5 Things Parents Can Do to Help Their Kids with ADHD

  1. Develop a simple phrase to let the child with ADHD know politely that they need to pay attention or settle down. For example, “Johnny, this task needs your very best attention” or “Jane, your motor is running too fast. Let’s all take a deep breath”.
  2. Provide a distraction-free environment when the child with ADHD needs to complete a task. This may require that a sibling plays in another room or does a quieter activity while the child with ADHD needs to focus.
  3. Provide “alone space” for the sibling who does not have ADHD. This may be a space that the child without ADHD can go to and be alone if the behavior of the sibling with ADHD is bothersome at the moment. The child with ADHD should be taught to respect the “alone space” and keep away for a period of time.
  4. Provide many opportunities for movement for children who tend to be overly active.
  5. Find a role model who also has attention problems. Many celebrities such as Michael Phelps and Howie Mandel have attention problems. Children also may relate to someone from their daily lives, such as a coach, friend, neighbor, or religious leader, who is willing to talk with the child about having attention problems. Knowing an adult who has been successful despite having attention problems may inspire the child to strive to reach many goals.

*Special thanks to Dr. Jill Isenberg, Pediatric Neuropsychologist, for her assistance in creating this list.