For the most part, children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are naturally very energetic, but this alone doesn’t justify an actual diagnosis for the condition. Boys, in particular, are a lot more active than other children. Today, children are being misdiagnosed with ADHD and are prescribed medication that is actually not needed. Most of the symptoms that are being labeled as part of ADHD are indeed normal variations of every child’s individual development.
Trust your intuition
Believe in yourself as a parent – you know your child better than anyone else, their likes, dislikes and most of all their capabilities. Schools may at times address hyperactivity in children with parents and urge them to have their children tested for ADHD. For some children who are showing the signs and symptoms of this disorder testing and medication may be beneficial in assisting them to cope and keep up with their classmates. However, for schools that are overwhelmed with children in their classrooms, it may just be a quick fix to ensure that they have children in their classes who sit and listen all day long. Take the feedback from the school into account, but remember that you as a parent should always have the final say and make the decision as to whether medical treatment is warranted in light of the severity of your child’s symptoms.
Research ADHD and ADHD medication
Do some homework and investigate what ADHD is and the types of medications that are used to treat the condition. You’ll find that a common medication used to treat ADHD is Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, sold under the brand name Vyvanse. Visit your local doctor or pharmacist and ask questions that you may have around what the pros and cons of ADHD medications such as Vyvanse are and if there are any adverse Vyvanse side effects that need to be taken into account before you give it to your child. You may have heard that ADHD is when there is a chemical imbalance that can only be treated and corrected with the use of medication. However, the truth of the matter is that not all children benefit from being medicated and only those who are experiencing severe issues should be treated accordingly with the correct dosage of medication.
Should you opt to pursue help for your child who is experiencing inattentiveness, and hyperactivity, why not start with the school and your child’s teachers first. Sit down and have a general chat about any problems, situations or factors that could be influencing your child’s behavior. This may help you to find a solution without the need for medication altogether. However, it may also give you an idea as to what level of medication is required which could aid in your child having fewer side effects due to the correct dosage being given.
You may find that some children can at times be very challenging, but it’s important to keep reassuring and acknowledging good behavior and communication. Try and look at hyperactive behavior as your child being energetic and passionate. Talk to your child and make sure to tell them what you were thankful for and appreciated from them that day.
Pay attention to your child
Set aside some time in your day to spend some alone time with your little one, during which you are able to give him/her your undivided attention. Give your child the freedom (within reason) to decide what activities the two of you should take part in and how to spend your time. Compliment any suggestions that are made. By listening to your child and following their ideas it may increase the probability that he/she may settle and listen to your instructions throughout the remainder of the day.
Speak to your child about undesirable behavior
Be specific when telling your child about the type of behavior that you don’t approve of, but in a positive way. For example, try to avoid saying, “Stop running through the house,” and instead say “Please go and run outside in the garden.” Children love to move around and are happiest when doing so and it’s important to give them the opportunity to do so.
Prepare your child for new situations
It’s natural for most children to become anxious, nervous, super excited and hyperactive in certain situations such as attending a classmate’s birthday party. It’s best to prep your child and have a chat as to what they can expect, for example, who they can expect to see at the party, when people will sing happy birthday and when presents can be opened. Let your child know the type of behavior you would like to see and that you expect for example, that no running will be allowed alongside the pool. Repeat your expectations of his / her behavior throughout the course of the day and acknowledge good behavior.
Listen when your child speaks
Talk to your child about possible suggestions on how to handle and deal with his / her hyperactivity and boisterous behavior. If an idea comes from your child, go with it, they are more likely to adhere to the rules they’ve come up with (within limits) as opposed to being told by an adult.
Join your child in physical activity
Take part in running or swimming or any form of physical activity to help alleviate your child’s hyperactivity.
Talk openly to your child about hyperactivity
Check in with your child regularly and find out if they are experiencing feelings of negativity from either being restless or if they are feeling down due to the reaction of other people. For example, if teachers at your child’s school are focusing on your child’s negative behavior, it’s a good idea to make a suggestion to rather turn the situation around and turn it into a positive such as informing the child that if they don’t jump around in class, they can play with a ball at lunch time in the schoolyard and then they won’t have the teacher being unhappy.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Being a parent is a tough job, and erratic children may at times push you to your limits forcing you to lose your grip and your temper. That’s ok – you are only human. Take a minute for yourself and then apologize to your children for your outburst. Set an example because it’s important to remember that children will imitate your behavior. Let them know that everyone can make a mistake sometimes and that the best way to fix that mistake is to apologize and move forward.
Look after yourself
As mentioned, being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, but in order to be the best parent to your children, you need to ensure that you look after yourself and your partner in order to be the best parents you can be. Raising children who are hyperactive can be very demanding so make sure you lead a healthy lifestyle such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest and exercise. If you have friends or family who have offered to help, take it!