Parenting Tips for Dealing with an ADHD Child
ADHD or Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is an unrelenting prototype of lack of concentration, impulsive behavior and/or hyperactivity that surpass the usual range for a child’s age and interferes extensively with his performance. ADHD makes it oddly difficult for children to focus on everyday jobs, to pay attention, to sit silent, and to control brash behavior. While several children show signs of mostly lacking concentration others for the most part act reckless and hyperactive. Nevertheless, most of those with ADHD have a mishmash of both these traits.
ADHD typically becomes obvious when a child is between 3 to 6 years of age. Hyperactive or impulsive behaviour, are often noticed earliest, followed by excessive energy, fidgeting, great impatience, verbal outbursts, inability to sit still, chatting relentlessly, and interrupting others. The inattentive behaviour often becomes obvious only when a child enters school. He might be easily preoccupied, have trouble following directives, be abnormally absent-minded, strive with organizing responsibilities, avoid things that necessitate intellectual application, and emerge unmindful to the happenings around him
Among the gender, Boys are more commonly diagnosed with ADHD at a rate of about 2: 1. Nonetheless, girls undergo the disorder in a different manner.
Symptoms of ADHD are divided into two groups:
Inattentive behaviours and hyperactive and impulsive behaviours
Inattentive Symptoms of ADHD:
- Commit careless mistakes
- Seems easily distracted
- Does not seem to be listening when spoken to directly
- Has difficulty following instructions
- Has problem in organizing
- Avoids or dislikes unrelenting effort
- Is absent-minded, always losing things
Hyperactive or Impulsive Symptoms of ADHD:
- Fidgeting or squirming, difficulty remaining in one place or waiting his turn
- Excessive running and climbing
- Problem playing quietly
- Always seems to be hyperactive as though by a motor
- Excessive talking or intruding, blurting out replies and answers
Some children show evidence of only the first group of symptoms, and some demonstrate only the latter. However, the majority of those with an ADHD diagnosis have a combination of both, which can make it incredibly difficult for them to perform in school, and in other activities, and can create many disagreements at home.
Causes of ADHD:
Although the exact cause of ADHD is yet to be conclusive, experts feel that a combination of factors may be responsible for this disorder. They are as follows…
Research shows that a majority of ADHD cases is due to a genetic predisposition, a trait obtained from parents
Brain’s Structure & Function:
- Several studies involving the brain scans of kids with this disorder prove the possibilities of specific brain areas to be small in the frontal lobes, while the other areas might be bigger.
- Besides, according to Researchers the ADHD brains take a couple or more years to develop or mature than those who do not have this disorder.
- Scientists suggest that there are possibilities of an imbalance or improper functioning of the brain’s neurotransmitters level in kids suffering from ADHD
- Premature birth before the 37th week of pregnancy
- Low birth weight
- Possible brain damage either in the womb or in the first few years of life
- Drinking alcohol, smoking or misusing drugs during pregnancy
ADHD in an Introverted Child
It is a fact that children who find focussing very challenging yet without being unusually restless or act on impulse suffer from a more inattentive type of ADHD. They are likely to be diagnosed later because of their nature of being less prone to unruly or problematic behaviour that comes to the attention of teachers and parents. Nevertheless, kids who have inattentive symptoms may start to find it difficult to cope with in the middle of elementary school, when it becomes increasingly problematic to keep up with their peers.
Concentration Factors in ADHD
Occasionally and under specific circumstances a child with ADHD, normally affected by distractive tendencies, demonstrate a problem for shifting his focus from a pleasurable task like for instance, watching television or playing video and computer games. This is generally termed as ‘hyper focus’, a very confusing aspect for parents who generally has three issues concerning attention with ADHD kids such as:
- Holding their attention for long periods
- Deciding what is important that needs attention at a given time
- Turning their attention away from one thing to another
This is precisely the reason for children to find sounds distracting while completing their homework or undergoing a test. Besides, this predominately is the cause for children not to fine-tune to their parents call while engaged in video games or while watching television. Although this might appear to be deep concentration of the child with AADHD, the truth remains that the child does not remain as much focused as an ordinary child with ADHD. According to Scientists, although children with ADHD may play the same duration as any ordinary child, the former makes frequent errors and have a tendency to restart the game. Hence, the ability to stay focused or unfocused is beyond their control and is not a conscious act on their part. That is one of the reasons; it becomes quite challenging to expecting a child with ADHD to concentrate harder or to refrain from daydreaming.
