Ways to deal with a child with ADD/ADHD

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) need special strategies to carry on with normal, day to day activities. But, which of these strategies really work? Here are our top strategies to deal with a child with ADD or ADHD.

Stay positive and healthy yourself

Your best aid to help your child combat ADD/ADHD is not losing your positivity. If you yourself are calm and composed, only then will you be able to help the the child stay composed. You must be ready to make some compromises rather than worrying about petty issues. Have faith in your child. Do remember that when you take good care of yourself first, you will be in a better position to help your child. If you ignore your health, tire yourself and become impatient, you might damage the support you have sincerely set up for the child.

Establish a structure and stick to it

Since children having ADHD tend to complete their tasks, which are predictable in time and place, it’s your duty to create a structure at home, so that the child knows what to expect and he/she will act accordingly.

Here are a few tips to do the same:

– Follow a routine: Set fixed timings for meals, homework, play, and bedtime.

– Use clocks and timers: Use a timer of some sort to track time taken by him/her for each work, but do allow him sufficient time.

– Simplify your child’s schedule: The child may get distracted due to excessive additional activities and so adjust his/her extra-curricular activities accordingly.

– Create a quiet place: Let him have a private space of his own.

– Be neat and organized: Be a role model and organize your house well.

Set clear expectations and rules

Children with ADHD need to have fixed rules, which they follow. So you must design such rules for the family and write them down somewhere in your house in bold, if required. Children will show better response to a well-organized system. Explain the importance of rules to them and also reward them occasionally.

Since children with ADHD are often criticized by people, carefully observe a good act by them, however small and insignificant, and reward it. It is especially important because they are rarely praised. It can be anything as small as a smile to any big reward. This can improve their concentration, attentiveness, and impulse control.

Encourage movement and sleepPhysical activities such as sports will help them burn out their energy and it will indirectly improve concentration, decrease anxiety; thus promoting growth of the brain. The most important thing, which they need to combat ADD/ADHD is sleep, which will be achieved automatically when he/she is tired. Lack of sleep affects such children to a great extent and they do not get a good sleep like their peers. A regular and early bedtime is the best thing to solve this problem. Decrease the television time and eliminate caffeine from the diet.Help your child eat right
Even though not a direct cause of ADD, food affects the child’s mental state, which then affects behavior. So it is essential to monitor what he/she is eating and at what time so that you can control his diet. Provide fresh food and at fixed times, keeping them away from junk food. Children with ADD/ADHD are known for eating irregularly. They might not eat for a long time and then eat anything what they find, resulting in a damage to the physical and emotional health. Schedule a nutritious meal or snack for your child with a gap of not more than 3 hours.Teach your child how to make friendsChildren with ADD/ADHD usually find it difficult to interact socially and may struggle with things like talking too much; they tend to interrupt others frequently, being very aggressive or being too intense. Since they are emotionally less mature than their peers, it may make them stand out and they may become easy targets of bullies.
It must be noted that many children with ADD/ADHD are exceptionally clever and creative. Gradually, they will surely find a way for themselves to get along with everyone and figure out what’s what.Change unhelpful thinkingDue to the negative encounters, which they might have dealt in life, children with ADHD develop a negative attitude and their self-esteem can get affected. Assist your child in finding the negative thoughts and oppose the thoughts with positive ones. Question them casually about their negative actions. Then gradually help them to overcome the negativity by being realistic and positive. Tell them how committing a mistake does not make them stupid. Learning how to face the effects of their mistakes is important for children with ADHD.Anticipate problems and have a plan

In similar situations, children with ADHD, many a times, repeat the same problems again and again. It is possible for you to predict which settings might be difficult. Prepare a planned solution in case of such solutions. Once you are in such a situation, do the following steps:

i. Review the rules.

ii. Give rewards for correct behavior.

iii. Give a penalty for not obeying the rules.

iv. Be attentive towards their good behavior.

v. Follow through with effects.

Seek support

You can begin with the teachers. It is very necessary that you establish a sound relationship with the teachers of the child with ADHD. Communicate well and openly with them and this may help you to learn and share certain tricks and measures, which help you and the teacher mutually. This will be benefiting your ADD/ADHD child to a great extent.

Start or join a support group for parents like you. There are forums on these groups, which give and receive advice and also provide privacy to share what you feel and what you experience.

Get a pet!Get a pet for your child. If you house is a bit noisy, then you might not be ready to add to it. However, pets provide a plethora of benefits for a child with ADHD. They can assist him/her in teaching what responsibility is and can get him/her outside. The pet will also provide the much needed relaxation to the family by adding a fun content. Studies have proven scientifically that pets can guard you from stress, anxiety, and medical problems too.

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