By Tara McGillicuddy -
Yes, I know we all hate structure. If the world was perfect place we would not need it. It may be one of the most important things to help us survive in this non-ADD world. We also need the correct amount of structure in our lives. Too much makes us rebel or feel trapped. When we don't have enough structure we lose track of the world around us.
A schedule works well for both children and adults with ADD. Make a plan for each day. Make sure you give yourself or child "free time" or "self time" in that schedule. Children need at least an hour a day of uninterrupted play. I think adults need about the same amount of time to daydream, meditate, or just do nothing.
This is one thing that everybody needs more of not just ADD people. Children and adults respond better to positive reinforcement than they do to punishment. Try to take the words DON'T, CAN'T and NEED out of your vocabulary. If your child is running through the house tell him or her to walk instead of "not" to run.
Try to find the positive things that your child does. Make sure each day that the positive things you say out weigh the negative. Adults can do the same thing for themselves. Instead looking at all the things you haven't done make a list of ALL the things you have done. This may be hard at first but it will start to become a lot easier.
Break Things Down
Quite often people with ADD get overwhelmed with tasks and projects. Try to break things down into smaller parts. Breaking down the time spent on a task can also be helpful. Many people with ADD find doing things in 15 increments works well.
Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink water. Stay away from processed foods. Try to eat some protein for breakfast. Stay away from things like "poptarts". I'm not trying to say that poor nutrition causes ADD. However, good nutrition can help with many negative ADD behaviors. Processed foods aren't good for anybody ADD or no ADD.
Daily exercise is a good idea for everybody. It helps both children and adults who have ADD.
Turn it Off!!!!
Turn off the TV, video games, computer, etc. No, I am not saying these things cause ADD, but too much does not help it either.
Research and Education
Do a lot of your own research about ADD. Don't think of the doctors as GOD. There are many great resources about ADD. Find as much information and then make your own decision about ADD.
Ask for Help and Support
Many People with Attention Deficit Disorders have trouble asking for help. Sometimes we are too embarrassed or we don't even realize we need help. Asking for help with little things may stop them from becoming HUGE problems.
You must be consistent! Even the best of advice won't work unless you do it on a regular basis. We all know that once we stop doing something it can be very hard to start up again. Children especially need consistency in their lives. Things get easier once they are done regularly.
About the Author:
Tara McGillicuddy is an ADD Coach and the director of www.addclasses.com. She helps educate and support parents who are affected by ADD / ADHD. To learn more about ADD / ADHD sign up for her free E-Newsletter at www.supportforadd.com
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