Everyone has had moments where they seemed to have an extra amount of energy. Children especially seem to have a never-ending well of it, but some children have a different kind of energy that causes certain behaviors that toe-the-line toward out of control. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could be the reason behind a child’s behavior problems, but knowing symptoms and strengths can help to manage ADHD without any severe impact in your child’s life.
ADHD is a developmental condition that begins during childhood, but can continue throughout one’s life. It’s most common symptoms are inability to keep attention, hyperactive thoughts or actions, and impulsivity. While there are fairly broad terms, here are some things to look for:
- Trouble paying attention
- Easily distracted
- Slower to process information
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Impulsive speech or action
- Impatient and/or interruptive
- Either loud interactions with others, or withdrawn
These are just some symptoms, but having a child with ADHD could be more dangerous than their inability to focus at school. Because of the hyperactive and impulsive nature to this disorder, children may make risky choices. For example, a child with ADHD might run into the street after a ball without looking.
Children with ADHD are very easily distracted, and have difficulty concentrating. Similar to the ball scenario, they don’t always process information how they should. This can become hard for both the parent and child, as both have little ability to control what’s happening. This feeling of having no control is why it is so important to look out for ADHD. If the disorder goes unnoticed, or unrecognized, this battle for control by both children and parents can lead to problems with low self-esteem, feeling like a failure, experiences of criticism, and disappointment.
If diagnosed, there are some simple things that can help your child to not experience excessive negativity discussed above. Teach your child that where the symptoms could be considered problematic, those very same symptoms could be strengths. For example: creativity, eagerness to try new things, energetic, intelligent, and hardworking are some of many.
Things that you can do to help manage your child’s ADHD:
- Physical exercise
- Design short tasks
- Make longer tasks creative
- Changes to their diet
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. If you think your child may have ADHD, talk with your doctor, and come up with routines and management plans that work for everyone in your family. With the hyper-connected, critical world we live in some of the most important things you can do to help is offer support, be patient, and learn with your child.