Things to consider to help support a child who is relative with ADHD and their parents.
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Supporting the child or young person with ADHD – Many children and young people with ADHD often suffer from very low self esteem, even though some of them may mask it very well. Wider family members can hugely help build that child’s self esteem by:
- Spending time with them and showing a genuine interest in them. This can be done in a variety of ways from taking them on a one-to-one an outing such a going to the park and having an ice cream, to a football match or to one of the museums which they may find interesting.
- When you have all your grandchildren or nephews and nieces visit you, ask your grandchild, nephew or niece with ADHD to help you with a task so that they become your special helper eg at dinner time getting the ice cream out the freezer, feeding the dog or putting the dog’s lead on before the walk. Helping someone else gives the child a great sense of purpose and a positive endorsement that they can be trusted and are responsible.
Supporting the parents of a child or young person with ADHD – Wider family members often look on and see how difficult the family dynamics can be in bringing up a child with ADHD. Here are a few tips on what can be done:
- Offer an extra pair of hands. Most parents are exhausted and so helping out by` working with the child with ADHD such as helping them do homework or picking up the children from school one day a week. Equally being available to babysit so that the parents can get out for some “me time” such as a meal or to do yoga or pilates can make a huge difference in allowing the parents to re-charge.
- Show moral support and avoid giving criticism. Giving moral support by just acknowledging that it is tough being a parent and showing some empathy for the challenge of having a child with ADHD (even if the child’s parents may choose to bring up their child in a very different way than you would have). Alternatively, if you are visiting offering to make a cup of tea for the exhausted parent once they get a chance to sit down can go a long way to support them.
We know every family is different and hope you found our tips provides some food for thought. The most important message to leave you with is that the child with ADHD should feel they are loved by their family no matter what.
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