Between dance classes and soccer practice, homework and play dates, being a parent can be…challenging. And if your child has ADHD, there can be some added stress to an already hectic day-to-day routine.
On top of everything else, it can sometimes feel like you two are speaking different languages. While an ADHD mind does work a bit differently than a non-ADHD mind, there are still ways to help get you guys back on the same frequency; and it starts with getting a better understanding of each other. Here are some tips to help manage your child’s ADHD without relying on medication.
Establish structure (and stick to it)
Children with ADHD tend to do well with structure and routine. You can help them stay focused and organized by coming up with mini rituals for daily activities.
Try picking out clothes the night before and having school supplies gathered in a specific spot to cut down on stress in the morning. Leading by example is important, so do your best to stay neat and organized around the house to help your child learn that everything has a time and place.
Set clear expectations and rules
Kids with ADHD respond well to clearly defined (and consistent) systems of rewards and consequences. A way to help everyone stay accountable is to make a list of rules, rewards, and punishments and hang it somewhere for the whole family to see.
Too often praise can get overlooked, though. Your child is probably used to being told to change their behavior (from teachers, coaches, as well as at home), so it’s important to acknowledge when they’re doing something right.
Get them moving
It’s a good idea to get most kids involved with some sort of extra-curricular activity that gets them moving, but it’s especially effective for kids with ADHD. Organized activities (like sports, dance, yoga) encourage kids to focus their movements, which helps improve concentration. Better concentration can decrease anxiety and depression, too.
On top of all that, sports are a great way to burn off some excess energy, which can help your child’s sleep improve. Keep in mind that some sports are better for ADHD than others. If the activity has a lot of idle time (like waiting to take turns), it might be less effective than an activity with constant motion.
Help your child eat right
Regular, nutritious meals are beneficial for everyone, but kids with ADHD tend to struggle when it comes to mealtime. Without structure, they’ll often be too distracted by other things to remember to eat, and when they finally do, they’ll binge on whatever is around.
And while diet doesn’t cause ADHD, nutrition can affect mood and mental state in general. So it’s important to set specific times to eat, in addition to making sure those meals and snacks are nutritious.
Getting stressed out from time to time is just part of the territory when it comes to parenting (ever had to ask your kid more than once to pick up their toys? Thought so.) When you’re in a good mood, calm and focused, you’re more likely to cut through the distractions your child is dealing with.
It’s important that you figure out ways to manage your stress. Find something you love and make it a priority in your routine. Whether that be an evening bubble bath or morning workout, regularly treat yourself to something just for you.
Neurocore makes no claims that it can cure any conditions, including any conditions referenced on its website or in print materials, including ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, headaches, stress, sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you take prescription medications for any of these conditions, you should consult with your doctor before discontinuing use of such medications.