Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychological problems in children. It affects between 2 and 5% of the child population, although only between 3 and 7% of them will need medication. However, more than 80% of children will continue to present symptoms during adolescence, and between 30 and 65% will carry them throughout their lives. For this reason, it is important to explain to the child that he has ADHD from the moment it is diagnosed.
Use Words Appropriate To Their Dvelopmental Level
It is important that you treat ADHD naturally. The child must know that this is not a condition to be ashamed of or to be hidden. Explain what is happening to him in words appropriate to his age that he can understand. A 7-year-old does not need the same amount of information and details as a 12-year-old.
If he asks you questions and you don’t know the answer, tell him that you will inform yourself or that you will ask the psychologist together . Keep in mind that knowledge is power. By being aware of what is causing inattention, trouble concentrating, and difficulty staying still, you can use more effective strategies to deal with these symptoms.
Run Away From Labels, Focus On The Positive
When ADHD is diagnosed, many parents worry that their child will be labeled, but it really is much worse for the child to feel that they are “stupid” or “lazy.” Due to attention problems and hyperactivity, it is common for children with ADHD to have school difficulties, which is why some teachers may think that it is a question of demotivation, laziness or an intellectual difficulty.
Understanding that it is ADHD will allow them to provide the child with a more appropriate and personalized education, so that he can advance at the same pace as his classmates.
Additionally, children with ADHD often struggle to understand what is happening to them, they want to know why they are different from their peers, why they cannot sit still in their seat, and they have a hard time following long explanations.
However, it is important that parents do not use ADHD as another label. The child should know that we are all different and that ADHD does not have to become a limitation, it can only represent a challenge in certain areas of his life.
Beyond the problems associated with this disorder, it will help to know that ADHD has also been associated with increased enthusiasm, passion, and energy, as well as greater resourcefulness. In fact, there are many famous and successful people who have suffered from ADHD. Knowing your history will help you better cope with the diagnosis.
Validate Your Emotions
There is a fundamental message that all children with ADHD should receive from their parents: “We love you.” The child should know that he has unconditional love, which means that parents should not make affection and attention dependent on his school grades or good or bad behavior.
Receiving a diagnosis of ADHD can be liberating as the little one finally understands what is happening to him, but it can also generate fear, doubt and uncertainty. That is why parents must validate the child’s feelings. They should never be downplayed or minimized as in this way the child will feel inadequate and will lose trust in his parents to tell them how he feels.