Do you concentrate on the positive in your child – traits like boundless energy, creative thinking and a giftedness with people? Do you praise your child and tell her that as a result of these traits she is going to go further in certain fields and types of work than other people who are quieter or have less of a lust for life?
If you do these things, then you are on the right path with your ADHD child. You know she has flaws but you appreciate her strengths. Most importantly, your ADHD child will then know that she should not feel less acceptable at school, among friends and family, or out in society as a result of her diagnosis.
As a working parent, you may feel that coming home after a long day of work to chores and an energiser-bunny child is – at times – simply too much for you to handle. Dr Phil reminds us on his website, drphil.com, that “an ADD diagnosis is not a sign of inferior intelligence or a disability.” So harness your child’s energy in chores that are safe and fun for her age group, and where she happily sees your face go from a grimace to a beam when the washing makes it’s way into the tub and all the leaves on the lawn are tidied into the organic recycling bin.
Devoting time in the early evening to something active – chores, a walk, cycle or swim with your child – and then to quiet time over homework or a book, instills a sense of routine in her, which she will look forward to. Probably Dr Phil’s most helpful advice is not to feel guilty about disciplining your ADHD child, especially at the end of a long day when you’ve reached the end of your tether: “You have to be willing to visit the structure. You have to be willing to bring the predictability, the consistency and the discipline. It’s not something you should feel guilty about; you should feel guilty if you don’t do it because she needs the structure. She needs the guidance. She needs the order. She needs the rhythm. She needs all of the things that are necessary to give her a chance to have a flow to her life.”