Positive Traits of Children with ADHD
Besides the innumerable challenges, kids with ADHD demonstrate a high level of positive traits…
ADHD has no relation with intelligence or talent as many children with this disorder are gifted either intellectually or artistically. Children with ADHD often display an incredibly imaginative and creative trait. With a tendency to daydream these kids have different thoughts and ideas at one go, that they may master the art of problem solving or a creative artist. Their observing trait is amazing and they can make note of things, which others may not.
Children with ADHD possess lively and fun loving personalities with innumerable interests. They are rarely boring and make interesting companions
Motivation in children with ADHD proves an asset as they strive to succeed and remain attentive to the tasks they are interested in.
Parenting a child with ADHD drains the energy with constant monitoring and tremendous patience. To make matters worse ADHD is often attributed to bad parenting. This certainly is untrue. Nevertheless, there are effective ways to take control of the situation and restore peace, all the while making the best use of the child’s talents and positive traits.
Here are a few suggestive tips to minimise the symptoms of ADHD in kids…
A Systematic Routine
Setting up a time schedule of waking up in the morning to meal times, study time, entertainment playing and bedtime is imperative. Besides, it is essential to make the child understand that he has to adhere to the routine timings. Hence, writing them on a board and hanging it in the room would sure help.
Set Up Rules
Set up rules for the entire family’s behaviour and conduct. These ought to be made clear followed by the repercussions for breaking of rules. Therefore, similar to the schedule create a board with the rules and the results for breaking them and hang them in the room in full view of the child. The repercussions of breaking the rules should be regular, immediate and just. Nevertheless, when the child breaks the rule a single warning in a quiet voice works well and just in case it does not provide result, it is advisable to go through the punishment as stated. Nonetheless, it is important that parents should refrain from physical punishment as it has a tendency to make matters worse.
Make the Instructions Implicit
Explain the rules in a clear and crisp manner to the child holding his attention looking directly into his eyes. Moreover, it is better to make the child repeat the rules to ensure that he has fully understood them. Repeating instructions several times will not solve the purpose. For slightly hard tasks one or two instructions can be given. When the task is completed reward the child every step and do not fail to congratulate him.
Remain positive and instruct the child about what is required to be done instead of repeatedly telling what should not be done. Any small deed that the child attempts such as closing the door without making any noise or getting dressed without seeking any help needs to be greatly appreciated and rewarded with smiles, a pat on the back or with words of appreciation and praise. Since a majority of the day is spent on pointing out their mistakes, it is very important to reward them for good behaviour and boosting confidence.
Make certain that the child is under constant adult supervision more than an ordinary child to avoid mishaps. This is mainly due to the child’s tendency towards impulsive behaviour.
Maintain a Homework Routine
Opt for the same place for completing the homework every day. This place will have to be far from distractions corresponding to other people, video games and television. Divide homework time into small sessions and have breaks. For instance, feed a snack after school and engage him in playful activities for a few minutes followed by the homework. Stop in between for brief, enjoyable breaks that permit your little one to do anything enjoyable. Encourage the child well, but make sure that he completes his homework. Concentrate on his efforts instead of getting fixed on grades. It is crucial to allow the child to progress in his own time and naturally.
Assist In School Activities
School going days might prove a difficult time for the child. If the child is rather slow in the mornings it is important to give him ample time to get dressed and have his breakfast. To have more time in the mornings, keeping the books and clothes ready the previous night would prove helpful.
Focus on the Child’s Friends
Developing social skills is one of the most difficult tasks a child with ADHD. Hence, it would be wise to choose his friends with utmost care. Opt for a couple of playmates with similar physical ability and language. Invite them to the house and monitor the way they play. Disallow physical abuse such as pushing, screaming and beating one another within the confines of the room or premises. Compensate the child being well behaved while playing.
Assist in Development
Supply relevant toys, games and involve in games that require motor activities. Expose him to opportunities that will stimulate growth and development. Take the child to the library and encourage him to select books that interest him. Keep stimulating reading material at home and share them with him. Read interesting stories and encourage them to discuss narrate and read the books.
Apart from these, acceptance is the key. Learn to accept the child for whatever he is and it is better to be realistic where expectations and demands are concerned.