There is one issue practically all parents and teachers have to face more and more often: hyperactivity or ADHD in children. ADHD means a condition in kids and adults called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This phenomenon is caused not only by psychological but by social and ecological factors as well.
ADHD is pronounced mostly in kids of the older preschool or younger school age. When education becomes one of the main kid’s activities, cognitive load increases. Children are prompted to focus their attention on their study material for longer periods of time, to complete every task they have begun, and to make good progress. This is when ADHD shows itself quite vividly. Parents start to notice numerous negative results of their child’s restlessness, disorderliness, inattention, and excessive activity. No wonder that many of the worried moms and dads seek some professional help.
So how does hyperactivity manifest itself?
According to psychologists, the following signs may indicate that your child has ADHD.
1. Your kid fidgets restlessly while sitting, twisting about and writhing.
2. Your kid just won’t sit still when you tell him to do.
3. Your child gets distracted all the time.
4. Your child sometimes acts without thinking of the consequences, but at the same time, he doesn’t seek for any adventures or some thrill (for example, tries to run across a busy road without looking around).
5. He can hardly wait for his turn while playing with his friends or interacting with other kids during classes, trips or holidays, etc.
6. He answers questions without thinking or without hearing them out.
7. He experiences difficulties while working with the tasks he’s been given (and these difficulties are not caused by negative behavior or lack of understanding).
8. Your child finds it hard to focus when playing or doing his homework.
10. He frequently starts a new activity before he finishes the previous one.
11. He just can’t play calmly or quietly.
11. He is very talkative.
12. You kid frequently interferes with others’ activities (for example, tries to get involved in a game some other kids are playing).
13. It often looks like your child doesn’t listen to what you say to him.
14. He often loses things he needs at school or at home.
How can you manage your child’s hyperactivity?
– React to your child’s actions immediately.
— Try to hold back your negative emotions, especially if you are upset or disappointed by your kid’s behavior. Give your kid as much emotional support as possible every time he shows signs of constructive, positive behavior, even if these signs are very small. Do your best to really understand your child.
— Avoid forceful words and phrases, harsh judgments, reproaches, and threats that may create tension and lead to a conflict. Try to say words like “no”, “don’t”, “stop it” as seldom as possible. It would be so much better to shift your child’s attention to some other subject and, if possible, use your sense of humor.
— Be careful about what you say and how you do it. Anger and indignation are hard to control. When showing disapproval, don’t manipulate your child’s feelings and never humiliate him.
— If possible, let your child have a room or a nook of his own where he can study, play or just spend some time alone. It’s not recommended to use bright colors or complex designs in your child’s room decoration. Your hyper kid won’t be able to avoid all the distractions on his own.
— The very way your child’s schedule is organized should have a calming effect on him. Make a schedule together with your child and show both flexibility and insistence when you make sure your kid follows it.
— Clearly specify a certain scope of duties your child has to perform and monitor the way he does it — but don’t be too strict. Mark his efforts as often as you can and praise him for every bit of success, even if the results of his activity are far from perfection.
— Give your child and opportunity to release his energy systematically in the right direction. If you have a boy, let him play football or attend courses of any other sport activity. If you have a girl, let her dance, do aerobics, or attend lessons of swimming.
— If your child can’t sit still for a while, find out what he likes to do while sitting – to draw, poker, make some items from wood, or maybe you girl likes to knit or sew, or something like that, and let your child do this for an hour or till he is bothered and then alter this with an active activity.
No matter what you do, remember that your active cooperation with your kid will affect your (and your child’s) ability to establish a deeper emotional bond and to understand each other in the most positive way.
Never give up. Love your hyper kid. Help him be more successful at everything he does, including his study at school — and he will overcome all the difficulties much easier.