferes with our ability to sleep. So in the evening, when you tell your child to turn off the electronics, you need to do the same. Set an example by turning your phone off and spending some quality time with your child reading, talking, or even playing games. You will be setting an example for your child with ADHD and teaching them how to get better sleep for life. </p>

<h3>Don't Play the Blame Game</h3>

<p>When you have a child with ADHD, they often face struggles in school, from impulse control to academics. Odds are your child may have a hard time owning up to their behavior. As children often do, they may want to place blame on others, such as a teacher or another student. It can be easy to slip into their blame game, but as a parent of a child with ADHD, you need to set a good example. </p>

<p>Begin by modeling how to focus on the positive, rather than blaming others. Your child may come home complaining about how the teacher caused them to fail the test. Even though you may feel that way as well, engage your child in a discussion of what they did well in preparing for the test. Were there sections or skills they did well on? Once you have done that, strategize with your child what they could have done differently. If a certain part of the content was giving them trouble, what could they have done to get help before the test? </p>

<p>When you face challenges in life, have the same discussion with your child, as appropriate. Set an example and show your child that you have struggles, too, in your job or life, and teach them ways to handle those situations appropriately by example. </p>

<h3>Be a Model of Perfect Behavior</h3>

<p>Some children with ADHD can be a handful in terms of their behavior. Both in the classroom and at home, they can display anger, defiance, and even aggression. When trying to manage their behavior, it can be easy to lose your cool. However, getting angry yourself isn't setting a good example for your child. </p>

<p>Let's take the example of the angry child, who is perhaps yelling or even throwing things. Your impulse may be to yell back. However, when you do that, you are modeling the very behavior you want to stop in your child. Keep a calm tone and voice, and while acknowledging their emotions (even when they are irrational), help them talk through the event. Model strategies to help them calm themselves, such as breathing or counting techniques. </p>

<p>If anger and defiance are emotions you deal with often with your ADHD child, you might consider setting up a calming space in your home that you and your child can use. Paint a room a calming color and decorate it with pillows to make it a cozy space. Teach them how to calm the space by using it together. For example, you could learn how to meditate together in the space. </p>

<p>When you are upset, go to that space and get yourself together. When your child sees you using it, you are setting an example of productive ways to manage your emotions. Other strategies could include buying journals and, when emotions run high, sitting together and writing in the journals until you can talk it out together. Setting an example teaches your child how to cope with the challenges they experience in life. </p>

<h2>Being a Good Example Makes All the Difference</h2>

<p>Though we may not want to admit it as parents, our children watch us from morning to night. When they are young, it is more obvious when they emulate our behaviors. However, with children with ADHD, it is important to realize that they emulate us all the time, even into adulthood. That means we need to set our bad behaviors and impulses aside and be good role models. </p>

<p>If our children need to stay off their electronics to sleep better, we too need to put our cell phones away in a drawer. While it may be easy, we have to avoid blaming others for the challenges in life. And finally, we have to model for our children how to deal with emotions in a positive light. It's not easy, but setting a good example will reap immense rewards for our children.</p>

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