Making and reinforcing rules is a primary parenting task that all of us must attend to throughout our children's growing years. This is because rules play such an integral role in helping our children learn how to conduct themselves in various situations and participate as a social being in one's community or culture. Equally important, rules help us govern our behavior toward each other to promote mutual growth and wellbeing. Ultimately, rules are the tools we use as parents to teach our children values as well as develop self-discipline.
To successfully manage ADHD children, it is important to keep in mind what you have learned about their overall strengths and weaknesses. Specifically, we know that they have difficulties in inhibiting their responses to events and experiences, and that their responses are often emotionally based and without the benefit of analysis. Secondly, they have a lot of difficulty in placing themselves and their behavioral choices in the future, or conversely in comparing a current situation to a past situation that is similar.
In the article entitled "Attention Deficit Disorder," I began my discussion of ADD by covering the symptoms, causes, and treatment of the Inattentive Type. I emphasized that the primary problem encountered by children with this type of ADD is the inability to focus and sustain the attention. Often described as distracted, day-dreamy, spacey, and sometimes even lazy, I also noted that these children are for the most part cooperative, quiet, and well liked by teachers. For this reason their problems are often not detected until well into their school years when the problems with inattention become very noticeable. ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) children, on the other hand, are noticed early in childhood, often in the preschool years and certainly by the time they reach kindergarten and first grade.
Hero worship is a childhood development that begins to emerge toward the end of the preschool years and gets into full swing during middle childhood. The popularity of superheroes among elementary school children attests to this popular pastime. Even as adults we continue to have heroes, mentors, and role models that we aspire to or hold in somewhat elevated positions.
One of the more difficult aspects of being a parent is dealing with our children's negative feelings. There are a number of reasons why this is so, some of which come from our own experiences with parents and some out of a need to see our children happy. If you come from the old school of parenting, then you learned as a child that expressing your negative feelings such as anger, disappointment, sadness, frustration, and so forth, was a sign of weakness, or perhaps it signified that you were just being ill-mannered or self-centered.