Written By: The Green Crunchy Mother
ADHD refers to attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder. A large percentage of children who suffer from this disorder also experience attention difficulties as well as hyperactivity. Parents with these types of children are well aware that inattention and hyperactivity continue throughout the day. Keeping children with ADHD busy after school hours can be challenging, but it is possible.
The first step, selecting the right after school activity for your child is to understand how ADHD affects him or her. Is your child interested in sports? Is he put off by the fierce competitiveness, or does he find it hard to get along with teammates? Does your child vocalize his feelings, or is communication a problem? It’s important to understand your child first to be able to select the best activity.
For a child suffering from ADHD, physical exercise is always beneficial. Exercise takes up the excess energy and helps stimulate the brain. Team activities also teach social skills and discipline. If your child shies away from team sports, you may want to look at activities such as dancing, cycling, swimming or gymnastics. Martial arts not only teach techniques of self-defense but also self-control and patience.
If your child demonstrates an aversion to sports and shows an interest towards the fine arts instead, you may need to examine some other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also provides your child with ample opportunity to develop his social skills. Music, art or dance can also assist your child to keep himself busy and entertained.
In case your child is not interested in any of the above, you may want him to join a Boy Scouts club or any other community activity. Cleaning up a park, putting on a show, helping out in a retirement home are various activities that may spark your child’s interest.
Whatever form of activity you select, make sure that you monitor your child’s progress periodically. If you feel that there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases your child’s self-esteem is positive. You might also want to consider the help of a coach or a teacher to assess your child’s development.
There are certain activities that are detrimental to a child suffering from ADHD. Computer and video games are examples of this. Since these games often require no interaction, children will feel all the more isolated. Also, from my personal experience, I have observed that my own children get highly agitated when playing video games.
Understanding your child’s needs and limitations will help you select the right after school activity – one that is fulfilling, tiring, as well as challenging.