Sunday, 21 February 2010

Parenting children with ADHD

Children with ADHD can create chaos in their families but some of it depends on how we respond to them. Do we respond with control or panic? I believe we should be proactive and head off the problem. I've included 10 ideas.

1. Provide a great deal of structure for the child - same bedtimes, meal times, homework times.

2. Seriously limit or eliminate video games.

3. Television should be limited or eliminated.

4. Find them quiet activities such as legos, blocks, k-nex, reading, or word searches.  Legos have been found to be a positive way to engage their brain.

5. Watch their diet by limiting food dyes, sugar, caffeine.

6. Keep the environment calm and quiet - You can help the child reduce their activity levels.

7. Structured physical activity - Use large muscle activities during their worst times to burn off energy, such as biking, trampoline, etc.

8. Homework and bedtime - At home in the evening, before homework have the child take some quiet time.  Perhaps a bath first will help.

9. Help the child stay organized - they may need your help with this.  Usually, you cannot just say "clean your room" or "do your homework."  Help them organize their room and their backpack and help them stay on top of it.  Show them how and where to do their homework - with no video or tv.

10.  The child may be different than your other children so they need more structure.  Realize they need alternate plans.  Some children can handle activities but some ADHD children may only be able to work for 5 minutes and this is very frstrating for caregivers.  That is why I recommend having plans prepared.

The children are not bad children but they do not have a pause button after their thoughts.  If we were really nervous and/or had a lot of anxiety, we would have a hard time sitting still and concentrating.  They have this extra energy in their bodies. I work in schools and have seen cases of the CLASSIC ADHD student  in first or second grade.  They truly cannot sit still or stay focused and the hard part is that they are getting in trouble all the time because they cannot follow directions or stay at their desk.  They are always bother others. Parents have decided to try the medication, and the child has become totally different, including being happier and more able to learn. After medications, these children often have moments they are proud of because they have learned to ake good choies,can now read, and can focus.

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