Raising a hyperactive child can be a hard trek for parents as they navigate the rough terrains of emotional, social, and occupational functioning. Hyperactivity is often a consequence of a neurological problem, ADHD i.e. attention deficit hyperactive disorder. An ADHD child is inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. According to research, ADHD is also associated with impaired cognitive development which means low memory and higher reaction time. Low self-esteem is another symptoms condition. As a result, parents face a lot of stress as they struggle to limit the destructive behaviour of their children.
There are no hard and fast approaches to manage hyperactive kids, however, depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition, a few tailor-made techniques can help. Apt parenting is the most important part of ADHD treatment.
How to handle a hyperactive child?
The foremost advice for parents is to accept the fact that their child’s brain functions differently than others. A special child needs special treatment which involves behavioural interventions and medications. You have to first reform your own behaviour to manage the behaviour of your child.
To regulate the behaviour of your child, you can:
- Encourage good behaviour by rewarding or praising
- Restrict bad behaviour by associating it with unwanted results
Be flexible in your approach when it comes to this therapy. Do not be too strict towards the child. She/he needs time to understand and adapt to change. Allow the child to learn through their mistakes. Discouraging wrong behaviour with anger might result in your child resenting you and not paying heed to you at all. ADHD kids are sensitive to criticism, so maintain the balance. Now let’s get to parenting tips for ADHD kids:
1. Make rituals and routines
A daily schedule can help your child complete his/her daily chores, in the same manner, each day. Institute entertaining customs around study time, playtime, meals, sleep and wake time so that your child is motivated to follow them.
2. Turn complexities into simplicities
Due to diminished cognitive skills, ADHD children find it difficult to remember a long list of instructions and duties—that’s why it is better to break them into smaller pieces of information. Make sure that your child maintains eye contact while you give the instructions so that he/she can register and retain them well. You can also write the instructions for the child and give a different colour to each instruction so that he/she can memorize them easily.
3. Decrease distractions
- ADHD children get easily distracted, so try to keep him/her away from TV, loud music, mobile, and computer games as they can over-excite your kid. Instead, engage your child in outdoor activities, so that energy stores that have been built up can be utilized.
- While you're at it, give a calm and chaos-free space to your child for activities like homework so that they can concentrate. Make sure your child doesn’t feel punished or ignored while working. Their workspace should be as inviting as possible.
- Also, keep your home organized so that your child also knows and remembers the places where necessities are stored.
4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A few lifestyle interventions can go a long way in helping your child.
- Exercise: According to studies, 30 minutes of exercise—then be it running, playing, or swimming—can make a hyperactive child feel calmer and focus better. It also decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Sleep: A peaceful sleep is a must for children with ADHD. It can be a game-changer. According to research, just 30 extra minutes of sleep decreases restlessness and impulsive behaviour to a large extent. That said, falling asleep is a difficult task for ADHD kids. So, ensure that their bedtime is consistent and the bedroom is dark and has a comfortable temperature.
5. Build trust with your child
- Believe in your child. As a parent, your relationship with your child is of the utmost importance. Also, don’t let anyone pull your child down. Advocate for your little one. Build and protect his/her self-esteem by being patient and understanding.
- You must also ensure to talk to your child. Interact with them about the little things, like a story or book. Spend some special time with them and give them extra attention, including creating avenues for fun and relaxation. This will allow the child to express his/her thoughts without fear to you. Verbalisation curbs overactive behaviour.
6. Aggression management in ADHD children
Frequent episodes of aggressive behaviour in hyperactive children are common due to the fact that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that increases the chance of emotional dysregulation. Moreover, stressful situations accompanied by anxiety and depression tend to make them short-tempered and impatient.
The best way to control aggression outbursts is by giving them a time-out. Remove yourself and your child from the triggering situation. Try to ignore the mildly rebellious behaviour. When your child doesn’t get any attention for his deed, he/she might just forget it and cool down.
7. Relax, calm down, and take a break
Nurturing an ADHD kid can be really taxing. So don’t forget to devote some time to yourself to rejuvenate and calm down. Go out for a movie, jog, or indulge in any hobby that soothes you. The calmer you remain as a parent, the better you will be able to manage your child.