As parents parenting girls with ADHD, one of our main goals in raising our children is to provide them emotional security. When our daughter has ADHD, there is one thing that we should always remember; combating ADHD is not easy and takes a lot of mental and physical energy for your daughter to conquer the symptoms and for you to support your daughter with ADHD.
ADHD is a condition that affects how the brain organizes crucial thought processes. Your daughter may struggle with some of the following: inattentiveness, impulsiveness, forgetfulness, lack of timeliness, impatience and having difficulty in finishing tasks. While symptoms can greatly vary in each person with ADHD, these are some of the most common.
Here are some tips to help support your daughter with ADHD through her daily struggles with ADHD.
How to Support Your Daughter with ADHD
Follow along with these tips so that the symptoms of ADHD in your daughter are lessened.
You have likely dealt with several mornings of chaos before school. It can be difficult for your daughter to complete her morning routine in a timely manner, especially if she’s not a natural early riser. One of the most effective ways to guarantee the next day’s success is to plan ahead.
Before bedtime, double-check tomorrow’s weather forecast and help her choose an appropriate outfit, including a coat and other accessories. Help her pack her backpack and set it by the door. If she brings a lunch to school, help her choose a meal and pack it in her lunchbox ahead of time. Every little bit of preparation will help her feel more organized and much less frazzled.
Create Measurable Goals
When changes need to be made to provide a more orderly, distraction-free household, creating measurable goals with your daughter can help boost her drive to succeed. Sit down with her and ask what ideal day would look like. From there, you can create smaller goals that, when completed, will lead toward achieving bigger goals.
Celebrating the little milestones goes a long way, and she’ll feel proud knowing she is on her way to establishing healthy habits.
Use Gentle Reminders
When you’ve reminded your daughter of the same chore for 5 hours straight and it still isn’t complete, it’s tempting to give into nagging to “light the fire”. In fact, nagging your daughter will likely brew more anxious feelings, which will cause her to focus more on your reactions to her behavior rather than the task itself. Even the most minute of tasks can seem daunting for a girl with ADHD.
Being honest, but gentle in the way you remind your daughter of her tasks will help her feel important and valued.
“I know ___ isn’t your favorite chore/activity. I guarantee if you start on it now and finish it well, you’ll have much more time for ____ today, which I know you love to do. You’ll feel so much better knowing you won’t have to work on ____ for the rest of the day once you’re done.”
Refocus and Redirect
If your daughter has difficulty concentrating on tasks (especially ones she expresses little interest in), consider eliminating distractions such as T.V, tablets and cell phones. Providing your child with a designated study space, such as a desk or a separate room away from loud activities and siblings can help. Make sure the family understands that once she’s in this space, they are not to disturb her until she’s finished.
The space should be clean, comfortable and again, free from common distractions.
Your daughter will likely need a frequent check-in for her progress. Sometimes, you’ll need to be by her side in tasks that are especially difficult or boring to keep her focus until the task is complete. Be sure to give her breaks, but only short enough so her focus isn’t totally lost.
Practice Patience and Compassion
Building new routines is not easy, especially for kids with ADHD. These sudden changes may initially feel like punishment to your child, however, reassure her that you are trying these methods to help her feel more comfortable in the things she struggles in. Assure her there is no shame in someone having struggles, that it’s normal for everyone.
Slowly easing into these new routines is recommended, as sudden changes can cause your child even more confusion and stress. Once she starts to adapt into her new routine, the positive results will slowly emerge. Even though your daughter may not know it, she will likely adapt to these changes quickly, especially once she realizes that she’s getting things done quicker and more efficiently.
There are endless possibilities to adjusting your home routine for your daughter with ADHD. Through trial and error, you and your daughter will find the routine that best fits her own personal groove. If one method doesn’t seem to work in helping her focus, try others. By doing what you can to support your daughter in conquering her ADHD symptoms, you are providing a loving, compassionate and understanding foundation for her and her future.