Raising a kid with ADHD is challenging. Parenting a child with this condition is a wholly different experience from caring for a non-neurodivergent child. Regular rules and routines may not be effective for them. Depending on your child’s specific needs, you will need to adopt different techniques. The first step is to accept that your child will have different functionalities than other children. But with the right guidance, you can help them live the best possible life.
While children of all races and ages can have ADHD, studies show that black children are more prone to have this condition. While ADHD is mostly genetics, other factors can also contribute to this developmental disorder. A child’s socioeconomic status and internal and external environments impact their mental well-being, too. As parents, we must foster their growth and make the best of what they have and can have.
To make sure your child gets the professional attention that they need, take them to a therapist. They can help manage your child’s ADHD and avoid its negative consequences. These include depression, poor social skills, low self-esteem, and possible juvenile delinquency. Therapy can also make your life easier as a parent since it can help your child control their emotions and behavior.
Here are five therapist-approved ways to calm down your kid with ADHD.
Personalize A Daily Routine For Your Child To Follow
Children with ADHD can show erratic behavior, especially when they don’t follow a specific routine. When children don’t have a specific set of tasks in their minds, they can be more hyperactive. If left unsupervised, they may be unable to do anything throughout their day. Giving them a set of instructions can lessen their mind’s tendency to fret about. When they don’t have a task to accomplish, they will exert their energy elsewhere.
Kids with ADHD thrive with structure. They will likely be less unpredictable when they know what they need to do. Create a specific routine for your child to follow every day. Cover all of their daily activities. Take their mealtimes, homework, playtime, and bedtime into consideration. Also, be specific with the details. Does your kid need to do homework before or after dinner? How much TV is allowed before bed? When there is a structure to follow, your child will be less prone to hyperactivity.
Avoid Distractions As Much As Possible
Children are already easily distracted. However, neurodivergent kids are even more so! Children with ADHD welcome distractions more than other kids. These disturbances can come in many forms. More often than not, this happens because they are overwhelmed with a big task. Because of these, they are unable to focus and are easily diverted. To avoid this from happening, you can break down tasks into smaller chunks.
You can also eliminate distractions by creating a dedicated space for your kid. This room is where they will do homework, play, and take a break without interruption. It is crucial to make the area neat and free of clutter. Organize everything in such a way that they know where everything goes. Technology should be regularly regulated, too. Set specific hours for TV, computer, and video-game usage. Without supervision, these can be the cause of impulsive behavior.
Reinforce Expectations Every Time
Don’t invent rules as you go. Doing so will only confuse your kid’s mind. If you already have a set routine in place, still guide your child every time. They may feel lost at what to do next, especially at the beginning. Being vacant for long periods may also trigger their hyperactivity. So, make sure you always remind them of what they need to do next. Reinforce what they can expect on a day-to-day basis.
When it’s time to do something, prompt your child a few minutes beforehand. You can cue them to shut off the TV, start the day’s homework, or come to the kitchen for dinner. When needed, remind them consecutively after some time has passed. Doing so will promote the behavior of following routines. When they arrive, be sure to thank them for being on time. Would you please encourage your child by rewarding them for good behavior?
Practice Relaxation With Your Child
Children with ADHD have difficulty remaining composed, especially when things are hectic. A busy environment can cause sensory overload. It confuses your child and may trigger their erratic behavior. When this happens, you and your kid will both get stressed. At times like this, make sure to stay calm and think. Remember, your emotions will influence your child. So, be as relaxed as possible.
Therapists recommend some relaxation techniques for both you and your child. Some examples include breathing techniques, visualization, and yoga. Physical activities can be relaxing, too. You can try taking a stroll in the park, cleaning your house, and walking your dog. Find which ones suit you and your child. Don’t forget to talk to your child and ask them for their input.
Go For Positive Parenting
It can be frustrating when your kid has sudden bursts of energy. It is easy to yell and perhaps, think about physically disciplining your child. However, before you do this, take a deep breath and think. How will this behavior affect your relationship in the long run? Yelling, spewing nasty comments, setting ultimatums, and the like are all examples of negative parenting. All these can traumatize your child.
Instead of acting aggressively, try to be calm and positive. Studies show that opting for positivity has immediate good results. Examples of positive parenting are smiling, hugging, reward systems, and allowing flexibility. Children are more prone to demonstrate behavioral improvements when exposed to positivity. With this, their heart rates can slow down, and their breathing is calmer.
To Wrap Up
Parenting will always have its challenges. Fostering the growth of a child with ADHD will have its extra tough times, too. However, remember that you, as the parent, set the tone for how your child will live. Don’t let your child’s disorder rattle you. Instead, be nurturing and patient. If you need more expert advice, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a therapist. With their support, your kid’s childhood years with ADHD can become much more manageable than you think.