ADHD is a condition with no off switch. The high energy levels can leave parents exhausted and emotionally drained. Along with the issues surrounding routines, medications, and meltdowns, parents worry about the future for their child. ADHD can hamper a person’s ability to learn, which can affect their career options and ability to achieve their dreams. To put your mind at ease, here are four ways you can help your child with ADHD succeed in life.
- Create A Support System
Every child needs a support system, as do parents. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” doesn’t only refer to the mother’s need for support. Different people bring different perspectives to the child-rearing process. Bring professionals in your community if you have a child with ADHD. This can include developmental psychologists, high school tutors, teachers, and family members. ADHD is a difficult condition to navigate, but a support system can help the entire family through even the most difficult times.
- Consider Your Lifestyle
No parent wants to imagine that there is anything they are doing to exacerbate a condition like ADHD. By and large, the medical community agrees with this mindset, believing that ADHD is uncontrollable unless medication is used to suppress it. However, more and more research into mental health and conditions like ADHD is revealing that there is a link between gut health, mental illness, and learning disabilities.
It has been discovered that children with ADHD have a rare problem in the gut. They are unable to assimilate essential fatty acids, which are crucial for brain health. This research is still very rudimentary, but it offers a whole lot of promising ideas. Parents might be able to help kids overcome the condition by paying attention to their gut health. This involves eliminating preservative-laden foods, sugar, and other artificial products that wreak havoc on the delicate flora balance in the gut.
- Create Self-Regulation Tools
Self-regulation refers to a person’s ability to bring themselves back to a state of mental equilibrium when they have been upset or over-excited. Though it is difficult for kids with ADHD, it’s also a skill that many neurotypical adults have not yet mastered! Stroking something soft, like a stuffed animal or a fluffy blanket, has a tremendously calming effect on most children. Those with ADHD often find an external activity like this can help them find their way back to a state of calm.
To find the right self-regulation tool for your child, establish whether they are visual, sensory, or auditory learners. Visual learners might benefit from something like this calming jar, whereas sensory learners would enjoy the stroking exercise mentioned earlier. Auditory learners might benefit from an exercise like clapping, in which you have the child clap along with you. Start at a rapid pace and gradually slow into a calm rhythm.
- Practice Compassion For Yourself And Your Child
This condition can leave parents emotionally and physically drained. While child-rearing is tiring for everyone, parents who are keeping up with a kid who has ADHD are often running at an energy deficit. Take the time to recharge your batteries (this is essential) and practice self-compassion. The condition is not your fault, and neither is it your child’s fault. A big part of successfully caring for a child with ADHD involves scheduling downtime for yourself.
Though raising a child with ADHD will always involve extra challenges, by following the tips above, you should be able to make it more manageable and enjoyable.