2. FOLLOW YOUR GUT -- THEN ADJUST.
Often a problem or behavior rears its head before either you or your child knows what to do about it.
Say your loving ADHD kid comes home from school and kicks the family dog. She has never done that before. You, the dog, and the child are dumbstruck. You know that ADHD children have trouble with impulse control, and that they have frustrations and pressures beyond what most children deal with. But what do you do with that information?
When I was in this situation, I didn’t know, so I yelled, "Don’t kick the dog!" My daughter said nothing and went upstairs to her room.
Later I sat down on the floor with Danny, our dog, and invited my daughter over to talk with us. We were on the same level, physically and emotionally. We didn’t say anything; we just petted Danny. Then my daughter said she was mad about some school things, but she had no clue why she kicked Danny. I brought up frustration and impulse control. She apologized, and said she wouldn’t do it again. Then she and Danny went outside to play.
When you trust yourself as a parent, it’s easier to fine-tune your reactions as you go.
Next: Observe Your Child