how to calm a child with adhd

How To Calm a Child With ADHD and Have a More Peaceful Home

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In 2016, nearly 6.1 million children were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD in the US. Raising a child with ADHD is challenging, to say the least, especially since they have so much energy to burn. That’s why a lot of parents need to learn how to calm a child with ADHD.

Anyone dealing with numerous distractions and excess energy will struggle to relax. What more if it’s a young child still learning to process his emotions? Fortunately, new research suggests that implementing positive parenting can help.

On top of these, incorporating programs like Brain Retrain into your child’s routine is a good idea. It’s a non-invasive approach that aims to improve cognitive and behavioral skills through the use of audio neurofeedback.

How To Calm a Child With ADHD

The brain is responsible for regulating mood, impulses, and attention. For those with ADHD, the brain has been found to be structured differently, making it a brain disorder. It can result in difficulties concentrating, sitting still, and controlling emotions.

Children with ADHD may experience tantrums and meltdowns more frequently than other kids. As the parent, it’s your job to identify what triggers them. There are plenty of possible reasons, the most common being sensory overload, anger and frustration, and changes in routine.

You’ve probably noticed this in your child, but don’t lose hope. With the correct techniques, you can learn how to calm a child with ADHD.

1. Have a healthy routine.

Following a health regimen can help make a meltdown less likely to occur. Make sure your child gets enough sleep, food, nutrients, and playtime. That way, they have lower stress levels and will be less likely to act out.

2. Focus on goals.

ADHD can be highly distracting to a child, and school-age kids will often end up missing deadlines. To prevent them from missing goals, reward them for making it on time, even if other chores get lost along the way.

It’s tough for an ADHD child to stay focused on a task, let alone complete a chain of tasks in a small amount of time. So, focus on rewarding them for getting even one task done.

3. Create a schedule.

Making a set schedule can help assist those who have ADHD. Kids may feel less erratic if they understand what they are supposed to be doing during specific times of the day.

You don’t want to set hard deadlines. Instead, provide them with at least a general idea of when the task should be complete. That way, if they aren’t focused, they will still have time to get it done. 

4. Set strict rules.

Children who struggle with ADHD need a gentle yet firm parent in their lives so that they can stay on track without overthinking everything. Give them warm yet effective warnings that communicate and define expectations.

Distractions can trigger a child from being productive and may end up causing them to lose focus. At certain times during the day, be harsh with deadlines. For example, make sure that the TV is off by a specific time, toys are put away, and get them ready for bed. You can start with a warning, but after that, you will need to stand your ground.

tips in how to calm a child with adhd

5. Lead by role modeling.

Modeling behavior can help a child stay calm in public. If you don’t stay calm while your child is having a tantrum, the situation will take a turn for the worse. It’s important for parents to remain relaxed and unfazed. Talk calmly, take deep breaths, and don’t show any negative emotions. Over time, he should begin to settle down.

6. Acknowledge your child’s opinion.

When your child starts to display signs of negative emotions, it’s best to ask them why they are upset. He could be feeling isolated from their peers because of their condition. Showing them that you’re willing to hear them out and understand their point of view can be reassuring.

7. Practice breathing techniques.

Taking deep breaths is an effective method of calming someone down. Teaching your child proper breathing techniques can help him become more grounded and prevent a meltdown from happening in the first place.

Teach him diaphragmatic breathing, which helps strengthen the diaphragm and slow down breathing. It also decreases oxygen demand and requires less effort. Deep rhythmic breathing can help balance the autonomic nervous system. As a result, your child will get more oxygen to their brains and become more attentive and relaxed.

8. Explain rules for meltdowns.

Discuss with your child the rules for meltdowns. If they feel like one is coming on, agree to not get angry or upset.

Keeping emotions pent up and feeling like no one understands will make it harder for your child to process what they are feeling. If you allow them to vocalize their concerns, they are more likely to be relaxed.

9. Provide breaks and rewards.

Children with ADHD struggle with focusing, so you must reward their good behavior and allow breaks when they feel too overwhelmed. You don’t want to do everything for them. However, a child will be more likely to take his tasks seriously if you reward him.

10. Allow the child to work off excess energy.

With most schools switching to online learning, it can be challenging for kids with ADHD to expend all their excess energy. Therefore, it’s a good idea to create areas of time where a child has flexibility but no set deadlines.

Other Things To Help Calm a Child With ADHD

While children with ADHD struggle with their emotions, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s nobody’s fault. Even so, you should help set him up for success by teaching him how to deal with tantrums and meltdowns.

On top of the tips we just shared, you will find plenty of products that promise to help address ADHD symptoms. That said, you will also find that many of them don’t work. In our experience, the following made an impact:

Sensory Seat Cushion

A sensory seat cushion can help prevent kids with ADHD from losing focus. You can place the seat on any chair, and it allows the kid to balance and move around. It shouldn’t be used for more than 20 minutes, so it’s perfect if you want your child to focus on a short task.

Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket can be extremely relaxing when a child with ADHD feels overwhelmed. The heavy blanket feels like a hug, helping them feel calm and allowing them to cool down. Once their emotions are back to normal, they can stay snuggled up in the blanket until they are ready to tackle their next task. You can use a weighted blanket to soothe children during breaks.

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Brain Retrain

Brain Retrain is a clinically approved program that has proven effective against developmental disabilities. The course implements audio stimulants that can activate specific parts of the brain responsible for learning and behavior.

In psychology, this method of treatment is referred to as neurofeedback. Brain Retrain is also non-invasive and is a much more affordable option than other treatment forms.

Therapy and Medication

The last resort a parent can turn to is medication. With attention-deficit disorders, medication is often the first choice. However, not all parents want their kids on medication. Behavior analysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and seeing a psychologist can help determine the best course of action.

Helping a Child With ADHD

Supporting a child with ADHD can be hard, especially if you don’t know where to start. That said, keep in mind that understanding and communicating with your child is key to helping prevent meltdowns.

With ADHD, the brain can easily become overwhelmed. Thus, it’s crucial that you also consider what is causing their attacks. The most common solution is prescription medications and therapy. On top of these, you can try an alternative approach like Brain Retrain.

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