Do you feel frustrated when it comes to parenting your child who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Are you unsure on what type of parenting approach to take with your child who has ADHD? To help understand common mistakes parents make when dealing with their child who has ADHD and parenting strategies for a child who has ADHD, I have interviewed licensed therapist Teri Krull.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“I am the Director of the Center for Positive Regard, which is dedicated to the education of parents and the training of professionals in the field of child treatment and child play therapy. I have a MSW from Michigan State University and have practiced in the field of social work for over 37 years and a 24 year private practice specializing in the treatment of children, families and the education/coaching of parents. I lecture nationally and internationally in the field of play therapy and have been married 36 years with 2 grown, married children. I have learned much about ADHD as a parent of an ADHD child.”
What are common mistakes that parents make when dealing with their ADHD child
“Some common mistakes parents make when dealing with their ADHD child are: Focusing on performance over effort. Not practicing and modeling consistency, organization and patience. Not keeping things simple. An ADHD child often is unable to follow multiple points; therefore one or two directions at a time tend to support task success. Not understanding that the child’s distraction (and resistance) is not personal. It is often the child’s frustration and the parent is often the closest/safest target for the release of that emotion. Failing to hire a tutor for homework. A tutor is a great way to get out of the power struggle when it comes to homework. Delaying a psychological evaluation and/or medication evaluation. Failing to understand that parenting an ADHD child may feel very different than your parenting your other children. It may take time, patience and different parenting strategies to secure a positive outcome for you and your child. Stay creative!”
What type of impact can those mistakes have on the parent / child relationship?
“What I see most often is chronic power struggles between the parents and the child. If you are in constant conflict over how things are done, the parent child relationship may become one of avoidance and frustration rather than learning and skill development. ADHD children generally can’t track long lectures. Keep things simple, to the point and with clear expectations.”
What parent strategies can you give for parents dealing with behaviors related to ADHD?
“I encourage parents to pick their battles. Prioritize the issues and enlist help whenever possible (kids will generally respond/comply to outside instruction better than with their parents). Regardless of how challenging a day has been, send your child to bed with more positive comments than negative ones. Try to catch your child in the best version of himself'” notice and compliment the good points. Use behavioral strategies for task compliance. It removes you from the power equation and attaches rewards to the completion of the desired behavior. For instance, “each day you get a happy face from your teacher, indicating a good day, a marble goes in a jar. Once you receive 5 marbles, you earn 30 minutes of extra computer time.” Behavioral strategies aren’t magic but they sure help reduce the conflict.”
What type of professional help is available for parents who are coping with a child with ADHD?
“ADHD is better understood than a decade ago. As a result there are more support groups for children and parents; a broader base of medication options; increased parent and professional ADHD education with conferences, online resources and workshops. Clinical Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists and Psychiatrists are more informed and better trained to help in all aspects of ADHD interventions. Here are a few resources for consideration:”
Daniel Amen: www/amenclinics.com
Russell Barkley: www.russellbarkley.org
“Some great readings are: Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey, Healing ADD by Daniel Amen and Forms for Use with Children by Lawrence E. Shapiro.”
Thank you Teri for doing the interview on parent strategies for a child with ADHD. For more information on Teri Krull or her work you can check her website at: www.playtherapy.tv
How to Cope with Your Teens Attention Deficit Disorder
How to Help Your Child Get Control of Their Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder Relationship Challenges