With New Year’s fast approaching, it’s time to set forth resolutions for 2016. For parents of a child with ADHD, it’s a great time to reaffirm some goals to help your child to be their best self. Here are some of our suggestions for parents to help inspire a child with ADHD.

I will help my child set goals

Setting New Year’s resolutions is something both children and parents can enjoy. A great way to empower your child is to have them your child pick some goals for themselves as well.

Then, break them down into manageable pieces, so your child doesn’t feel overwhelmed. This is also a great time to experiment with collaborative problem solving.

I will use constructive language

Sometimes your child’s ADHD can manifest itself in problematic behaviors. Other times, your child is just misbehaving.

Make sure you always distinguish between the two. When your child is clearly breaking the rules, don’t let ADHD become their excuse.

However, when the ADHD is at the center of the problem, strive to use constructive language that will build your child up and show them that they’re supported.

I will remember my child is more than ADHD

Too often, it’s easy to only focus on a child’s ADHD. In fairness, it is a big part of both your lives.

But by doing this, you can forget that ADHD is only one piece of your child’s complete personality. They are so much more than just this one facet.

Consider Howie Mandel, Michael Phelps, Terry Bradshaw or Richard Branson. These famous and successful people have ADHD, but no one would ever consider it the totality of who they are.

I will spend even more quality time with my child

Obviously, we’d all like to spend as much time as possible with our children. Still, it can be very easy to get distracted by all that’s going on in our lives. To be fair, sometimes our children resist the opportunity to spend time with us (i.e. the teenage years).

Nonetheless, even an extra five or ten minutes of quality time with your child, every day—before bed, at the breakfast table, when they get home from school—could make a huge difference in their lives.

I will continue to learn about ADHD

ADHD in children is no simple challenge. At Woodburn Pediatric Clinic, we’ve spent over 40 years studying ADHD and still find plenty to learn about it.

Make it a priority this year to keep up on the latest studies and literature. You may find new ways of helping your child.

I will go easy on myself

Being a parent is never easy. Yet, for all the parenting adviceout there, we’re very rarely reminded of this.

Parents of children with ADHD sometimes forget to give themselves enough credit. When your child succeeds, it’s easy to celebrate. Yet, when something goes wrong, it’s sometimes a lot easier see yourself as solely responsible.

You’ll make mistakes this year, just like every parent. Don’t beat yourself up over them.

Setting resolutions can be a lot of fun and right now you’re probably excited to get started on them. However, if you find that you need extra support in managing your child’s symptoms or simply want to learn more about ADHD, please feel free to contact our clinic. We have tons of resources to learn more about ADHD and how to manage its symptoms.