A lot of parents have more than enough trouble handling an average kid, let alone kids with special needs. In the U.S alone, 11% of kids between the age of 4 and 17 were found to have ADD—(according to a 2015 release from the centre of disease and control (CDC)).
The numbers keep growing each year, with a lot of parents being at a loss at how to cope with such a kid. More devastating is when parents have kids that have more than one form of health problem, which in most cases, either drives a wedge between parents or leaves’ both parents super frustrated and stressed.
Going by a study done by a clinical psychologist from the University of Pittsburgh named “Dr Brian T. Wymbs, PhD.” Parents with kids that have a chronic diagnosis like ADHD are twice likely to go through a divorce, especially at the very early stages of childhood.
Most parents make the mistake of sorting out a cure for their kids, failing to realize that ADD is not a treatable ailment, but rather a disorder that involves a management system or approach.
From the topic of this article, we selectively combined insomnia with anxiety alongside ADD, because they mostly go hand in hand, and more importantly, they (insomnia and anxiety) are symptoms that arise from poor ADHD management.
We are going to try to proffer two simple tips on managing ADHD and by so doing, consequently, manage anxiety and insomnia.
Creating the right environment
It is no news that kids with ADD have trouble making friends and concentrating in social environments, which is the underlying trigger for anxiety with kids found with this disorder.
There is no concrete evidence to support why kids have ADD, but one thing is known for sure, and that is the fact that the neurotransmitters in kids with ADD are slower than that of an average kid, it is, therefore, crucial that we find ways in creating an outdoor learning environment that triggers the neurotransmitters in kids with ADHD.
An excellent example of such activity that is becoming increasingly popular because of its high success rate is the use of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math or STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math)
Kids with ADHD, as we have established, have a low attention span as a result of slow neurotransmitters. But can be aided with the STEM activity because evidence has it, that new things, exciting things or even strange things have been shown to trigger better neurotransmission in patients with ADD.
Empathy and Consequences
One of the difficulties parents have when raising kids with ADD is how to balance empathy with consequences, especially when the kids do something wrong.
Some parents argue that kids with ADD do have a lot of issues and don’t know how to go about handling them. You hear parents say things like, what if he does this and I respond that way, and then he does this other thing…! the cycle is usually endless with the number of tantrums kids can throw.
The trick lies in dealing with one issue at a time. Take a moment and make a list of all the situations you want to deal with, then look through that list to see which is the easiest to handle, one that you are a most confident that you will get the desired result.
Now, this is the tricky part. You don’t want to go off charging into the air like an enraged bull, that will either make the kid more adamant or very anxious, which is what we are trying to avoid altogether.
Borrowing wisdom from the popular parenting presenter Jim Fay, you have to put in check, these four techniques in other to be able to deliver your message in a way that resonates with the kid.
The four approaches are “anger, lecture, threats and warning.”
Anger: studies have shown that after getting angry at a kid for doing something wrong, and then you go ahead to show empathy. The kid never sees the compassion all they will remember is the anger in your voice and the look on your face. So you always want to keep your cool even amidst an annoying situation.
Lecture: most parents tend to give long boring lectures to their kids whenever they do something wrong, and these kids already know what comes after a mishap have been done and have probably found a defence mechanism against those long talks of yours.
Threats: just like lectures, your kids already know that your intimidating-threats are more or less empty and aren’t worth a penny. Kids as small as they are, are brilliant and they know that you have always probably used a line a million times and probably done nothing. Just save yourself the trouble of making empty threats.
Warning: several psychometric analysis has proved that making a consequence known before a kid does an ill, reduces the weight and severity of that consequence. The best approach is delivering the outcome of the wrongdoing after it has already occurred. But there is a “but” in conveying that consequence, which we will discuss shortly.
Like we said earlier, it is vital to use empathy when delivering the consequences of our kids’ action to them. You have to remain calm and use soothing words before dropping down the bombshell. Hypothetically speaking, imagine your kid is jumping on the sofa and gets it torn, then your response should be like:
Parent; oh that’s so sad, I can understand why you are jumping on the sofa—then you drop the killer strike—how are you going to pay for it?
Kid; but I have no money.
Parent; well, you could sell some toys.
Now after all these transpires between you and your kid, you want to make sure that you stay true to your words, by actually taking him to the thrift store with some toys and exchange it for cash. Trust me. He will never jump on the couch again, at least not in your lifetime.