This might not be the answer you want to hear. ADD/ADHD, Anxiety or Depression manifest in different ways. There’s no definite and absolute answer when working with children and adolescents. However, what I will say that is absolute, is the love you have for your child and their love for you.
Help Our Children Manage Their Emotions
A child, like us, have good days and bad days. It is your job as the parent to remain calm when they are out of control. I know this is easier said than done.
However, as the adult we are the ones responsible to help them understand and learn to manage their emotions. We create a safe place for them to do that.
As an adult, it’s easier to tell when we’re stressed, worried or sad. We can use our words. We have options to help ourselves. We go for a walk. We talk with a friend. We even take some time out.
Children are not this self-aware. They don’t understand what, why or how about their emotions. Much less how to react. A child knows how to scream, cry or call out for you when something doesn’t feel right.
Be Aware Of How ADD/ADHD, Anxiety or Depression Manifests
But when they’re hurting emotionally, the pain inside is inexplicable to them. They only know how awful it feels so they act out on that pain. This can manifest itself in so many ways.
- Throwing things
- Not eating
- Loss of sleep
- Become clingy
- Problems come up at school
- Lack of energy
- Increased worry
- Loss of interest in their hobbies
- Overly engaged
Noticing your child’s behavior is very important.
It is up to you to identify if the behavior is part of their developmental growth, ADD/ADHD or another physical reason. Look at how often this behavior comes up. The intensity of the behavior. These are cues.
Create a Safe Place
When you’re talking with your child, it is critical you create a safe place. Do you stay with them? Or sometimes an adolescent may be left alone to calm down.
Are you talking to them at their level? If not, drop down to your knees and hold direct eye contact.
You want to create a connection with love and respect. This creates safety and trust.
Any one of these ADD/ADHD Strategies can positively impact the lives of anyone living with ADD/ADHD.
Starting small and experiencing success is vital. Every inch of your accomplishments becomes an inch of actual emotional growth. You’re building mental muscles by doing “reps” just like a bodybuilder develops washboard abs.
A parent can demonstrate to a child how putting the dirty clothes in the hamper is the first step to having a clean room. Or an adult can gather the monthly bills and have the necessary tools handy to pay the bills. Find your easy first step.
Create Your Space
To create a new habit, you must have a designated place for what you want to accomplish. A writer surrounds him or herself with an area that is both inspirational and conducive to recapturing their inspiration. It may have to be private. In these cases, it’s okay to temporarily “banish” people, pets or cell phones to another room. Having this space will develop your self awareness and help you appreciate the way good habits play in your success. This is what we mean when we compliment someone on being a true professional.
Break it Up
Remember the schoolyard joke, “how do you eat an elephant?” Answer: one bite at a time. Move forward in small doable tasks.
Set a Due Date
Establish a specific date and time for the task to be over and done with. Write it down. Refer to it as needed. This is why God made Post-It Notes. Remember, be kind – don’t nag yourself. Use your accountability calendar.
Keep The Goal Alive
Remember what you are aiming at. What specifically are you trying to accomplish? Whatever it is, it is one more facet of a shining gem that will reflect a more capable and confident you.
What? When? How are you doing it? Sometimes an odd detail will flesh out your plan of action. Maybe it’s picturing the steam rising from your soothing cup of tea that solidifies your next move.
Have a coach or a friend serve as an accountability partner to provide support and encouragement. They will ask powerful questions and help you delineate ways to stay focused. The right people respect your dreams and desires. They will work to help you fulfill them.
There are so many distractions that can steer you off course. Pay attention to the negative influence of “harmless” social distractions such as surfing the net, chatting mindlessly on the phone, binge-watching TV, exploring every level of a new game or being lured away by non-stop party people.
Once you’ve started and your brain is activated, stop and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. If you fell like continuing with the task, then keep going. If you stop, make sure you set the next date and time to continue working on the project.