Seven Strategies for Single Parents Raising a Child With ADHD

Raising a child with attention deficit hyperactive disorder( ADHD) is a major challenge for a single parent. According to the Center for Disease and Control, 4.5 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. These children’s behaviors are characterized by a short attention span, difficulty sustaining attention on a consistent basis, susceptibility to distraction by extraneous stimuli and internal thoughts, losing things necessary for tasks, and repeated failure to follow through on instructions. Moreover, two or three times more boys than girls are affected by it. And, there is an average of one child with ADHD in every classroom.

Experts, however, remain unsure of what causes it. Some of the views include: alcohol and drug use by biological parents; chaotic, dangerous households; and family genes.

Exposure to common pesticides is a cause that new research has been revealing. The particular pesticide, an organic-phosphate, is a man-made toxin originally developed for chemical warfare and now used extensively in agriculture. Scientists believe that children exposed to this compound while still in the womb have a higher chance of developing attention problems by age 5.

While it remains a possibility that roughly one million children may be misdiagnosed, it is important for you to be observant of how your child behaves as they progress through their birthdays. For example, if your child is misbehaving or is inattentive, it may be that he is 5 and the other children are 6.

As a single parent who wants your child to realize his highest potential and to become reasonably self-sufficient, here are seven strategies to consider:

1. Learn about ADHD and its causes. The more you know, the more you can help yourself and your child.

2. Praise your child when he or she does well. Build upon your child’s abilities, strengths, and talents.

3. Talk with your child’s doctor about the types of medication that would help your child as well as the potential side effects of the medication.

4. Be clear, be consistent, and be positive. Provide structure in the home. Set clear rules with your child. Tell your child what he should do, not what he shouldn’t do.

5. Pay attention to your child’s mental health and your own. Be open to counseling. It can help you deal with the challenges of raising a child with ADHD.

6. Meet with the school and develop an educational plan to address your child’s needs. Both you and your child’s teachers should get a copy of this plan.

7. Keep in touch with your child’s teachers. Tell the teachers how your child is doing at home. Ask how your child is doing in school. Offer support.

Visit my web site at to access more of my articles and links for parents and teachers. You can also subscribe to my monthly Financial/Personal Growth newsletter for timely ideas and strategies. I am a therapist and personal growth consultant based in Illinois and one who has conducted hundreds of workshops on parenting and counseled parents for decades.


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