Create a Family Constitution
We do something with our campers called the Full Value Contract, but you can implement something similar at home in the form of a Family Constitution. Your Constitution should outline responsibilities and expectations for each member of the family. Developing these guidelines as a family, will give everyone a positive sense of accountability and will allow you to refer back to the guidelines when any member (even parents) fail to meet their expectations. See an example here!
Try Something that Makes You Uncomfortable
Your kids will probably do many things that make them uncomfortable over the next year, some of which will be brought on by you. It’s only fair that you do the same. Stepping out of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to grow as a person and as a parent. By trying something new, you will be able to better understand the anxieties your child may be feeling and offer encouragement to help them grow. You could volunteer to share your experience at a local parenting group for parents of children with ADHD, face your fears on a high ropes course (they are popping up everywhere), or go sky diving…Okay, it doesn’t have to be that dramatic, but do something to step out!
Speaking of Parent Groups…Join One!
We know what you’re thinking. Who has time for one more appointment or meeting? Try to make time, even if it is just once a month, to be with other parents who understand your child’s needs. CHADD and LDA both have local chapters bringing parents together. Many schools also provide and can suggest a local group for parents of children with special needs. Ask your school’s administrators or PTA if something is available. Another great resource are doctors and therapists. While many of these resources do come at a cost, some doctors and therapists host events or meet ups as a community resource. A simple search with your local online news outlet can also yield excellent results! Nothing in your area? Consider starting your own support group. Here are some tips from ADDitude on how to do it!
Give the Positive More Weight
Between the emails from your child’s teacher and the homework vs. computer battle at home, it’s difficult to remember all the strengths of people of ADHD and all those successful people with ADHD (or as Forbes likes to call it, “The Entrepreneur’s Superpower”.) While the internet can be an endless black whole of negativity, it is also an avenue for parents to share their inspiring stories of raising children with learning disabilities and the kind words and acts that have helped them along they way. Here are a few from this year to keep remembering!
Barber Goes to Great Lengths to Make Boy with Autism Feel Comfortable During Haircut
Teen Tech Whiz With Dyslexia Shares His Expertise to Help Others
What My Son Told Me that Finally Helped Me Understand His ADHD
We’ve seen it work for nearly 40 years, and more and more research suggests that “green time” over “screen time” helps reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD. Getting outside is also a perfect opportunity for some quality family time or an exercise session! Go hiking. Take a walk. Play soccer. Go to the park. Visit the zoo. Just get outside! Check out this article for more info on why it works and much “green time” is needed.
5 Resolutions for Your Family
by Andrea Wackerle