Four Back to School Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD

With children heading back to school, now is the perfect time to work on strategies like getting more sleep and less screen time to set your child on the road to success this school year.

Many children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) struggle with school performance, making friends and their general sense of well-being. Medication is frequently a part of ADHD treatment, but along with medications, there are many proven lifestyle and behavioral changes parents can use at home.


Take care of yourself

The demands of parenting a child with ADHD are both physically and emotionally exhausting. This is a parenting marathon, not a sprint.

Do not underestimate the amount of extra energy that goes into parenting a child with ADHD. Self-care is an essential skill for effective parenting, which includes taking “child-free” breaks when you are feeling overwhelmed.

Breakfast and calories

Focusing while hungry is hard for anyone. Children with ADHD have a hard enough time without their tummy rumbling in first period.

A breakfast high in protein should be eaten every morning before they go to school. Studies show this improves concentration throughout the day.

Keeping it positive

Try to maintain a positive attitude when parenting your child. Children with ADHD are often on the receiving end of a lot of negativity for their “bad behavior.”

Remember that your child’s behavior is related to a disorder; most of the time, they are probably not trying to be bold or careless.

Organizational tips for home

Eliminate the morning pre-school struggle by establishing a bedtime and morning routine.

At night, have your child pick out their clothes for the following day. Make sure they have all their homework, books and sports gear packed and ready for the morning.

Have an alarm clock in their room that they set every night rather than setting an alarm on a phone. An hour before bed, all devices should be turned off and handed over to a parent — and be prepared for a lot of excuses and push back from tweens and teens on this one — and enforce it by only having the device chargers in your bedroom.

Depending on your child’s age, give them 5 to 20 minutes to get ready and 15 minutes for breakfast before it’s time for school. Only when your child is fed, dressed and heading out the door to school should they be given back their smartphone.

During weekends, supervise them cleaning out their school bag and repacking it with everything they will need for the upcoming week. This is a lot more helpful than it sounds.

If you or your child’s teacher become concerned that your child is displaying excessive hyperactivity, impulsivity or inattention see your child’s pediatrician for help.

Excerpted from the ABC News article “4 back to school tips for parents of children with ADHD” by Dr. Áine Cooke, senior pediatric resident at Washington University in St. Louis. See the full article for more details.

Source: ABC News | 4 back to school tips for parents of children with ADHD, | © 2019 ABC News Internet Ventures

To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Care Coordinator at 650.688.3625 or

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