Raising a Child with ADHD: Tips for Single Parents
Single parents make up an important percentage of people raising the next generation.They face a tremendous amount of challenges from time management to financial and emotional struggles. Establishing balance and order in your life can be a great weapon against becoming overwhelmed and overly exhausted. According to American Psychiatric Association five percent of American children have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). The symptoms of course include inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. For a single parent with ADHD children, establishing order is even more important.
Of course, as The Balance suggests, one of the first components of a single parent’s life is understanding that there must be balancebetween work, home life, and personal time. Achieving and maintaining this equilibrium will not only help you mitigate stress, but it’ll keep your life organized and structured.
Make use of the support around you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family members, friends, or community members to help with small things or even with advice. Being the sole care provider is difficult; ask for help watching the kids so you can have a night out (or in) knowing your children are cared for.
Don’t neglect your own well being. As a parent of a child, especially one that suffers from ADHD, can take its toll on your health. Parents tend to neglect themselves and focus solely on the children. However, letting your health fall behind will only worsen your problems, increase stress, and set you up for illness, depression, or anxiety.
Organization and structure is a great way to maintain this balance. Especially if you have a child with ADHD, implementing organization into your daily life and routine will only instill these customs into your child and help them in their lives as well. Begin by building systems and routinesthat are useful for you and your child.
Utilize schedules. Keeping a visible schedule and/or calendar in your home can be a great way to keep some structure and important reminders visible. You can also use a bulletin board for special events.
Categorize. Use bins or storage spaces in your house to categorize belongings. This helps you child think in categories and instills organizational skills. Redfin offers more ways to organize your home quickly and efficiently.
Routine. Establishing good routines can aid in Encourage children to do homework first and then reward themselves with playtime. Establish rituals before bed like showers, brushing teeth, storytime. By establishing these rituals children feel comfortable, at ease, and less stressed.
Plan ahead. Plan and Prepare every day. By gathering what you need for the next day every night, the morning will become far less stressful and chaotic. Pack backpacks and set out work clothes. You can even encourage your kids in helping organize their next day necessities. This will help in learning planning and time management.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, especially when you are out in public, have had a stressful day, or have lost sleep. It’s important to have a few things to make these instances easier to handle:
It’s not their fault. Remind yourself that your child can’t help this behavior in many instances and breaking out in anger might not be the most productive solution.
It’s not your fault. You’re doing the best you can and blaming yourself does not create solutions. Seek out local groups of other single parents or parents of children with special needs so that you will always have a friend who “gets it” a phone call away.
It’s not black and white. There is no kid manual that will provide step by step instructions on how to handle a child with ADHD. Some days will be better than others, some things will be triggers.
Don’t let it isolate you. Getting caught up with what other people think can envelop you in a cycle of negativity and pessimism. Always remember you’re doing the best you can and use your support circle. You are the only advocate your child has at home and only you know what is best for his or her personality.
Raising a child is never easy; it’s doubly hard when you are both disciplinarian and soother of hurts and broken hearts. Navigating with the often unpredictable aspects of an ADHD child can only increase the difficulty of the task at hand. It’s important not to give in to feelings of isolation and frustration, but to use the resources available, to seek help, remain organized and keep healthy in order to better handle it. Also, don’t forget, relax and have fun. Your child will grow up fast and while single parenting is stressful, enjoy them as they are, laugh when possible, teach them and learn from them because before you know it, they’ll be off to college.
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