Having a kid with ADHD certainly has it’s challenges both at home and particularly at school, at home the onus is solely on you and your family to manage your child’s behaviour, school is a slightly different story. School life requires a careful and thought out approach and here are 6 ways that you can help them succeed at school.
A positive relationship between the teacher(s) and the parents is imperative, you must have constant communication about your child and take the time to meet with them to hold discussions. My advice would be that even before the school year begins try to seek out your teacher to discuss any plans and concerns you may have.
Consistency Between Home and School
For the good of your kid’s behaviour you have to ensure that they are treated the same way at home as they are at school. Naturally the school environment will be slightly different due to the other students present but authority figures have to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Whether it be punishment or praise that you are giving your child or even in terms of how you inspire their creativity, a seamless shift between home and school is vital in your child’s development.
Encourage Movement Around The Classroom
Sitting still and listening for long periods of time will be tough for a kid with ADHD so it’s important that you create an environment where they can move about the classroom a bit. When there are tasks to be done such as sending messages or handing books out, your child will benefit from undertaking them. Another helpful tip is for teachers to do activities that involve different areas of the classroom, again encouraging movement for your child, this also benefits attention span of other students.
Breaking Big Tasks Down
If your child is taking on a sizeable project they can be overwhelmed which will lead to lack of attention, break projects down into bitesize pieces to keep your child stimulated. Doing this also helps them feel a sense of achievement after completed each chunk of work which again, will lead to higher stimulation.
Praise and Reward
It’s important to manage your child’s behavior with praise and reward as much as it is to accordingly punish them, ensure this is consistent at both home and school. Create a behavior plan with the teacher and reward your kid when he/she has succeeded in that plan. You may do a checklist for your child’s desk with items such as not interrupting the classroom, tick it off with them if they manage to do so and verbally praise them or reward them, rewards should be creative and not always an item of reward such as a toy.
Create a Code
It is vital for your kids’ self esteem that they are not belittled in front of the class, the last thing you, the teacher or your child needs is a stigma attached from other students,. A great way to combat misbehaviour in the classroom is to create a ‘secret code,’ just something simple like a hand gesture for the child when they are beginning to misbehave. Eventually teachers will spot the signs of gradual frustration and be able to combat it with a hand gesture or giving them a task to do.
Children with ADHD can be tough to deal with so definitely seek help and make sure you and the teacher are both doing your best to help your child succeeded at school.