5 tips to help with adhd

The prevalence of ADHD, ADD and ODD in society today is astonishing.   For kids, parents and families, the stigma attached to ADHD can be remarkably intense and often very unpleasant. At school, playgroups, shopping centres and parties, those with ADHD are often singled out and noticed. The effects of this are huge for all concerned and can even create self-fulfilling tendencies where the teachers, parents, friends and kids all adjust and behave according to expectations based on ADHD. I think it’s time for a change of perception. So here are five key factors that affect ADHD in our children and with a slight change in focus can actually help change things for the better.

1. Food

Unnatural food additives such as colouring, preservatives, gallates and glutamates, plus some natural food elements such as salicylates, glutamates and amines can exacerbate or mimic ADHD symptoms, especially hyperactivity, silliness, attention deficits, learning difficulties, aggression and oppositional behaviours. Medication and doctors are always the first port of call, with the medical system paying little attention to things such as food. There is no doubt in the minds of many families who have made the switch to additive free clean foods that they do affect your kids mood and behaviour. Clean food = calm kids. It’s that simple. For more information on how food affects our moods, click here.

2. Labels

Slapping a label on something or someone often serves no purpose other than to exacerbate the situation or mould current behaviour and thinking. Forget them. Don’t use them as excuses. Yes they exist, but to what extent will only become noticeable when a child is cleansed of foods that mess with their way of being. Find their ‘normal’ by losing the additives, then add some effective positive behaviour management strategies into the mix and all of a sudden you have a workable child who can listen and respond – someone with whom you can reason.

3. Change

Quite often kids are taught to fear change and this is one of the biggest obstacles when introducing new foods – not the taste or texture, but the change. It’s also one of the biggest obstacles for kids with ADHD type tendencies/symptoms. Routines are safe, familiar feels comfortable, the unknown is difficult to process and deal with. Most kids thrive on routines. Those with ADHD are particularly responsive to knowing what is happening next. Make allowances for this – all kids feel this way, no matter what their label. The extent to which it affects their lives depends on the individual and the way you as a parent help them approach change and cope. Allow plenty of exposure to little changes in a positive way so they slowly get used to the idea that change is good. Keep new experiences manageable by breaking them down into small steps so it’s not overwhelming. Whether it’s a new chore at home or a major life change, these methods help to decrease the stress of change.  For more help with the fear of change, click here.

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4. Lose all expectations

Things change day by day and moment by moment and there are so many variables involved in a child’s life, when something goes astray, it might not be a trigger you can identify. Lose all expectations of perfection, even with perfect planning! Some days will be low performance ‘bad’ days. Others will be fabulous. This is the case whether you have ADHD or not – it’s part of being human and helps us to appreciate the good times by having the not so good ones! Swap any expectations with an appreciation for each moment as it happens – our kids grow up way to quickly to be worrying about what should be!  For more help with expectations, click here.

5. Model what you want to see

When it all comes down to it, our kids are imitators – little mini me’s who just love to copy whatever you say and do. So whether it’s ADHD or not, your children will learn from how you behave. Model what you want them to do. For example, if you’re feeling angry, show them how you cope with it. Tell them you need a few moments to calm down, then talk with them after about what you do to lose the anger. We really are our kids greatest teachers so rather than see what you want to change in your kids, look inwards and see how you can change to help them.

Whilst there is a place for diagnoses and medical help for those with ADHD, I implore you all to have a good look at these five points before going down the road of medication.  Our kids are precious little beings, sensitive to many things and the smallest of changes in any of these five areas can make the biggest positive difference in their world and yours.

For more help with eliminating additives from your family’s foods, you can contact me here or send a message on Facebook by clicking here.

Do you have a child with ADHD?  What do you do to help them cope and live a happy life?  You can share your ideas below in the comments or on The Food Werewolf Facebook page by clicking here.

Loren x
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