- Jul 09, 2020
Parenting an ADHD Child: How to Keep Your Hyperactive Kid Focused?
Is your child hyperactive? Are you looking for sustainable ways to parent your child with ADHD? There are several natural ADHD treatments available.
So, what exactly is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder linked to the likelihood of impulsive behaviors due to excessive hyperactivity. You may encounter your child’s inability to focus on one thing at a time – engendering issues with prioritizing, following through, or finishing tasks altogether. Hence, organization may not be their best suit. It also means that they experience restlessness; it is strenuous for them to sit motionless, in one spot, for extended periods. The culmination of all this activity leads to trouble managing their emotions – especially stress and temper. These symptoms can scale from mild to severe, differing from person to person. They usually become noticeable during early childhood and may extend to adulthood. It may feed other problems in the future with relationships, school activities, work performance, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
What are the Side Effects of Using Medication to Treat ADHD?
Do you believe your child is too young for medication? Or are you worried about the side effects it may have? ADHD medication can help balance neurotransmitters. There are different types of medicine to improve the symptoms of ADHD in your hyperactive child:
Stimulants: Amphetamine or Adderall
Non-stimulants: Atomoxetine (Strattera) or bupropion (Wellbutrin). These are the alternative types of medication to be used if the side effects of the stimulants are too much.
These medications can help ignore the distractions, pay full attention to one task, and show improvement in the behavior of your hyperactive child. Despite that, typical side effects include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Intense mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Cardiovascular issues
- Self-harm thoughts or actions
Natural ADHD Treatment for Child
Is it possible to treat ADHD organically at home then? It is indeed!
Here is how to deal with a hyperactive child at home:
Intake of specific vitamins can naturally help your child deal with ADHD, like:
- Iron: This is needed to improve dopamine levels associated with improving the symptoms of ADHD.
- Zinc: This also has a similar purpose as iron. Lack of it could engender problems with paying attention.
- Vitamin C: This is essential for the neurotransmitters in the brain to function efficiently.
- Vitamin B6 and Magnesium: These vitamins assist the healthy functioning of the nervous system. They produce neurotransmitters that are significant for treating ADHD for you, like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Low levels of such vitamins can cause irritability, agitation, and lack of focus, which makes your child act out irrationally.
- Omega-3: Children with ADHD have relatively lower levels of this nutrient.
- Melatonin: If your child is too hyperactive, even though the night when they should be asleep, melatonin supplements are a great way to help them sleep. Sleep is essential for children with ADHD to improve their condition.
You can incorporate food that is rich in these vitamins as a way of natural ADHD treatment for a child, like beans, potatoes, whole-grain breakfast, meat, nuts and seeds, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, green and red peppers, whole wheat, quinoa, dark chocolate, edamame, avocado, fish and other seafood, plant oils, eggs, and vegetables.
Otherwise, taking supplements is also a viable option. But before you do that, please ensure that your child has a blood test to assess their current levels of vitamins before they start taking supplements. It is essential to consult a doctor before doing so. Try adding protein and probiotics to your child’s diet, but try cutting sugar and caffeine out as much as possible. This is the most natural way of knowing how to deal with a hyperactive child at home.
Herbal Medicine and Essential Oils
The combination of these two is known to calm and reduce hyperactivity in children with ADHD, as a result, and is used as a natural ADHD treatment for children for centuries now.
- French maritime pine bark extract
Changes in Lifestyle: Routine, Quiet Place, Exercise, Praise and Empathize
Set a predictable routine for your child with ADHD, as this can help them develop an understanding and expectation of what to focus on when. Make sure there are not too many activities, though. Incorporate organized and outdoor exercise into their routine, like swimming, jumping on a trampoline, or only running with friends. Swimming is known to make people with ADHD feel more relaxed. Exercise releases excess energy due to hyperactivity, which can help them fall asleep more easily at night.
As their parent, be a role model for organization, neat and tidiness in the house. Make sure you set up your home in such a way and establish that everything in the house has its set place. Your child also needs their own quiet space to unwind, especially when feeling overwhelmed.
Praise your child when they complete a task or are behaving appropriately. It is super important as this can help your child with impulse control and attention skills. Empathize with them as well. Put yourself in their shoes. It will help develop a stronger bond with the child, which can be beneficial to fight against ADHD together as a team.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
It is the most effective therapy for an ADHD child. It is a form of talk psychotherapy, that is a hands-on approach, and problem-solving based. It will teach your child to focus and potentially change their pattern of thoughts, differentiate between negative and positive behaviors, and respond rationally. It also helps manage emotions, like anger, stress, and anxiety. To book an appointment for CBT with MindShift Psychological Services, visit our CBT Treatment page.
Child Psychology and Teen Therapy
Two main factors contribute to the development of mental illnesses: genetics and environment. Therefore, your childhood and child psychology is known to play a vital role in mental health. It is a huge topic of research in psychology for a reason.
Child psychology can help you as a parent understand how your child is interacting and developing in the physical, emotional, mental, and social realm of society, with themselves, the parents, and the world around them.
Teen therapy has a similar purpose. It helps deal with changes in behavior, personality, and mental health during adolescence. If left untreated, these issues could extend into adulthood, and become much more significant, potentially life-long concerns. It can help teenagers deal with mental illnesses like ADHD, anxiety, and depression, to name but a few.
It can benefit your child by making them not feel alone in their battle against ADHD. It will make them feel part of a community that has a similar purpose. It will make them feel better to know that other people can empathize with them and understand them like others may not be able to. Do you think this is the one for your child? If yes, click here to visit our Group Therapy page, find out how you can benefit from it and get started as soon as possible.
More About Us
MindShift Psychological Services includes various other therapies, including psychotherapy for individuals, LGBTQ+ therapy, depression therapy, and more. For more details to determine which type of treatment meets your child’s needs best, or to book an appointment with a mental health professional, visit MindShift Psychological Services.