Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD as we call it in short form. It’s a mental disorder that does not allow a human being to focus or sit for a longer time.
This disorder is not just limited to children but adults could also have it. In our article, we will discuss how to deal with ADHD in children, as they say, to nip the evil in the bud.
Let’s start with an understanding of the types of ADHD.
Types of ADHD
- The Inattentive Type of ADHD
The children having this type of ADHD have mainly difficulty in concentrating on tasks. They are unable to process the instructions given to perform a certain task.
They forget the main activities of the day. And this is considered to be the most difficult type which mostly leads to late diagnosis.
- Hyperactive-Impulsive Type of ADHD
With this type of ADHD children are constantly fidgeting while working or sitting for meals. They can’t stop the impulses and talk continuously.
They can’t wait for others to complete the conversation and interrupt a lot. They can’t wait for their turns and are restless.
- Hyperactive impulsive and inattentive both combined
Patients representing this type have complex conditions with both attention-deficit problems as well as hyperactivity. Due to the combination of both types, this needs a very careful diagnosis.
ADHD and Family Peace
If you have a child with ADHD in the house and you are not knowledgeable enough of all the aspects you can end up in a house with no peace at all. You are not able to provide an assisted environment and help the kid with proper functioning.
The child with ADHD is very demanding as they want more attention and more presence from their parents. As they have difficulty in being attentive they can not finish their school work on time or not do it correctly.
They will spread all the things around the house and it will be difficult to put things in their places. And as they have difficulty in following the instructions parents end up cleaning after they are finished playing.
The other children in the house, without ADHD, will get less attention. They will feel isolated and responsible many times for their siblings, with ADHD, behavior.
This means a lot of noise around the house all day long and big chaos each day. It’s a big struggle to keep the whole family calm and organized.
Parenting Tips To Deal with ADHD
Parents would feel frustrated a lot while dealing with kids having ADHD. But do remember that it is as frustrating for kids as it is for parents.
This will help you understand the situation of the kid and you would feel more concerned and less angry. These kids need help so they can think properly and control their emotions and behaviors.
If the children with ADHD are lucky to have parents who can be patient with them and support them, they can function better for the rest of their life. It is very important to guide these children through childhood with great tolerance and knowledge.
1. Stay calm and positive
The most important point to keep always in mind is that children do what they see and what they get. If parents show them calmness and a positive approach towards anything they will be able to send a positive signal to the child’s brain.
By acting wisely and nicely parents can make children feel a connection and will be able to follow the guidance. Parents will be able to convey the information about the particular situation and help children focus and have control over their mental situation.
2. Keep expectations realistic
With ADHD as children already have difficulty following the instructions, it is good to set the expectations as per the child’s tolerance level. So if they have finished most of the chores of the day and have left only one don’t waste your energy and ruin the mood of the day for that just one task.
It’s better to give these children some space and let them feel rewarded for what they have already done. This way they will be positive about finishing the tasks the next day as well.
3. Trust the Child
One thing that is a note to self is that tell yourself daily the good abilities of your child. Don’t lose hope and every day keep your trust in your child’s potential.
This will reduce the frustration and will help to come up with ideas and strategies that will help big time.
4. Routine is the crucial part
Children with ADHD want and like the things that are constant and they know ahead of time. So there is a need to make a routine so that children already know what to do in what part of the day.
This will allow them to feel power and control over things which will subconsciously develop attention and the ability to control behaviors. The best way is to make a routine chart and stick it on a wall that is easily visible so that children look and follow the routine.
5. Provide visual presentation of time
Children can’t understand the concept of time as adults can see on the clock. They are not able to understand hours, minutes, or seconds.
So it’s better to use clocks with numbers written on them or timers that can provide the visual presentation of little or more time. This will help immensely to finish all the tasks of the day and on time.
Look at the cute little alarm clock that kids would love to have for their room and keep track of time with.
6. Avoid exhausting schedules
Children with ADHD already get exhausted while coping mentally with daily life activities. It is better to keep schedules less tiring and give more relaxation time or free time for a non instructed activity or playtime.
Many parents commit children to many after-school activities so that they are busy throughout the day and get good sleep. But it is very important to give children some free time that does not require them to involve in any kind of challenges.
7. Provide a private place
This is a very interesting parenting tip for not only children with ADHD but for all. A private space could be decorated as a reading nook or many parents set up a teepee.
