Goodness!!! My child is like a tornado, he will not sit still, he loses things, he can’t focus, he will go from one thing to another, his teachers are calling me, he tears things up, and he doesn’t pay attention to anything I say. He is like a tornado that is why I call him Twister.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood disorder that is characterized by symptoms such as hyperactivity as well as difficulty staying focused, paying attention, and controlling behavior. It is estimated children diagnosed with ADHD will be 8 times more fidgety during a day than a child not diagnosed. ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood and can last throughout adulthood.
Kids such as Twister will seem to be always on the move. Just being in the same room with them can wear us out, just by watching them. We see them zip around the room with a very high level of energy. Just imagine, all their energy just building up inside of them. It is like shaking a soda bottle and the energy of the fizz trying to escape the bottle. Where can a child, such as Twister, release their energy? How can they release their energy without destroying something? When we see children, such as Twister, release their energy, we sometimes don’t know how to interpret it. Children’s energy levels are like adults metabolism levels; some are overactive, some are hypoactive, it all just depends on the child.
There are strategies to help the child release some of their energy in a positive manner. I would much rather Twister to release his energy in a positive way rather than tear up a 50.00 remote control car. Here are some tips to help.
- Create a Boredom Box… when a child starts to experience boredom… hyperactivity can set in and this is when they can pull out something from the boredom box. A boredom box can be created with the child. It would be full of items of interest to your child. Allow them to pick out some of the items. The box can contain a bag of legos with a manual of different builds, dress up clothes with shoes and jewelry, art supplies, or a bag full of dinosaurs or cars. The boredom box is an excellent idea to allow the child to release their energy in a positive manner.
- Fidget Alternatives… when a child is trying their best to sit still… you can sometimes observe them squirming and fidgeting in their seats. The child can release some of their energy if they have some object in their hands; something they can manipulate. Such as a pipe cleaner or stress ball. Allowing a child to have this type of item will allow the child to sit still for longer periods of time.
- hoose a Sport… all sports are not well suited for children with ADHD. For instance, if a child is diagnosed with ADHD and enrolls in golf or baseball they might find it difficult to stand still, which in turn will be hard to stay focus. Now, if a child diagnosed with ADHD enrolls in soccer, it can be a different story. They can constantly be in motion and able to focus better. Just remember to pick a sport carefully.
- Work in Bursts…How do you handle tasks such as homework or cleaning their room? Having a child with ADHD to try to stay on task for hours will mostly likely result in a failure. However, if you allow them to work for 15-25 minutes at a time on a task then allow a 5 minute break; they will most likely be more productive.
Stephanie Stiltner, Ph.D., LPCC is the owner and a licensed counselor at Anchored Hope Counseling in Pikeville, KY. Anchored Hope Counseling helps individuals with anxiety, drug addictions, parent-child conflict, and relationship issues, to schedule an appointment go to www.AnchoredHopeCounseling.com