The best place to start is with a counselor. Find a counselor who specializes in children and uses play therapy.
30 Essential Ideas Every Parent Needs to Know by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D. is a wealth of information. Dr. Barkley shares what he has learned in his extensive career treating children with ADHD. It is a 3-hour long video. I listened to it while driving and completing chores around the house. This video exposes common myths and goes into great detail about the disorder.
The best book I have found is The Explosive Child by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. This book is helpful for parents, teachers, and counselors. This will help outline the specific challenges your child faces and ways to help.
Searching for answers, trying new ideas, figuring out what this diagnosis means for your family is exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. You are going to need a support system. Well-meaning friends will offer plenty of unsolicited advice, most of it without any scientific merit. I have found comfort in sharing my story with people who understand because they have “been there, done that.” Those who have been in the trenches alongside you offer a wealth of real-life, relevant, recent experience to draw from. The single most important thing to remember when exchanging stories is to withhold judgment. These support groups are here for exactly that, supporting each other.
Facebook Group Parent with Children with ADHD
Counseling for yourself, your spouse, or siblings is also another great outlet for support. Remember that to take care of everyone else, you must first take care of yourself. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Science has proven and teachers confirm that rigorous exercise cuts down on unwanted behavior, especially in children with ADHD. Exercise releases endorphins that can help improve your mood. Working out with your child can boost both of your moods.
Children with ADHD hear no, stop, and don’t, all the time which can lead to low self-esteem. Make a big deal about everything he does right, not in an insincere way (kids can pick up on that).
ADHD presents differently for each person because it is a spectrum disorder. The Explosive Child can help identify the specific behaviors you hope to correct.
My son puts a drop of vetiver oil on his chest each day. He likes the masculine smell. Vetiver helps promote emotional balance and ease anxiety. We also diffuse calming oils, such as lavender, spikenard, or frankincense when doing homework. If he has had a particularly rough day I will add a drop of a calming oil in his shower.
This has been a long and difficult path for our family, but we have learned a great deal, including how to be a better support system for our amazing little guy. If you have any questions, or if there is any way that I can help you along your journey, please ask. I would be happy to help you along the way.
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