Children love these private space setups and enjoy being the owner of their private space. It encourages children to have some time with themselves and be quiet.
Look at the reasonable and simple teepee that can provide a calm and peaceful private place for children
8. Promote the physical activities
Gymnastics or age-appropriate sports is a good way to involve children in physical activity time. It’s good for physical health, strengthens the muscles, and helps to build stamina.
It also helps mentally to take out all the energy, frustration, and exhaustion. Their mind is happily busy in the activity and tires them enough for a good night sleep to improve the condition of ADHD.
9. Less screen time
It has been observed in many studies that more screen time increases the problems in children with ADHD. Screen time whether it is on mobiles, tablets, computers, or television, is the hot debate of today.
More screen time definitely decreases mental capabilities and physical health is also badly affected. In the case of children with ADHD, it is good and necessary to give reduced screen time and keep them busy in other educational or fun activities that don’t put too much stress on them.
10. Bedtime needs to be a quiet time
Active and full of energy playtime should be avoided at least an hour or two before bedtime. Rather quiet talking, cuddling time, or reading time is better.
This is to calm down the children’s brain and let their minds get ready for sleep mode. This helps to avoid struggles with sleep and have a peaceful uninterrupted sleep throughout the night.
11. Avoid the situations ahead to avoid meltdowns
It’s good to understand the nature of your child with ADHD and try closely to observe their needs. Taking care of their needs gives them a feeling of security and love that they need at a tender age.
When you know your child well you can easily avoid the situations that can cause the bad moods’ episodes. You can plan how to keep a day organized to avoid the fuss.
12. Understand which behavior is not intended by the child
You need to be extra patient and vigilant if you have a child with ADHD. This is because you need to understand carefully why your child is failing to do something you asked them for.
Many times children with ADHD are not able to finish the task you gave them not because they are not capable but because they get easily distracted. Punishments in such situations will hurt their self-esteem and they stop bothering about obeying you.
Maintain a good diet
Now we have learned what is ADHD, its symptoms, and how parents can deal with the problems of children with ADHD. There is another very interesting aspect to keep in mind that can improve the mental health of these children.
Many types of research have been conducted and the results have shown that a clean, organic diet is a healthy source to stay away from mental illnesses. Staying away from useless filthy food especially in childhood helps to fight many illnesses, physical and mental.
Let’s discuss in detail what food helps to stay fit and healthy and helps with ADHD.
Foods to incorporate in the daily diet
Particular foods keep the required glucose level in the blood to give the body balanced energy. That in return keeps the moods stable and helps to develop good concentration.
So the good food items are as follows:
- Food high in protein
Protein is one of the best nutrition types for the body and the vital source of brain health. It helps to regulate and control the blood sugar levels in every part of the body.
- Multiplex carbohydrates
Just like protein multiplex carbohydrates also control the sugar rush that otherwise doesn’t allow to behave appropriately. Mostly when children are not eating enough food they have cravings for junk.
Adding multiplex carbohydrates to the diet would keep children fuller for a longer time that will cut down sugary junk intake. This is very necessary for keeping ADHD in control because sugary foods worsen the ADHD condition.
- Sufficient vitamins and minerals
It’s found in many types of research, related to ADHD in connection with food, that deficiency in nutrients like iron, magnesium, and various types of vitamins can also be one of the causes of ADHD.
Including the right amount of all these nutrients in the food will help improve all parts of the central nervous system to function properly.
A good supplement can also help fulfill the need on the side of diet.
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids work best for heart health and brain health. A good intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help children with a good memory, ability to concentrate properly, and remove laziness.
Though in some cases medication is necessary, these natural sources are also important to help with mild cases of ADHD in some people.
Foods to completely remove from the diet
Now certain foods need to be completely removed from children’s diets to avoid bad behaviors and mental illnesses.
- Sugar and simple carbohydrates
Food high in sugar is the main reason for most mental problems in children. Sugar intake should be greatly cut down in childhood to develop healthy eating habits and a healthy brain.
Similarly, some food with simple carbohydrate composition like white bread, white pasta, potato fries without skin can spike the blood sugar levels.
- Caffeine reduction
In some families, children become part of tea times or start having tea or coffee with breakfast from a very early age. This is a very bad practice and should be completely stopped.
Especially those people who are on ADHD medication should avoid caffeine.
- Artificial additives
Removing foods with artificial coloring and flavors from the diet of children with ADHD will benefit them. These artificial additives interfere with hormones and the development of the human body.
