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New Year: New Tips For Your Child With ADHD For a Successful Year

Happy New Year! The New Year is the perfect time to start fresh with new habits. Developing positive habits and routines are imperative for Children with ADHD who may have persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In most cases, these children also have an executive functioning deficit, which means that they may struggle to plan ahead, stay organized, and complete tasks. Because of this, children with ADHD may struggle with demands at home and at school. Following these tips can help your child have a successful year ahead.

Establish a Routine: Children with ADHD benefit from having structure and routines. They thrive when the day is predictable and they know what is coming next. The certainty of the day helps children with ADHD feel a sense of security. One way to help develop daily structure is to create visual schedules. This helps your child know exactly what to expect next.

Designate a Quiet Space: Noise and distractions can be very difficult for a child with ADHD. It’s important to create a quiet space for times when your child is expected to concentrate. Instead of doing homework in the kitchen, where other siblings might be running around, or a parent might be starting dinner, designate a quiet space for your child. This might be an office area, where the door can be shut so your child can concentrate.

Organize a Working Space: In addition to a quiet space, children with ADHD struggle when there are many distractions placed in front of them. It’s important to organize their working space to make sure everything has a place. Consider a drawer for sharpened pencils, a notebook for each subject, and a bin for math tools.

Use a Planner: Organizing assignments and due dates can be very difficult for a child with ADHD. One strategy for your child, is to have him/her use a daily planner. The best planners for a child with ADHD have a weekly page layout, a monthly calendar, and lines to write on.

Use Timers: Children with ADHD tend to need many breaks while completing a task. Timers can be an incredible tool for this. Set a timer for 10, 15, or 20 minute increments, depending on the age of the child, and tell your child that he/she can take a break once the timer is completed. This will help your child to stay focused, and then take a break to regroup before getting back to their task.

Break School Assignments into Manageable Steps: A long assignment can be a very daunting task for a child with ADHD. Many times, your child will begin to show negative behaviors when faced with a long and challenging assignment. One strategy to use, is to break the assignment into manageable steps. Work with your child and model how to break up the assignment to show them that this is a strategy they can use moving forward.

Schedule Time for Activity: Children with ADHD tend to have a lot of energy and hyperactivity. The best way to help children to concentrate when they need to, is to give them opportunities to release their energy. Depending on the child, individual sports, like martial arts, might be a better fit than team sports, like soccer. It’s so important to give children with ADHD the opportunity to release their energy.

Provide Proper Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for all children, but especially children with ADHD. Many parents have seen correlations between the foods that their children consume, and the behaviors that arise. Consider making an appointment with a nutritionist to discuss proper nutrition more closely.

Allow for Adequate Sleep: Sleep is vital for your child’s organs, muscles, immune system, and memory. Children should sleep an average of 9-12 hours each night. To ensure your child is getting enough sleep each night, consider creating a bedtime routine, limiting screen time at night, and creating a calm sleeping space.

Create Goals Together: All children work best if they set goals and develop a plan to reach their goals. Sit down with your child and determine 2-3 goals that they want to accomplish this week, month, or year. Then, work together to develop a plan to reach their goals. It’s important to work as a team to help your child have a successful year.

It’s never too late to begin working towards a successful year. These tips will allow your child the structure and guidance they need to have a promising year. For more assistance with your child’s wellness, contact the Children’s Wellness Developmental Center.

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