Being the parent to a child with ADHD can be a daily challenge. But the old Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” can help parents deal with the ups and downs of a child with behavior issues.

Here are some ways you can prepare yourself:

  • Learn how to relax. Sometimes, the simplest methods are the best. If you feel yourself getting tense, take some long, deep breaths. As you breathe out, say “relax” to yourself.
  • Talk to yourself. Athletes do this all the time. A baseball player may say, “I’m going to get a hit.” Parents can do the same thing. You might say, “I’ll breathe deeply and I’ll stay in control.”
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. With ADHD children, it is impossible to work on every problem behavior at the same time. Decide which things are most important to you. If your child isn’t doing homework, then you may decide not to stress about what she wears to school.
  • Take time for yourself. Dealing with an ADHD child can drain you of your energy. Find ways to build it back up. Take a walk. Listen to some favorite music. Read something inspirational. Or just set aside some time for you to be with other adults.

Learning these skills will help you deal with your child. They will also help you model positive behavior. As your child sees you dealing with problems in a calm and mature way, she will learn those skills.

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