Starting a task & not finishing, fidgeting with toys or things around, tantrums, hyperactive & over the top with energy, thinking & talking faster than you can keep up, working in a constant mess – Are any of these behaviors familiar? Would you believe that as an ADHD child, he/she actually WANTS to be organized, maintain a clean room AND listen to you – the challenge they face is that they don’t know how to make these things happen.
YES! That’s a fact. Kids with ADHD face what is called a weakness in their Executive Function. In other words, the ability to process information in a clear logical path, the ability to sustain their attention during a thought process & the ability to stay calm when performing (and finish!) are all hindered in their brain. And what’s more? – none of these are inherited or a result of bad parenting. In short – it’s not your fault or theirs! It’s how these children are wired. Factually speaking, ADHD kids are far more superior in cognitive abilities such as memory power, logical thinking & creativity. The quest now – is how to channel their energy, enhance their strengths & iron out the impulsivity.
As parents, there are a number of steps you can take to manage ADHD & it’s consequences.
1. Take a step back:
Parents today are easily hassled, frustrated & tend to jump to conclusions or play the blame game much more than they should. If your child is exhibiting these behaviors – Start observing the triggers instead of a wild reaction every time. Take time to reflect: What causes him/her to get distracted? Is it the environment, the number of things kept around your child? Is it an erratic pattern of work – one day a 5pm study hour, the other at 3pm in breaks – Delve into simple cause & consequence pattern. Identify what is the most compatible & conducive environment to function. Research proves that structure; routine & a consistent pattern can help ADHD kids work better. Even if it’s the holidays, plan out your child’s day with them, keep a chart/whiteboard with visible boxes ticked off every time a task is completed. Explain how their actions contribute to a happier home environment & reinforce the positives every day. It’s important to pause – reflect – analyze & try something new with your child so as to achieve both – the to-do list & harmony at home.
2. Make your bed:
For years, self-help books and philosophies on cleanliness is Godliness goes to say that taking extra care on surroundings is a key factor in the outcome of your day. Instill healthy habits of children making their own beds, cleaning up their desk after work, putting away their dishes after meals, and keeping their room tidy before bedtime are very good ideas to get the discipline rolling. ADHD Kids cannot help but make a mess. They will start a book, and end up on a Youtube video. They will begin playing Lego & compulsively look for a missing block in all the other storage boxes. In no time, their room will look no less than an abandoned workshop. Avoid this chaos by following a clean-desk, clean-bed strategy at all times. (Give them an extra star on their reward chart for keeping up!)
3. MOVE it!
ADHD kids are energy-bombs! They can keep going all day with no breaks if it’s something they enjoy. If not, they sure will give you a hard time for just 30 minutes of still-time. Plan their schedules in such a way that there is a clear balance of active time and sit-down activities. A football class in the afternoon is a good idea to channel their energy & keep them calmer closer to bedtime. During school days, a 15 minute power break (Bicycle rounds or football practice with a sibling) every 45 minutes of study/homework time – is an effective way to chalk their hours after school. Make sure you LIMIT TV & SCREEN TIME down to not more than 30 minutes at a stretch, especially before their study hours. These kids will have trouble shifting passive usage of mental.