Last week I met with the parents of a young child who has been diagnosed with Attention deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and anxiety. It is not unusual for children who have been diagnosed with ADHD to also have anxiety. The child definitely showed sign of ADHD include getting distracted easily, taking to long time to finish class work and even longer to complete homework, impulsivity, losing things easily, being disorganized at home, not listening, etc. He was also anxious about doing well in class, getting ‘A’s and B’s on his tests, wanting to have his parents approval, all things that every child wants. It was difficult for his parents to help him, because the child’s anxiety made it hard.
I offer 7 suggestions to parents. All of them may not work for everyone but some of them may be helpful.
1. Stay calm. Learn to manage your own anxiety first. Learn simple relaxation techniques, focus on breathing when things get hectic. Emotions and feelings come in all shades, teach your children to tolerate emotions.
2. Learn to listen to your children. Sometimes parents cannot ‘fix’ or solve the challenges children face, but parents can listen ‘actively’.
3. Take small steps with the child to approach each fear.
4. Make a regular schedule at home and help your child follow it.
5. Help your child follow the rules of the house consistently.
6. Model the behaviors you want at home.
7. Teach problem solving skills to your child.
Parenting is challenging but it is also full of joy and fun if we allow it to be so.
If you need more information and would like to make an appointment with Dr. Datta, please call 201-952-9905 or 845-369-7627.