With the prevalence of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stress syndromes, unemployment, depression, drug use, and youth suicide rates on the rise, parents and teachers are facing increasingly challenging roles in today’s society.
Strategies for Managing ADHD
Renowned family relationships specialist, Marguerite Clancy, emphasizes that there are no overnight solutions for issues like ADHD, but there are actionable steps that struggling parents can take to start addressing the condition:
- Establish a routine and stick to it: Create a structured schedule that includes enjoyable activities and moments of laughter.
- Incorporate physical activity: Set up a punching bag or encourage your child to participate in a sport to provide an outlet for pent-up energy.
- Maintain consistent discipline: Be firm and consistent with discipline, and offer rewards when appropriate to reinforce positive behaviors.
- Use positive language and maintain calm: Frame instructions positively, keeping them short and concise. Stay calm when addressing challenging situations.
- Establish agreed-upon consequences: Involve your child in setting consequences for their behavior, fostering a sense of responsibility.
Marguerite highlights the importance of demonstrating love, respect, and leading by example as parents and caregivers. She also emphasizes that there are various therapy options available that do not rely solely on medication. One such therapy is Sandplay Therapy, a well-established technique that enhances emotional growth through play.
Marguerite suggests encouraging children to use toys to represent their concerns and difficulties. By allowing them to express themselves through play, using dolls, action figures, cars, balls, or blocks, children can communicate experiences that may be challenging to articulate verbally. “You may discover problems your child is facing that you never even imagined,” says Marguerite. “By recognizing the significance of imaginary play, you provide your child with a way to express themselves using a language they are fluent in.”
Following this approach, parents can have open discussions with their child about these challenges. If problems persist, Marguerite recommends incorporating a punching bag or engaging in a sport as an additional outlet for their frustrations. “With improved communication and an outlet for their emotions, you will find it much easier to identify ways to improve your situation.”
While there are no instant solutions for ADHD, implementing these strategies and exploring alternative therapies can make a significant difference in managing the condition and supporting a child’s emotional growth.