Managing situations for involvement in activities
So there are many activities in which kids with ADHD can be involved to develop good focus and organization. Let’s find out what kind of situations should be avoided in several activities.
Individual sports or activity
When children with ADHD are more hyperactive they are attracted by games with big teams. But since they can’t efficiently follow the instructions and avoid interruptions due to high impulsivity they can fail to be a good team member.
So to avoid their frustration at failing as a team member better involve them in individual sports. And there are many choices like gymnastics, taekwondo, swimming.
Don’t push for any activity
Due to mental limitations, many children with ADHD might not be able to keep up with their age level activities. Don’t challenge them or not even ask them to go for these activities.
There might be some easier activities with which they will stay busy and will try to be attentive and participate actively with clear understanding.
Avoid fussy environment
Sometimes in some large group activities, there is a lot of noise and shouting as kids are excited while in full action. Children with ADHD get easily distracted in such an environment and feel frustrated to focus.
It’s better to find those activities that have a calm and quiet environment or have smaller groups involved.
Follow the child
Sometimes if you closely observe you can find what is your child’s interest and that isn’t necessarily a fancy activity or sport. But maybe it’s cooking at home or cleaning the house.
Follow their interests and you can find suitable activities or tasks to help them with skills development.
Get more knowledge from your child’s doctor
The doctors don’t live with your child and can’t possibly predict every angle of their behaviors and moods. While consulting with a doctor for your child with ADHD the best approach is to get more knowledge from the doctors.
You need to tell more about your child and ask more questions. In this way, you can find all about symptoms, therapies, treatments, and training as a parent.
And then you are in a better position to make arrangements anywhere to avoid frustration in daily life.
First, find if there are disabilities other than ADHD
If you are starting treatment of your child, first note down if they have any other disabilities. Because treating ADHD alone, with hidden disabilities, will not help.
Don’t ignore skills development after medication
Relying completely on the medication is not the best treatment for ADHD. Parents often do that and become forgetful of the fact that children need to learn important skills.
Along with the medication, a child should get proper education of developing age-appropriate skills to live life smoothly.
What happens if ADHD is left untreated?
As we have found that if ADHD is not properly treated in childhood it can move on in adulthood and then will stay for the rest of the life. So if ADHD remains untreated it becomes dangerous and leaves adults, with poor functioning abilities and performance.
The serious dangerous conditions that can be witnessed are:
- Adults develop substance abuse and become addicted to alcohol and drugs. This ends up in suicide or natural death, isolation, and no life.
- Adults that grow up with ADHD are more prone to criminal activities. This way they become dangerous for communities and have no other option than to end up in prisons.
- With poor attention and focus, there are increased chances of road accidents and mishandling of dangerous equipment at home or the workplace.
Can ADHD be cured or grown out of?
Before the 90th century, ADHD was considered to go away completely as children grow up to be adults. But now studies have shown that it’s a lifetime mental disease.
It’s a chronic disease and not very disturbing in childhood as parents are there to handle the situations. But for adults, it becomes irritating and sometimes threatening.
When this neurological disease is diagnosed at the right time it can be treated with medication and can slowly go away. Or sometimes even when it’s diagnosed at a later stage, according to the person’s capabilities can be completely cured.
So basically a person with ADHD needs to be kept on medication so they can feel relaxed and work properly with more focus. But the good news is that doctors suggest leaving medication once every year to check if the symptoms go away completely and don’t return back.
Is ADHD hereditary?
ADHD is a complex disorder and needs a lot of experiments with different variables. But the latest researches have already found that ADHD is highly hereditary.
Many mothers and fathers who were diagnosed with ADHD had mostly children with the same disorder. And it is also seen that ADHD comes in combination with other disorders as well such as autism, conduct disorder, and dyslexia.
What job is a good job for adults with ADHD?
For highly active people who have a lot of energy, the best jobs are those that need a continuously engaged brain and have lots of creativity involved. In both cases, the brain is constantly busy in providing solutions.
Some of those highly involved jobs are, painter or any kind of artist, a detective or a policeman, a doctor or nurse or any kind of human caretaker.
Though ADHD will remain there as humans grow, some medications can help reduce the symptoms and cope with them. Getting therapies and counseling is very important for the patient and the family.
The patient or the family alone can’t help or keep up with the challenges faced. A society such as teachers, acquaintances, peers also needs to be considerate to help people with ADHD lead a good life.
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