Difficulty concentrating, impulsiveness, restlessness, and trouble following directions are some of the common indicators of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, or simply ADHD. These pointers can make it difficult for children to participate in different activities.
Parents will need to pay more attention to their children and focus on providing activities that are suitable for their kid’s situation. These active children have more stored energy and may always seem to be ready to bounce off the walls.
It may often seem like a difficult situation to control, but there are a lot of suitable activities that will help keep these hyperactive kids entertained. At the end of the day, it all depends on your kid and what his or her passions are. But you can get started with some enjoyable activities. “Physical activity in general is very beneficial to kids with ADHD,” says psychologist Mark Stein, Ph.D., director of the PEARL Clinic (Program to Enhance Attention, Regulation, and Learning) at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is one of the prime examples that prove the effectivity of swimming for hyperactive kids. Having been diagnosed with ADHD at the young age of nine, learning the sport helped him with his condition and kept him focused and disciplined.
- Outdoor Nature Sports
Outdoor nature sports such as biking and hiking ensure that your kids are in constant movement. These will help high-energy kids to burn their energy and continuously use their muscles. By continually moving and using large muscle groups, kids with ADHD learn to focus and exercise their bodies at the same time.
- Martial Arts
There are a lot of skills emphasized in martial arts. Discipline, self-control, and respect are some of the highlighted skills. Through these classes, children learn step-by-step routines and processes that will accentuate single-mindedness and close the doors to any form of distraction. “And when you’re checking out martial arts programs, avoid those that involve a lot of yelling, which can be a little overwhelming for kids,” says Heidi Tringali, an occupational therapist with Tringali Occupational Therapy Services in Charlotte.
- Girl/Boy Scouts
Organizations for boy and girl scouts have been established for a very long time now. These types of groups require attention, focus, and organization, among others. By enrolling your kids in this type of organization, they learn to socialize in addition to becoming more focused and well organized.
Who said aerobics were for adults only? These exercises burn off excess energy, which is very beneficial for very active and energetic kids. This type of physical activity aids attention and boosts self-esteem. Doing this three to four times a week will not just help kids become more focused and disciplined, but this will help get them in good physical shape.
- Track and Field
Running keeps your kids on the move, thus helping with the extra energy they possess. It also paves the way for a sense of accomplishment whenever they see how long they had run. This helps in boosting self-esteem and the ability of this exercise to calm the mind are beneficial for kids with ADHD.
Keep in mind that these activities may or may not work out for your child. “The most important thing is to have fun. It doesn’t matter if a project doesn’t work out perfectly the first time – it’s an opportunity to try again tomorrow,” says Stacey Nelson, LCPC, LCPAT, ATR-BC. Always remember to let them guide you. It is essential to listen and understand their interests and help them explore these to learn about the things they are passionate about. Consult your child’s doctor for professional advice and consider the timing of the activity to ensure its efficiency.