August 1, 2011

Managing Your Child's ADHD

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or if you have a child with ADHD tendencies you know how challenging it is for them to be organized and stay focused on tasks. As parents it's important to teach your child ways to manage their ADHD symptoms.

Since school will soon be back in session this is a perfect time to consider what strategies you'll need to implement at home to help your child be successful this coming school year.

Break things down into steps so it's not so overwhelming.

Make lists, use visual charts and post-it notes. 

Have a "marked" place for everything.

Use "When.....Then" directions.

Establish a token or points system for immediate rewards. Tokens can be taken away as a consequence.

Play board games. Video games can be over-stimulating. Suggested games are Checkers, Chess, Connect Four, Trouble, Jenga, Memory, and Pick-Up-Sticks. These games involve strategy which teaches focusing, slowing down and impulse control - all of which can also help build confidence.

Cook together. Use simple recipes with few steps and it will teach your child a fun and healthy way of following directions.

Have a "Special Time" at least once a week to just enjoy your child and help him feel good about himself. Mark it on the calendar so he knows when to expect it.

Make sure your child gets exercise as well as relaxation times to learn self calming.

Ignore mild, unwanted behaviors and pick your battles.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Good ideas...I use Connect 4 and Pick up Sticks with my kiddos at work. My own son (7) has ADD. I always try to give him specific easy directions (pick up the clothes on your floor vs clean your room)

Our school uses a "reflection" form on the back of their daily behavior log (all students in the building have one). I have encouraged the teachers to use really specific goals. (I will wait until recess to talk with my friends vs I'll pay attention).

It's really sad to set a goal that is biologically out of his control. It's like telling a diabetic to eat a cupcake and then make them feel like a failure if they can't control their blood sugar level.

Thanks for all you do!