Tips for making Life with an ADHD child easier
Looking for advice about how to calm a child with ADHD without medication?
You've scoured the internet HOPING to find that advice for parenting an ADHD child that will change your life.
You've talked to family and friends.
You've searched for things like How to help an ADHD Child in School
or maybe support for parents of an ADHD child.
You've joined the facebook groups, you've talked to friends and family, but nothing works.
I understand your struggle. ADHD warriors, we've seen it all, heard it all, and probably punished it all. (right?)
I know you've heard advice like "Get her into a good routine," or worse "He just needs a good spanking." >> Insert eye roll here <<
Well if you're anything like me. Advice like "Change his diet" sounds about as easy to you as "Build an Engine."
I mean.. How?
So in the interest of making your life a little easier.
I've decided to write down 10 Simple things I do regularly to make life with my ADHD Child a little easier.
SWITCH TO "HOMEMADE" LEMONADE.
This was a probably one of the simplest and MOST EFFECTIVE things we did. My little man LOVES juice. But most juices are full of sugar and artificial junk. And although I tried denying him juice in favor of water, the tantrums this ensued just did not feel worth it. On the other hand, juice made him a little monster.
So the search began. One day, I was on a diet that required a lemon juice detox and a light bulb went on! OF COURSE! Lemonade! But how could I possibly find lemonade that wasn't chalked full of sugar?
I wasn't interested in squeezing my own lemons on a regular basis. But then I found this Pure Organic Lemon Juice. (It can also be found -for a lower price at most stores that carry organic products). I mix this with water and Stevia for an all natural juice like a drink with absolutely no sugar. AND BONUS DETOXING BENEFITS help negate those times when I'm a not-so-perfect mom I feed him fast food for dinner... yeah... it happens.
ADHD STRATEGy: Start taking vitamins.
Keeping a vitamin regimen straight can be VERY difficult. There are so many opinions out there on what works and what doesn't. But honestly, not every child responds the same or eats the same. So what works for one won't work for another.
For our family there are only TWO vitamins that I feel make a real and legitimate difference in our son's behavior!
1.) Magnesium ( THIS is the exact one we use)
2.) Smarty Pants Vitamin with Omega 3 and DHA.
The week we began taking these vitamins, my little guy came home from preschool with positive reports for the first time ever. What's even better is that, I never told his teachers that I had made a change so I know they weren't biased. This stuff works. But don't take my word for it, Click the links above and read the reviews!!!
Help your ADHD child get on the right track by Doing chores TOGETHER
Okay, this may not be that simple at first. Doing chores with a child -especially a young child can be, shall we say.. somewhat unproductive? But here's the deal, we all know that giving children chores teaches responsibility but sometimes doing the task yourself is quicker and easier. Instead, you could choose a third option. Assign your child a chore and then offer to help. For example, this week, his/her job is to load the dishwasher after dinner. While finishing up dinner, say something like "You're on dish duty tonight. Would you mind if I help you?"
This accomplishes 4 things.
1. The dishes get done without a fight.
2. Your child feels like you're on his/her team
3. You've bought yourself an in for one on one time.
4. You get the opportunity to teach them to do the job properly.
Let your ADHD Child know you care by Playing something of his choice.
As parents of a child with a disability, we have a tendency to scour the internet for tips, tricks, and things to keep them busy. Sometimes, the best choice is to play with them. If your child is playing legos, simply sit down next to them and start building. If she is playing barbies, get your barbie voice on. This is another great opportunity to get some quality time in and it shows your child that you are interested in what they are doing even when they are behaving. Also, it will give you a chance to practice number 7.
Show your ADHD child how to behave by Intentionally modeling or role playing good behaviors
When you are talking to your children, your husband, or friends. Be very intentional about modeling the behavior you would like your child to use. For example, If your child tends to speak very loudly when they talk and you would like to teach him/her to speak more quietly then an intentional modeling conversation would look something like this:
Begin speaking very loudly to your child about one of his favorite topics. Then, stop mid-sentence and say "oh excuse me, I was talking too loudly," then proceed to speak to him in a quieter voice. Or If aggressive behavior and fighting with siblings is a problem, play along with them as a group, intentionally modeling conflict resolution strategies. Do this regularly and eventually he WILL pick up the habit.
Build your ADHD child's patience by intentionally Making him/her wait
When my son was a toddler, he was very demanding. I made the mistake of trying to fill his needs quickly in order to calm his fits. It took quite a while before I realized I was actually teaching him to tantrum. Now, I make it a point to put him in a position where he has to wait. For example, I used to prepare our dinner plates and keep them on the counter until I was ready to sit down. Eventually, I learned that putting a plate full of food in front of him and requiring him to wait the 3 minutes until we had all sat down to say grace was actually giving him an opportunity to learn self-control. Don't get me wrong. It's not always easy at first, but start small and then as he/she learns, add more opportunity and longer waits. For your child, waiting is not natural, it is a learned skill and you ARE doing him/her a favor by offering this training.
Calm your ADHD Child before bed by Putting Epsom Salt in his nighttime bath.
In additional to the magnesium supplements above, adding Epsom salt will allow your child to take in magesium more naturally. And adding Epsom salt to your nighttime bath routine can make a huge difference! Most experts in the field agree that supplementing magnesium for six months will result in a significant decrease in hyperactivity!
Not to mention, simply the routine of taking a warm bath is calming Also, magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer which will leave your child feeling ready to lie still for bedtime! We personally love this one for before bed and this one for morning baths. (We do this when we can before school to help him stay alert and focused for his day!)
Play music while he/she sleeps.
Playing music for your child at bedtime is RIDICULOUSLY helpful. It cues the brain that it's time to sleep (this is especially true if you play the same music every night.) It canalso help tune out the distractions of whats going outside of thier bedroom.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, playing the right music can help with your child's brain development long term. We recently started using the "ADHD Lullaby" tracks for our sons and we ABSOLUTELY love it.
According to their website:
"ADHD Lullaby™ uses a patent pending method of recording music based upon principles from Neuroscience to specifically help children with ADHD fall asleep easier and stay asleep through the night."
BONUS: Take your ADHD child to the Chiropractor
Because I really want to make your life easier. I couldn't leave this one out. Find a chiropractor who specializes in children's neurology and make]an appointment. He/she will be able to tell you in just one visit if your child has weakness in one hemisphere of the brain. Also, the doctor will stimulate your child's weak spots and give you a few exercises to do at home!
So there it is.. I hope these ADHD tips help make your home just a little calmer.
Do you have an awesome tip to make ADHD more bearable? I'd love to hear it! Share it in the comments below.