More than 5 million kids suffer from ADHD in the United States, so you and your little one aren't alone when it comes to trying to find ways to relieve the symptoms they're experiencing. An ADHD doctor should be able to prescribe helpful medication that improves your child's symptoms. There are a few at-home treatments options you can use to support the doctor's efforts and help optimize their results – consider implementing the following ideas:
Commit to a Routine
Every child can benefit from structure while growing up, and it's especially important for kids with ADHD to follow a set routine on a daily basis whether or not they're at home. Once you've set a routine up, it's crucial to stick with the regimen until it becomes a way of life, even if your little one complains. If you're like most parents, you may feel like giving up if the routine doesn't seem to be working.
But if you push through the complaints, your child should start to naturally get used to your routine and daily schedule and think of it as a way of life. After your routine has been in place long enough for your child to get used to it, you should start to see improved functioning and efficiency in them overall. The following tips and tricks will help you create an effective regimen that provides your little one with the structure and routine they need to properly manage their ADHD symptoms:
- Spend time each night prepping for the following morning by taking baths, getting lunches and clothes together, and packing backpacks with school necessities.
- Stick with a specific homework schedule every day of the week, and make sure that your child is able to study in the same place each time if possible.
- Give your kid time to mentally prepare for bed by creating a nighttime ritual to follow. Give them a small snack and glass of water, turn the lights down, and cozy up together to read a short story before it's time for sleep.
- Schedule free time, tooth brushing, chores, and other activities for the same time each day.
It can take several days for your child and other members of your household to get used to new structure implementations. As you hammer out a routine that works for your entire household, remain consistent with a new idea for at least a week before deciding whether or not that aspect of the routine will work.
Encourage Plenty of Exercise
You can expect regular exercise to improve your child's overall health, stifle their ADHD symptoms, and quiet their mind so they can take a break from the obsessive thinking patterns that are typically a result of attention deficit disorder. Making sure that your little one is active every day is an effective way to naturally increase their body's dopamine levels, which will provide them with similar results as popular prescription medications such as Ritalin.
Daily exercise is sure to diminish anxiety, reduce hyperactivity, and decrease overall restlessness as well. Your little one can play in the backyard, take a bike ride with friends, or play fetch with the dog to gain the benefits of exercise. Joining a sports team or after-school program at the local Boys' and Girls' Club will also keep your child active and teach them how to work as a group and be better team players. Make time each day to allow your child to engage in their favorite physical activities so they focus on the fun aspects of exercise and never look at it as work.
Hold a family meeting before implementing these techniques to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that each person knows what they can do to help. For more information and advice, talk to a doctor at a facility like Integrative Brain and Body.