6 Tips on how to help a child with ADHD from one who has overcome it.
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Yes, it is true. I have completely overcome ADHD, being 12 years symptom and medication free! I had ADHD as child, and I have several great tips to give you on how to help a child with ADHD to overcome it. Here are the best 6 that I have. I hope you are ready.
The first thing is to understand what the child is actually going through. Reading books, doing research and asking our doctors about ADHD is a good start, but we get the typical answer. We find ADHD defined as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. We learn about a list of symptoms and possible causes, but none of that gives you much insight into what a child with ADHD is actually experiencing.
However, from the perspective of one that has been there, the experience is one of hypersensitivity to stimulus. It is almost as if all the senses are heightened and competing for one’s attention, and there is an interest in everything. This can lead to a lot of creativity and ideas, but can become very overwhelming for a child. This is exactly what happened to me; and can cause a lot of emotional behavior, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and focus problems that can lead to emotional outbursts.
In order to help a child with ADHD, it is really important that we understand their experiences and what is going on inside of them. If we only look at the behaviors or the symptoms, then we can only see what is happening on outside. It will then be nearly impossible to help them resolve the inner struggles that they have that are leading to the outward behavior. You can read much more about the experience of ADHD in my article what is ADHD.
2.) Get the Energy Out
One of the best things I can tell you on how to help a child with ADHD is to encourage them to get the energy out. You can find a healthy outlet for that energy. I recommend drumming, as that was critical for me to get the energy out and begin to focus.
A simple hand drum or even a make shift drum will be good for this. This activity can be actually be anything that is raw like dancing, hiking, swimming, martial arts, hiking, running, gymnastics, etc. However, it must be something they enjoy. This is very important as it will help the child “take the edge off”, and to channel the overwhelming energy into something that is positive.
3.) Getting Grounded
This was something that my mother did that I can say truly changed my life. She helped me to get grounded. I don’t mean to punish the child, but instead to encourage them to develop a connection to the earth, and to become present to this moment.
You may take them for daily walks, bring them to a park, or just bring them to a place surrounded by trees. The more you can bring them to the “now”, the better they will be. In the present moment there is no room for overwhelming emotions or racing thoughts. Again, this must be something they enjoy doing.
4.) Help them discover their gifts
The fourth tip I can give you on how to help a child with ADHD comes after they have begun to calm down by getting the energy out and getting grounded. Explore their interests and natural outlets for creativity. Often times, children that are labeled with ADHD are extremely creative, intelligent, and gifted.
However, the current education system doesn’t necessarily give them the opportunity to channel their gifts. This can become extremely frustrating due to the expectations of school to get good grades and do well.
Children labeled with ADHD often learn differently, and can succeed in the environments that allow them to explore this part of themselves. I encourage you to help them discover how they learn, and the interests that they really like.
I know for myself that this was absolutely critical for me to succeed in school, in college, and in the professional world. I had to find my own path. This may mean that they take a non-traditional path to education, explore creative entrepreneurial endeavors, or get involved in the arts.
If you connect with them on their level, and help them through this self-discovery process, it will go a long way in helping them to discover their talents, and gain the focus they need to achieve their dreams.
5.) Become their guide
In order for a child to learn to gain mastery over their emotions and thoughts, they must be taught by someone that has done this themselves. It is extremely important that you commit to working on yourself as much as you wish to help this child. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but in reality, it is necessary.
If you and this child are on a plane that loses oxygen, who do you put the oxygen mask on first? You have to embody the principles of centeredness, peace, and positivity so that this child can begin to model that behavior.
My mother had to work on herself before she could truly help me, and this was by far the most important thing she did. There is no way that I was going to be able to overcome my challenges if she was stressed out and off her center all the time.
Learning how to help a child with ADHD is a lot about learning how to master your own emotions so that you can be a proper guide. I know this may be difficult to do as you may feel guilty for spending time on yourself to get relaxed, but it is critical.
I suggest you learn meditation, tai chi, yoga, or another mind-body practice to assist you in this journey. It is important that you learn to forgive yourself and carry as little guilt and self negativity as possible.
Children are very sensitive, and so you really want to embody self-love. You can also teach these techniques and methods to the child, and this will help them gain mastery over their experiences.
6.) Belief and Love
The final tip that I have is to really and truly believe in them. The love and support was absolutely critical for me, and is essentially the best tip that I can give you on how to help a child with ADHD. The stigma and judgment from society, peers, school, teachers, and at home can lead to a child that has a very low self esteem.
I know from my own life that for years I did not like who I was, and this kept me trapped in negative thinking. Children that have been labeled with ADHD have so much to offer this world. They have dreams, visions, insights, and ideas that need our support. They need to know that it is ok to be them, and that we love who they are. The more love and support we can give them, the more they will come to believe in themselves and unleash their greatness.
These 6 tips on how to help a child with ADHD can be applied to your child, to a relative, or even to students in a school. I can tell you from one who has been there, that having someone who is willing to empower you, to believe in you, to help you get grounded, and to guide you in discovering who you are can make the biggest difference.
I have completely overcome ADHD thanks to the support of those special people in my life who believed in me at a time when I did not believe in myself. With these tips you can be that special person for a unique child and help them to unleash their magic while inspiring them towards greatness.
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