Dynamics Therapy Centre for Kids
Issue 79 | January 2021
Parenting a Child with ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus on, and execute tasks. Children with ADHD often demonstrate some of the following: trouble paying attention, are overly active, have difficulties controlling impulsive behaviors, struggles with the concept of time and organisation, often forgetful, experiences intense emotions, or have poor follow through with instructions and tasks.

While some of the abovementioned presentations are normal when they are temporary, children with ADHD experience them for a prolonged period of time and at greater intensity, causing interference with their ability to function normally at home, at school or in social situations.

Tips - How to Improve Attention

General tips for parents to improve attention:

physical activities

1. Minimise screen time

Limit screen time to an hour a day for children under 6 and 2-hours for children under 12. Also, avoid using your own electronic devices excessively in front of your child and have a set time each day for your child to have access to screens.

2. Provide opportunities for daily physical activities

Aim for 20-30 minutes of active time per day, right before sitting down to do a serious task. Examples of activities include trampoline jumping, dancing, riding bikes, swimming, playing tag or skipping rope.

3. Provide ample praise and encouragement

Retrain yourself to notice your child’s successes, no matter how small. Make an effort to catch your child paying attention well or doing what they are supposed to be doing, and tell them. When desirable behaviours and effort is pointed out and praised, this improves self-esteem.

Provide ample praise and encouragement

4. Practice good sleep hygiene

Children are encouraged to get 10-12 hours of sleep daily. Keep to a simple, consistent and relaxing daily sleep routine. As a guideline: Have meals 3-hours before bedtime, cut out screen time 2-hours before bedtime, start night routines (e.g., showers, brushing teeth, choosing pyjamas) 1-hour before bedtime, and get your child in bed 30-minutes before bedtime.

5. Parents, be role models

Parents are encouraged to model positive ways to manage personal emotions and reactions. Consider how you control your own reactions as children learn through observation. Remain calm when handling a situation, and if it is not possible, leave the room to calm yourself down before addressing your child. If you do lose your temper, do not hesitate to apologise to your child.

Boy Reading

6. Seek help from a professional

If your child is above the age of 6 and has attention difficulties that impact their functioning at school, at home or within social situations, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a Psychologist. A Psychologist can assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses to determine if they may benefit from therapeutic support and/or accommodations at school.

Employee Spotlight

Esther Seow
Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologist - ESTHER SEOW

Master of Educational Psychology
The University of Melbourne, Australia

Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Honours)
The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

Member of The British Psychological Society (MBPS)
United Kingdom

Member of The Singapore Psychological Society (MSPS)

Registered with the Psychology board of Australia (AHPRA)

Esther is an Educational Psychologist with experience working in Australia and Singapore. She holds a Masters in Educational Psychology and is registered with AHPRA – Psychology Board of Australia. Esther is also a member of the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS) and the British Psychological Society (BPS).

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