“Sit still!” “Pay attention!” “Keep your hands to yourself!”
These might be common phrases your children hear. For some it may be because they have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), for others it is because they are kids. While it is true that ADHD has increased in the population (due to numerous causes), it is also true that we are quick to diagnose.
Here are a few things to remember:
Kids are supposed to move around a lot. We should encourage them to learn how to sit still, pay attention, and keep their hands to themselves but we should also give them plenty of time to move around, act goofy, and use their hands in play. Google Brain Gym for some great exercises a kid (or anyone) can do when they feel antsy but are not able to go out and play.
Trauma can look like ADHD. If a kid has experienced a trauma in her life, she may have difficulty concentrating, inattention, anger outburst, act impulsive, and be impatient. It is important to have a child screened by a professional-a psychiatrist or psychologist are best. Make sure you give them a complete history of the child and they are looking at all areas of the child’s life. It is important to have the correct diagnosis so treatment can be correct.
Think about how long you can go without moving from a seat. I frequently see other adults standing during a lecture because it is uncomfortable to sit for so long. Are we allowing our children the same thing? My own daughter frequently eats while standing up. Our rule is as long as she still eats over the table she can stand.
Lastly, if your child is diagnosed with ADHD please seek support on ways to help the child from a counselor or psychologist. Mediation can be, and often is, vital but the child also needs to learn some skills to help her overcome some of her behaviors. She will have to work a little harder than a child without ADHD but success is very possible!