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Tips for Parenting with ADHD – Part 1: Young Children

January 19, 2022

Finding out your child has an ADHD diagnosis at a young age can sound intimidating as a parent, but it just takes time to figure out how you can best help your child. It’s not the end of the world by any means, and in fact, many people with ADHD have reported heightened creativity and above average intelligence. You’ve already accomplished the first step towards seeing results—getting the diagnosis and learning more about ADHD! Discovering what works is a process of trial and error, and we want to help you unlock the superpowers that ADHD can bring. Here are five great tips and things to remember to unlock that hidden potential.

1. Document the Process

Keeping an ADHD journal or file can help you track what is helping and what isn’t. The more information you have, the easier it is to identify patterns and see the changes in behavior over time. Jot down the good and the bad.

  • • What has improved?
  • • What’s been a struggle lately?
  • • What parenting techniques have you tried and how did it go?
  • • Did you try new supplements or medication?

There are many ways you can keep a record, so if the old-school notebook is not your style, you can download and app for tracking mood and activities, such as Daylio. It’s also great to keep report cards and teacher notes to help you get a full picture of your child’s behavior outside the home as well.

2. Give Clear Instructions One at a Time

Especially for young children with ADHD, clear instructions broken into easy steps can help them accomplish the overall task. This is especially great for the bedtime routine—start with just brushing their teeth and then move onto putting on pjs, etc. Putting this one-at-a-time mentality into place along with a schedule or routine is a great way to help your child learn how to overcome their inattention (and keep you sane in the meantime).

3. Reward the Good and Notice Success

You always hear people say, “reward the good behavior,” but there is another key part that is often forgotten that is crucial to helping those with ADHD—noticing success. It’s easy to miss the small, positive changes in behavior, but taking the time to praise and acknowledge things they’ve done well is key because the reward center of the brain is affected by ADHD. Positive reward (even affirmation) is a valuable tool to motivate your child.

4. Advocate for Your Child at School

Many times, ADHD is diagnosed when the child first goes to school or pre-school. If your child is in school or about to start, learn what support is available for your child there. Talking with your child’s teacher(s) is a great place to start. They can help you determine if your child is doing well in a general learning environment or if they may benefit from various accommodations.

5. Behavior Therapy

You’d think your child would be the one needing behavior therapy, right? But in cases of ADHD in young children, it’s for the parents! If your child is not old enough to know how to correct their behavior without your help, then parent training can help you learn how to work through challenges with your child. They may introduce play or talk therapy to help your child express their emotions, solve problems, and communicate more effectively. Also, remember that therapy is a helpful tool, not an indicator of bad parenting. Just the opposite!

No matter where you and your child are in your ADHD journey, we wish you the best! Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, as we have been there too.

If you’re interested in learning more about the supplement options available for young children with ADHD, please check out Accentrate® for Parents for more information.

Accentrate® for Parents


CHADD. (2021, June 24). Parenting a Child with ADHD.

Behavior therapy for young children with ADHD | CDC. (2020, September 23). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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