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Getting Beyond the Glare of ADHD

Staying positive when living with ADHD is a bit like trying to stargaze at noon. When you look up at the sky at night, stars appear to burst out of it with beautiful brightness. Those same stars are in the sky during the day, but they are blocked from view by the sun’s overpowering glare. 

Like the sun, the difficulties of ADHD can keep parents from seeing their children shine. Whether your child has ADHD or not, taking time to look for mini-milestones each day will help you look past momentary frustrations and appreciate the beauty of your child’s life.

Celebrate Small Achievements
Look for behaviors for which you can praise your child. Pay special attention to the skills you’ve been practicing with him or her.  When he or she displays the appropriate behavior you’ve been working toward, make note of it. Take time to celebrate when you notice your child doing things like:

  • Completing a homework assignment
  • Folding laundry
  • Cleaning his or her room
  • Following instructions
  • Sitting still during dinner

Find a quiet moment when you can praise your child for positive behavior. Consider celebrating the behavior with a small, simple reward such as choosing a game or family activity that you can enjoy together or making his or her favorite meal for dinner.

Mark Milestones
Remember that there will be good days and bad days when you’re the parent of a child who has ADHD. During those times when you feel frustrated by your child’s apparent lack of progress, remind yourself that your child will continue to grow and develop. He or she will one day be able to live successfully, independent of your care. 

Think back to the many milestones that your child has already achieved. Depending on his or her age, they may include:

  • Graduating out of diapers
  • Learning how to play catch
  • Starting school
  • Getting a job
  • Learning how to drive

Remember that while you were waiting for your child to achieve those milestones, you probably felt like they would never happen. Realizing all that your child has already accomplished will help ensure that you don’t overlook what he or she is achieving today.

For more information, please see the book Great Days Ahead, Parenting Children Who Have ADHD with Hope and Confidence.

 

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