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SUPERPARENTING FOR ADD

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Helping Your ADD Child: 10 Steps for Parent Success

by Dr. Edward Hallowell

I have ADHD. My daughter and one of my sons have ADHD. I think that people with ADHD represent some of the most fascinating, fun, and fulfilling of all the people I meet. However, words such as structure, supervision, reminders, and persistence don’t even begin to describe the magnitude of the task people with ADHD have to tackle every day, especially kids.

How easily the gifts of this condition are lost on a child amid negative comments from doctors, teachers, and even loving but frustrated parents. I believe that ADD is too often misunderstood and mistreated because it is mislabeled as only a “disability.” In truth, practical strength-based techniques can put the talents, charms, and positive essence of children with ADD/ADHD ahead of any presumed shortcomings.

Barriers Parents Face:  By far, the biggest barriers for parents are denial, ignorance, and a refusal to learn. Dads and moms can dig in and simply refuse to listen to facts or reason. If this goes on too long, children can suffer severe damage, and families can be destroyed. The stakes are high, not only for the child, but the whole family.

It is usually the mother who seeks help. Often, the dad denies there is a problem or says, “He’ll grow out of it.”  Sometimes the dads are even harsher, saying all the child needs is more discipline. When these dads have ADHD themselves, they tend to believe their struggles made them strong.

Parents should help a child avoid unnecessary suffering, as that breaks kids rather than builds them up. It takes time, but it’s worth the effort.

My best advice for parents is to take action now. Don’t fight it. Persist in finding new and different ways to support your child. If you address the following 10 topics, and get the guidance you need, you’ll teach your child to manage his/her ADD/ADHD effectively.

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