Dr. Pallavi Aravind Joshi, Consultant – Psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield
Do you have a child with an inconsistent behaviour of not being still at one place? Or do you have a friend who is extremely hyper? Can’t sit at one place for longer, lose their calm often! Well out of all these questions one thing that is very common among these people is being hyper and impulsive. This condition of being hyper, is not only found among adults but the behaviour of being active beyond the limit is also very common among children.
Now, a question like what’s wrong in being hyper can strike your mind. But when hyper activeness is associated with several other psychological symptoms, then that condition is called Attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This condition often begins during the early stages of childhood and can be persistent throughout your adulthood too. ADHD is a psychological condition where a person has above the normal-levels of brain activity. These people are impulsive, hyperactive and have difficulties focusing.
For parents, dealing children with ADHD, it can be roller-coaster ride. These children often have extreme behaviours which might be quite difficult for parents to control them all the time. Children with ADHD may have these symptoms in addition to hyperactivity and inattention.
- Violent behaviour
- Mood swings
- Depression and frustrated
These children tend to lose their calm very easily. When in a situation, where things are unfavourable for them they usually showcase these symptoms and end up hurting themselves or the ones around them. Since they are hyper active they can be violent while playing, messy when compared to others, rushed into decisions. And as they are impulsive too, they tend to have emotional and temper outburst, difficulty in focusing, always perceived by others as on the go, difficulty in waiting for their turns, losing the stuffs like eraser, pencil easily due to absent-minded ness, can’t wait for longer hours and are very fidgety in nature.
When in a situation like this, it can be quite a task for a parent to calm them down. But with help and through correcting their behaviour from the very first day, it can bring in some change in their condition, here’s how as a parent you can play a role
- Converse with them often: As you know, they require attention. Keep talking to them regularly. Ask them their opinions. Make them feel important. Give them the confidence that even they can take right decisions at the right time.
- Know ADHD: Know the in and out of the condition. The better you understand their condition the more you will be able to deal with them in the right way.
- One at a time: These kids as mentioned before, are very hyperactive and cannot multi-task. So always teach them one thing at a time. Too many instructions at one time can confuse them and lead them to react violently.
- The right principles: Discipline them rightly. They always react the best with love and warmth. Teach them the right things and ways to do. It may play a very vital role in later stages of their life
- Set target goals: Build a list of things you want your child to do. This can involve activities, behaviour, things you want to build for them. Make them realise the importance of having a steady plan. This is very important to them, as they as born impulsive.
- Explain the condition: Not telling them their medical condition after a point of time can be difficult. Explain their medical condition to them. Tell them it’s totally fine to have such issue, and they can be better with help and support. Let me know that as a parent you are always there for them. Keep their teachers also informed about their condition, ask their teachers if they can allow them to sit on 1st bench, it reduces distraction potential
- Take help from support groups: Support groups, counselling sessions can be very helpful for people with ADHD.
- Reduce the clutter: Unwanted stuff in their room, it helps them in focusing better, by reducing distractions
- Channelling their energy: exercise, dance, sports should be practiced regularly to channel out negative energy and Anxiety and helps them to calm down mentally.
- Consult the doctor: Medicines are extremely effective for ADHD, and are the mainstay of treatment, those are non-habit forming and are devoid of major side effects.
Trying to teach a child having ADHD, is way more than parenting. As you know, this condition does affect the ability of a child to learn something. But this does not mean, that these children are cannot be taught. With proper guidance and medical help, these children can turn out be as normal as other children in their future and as an adult.