You’re probably pretty used to hearing the same recommendations over and over: good sleep, protein, exercise. Those are the ones I usually recommend. You’ve heard it so much you may be tuning out when a post says it has recommendations! For a change, I want to suggest some off-beat ADHD interventions that you’ve perhaps not considered before.
Five off-beat ADHD interventions for kids and teens
Off-beat ADHD intervention #1 – Extreme Self-Care
“Extreme self-care” is a phrase that women hear, referring to our habit of putting others needs before our own and not caring for ourselves as much as we should. I want to suggest this for ADHD kids as well. I’m not talking about egotism or thinking of yourself as better than others. Kids in general don’t get a lot of self-care. Childhood is a rough and tumble time and we are accustomed to thinking of kids as resilient. ADHD kids are resilient but, at the same time, they are very sensitive and being out in the world can be overwhelming, exhausting, and/or stressful. It’s important that your child get plenty of TLC and learn to give it to him/herself. Examples of self-care for kids might be: silent time, play time, reading or being read to, baths with epsom salts and essential oils (lavender is popular for calming).
Off-beat ADHD intervention #2 – Help Others
For my whole life, whenever things got tough, the only thing that stopped me from feeling sorry for myself was helping others. For me it was helping in any way: teaching a new skill to someone, passing out food or clothes, walking a dog, holding babies. There are so many possibilities. I think it’s important for families to help those in need but I also think it’s important for kids to have their own niche – some place where they can shine and be recognized for their own contributions, apart from their families and friends. This does wonders for an child’s self-esteem, and can have a life-long positive impact.
Off-beat ADHD intervention #3 – Hang Out With Adults
Your relationship with your child is, of course, a vital part of your child’s life. You are the one your kids can depend on through thick and thin. And, with that security also comes a curiosity: who am I beyond what my parents seem to see? What’s so amazing for ADHD kids is the perspective that adults have that kids don’t always have – the certainty that beyond the ADHD, beyond the frustration, there’s a wonderful person. Of course parents see this too, but having someone “outside,” having many people “outside” of the nuclear family to validate your child is simply invaluable. Surround your ADHD child with positive, loving adults, allow them to have some one-on-one time and special moments with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, and with some of your friends that have a loving, uplifting connection with your son or daughter.
Off-beat ADHD intervention #4 – Art Work
There’s something about visual art that brings out, symbolically, a whole host of emotions, creative thoughts, and original concepts and connections. Whether your child tends toward abstract art or realism, color or muted shades, paint or collage, non-verbal expression can uncover parts of your child that are hard to access in a conversation. Ask your child about the artwork, and allow him or her to tell the story that is inside them. It’s so amazing to see their world in this format.
Off-beat ADHD intervention #5 – Group Activities
As a child, this was not my favorite thing to do. Not at all. I wasn’t good in groups. I often felt like “odd man out.” Despite this, I believe that it’s important for ADHD kids to experience group activities. Find groups that your kids will enjoy. For example, I hated most team sports but I loved kick ball and softball. I loved Camp Fire Girls for a couple of years. I liked group activities where I could feel equal to others. I also appreciated having someone that would watch over me. Knowing that an adult had my back made me feel more brave. Knowing that an adult would teach me without denigrating me made me willing to learn. Not all group activities fit, but finding ones that do is invaluable for ADHD.
Try these and see how much easier it can be to parent your wonderfully brilliant child!
What off-beat ADHD interventions have you tried?? Scroll down and share your thoughts in the Comments section below. I love hearing from you!
Copyright 2017 Yafa Luria/Margit Crane All Rights Reserved
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