Do you have a wild child? A child that doesn’t stop moving, doesn’t stop talking, makes poor decisions on a regular basis, can only focus on things they love, such as video games? The world is full of these types of children and adults. Some have a diagnosis of ADHD. Some have the combined type of ADHD with the inattentive subtype (aka ADD).
Life is not easy when you have a child that struggles with constant behaviours, poor time management and social skills. A child that needs constant reminders and extra help. However, these children are the ones that suffer the most. They can’t do what other’s appear to do with ease. They get quickly blamed, shamed and labelled. This effects their self concept, their feeling of belonging and fitting in. When their self concept is hurt their self esteem suffers. This image below breaks down what these children struggle with:
These children struggle with executive functioning:
Can you imagine waking up each day and trying to do well at school, with friends, and extra curriculars without these skills? Skills that you and I find easy. Skills we may not realize need to be taught. Not once, but over and over again. There are children that are born resilient, that can do things on their own, they figure it out. Many cannot, it’s our job to help them. This task can be very frustrating, especially when we can’t relate to their daily struggles. I promise the work will be worth it.
Children with ADHD need patience from us, the tools to succeed and lots and lots of repetition. It will be a lot of work now, but in time you will teach your children how to be independent and successful people.
A short list of helpful tools:
- visuals (lists, pictures, calendars etc)
- checklists ( rountines, what goes in my school bag, hockey bag etc)
- timers (clocks, microwave timers, egg timer etc)
- fidget toys (silly putty, fidget for your digit etc)
- lots of praise for their effort will go a long way.
Remember they aren’t waking up each day trying to make you angry. They need help and guiadance. The more attention you start giving to the good behaviour the more you will see the behaviour you want. Children want to do well. Once they learn the skills, parents can start stepping back and watch them do well!
Start with catching them being good. If they can’t sit for ten minutes, catch them in the first five minutes and praise their efforts. Notice what they need help with. What skill do they need and take small broken down steps to show them.
You can do this! Your children will thank you for it later.