How To Communicate With Your ADHD Child

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The best treatment for ADHD involves behavioral therapy with a child psychiatrist and medication as needed. Still, as a parent, it can be difficult to capture the attention of an ADHD child long enough to properly communicate. It is easy to grow frustrated—but with a few simple tips, you can have normal conversations with your child. Here are some suggestions:

  • Put your hand on your child’s shoulders, kneel down and acknowledge when eye contact has been made.
  • Provide clear instructions. Give the instructions one at a time, breaking down large tasks into smaller ones.
  • Make frequent eye contact and repeat yourself as necessary.
  • Try to remain calm. Avoid shouting things at your child—no one likes to be yelled at.

For more complicated instructions or for standard task lists, consider making a checklist. If your child forgets a step, he or she can consult the list, and marking items complete will feel good. Keep in mind that children with ADHD sometimes don’t “hear” or remember instructions, so they don’t follow them. They also start projects and forget to finish them, so checklists may be beneficial for things like household chores.