Some back to school tips for parents
Sure it’s your kids’ full-time “job,” but when you have ADHD kiddos, school is also YOUR part-time job. Here are some back to school tips for parents to lessen your stress:
- Take the time to DAILY help your child organize his/her school supplies and study area. The age of your child AND the degree of disarray will help you determine how much time to take and how much hands-on assistance to offer. Don’t assume that because your child is now is Junior High, or now in High School they should be “responsible enough” to handle this themselves. (If they’re in College however – HANDS OFF!)
- Email your child’s teacher(s). I was always happier being contacted by the parents ahead of time so there weren’t any surprises. Let the teacher(s) know about your child’s school history – social challenges are as important as academic ones.
- Here’s a CAVEAT: Don’t expect the teacher to baby your child. As long as they’re following the IEP or 504 Plan, trust in their professional training and years of experience. If there is a recurring problem, contact the teacher and POLITELY request to speak to him/her about the issue. (CAVEAT 2 – don’t assume that the tales your child is bringing home are totally accurate. They may be, but don’t assume that).
- Praise your children when appropriate but don’t exaggerate their accomplishments. “That’s the most beautiful painting/song/poem/project ever!” is not the truth and will give your children a false sense of reality – not a good idea! On the other hand, solid praise like, “I am so proud of your efforts,” will put a big grin on their faces (or, if they’re teens, they may just grin internally…)
- Love ’em up. “I love you” is ALWAYS an appropriate statement, even (or especially) when you are doling out the consequences. People need to know that they are loved. People with ADHD who are driven by the moment may forget or not be able to internalize that you loved them yesterday and you love them today as well.
I hope these back to school tips for parents are helpful. You can make this year successful by handling challenges as they arise. “Handling” may mean contacting the teacher or the school counselor, but it may also mean helping your child, or getting professional support for him/her.
Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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