Bringing up a child can be a daunting task, especially if the child has some behavioural disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Parenting a child with ADHD can be overwhelming and challenging at the same time. But being a parent, there is a lot you can do to manage the symptoms of ADHD and help your child overcome the daily challenges of attention and learning. But contrary to what we think that a child with ADHD has problems only with concentration, in most cases parents complain that it gets difficult for them to teach their child healthy behavior. They may throw tantrums, be defiant and be quick to lash out irrespective of the surroundings and company around.
In such a condition, doctors usually prescribe medications like antidepressants and stimulants that can balance the brain chemicals controlling hyperactivity and inattention. But there are always drawbacks of such medications as the particular dose of stimulant might not suit your child and you might have to try quite a number of medications before finding the one that suits your child. Also in some cases, the child’s system might get drug resistant.
So if you feel that medication is the not the best way to help your child with ADHD, you can consider these five natural treatments to cope up with the condition.
Encourage a good amount of sleep
Many children with ADHD face problems with sleeping. If your child is one of them, then you must ensure that he/she is getting enough sleep to calm down the restless body and mind. Research has proved that sleeping for an extra one hour during the night helps in the long run. Stick to a routine sleep schedule, make the room dark and at a comfortable temperature. You can also read out your child’s favourite storybook.
Make sure your child eats a healthy balanced diet
Children with ADHD are quite fussy in their eating habits too. They might be adamant on eating processed food and sugary drinks. Refined sugar is said to affect the behavior in your child. Controlling such a diet will improve overall health and increase mental sharpness. Try adding more fruits, vegetables, and food rich in omega-3 fats.
Physical activity should be an important part of therapy for a child with ADHD. Just a 30 minutes exercise routine daily can work wonders for your child. It can help your child to feel calmer and more focused. Try doing this as a family activity, like a walk in the park, or cycling or just a game of catch. Make the activity enjoyable so that your child is interested in participating.
Set out some rules
A child with ADHD faces problems to adhere to verbal instruction. They need some consistent rules that are easy for them to understand and follow. Write down the rules clearly and stick them on your child’s bulletin board or the wardrobe, any place where your child can see and read properly. It is important for a child with ADHD that their instructions are in an organized format. If your child has followed every rule well, reward them praise them and give a positive comment. It’s more than enough to encourage them.
Help your child make new friends and be socially active
Children with ADHD face this problem of learning social skills, hence are often misjudged as aggressive. But that is not the case. Since they are emotionally immature and are teased often by other children, they refrain from mixing socially. Speak gently with your child and help them to change their behavior so as to abide by the social rules.
Managing a child with ADHD can be difficult but seeking the help of a behavioural therapist can be beneficial.