Many children in the United States are living pretty peaceful lives. However, some live with some mental health problems. One in six children, ages three to seventeen, have a mental health disorder. That means that about fifteen percent of the population is dealing with mental illness. And yet, only about a third of these children will receive any treatment.
Children’s most common mental health disorders are anxiety disorders, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anxiety disorders are the most common, affecting about six percent of children. These disorders can manifest in several ways, such as social anxiety, separation anxiety, and phobias.
Depression is the second most common mental health disorder among kids, affecting about seven percent. Symptoms of depression include hopelessness, irritability, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, and changes in eating or sleeping habits. ADHD is the third most common mental health disorder, affecting about six percent of children. It is characterized by problems with focus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Among these three, ADHD has the most profound effect on a child’s education.
What is ADHD?
As stated earlier, ADHD is a mental health disorder that affects about six percent of children in the United States. Its symptoms include problems with focusing, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These symptoms can make it difficult for children to succeed in school and make friends.
There is no one cause of ADHD. However, it is believed to be caused by genetic and environmental factors. For example, exposure to lead or other toxins during pregnancy or early childhood can increase the chances of ADHD. Additionally, having a parent or close relative with ADHD may also increase the risk.
While there is no cure for ADHD, there are treatments that can help children manage their symptoms. These treatments include medication, behavioral therapy, and education about the disorder. Children with ADHD can lead happy and successful lives with the proper treatment. Here are five essentials of raising a child with ADHD:
Create a structured routine
One of the most important things you can do for a child with ADHD is to create a daily routine. This routine should include regular times for meals, homework, play, and sleep. Having a set routine will help your child know what to expect each day and make it easier for them to focus on tasks.
It also makes them easier to keep track of time, which can be a challenge for children with ADHD. A daily routine will help your child feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
Putting your kid into daycare or hiring babysitters can also help create a structured environment for children with ADHD. It can help with socialization and learning, as they can pick up cues from their sitters. Moreover, enrolling your child in a childcare service can help them socialize with other children. It can also give them the necessary exercise, as most daycare centers have some form of outdoor playtime.
When choosing the right service for your child, you should look for the experience and expertise of the staff. Make sure to ask how they deal with children that have ADHD.
Include physical activity in your child’s routine
Exercise is an effective treatment for ADHD. It can help improve focus, concentration, and impulsivity. Additionally, it can also help relieve stress and improve mood. For these reasons, it’s important to include physical activity in your child’s daily routine.
You don’t need to sign your child up for a sports team to get them active. There are plenty of other ways to incorporate exercise into their day-to-day lives. Taking walks or bike rides together, playing tag, or even jumping on a trampoline are great ways to get your child moving.
Encourage healthy eating habits
A healthy diet is essential for everyone, but it’s vital for children with ADHD. Eating nutritious meals can help improve focus, concentration, and energy levels. It can also help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
To encourage healthy eating habits, you should stock your pantry with healthy snacks and meals. You should also avoid sugary drinks and foods high in saturated fat. Instead, opt for water, milk, fruits, and vegetables.
Teach your child coping mechanisms
Children with ADHD will likely face challenges in their lives. Therefore, it’s essential to teach them coping mechanisms to deal with these challenges. Some coping mechanisms include deep breathing, positive self-talk, and visualization.
It’s also important to teach your child how to advocate for themselves. This includes teaching them how to communicate their needs to teachers and other adults. Additionally, it includes teaching them how to stand up for themselves when necessary.
Raising a child with ADHD can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is hope. These children can lead happy and successful lives with the proper treatment and support. The five essentials we’ve outlined are just a starting point. There are many other ways you can help your child thrive with ADHD.