RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ADHD




Being a father is something that no one is born knowing. Suddenly one day you are and that's it. You have to learn to be on the fly. Learning from the mistakes you make, how you communicate, the time you spend together, your child.

No one has said that being a parent is easy. It involves a lot of time, sacrifice, dedication, suffering and patience. Also when your child has a disorder like ADHD, surely that dedication, suffering and patience are multiplied by a thousand. Being a parent can then become something really tiring and you may feel powerless and frustrated by a "I do not know what else to do or say". Do not worry, this is all normal.

Once you have diagnosed your child, you will feel relieved to know what is happening to you and why. However, it is not time to relax and think that now that you have a diagnosis and that is in the hands of specialists, your work in its evolution is not important. Because in that moment is when the hard begins really.

From there parents will become true experts, technicians and practitioners about the disorder, in specialists in cognitive-behavioral behavior modification techniques, so that they can work with their child on performance and help them have a chance. Either the time when children are faced with the problem, or a little earlier to prevent it or after it happens, to correct and learn from mistakes.

In short, parents are the most important protective factor in reducing the impact of ADHD.

Have you ever wondered what do children with ADHD need so that family, environment, customs, communication, relationship and educational guidelines are appropriate to the difficulties of ADHD, so as to reduce the negative impact of the disorder And facilitate their experiences of success and learning?

As parents there are many things we can do to help them ... but first you have to understand what happens to them ...
What happens to children with ADHD?

- They do not listen, they do not notice.
- They forget, do not hold, or lose information about what to do.
- They do not internalize the rules.2
- They know how to do many things but they are not able to carry them to term. You have to be on top of them to get it.
- The environment, the context, the situation do not serve to control themselves, they do not get the information about what is appropriate, what to do or what is expected of it at that time.
- They say the first thing that occurs to them, they do the first thing they think.
- All the stimuli entertain them, they do not know how to put a filter to deal only with the pertinent and the appropriate to the situation.
- They are not able to attend a long time to a single task that involves mental effort.
- They do not learn by consequences.
- They do not anticipate what is going to happen. They do not evaluate the consequences of their actions.
- They do not know that they can remember the past to know how to act.
Punishment does not help them learn to behave well.
- They do not have a time of waiting, a time of reflection before acting.
- When it is most necessary for them to be still, more restlessness enters them.
- They are not aware of the time, nor they regulate the same: or they go very fast in tasks that are required to go slowly, or they go very slowly in tasks in which one can go fast.

If all this happens to you in any type of task: cleaning, cleaning, ordering, eating, collaborating at home and not doing homework, the difficulties increase when both positive and negative emotions appear. Enthusiasm, joy, frustration, fatigue, anger, fear ... Emotions invade and overwhelm them by complicating the situation, for the child and adults who try to help.
What can parents do about this?

Parents can and should have strategies that help and make it easier for their child to learn to regulate and self-control.8 To do this, focus on working mainly on the following points:

Structuring the environment: habits, routines, organization, planning, schedules, orders, norms.
Outsourcing of information: posters, photos, drawings, watches, counters, acoustic signals.
Internalization of processes: external guidance of behavior, thinking aloud, repeating order, cognitive modeling, self-instruction work with the imagination (past and future)
Here we are going to focus on the internalization techniques of the processes.
Techniques of internalization of processes

External Conduct Guide

Like when adults have to learn a new task that we do not know, for example driving, or skiing, or a new dance step ... we hire a monitor that is next to us, which tells us what to do and especially how Do it and in many occasions it is even necessary that you indicate when to do it, in this technique you work exactly that. Perhaps for longer than other children, children with ADHD will need an external behavioral guide, that is, an adult who tells them how they should behave and when. The important thing in this case are: the attitude and the expectations.

Parents know how to do this, it is something we do naturally in the learning of our children. When they are small and we know that they do not know how to do a thing, we teach it, so that it learns it. We are available, we have patience, we rejoice in our successes and we value them, just as we help them when they do not do well and encourage them to continue.

The problem is that with children with ADHD, when they are at an age when certain behaviors should be acquired, we want them to do it alone and do it when we give them the order.

But we know that even if they know how to do it (for example, dressing or picking up toys), we also know their difficulties of self-control so that until they learn to control themselves, you can help them by becoming an external control of their behavior, .

Think aloud and repeat loudly what you have to do

Seek that when you give him an order, he will repeat the instruction given to him, so that he will not be lost, thus increasing the likelihood that he will fulfill the role he has been commanded to do when he stands up and take some time to think what he has what to do.

Congnitive modeling

This is for parents to become a role model for the child. Demonstrate that anyone has or encounters difficulties, makes mistakes and seeks solutions to solve them. Parents should therefore make their child see that they also have these problems and that what they do to do things better is to follow the phases of self-instruction:

What is my problem?
I have to think of a plan to solve it. What will my plan be?
I repeat it aloud so I do not forget.
Am I using my plan?
How did I get out?
Reinforce myself for how well I have done it and for using my plan.

To put this into practice, the easiest thing is to apply it to frequent day-to-day activities, such as not forgetting the keys, to remember that you have to go to make the purchase, that you have to remember to prepare the bag to go To the gym or when the car has little gas and you have to find a nearby gas station. In all these situations, you can practice this by doing the exercise out loud, to offer a cognitive modeling. By showing the child that people think aloud, they ask themselves these questions and their answers in order to get their plan done successfully.

If parents provide a cognitive model, children come to imitate it and integrate it as a problem-solving tool.

Self-instruction

Self-instruction consists of helping your child when he or she encounters a problem or difficulty has the ability to stand and think before acting or making haste:

I stand> I observe> I think> I decide> I act> I evaluate

In addition, you can teach him / her that the process to think must comprise the following reflections before, during and after the action:

What is my homework?
How am I going to do it? What will my plan be?
Am I following my plan?
How I did it?

Working with imagination

The best thing to carry out this exercise is to pose it as if it were a game, and it may consist of both remembering the past and imagining the future.

Play to remember a situation similar to that you have to face. For example, when you have to go to the doctor's office: "Let's remember when we went to that same appointment or some other place where we had to wait." What happened? What do we do when that happens to us? What do adults do? ... What can lead to talk about how late they are to receive us, that we have to wait a long time, that they get bored and then start jumping or touching everything and protesting, that annoys other people ... That mom / Dad warns us that he is not paying attention, that he gets angry and in the end punishes him ... ".

In short, it is about bringing back to your mind those situations that you have already lived. Ask him questions so that he is the one who answers them, and above all, come to what can we do today so that it does not happen again? Always wait for him to be the one of the solutions and admits those that you see that they will be effective and that are pertinent. In the event that your child does not think of any solution or are "crazy", go and suggest other options.

If you prefer to do the exercise with the future, you should pose the exercise in the same way but talking about what could happen if ...: "Let's imagine what would happen if in this situation you had this difficulty ... How could you solve it? Are we going to see what would happen if you did that? "
These are some of the exercises that as a parent you can put into practice with your child to help reduce the negative impact of ADHD on different situations in your life. They will facilitate greater understanding, a supportive and collaborative relationship between adults and children, thus avoiding the occurrence of constant fights and tensions in the family environment.

Have you implemented any of these techniques? Share it with us.
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