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Tips for making Life with an ADHD child easier
Calming an ADHD child without medication is tricky business and it definitely requires some perseverance!
But if your dead set on sticking to natural treatments for your ADHD child then keep reading!
I understand your struggle. We are 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.”
Ummm.. okay….what? I mean.. How?
Because I feel your pain, I’ve put together a list of easy natural treatments and behavioral therapy for children with ADHD!
This list will only include SIMPLE to implement strategies for calming an ADHD Child
I’ve decided to write down 10 Simple things I do regularly to make life with my ADHD Child a little easier.
NATURAL TREATMENTS for Children with ADHD
Switch to “Homemade” lemonade.
This WEIRD TIP was 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 would help detox my ADHD child’s system naturally!
The important thing to remember is that you have to have REAL lemonade, not some super sugary grocery store mix.
If you’re like me and you aren’t into squeezing your own lemons regularly, then you can grab a bottle of this. It’s all natural and only has 1 ingredient! Organic Lemon Juice.
WARNING: THEY ARE NOW ONLY SELLING THIS IS PACKS OF 6! You could check your local store’s organic section for a similar product.
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 (For children, I specifically recommend THIS brand, which is a perfect addition to your homemade lemonade.)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!!!
Put Epsom Salt in his nighttime bath.
In addition to (or instead of) the magnesium supplements above, adding Epsom salt will allow your child to take in magnesium 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!
I’m sure you are already aware that taking a warm bath before bed as a nightly routine can help your child wind down for sleep.
Adding magnesium (which is a natural muscle relaxer)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!)
Tickle Time (or tell them some jokes!)
If bedtime is an issue (or even if it’s not) try
Several studies promoted by the National Institute of Health laughter significantly increases melatonin production (the chemical that tells your brain it’s tired!
So that old idea about getting all “riled up” before bed is not true at all! Instead of telling your kids to settle down… get them giggling (do this about an hour before bedtime in order to get the maximum effect)!
Praise him/her at least 5 times daily, for no reason.
Wait – Is praising your child really a natural treatment for ADHD?
You bet it is! Praising your child will increase his dopamine levels which is something that is notoriously lacking in children with ADHD.
Easy right? Well to be honest, this one can actually be a little challenging until you understand how and why.
I specifically chose the number 5 because it’s attainable but gives you a measurable goal to meet. But you don’t have to stick to my number. You may choose 7 or even 10 times but set a goal and stick to it.
Now let’s talk about why this is so important. As an elementary educator, I had the opportunity to see this praise technique in action many times.
However, it wasn’t until my own son began showing signs of ADHD that I really started thinking about WHY this technique works.
Studies show that children with ADHD have lower self-esteem (likely due to low dopamine levels and constantly being “in trouble”.)
In fact, nearly 70% of people diagnosed with ADHD will seek treatment for depression as a teenager or adult. THIS IS HUGE!
That is why it is so important to remind your child how amazing he/she really is regularly.The trouble is that you likely don’t see many behaviors that are worthy of praise.
No problem!! You don’t need to wait for a good deed to praise your child.
During a quiet moment, when your child isn’t really doing anything spectacular simply say “You’re such a sweet boy” or “Do you know what a good girl you are?” Or simply send one of these cute little note cards in his lunch box!
>>>>Read Also<<<<<Best Gifts for an ADHD Child
The relationship you’ll build doing this will be well worth the effort. I promise. Not to mention this follows the biblical principle of “speaking life.”
Visit a 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!
Behavioral Therapy techniques for Children With ADHD
Punish him/her lovingly.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but it bears repeating. Remember that your child acts impulsively and often REGRETS what he’s done the minute you catch him. Out of a desire to stay consistent, you need to follow through with punishment but remember that doing it angrily will only create a rebellious attitude in your child. Disciplining your child in anger will lead him/her to move from impulsive misbehaviors to intentional misbehaviors. Imagine if your spouse berated you every time you made a mistake. Eventually, you would stop trying to please him. Also remember that just as you are using these techniques to teach your child self-control, God is using your child’s behavior to teach you love and patience.
Do chores TOGETHER
Doing chores with a child -especially a child with ADHD can be, shall we say.. somewhat unproductive?
That’s because children with ADHD tend to have an extreme lack of motivation for tasks that feel mundane or difficult. But doing your chores with your child can solve BOTH issues.
Getting to spend time with you will give your child the motivation they need to get invested in the opportunity. And since you are working alongside him, you also have an opportunity to show him the “proper” way to put the dishes in the dishwasher!
So next time you assign your child a chore, 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 5 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.
Play something of his choice.
You can stop.
Sometimes, the better choice is to simply play with them.
If your child is playing legos, then sit down next 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 the next behavioral therapy tip!
Intentionally model or role play good behaviors
Children learn everything they know about behavior from the role models around them. Which means that your child will never learn how to regulate and correct his own behaviors unless you show him how!
For ADHD kids, their working memory and self-control
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:
You 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.
Make 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.
Learning self-control is a huge probably for kids with ADHD because the impulsivity
That’s why I now TRY to put him in a position where he has to wait purposefully.
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.
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.”
We use our Music unlimited subscription to stream it free! YOU CAN USE THIS LINK TO GET A 30 DAY FREE TRIAL.
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.