Dealing with ADHA
Dealing with your child with ADHD
Though life with a child with ADHD can be frustrating and overwhelming, there is actually a lot you can do as a parent to help your child meet its daily challenges.
See Also: ADHD, Differentiating normal overactivity from ADHD
Children with ADHD need predictable patterns and in predictable places in order to be able to undertake and complete tasks. Set up your home in an organized way. Make sure your child knows that everything has its place. Be a role model for neatness and organization as much as possible.The structure of your home must be such that your child knows what to expect and what they are expected to do. Therefore, you must establish a routine.
Set a time and a place for everything. Communicate your expectations. Put in place simple and predictable rituals for meals, homework, play, and bed. Clothes for the next morning and whatever he or she needs to take to school must be laid out in such a way that the child can easily find it, in the morning.
Use big clocks with numbers, one for each room and teach the child to use them. Manage time so that child has enough time for what it needs to do, such as homework or getting ready in the morning. Use a timer for homework and an alarm for routine activity such as getting ready for bed.
Children with ADHD become more distracted and “wound up” if there are many after-school activities. So follow a simple schedule with activities that your child likes and is able to do, while minimising idle time. Keep the child busy without piling tooo many things to do on it. Encourage your child to “Chill Out” in its own quiet, private space.
Children with ADHD need to know the rules. They respond particularly well to organized systems of rewards and consequences. The rules need to be consistent so that they can understand and follow them. Write down the rules of behavior for the family in a simple and clear format, and hang them up in a place where your child can easily read them.
Take time to explain to the child what will happen when the rules are obeyed and when they are broken. Write this down too. Stick to the system that you set down. EVERYONE in the family HAS to follow the rules WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
Don’t forget to praise your child!
Make sure that good behaviour is appreciated and rewarded and the consequences for undesirable behaviour are followed through as set down. .Be on the lookout for good behavior—and praise it. Praise is more important than reprimands for children ADHD. These children receive a lot of correction, remediation, and complaints about their behavior. So they begin to crave for positive reinforcement.
A smile, a simple, “That’s good”, or any other reward from you can improve the attention, concentration and impulse control of your child with ADHD. Do your best to focus on giving positive praise for appropriate behavior and task completion, while giving as few negative responses as possible to inappropriate behavior or poor task performance. Reward your child for small achievements.
Children with ADHD are often energetic. Organized sports and other physical activities can help them get their energy out in healthy ways, while at the same time focussing their attention on specific movements and skills.
Physical activity improves concentration, and promotes brain growth. It leads to better sleep, which in turn can also reduce the symptoms.
Identify a sport that your child will enjoy and that suits its strengths. Sports such as cricket that involve a lot of “idle” are not the best fit for children with attention problems. Individual or team sports like basketball and tennis that require constant motion and martial arts training, are better options. They also enhance mental control as they work out the body.
Children with ADHD need their sleep. Insufficient sleep can be highly detrimental for them. Their hyperactivity can lead to overstimulation and trouble in falling asleep. Establish a consistent, early bedtime and help your child get better rest by trying out one or more of the following strategies:
- Decrease television time and increase your child’s activities and exercise levels during the day.
- Eliminate coffee, Colas, and sweets orsen the inattention and hyperactivity from your child’s diet.
- Create a quiet time just before bed to lower down the activity You can use quieter activities such as coloring, reading or playing quietly.
- Cuddling your child before bed. This will build a sense of love and security as well as provide a time to calm down.
- Use relaxing music or sounds as background for your child when falling asleep. Children with ADHD often find “white noise” (noise of a running an electric fan) to be calming..
Children with ADHD are notorious for not eating regularly. Without parental guidance, these children might not eat for hours and then binge on whatever is around.
Eating small meals more often may help your child. Promote healthy eating habits by scheduling regular nutritious meals or snacks for your child no more than three hours apart. Meal times are a necessary break and a scheduled rhythm to the day.Put fatty and sugary foods, chips and other junk food off-limits when eating out. Give your child a daily vitamin-and-mineral supplement.