Having a child with Attention Deficit Disorder can be taxing on a parent. Many schools and psychologists will push medicating your child in order to help them adapt. In some cases, they push so hard for the drug that you feel like you’re in a back-alley somewhere haggling over a price. It doesn’t have to be this way, however. Depending on the degree of ADD within your child, there are many ways you can help a child cope with day-to-day activities without the use of a pill.
1. Routines – While some households implement routines, those with children who are truly ADD need to have a greater vigilance against deviations. Routines that are regular and unwavering will have a better chance of being absorbed by your child than those that are more relaxed in dedication. No matter how bad your day has been or how busy you may seem to be, a vigilant attitude when developing routines needs to be adhered by yourself as well as your child.
2. Repeat Instructions – For a child with ADD, repeating the instructions can help keep him or her more focused on what needs to be done. Try not to get frustrated when you have to repeat yourself for the child is easily distracted and needs the instructions repeated in order to help remember that they were supposed to be doing something else.
3. Eye Contact – Look directly at your child and make sure they are looking directly at you. If they maintain eye contact while you are giving them instructions, there is less chance of immediate distraction. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t get distracted on their way to doing what you need done. If you child is severely ADD, maintaining eye contact may be next to impossible, but you should try this exercise regularly. Remember, we are trying to build routines and eye contact while conversing can be a routine that will be beneficial in the long run.
4. Repeating Themselves – A great way to help keep the child focused on task is to have them repeat the instructions back to you. This will let you know that they heard and understood the entire instruction. A routine of having the child repeat the instruction to you could be habit forming as they continue the practice while in school. Even if they say it to themselves, at least it’s a step in the right direction that they are hearing and understanding what needs to be done.
5. Energy Dissipation – A physical activity prior to needing your child to pay attention helps them focus as they burn off the excessive energy they seem to have. Exercises first thing in the morning can be a family activity that can help reduce a child’s energy level before school starts. It could also be a good routing to get into as everyone in the family could benefit from a morning exercise plan. The reason behind making it a family activity is so that you don’t seem to single out the child who suffers from ADD. You don’t want to indirectly cause resentment by making a single individual commit to a daily regimen of exercising.
It seems the pharmaceutical companies have more interest keeping people buying pills over treating or facing the problem directly. There’s no profit in curing the problem without the use of swallowing pills on a daily basis. Helping your child cope with ADD isn’t going to be an overnight fix and will be dependent on your own sacrifices and dedication. For children who are truly ADD, they simply don’t know any better and it will be up to you to help them keep focused and on task.
About The Author:
This post is contributed by Christine Maddox. Currently she is pursuing her Master’s degree from University of Texas as well as blogging for www.4nannies.com. She loves to write anything related to parenting, kids, nanny care etc. She can be reached via email at: christine.4nannies @ gmail.com.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents of ADD children.