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Living with a child who has ADHD

 My child has difficulty following rules

  • Rules should be clear and brief. Make sure your child understands the rules, so she does not feel uninformed. Be firm. Set rules and keep to them.
  • Routines are extremely important for children with ADHD. Setup regular times for meals, homework, TV, getting up and going to bed. Follow through on the schedule!
  • Catch your child being good and give immediate positive feedback.

 It is very hard to get my child ready for school in the morning

  • Create a consistent and predictable schedule for rising and getting ready in the morning.
  • If your child is on medication, try waking your child up 30-60 minutes before the usual wake time and give her the medication immediately.  Then allow your child to “rest” in bed for the until it is time to get up.

 My child is very irritable in the late afternoon/early evening

  • This is a common side effect of AHD stimulant medication. Be sure to talk with your physician about alternative dosing amounts and schedules.
  • The late afternoon and early evening is often a very stressful time for all children in all families because parents and children have had to “hold it together” at work and at school.
  • Create a period of  ”downtime” when you child can do calm activities (listen to music or read).
  • Or, let your child “blow off extra energy and tension” by doing some physical exercise.
  • Assure your child has had a balanced afternoon snack.

  My child is losing weight or not eating enough

  • This is a common side effect of ADHD stimulant medication. Your physician will be monitoring your child’s growth.
  • Provide your child with nutritious breakfast, after-school and evening snacks that are high in protein and in complex carbohydrates. Examples: Nutrition/protein bars, shakes/drinks made with protein powder.
  • Consider shifting dinner to later in the evening when your child’s medication has worn off.
  • Allow your child to “graze” in the evening on healthy snacks, as she may be hungriest right before bed.