Parenting can be the most rewarding experience of a person’s life, but also the most stressful. Lacking impulse control is a hallmark symptom of ADHD. If your child has been diagnosed, you have probably lost track of all the times your little one struggled to control their impulsive nature. Maybe they threw a handful of sand at another child on the playground or smashed their favorite toy truck. You love and want the best for your kid, no matter what. But if you are feeling lost or helpless, there are five ideas you may consider while trying to help your loved one.
1. Patience is a Virtue
Children often mimic their parent’s behavior and mannerisms. If you are impatient with your child when they are showing a lack of impulse control, they are more likely to follow suit. Practicing patience can help your youngin’ be more patient. Having a higher level of patience can gradually lead to them showing improved impulse control.
No one expects you to be Supermom or Superdad. You’re allowed to take a few minutes to calm down after your child acts out. In fact, this is recommended—a break decreases the possibility of you snapping, yelling, or saying something you don’t mean.
2. ADHD is Treatable with Medication
If the pediatric psychiatrist has diagnosed your child with ADHD, they may feel medication is needed; especially if this condition is impacting their home life and school work. The first line of treatment, as far as medication management goes, is stimulants. As a parent, you may feel nervous about your child being prescribed a controlled substance. But you can inquire about Vyvanse; it’s a stimulant (like Adderall) but it carries less potential for abuse. And your child only needs to take it once a day—it releases the medication steadily over the course of 14 hours.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a generic form of Vyvanse yet, making it an expensive prescription to pick up. Vyvanse coupons give reliable discounts, so you can save money and be able to afford monthly scripts. USARx is a website that offers discounts on all prescription medications, from almost every pharmacy. You’ll be seeing improvement in your child’s impulse control within 24 hours, as Vyvanse takes effect immediately.
3. Therapy is Just as Important as Medication
Therapy and medication tend to go hand in hand. Medication isn’t a cure for ADHD, although it lessens the severity of presenting symptoms. Therapy, on the other hand, will help your child achieve short and long-term goals. They will learn how to live and cope with ADHD.
The Therapy Group of DC is an expert in the mental health field. They use cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been deemed the best form of therapy for patients with an ADHD diagnosis. You should think about scheduling an initial appointment. Their teletherapy sessions will help your child by treating them as a whole.
4. Delayed Discipline Doesn’t Teach Right From Wrong
For the most part, discipline should take place immediately. For example, if your child pushes their friend during a kid’s birthday party, calmly send them to sit in time-out. You don’t want to embarrass or humiliate your little one. Whispering the punishment, rather than announcing it aloud for everyone to hear, is more appropriate.
The duration of time-outs is based on age. If your child is 5, they can sit in time-out for five minutes. If they are 7-years-old; seven minutes is more adequate. Delayed discipline for kids with ADHD has shown negative outcomes and no behavioral progress whatsoever. So, don’t wait until after the birthday party to dole out their punishment. Get to it right away.
5. Reward Systems Prove Beneficial
Setting up a reward system will encourage your child to behave better. ADHD isn’t a “problem,” it’s a mental illness. But if therapy and medication are already in place, reward systems have proven beneficial. For toddlers and preschoolers, a sticker chart is a good idea. When they behave well in school that day, complete their homework without dilly-dallying, or demonstrate good impulse control in public, you can allow them to pick any sticker and place it on their chart.
For children between the ages of 5-10, stickers alone aren’t enough to promote good behavior. But you can modify the system a bit. Once they have earned three stickers in one day, they can trade those stickers in for a bigger reward—15 minutes of extra screen time, letting them stay up a half-hour later than usual, a present under $5, you get the gist.
All in all, it’s crucial to understand that children with ADHD will battle with their impulse control at times, medicated or not. Remain calm, take care of yourself, and try using these ideas to help your child (and yourself!)