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Celebrate! ADHD - Quick Tips to Help Children with ADHD
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Circles Need Squares.
A good phrase to remember. Children with ADHD are like circles. Their minds can go around and around, without borders or definition. So they need squares in their lives to provide boundaries and order:
Physically -- A neat, orderly house and work space with everything in its place
Mentally -- Written To-Do lists
Emotionally -- Strong, steady, calm parents with clear rules and consequences.
Remember to Celebrate.
Take a moment and think of ONE GOOD QUALITY you see inside your child. Tonight, before bed, tell your child that you really love that quality. Tell him or her why you do, how it helps others or makes you feel, why you are proud of him. No matter what else is happening, even if you've had the worst meltdown ever, find that one quality and celebrate it. Then write me and tell me how your child responds.
Give Your Children LESS STUFF and MORE TIME.
Kids with ADHD crave and need one-on-one time. Please don't substitute things for time, it tends to contribute to our kids being unsettled and more easily bored. Next time you are tempted to buy them something, say no and plan to spend an hour alone with them instead.
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Who Says You Can't Chew Gum in School?
Sometimes chewing can help ease tension or increase attention. Some children like to chew gum or pen caps or something else comforting. Is this really a big deal to the school? No, and if it helps your child, have the teachers make this accommodation.
Study while doing repetitive, enjoyable tasks.
Sometimes focusing too intently makes everything scrambled for children with ADHD. So quiz your child or have him think about lessons while he's doing something like shooting a basketball, bouncing a ball against a wall or kicking a soccer ball back and forth. The act of doing something physical and active, especially outside in the fresh air, without having to think about it, can relax your child and help him recall information.
Enjoy Your Child.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up teaching, instructing, disciplining, pestering, raising and reminding our kids that we forget the most important thing we can do: enjoy them. Don't let your home become an explosive household filled with tension and constant activity. Take time to watch your child and appreciate his uniqueness. Laugh. Play. Giggle. Forgive. Ask for forgiveness. Give them nights off from homework when they need it. Be their advocate, be on their side. Have an ice cream sundae on a school night.
Click Here for Life-Changing Insight and Action Plans for your Child.
Expose your child to extracurricular activities.
Our job as parents and teachers is to prepare our children to be successful in life, not just school. Our kids often develop helpful qualities such as leadership, teamwork, discipline and responsibility through Scouts, sports, music lessons, etc. And don't forget the value of simple playing and exploring, especially for younger kids. Try not to force your child to lose recess and play time in order to complete extra homework--they need a balanced life just as we do.
Experiment with stimulation-auditory and visual.
Some children with ADHD can't stand the sound of absolute silence. So experiment. Run a small fan where they do homework for background noise. Let them play music. Sometimes they can get into a "rhythm" of thinking. Experiment with a totally quiet place. Or mix it up and go to a mall food court or Subway shop-sometimes they do better with lots of stimulation around them. It can actually help them focus and enjoy their work more. Sit outside and do homework. Experiment away until you find combinations that work best for your child.
Turn Bedtime into Meaningful Time.
I know, by the end of the day, you can't wait for your child to go to bed! But don't miss out on this opportunity. It is often the best time to listen to them and find out what's going on inside them.
So lie down with them at bedtime and talk quietly-tell them why you wanted to have a child, tell them you are glad that they were born and that they are your son or daughter, tell them all the good things you see inside them, that even if they can't get graded on their curiosity and laugh and wit and ability to put things together or draw or sing or make people happy, those are wonderful qualities. Pray for them and thank God in front of them for their special qualities. Your child's heart is more important than anything else.
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