How to Help Children With ADHD

Connie McKinneyStarred Page By Connie McKinney, 3rd Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>ADHD & ADD

Doing puzzles, playing Simon Says and sticking to set routines are some ways parents can help children with ADHD cope. Learn other ways to help your child develop focus, concentration and impulse control.

What Parents Can Do to Help

Playing games can help children with ADHD succeed at school, on the playground and at home. Children with ADHD thrive on routine and structure, blossom during karate classes and require that tasks be broken down into smaller steps.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects about 5 to 10 percent of children. Children with ADHD have trouble staying focused and paying attention and may also run around and climb on furniture due to their hyperactivity.
Playing games and other activities with children with ADHD may help them develop focus, concentration and impulse control. These activities may also bring the parent and child closer and lead to a more peaceful home life. Often, there's a lot of tension in homes where children have ADHD because the parents and child argue frequently over homework and chores not getting done.

Stick to Routines

Make sure children stick to a routine. Try and keep them on a set schedule of activities every day. For example, 3 to 3:30 p.m. is snack time, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. is homework time and 4:30 to 5:30 is play time.
Make sure they have a quiet homework space free of distractions such as TV and the computer. Be sure they have enough pens, pencils, papers and other supplies so they don't have an excuse to get up from the desk or table. Have them do homework at the same time and place each day so they can begin to form a homework habit.
Help them to stay organized. Be sure they have color coded folders and notebooks. For example, use a blue folder and notebook for math, a green one for English and a red one for science.
Use a chore chart to give them a visual image of what they're supposed to do. For example, if one of their chores is making the bed, clip out a picture of a bed from a magazine or print one off the computer. Then paste the picture on the chore chart under the heading: make your bed.
Keep it simple and use as few words as possible. Some children like to have pictures of cats, wizards or Justin Bieber on their chore charts. That may motivate them to make their bed every day.
Here are some more tips on helping your child stay organized:

Break Tasks Down

Parents often get frustrated and complain that their child with ADHD just doesn't listen when they talk to them. What may be happening is they may not be able to process verbal commands well.
For example, you may tell your child to "hang up your coat, wash your hands and put your book bag away." A child with ADHD may have lost you by the time you said "coat." Instead, give your child one command at a time and give him or her time to process it.
So tell them, "hang up your coat." Then, tell them to wash their hands and then tell them to put their book bag away.
Another helpful hint is to break big tasks down into smaller ones. Instead of saying, "go, clean your room," start with "go upstairs and pick up your toys." Then, tell them to pick up their dirty clothes and put them in the hamper. Then, tell them to get out the vacuum cleaner and vacuum.

Play Games to Develop Concentration

Many games can help your child with ADHD develop focus and attending skills. Play card games such as Concentration. Jigsaw, word search and hidden object puzzles also help with focusing attention.
Play word games with your child when you are in the car with them or just relaxing at home. Play the Opposite game where one person says one word and the other person has to give the opposing word. For example, one person says: dark and the other person says: light.
Or play number games with your child. For example, count backwards from 100 using 3's. Or count by 4's up to 100. Feel free to make up your own games.

Play Impulse Control Games

The classic children's game Simon Says is really an impulse control game and great for children with ADHD. The game leader may tell them:"Simon says: touch your nose. Simon says: touch your cheeks. Touch your ears. Children need to stop, listen and resist the impulse to touch their ears.
Another game which helps develop impulse control skills is Freeze Tag. Children have to "freeze" when they get tagged.
Red Light, Green Light is another game in which children need to control their impulses. When they hear green light, they can move forward. They need to stop when they hear red light.

Karate Can Help Children With ADHD

Learning karate can help children with ADHD develop many skills they struggle with. Parents often hesitate to sign their children up for karate classes, fearing they'll learn to be violent. They shouldn't worry. Karate has numerous benefits for all children, especially those with ADHD.
Karate helps children with ADHD develop focus, self-discipline and respect. Children bow to their teacher or sensei. Good manners and respect are constantly emphasized during classes, according to Parenting magazine.
Karate helps children with ADHD develop self-control. They learn how to control their impulses and how to be more patient.
After taking your child to karate class, make sure you make some time to play with him or her. You'll all have fun, and your child will begin to develop the skills needed for success.

Here is an article I did on recognizing ADHD in children
Here is a free online source for word search puzzles
Here is a free online source for hidden object puzzles


This article used some information on how karate helps children with ADHD from Parenting
This article was based on my experience working with children with ADHD and their families.
The video came from You Tube.
The photos came from except for the Simon Says photo which came from Wikimedia Commons.


Adhd, Adhd Advice, Adhd Children, Adhd In Children, Adhd Treatment

Meet the author

author avatar Connie McKinney
I enjoy exercising, pets, and volunteering as well as writing about these topics and others.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Oct 2013 (#)

I know that red and yellow food colorings have also been linked to attention problems in kids but sadly many parents do not seem to want to cut these out of their kids diets (in things such as American Kraft Dinner, candy, drinks, and so forth ) - I believe the UK has banned these colorings in some things such as the Kraft dinner.

I also saw a show that said getting kids out in nature, going for hikes and things like that, proved beneficial too as the kids really focused on studying the natural world.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Mark, I hadn't heard of the food coloring but can research that further. I think everyone benefits from being out and about from nature. You are right; being outside and noticing nature would most likely help develop their attention, too.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Indeed Connie an ADHD child needs a lot of activites as well theyre very intelligent and you have to give them a lot of motivation as well elebrate every achievement they make. Both of my boys are ADHD and bothare currenlty in college one a Media animator and the other as a Physics- Math Major. My gratefulness in this article and god bless you woman filled with a lot of wisdom!!!

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you, Fern. It sounds like you did a wonderful job as a Mom. One of the things I like about writing here is I can share some wisdom which hopefully helps people. Thanks, again, Fern and hope you have a great weekend!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Oct 2013 (#)

All great ideas, thanks Connie...

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author avatar Connie McKinney
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, Delicia.

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author avatar Retired
6th Oct 2013 (#)

Used to help run Carolyn Webster Stratton programmes. I did the under fives, but the Dinasour programme for school age children did seem to help some families.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
6th Oct 2013 (#)

Thnks, Jackalyn. I will check these programs out.

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