With more than 5 million children in the United States being diagnosed with ADHD, you are not alone in wanting to find some relief for your child while their professional assessment is taken and a treatment plan can be put together with your doctor. Luckily, there are a few methods and techniques you can use to provide some support for your little one so they can better control their ADHD symptoms until their assessment takes place and treatment is prescribed. Try one or more of these effective ideas:  

Stick to a Routine

While all children need structure and routine to thrive as they age, those who exhibit ADHD symptoms can especially benefit from following a set routine, whether at home or while out and about. A challenge many parents face is wanting to give up too soon because the routine doesn't seem to be working.

It's important to stick with your routine until it becomes a way of life, at which point your child should naturally start to get into the groove of the household's daily schedule. With your routine should come improved daily functioning and overall efficiency. These tips and tricks should help you create an effective routine that makes life with your ADHD child easier on everyone in the home:

  • Prep for mornings the night before by doing baths, getting clothes and lunches ready, and packing backpacks to put by the front door.
  • Create consistency by sticking to a set homework time every day. If possible, make sure that your child is able to study in the same room when possible to maximize structure.
  • Create a bedtime ritual that can be followed nightly so your little one has time to mentally prepare for downtime in bed – provide a light snack, read a short story, and get those lights turned off!

Whether you plan a completely structured routine or one with some leeway, the important thing to incorporate is long-term consistency in order to ensure positive results.

Take Time for Relaxation

Feeling and exhibiting the side effects of ADHD tends to be quite stressful for children, especially in school where the pressure to keep up with other kids is ever-present. Teaching your little one relaxation strategies is a great way to minimize stress levels and relax the mind overall, as well as decrease symptoms of impulsiveness and hyperactivity. Try implementing a few of the following relaxation techniques into each of your child's days:

  • Spend time telling jokes or playing together so you can laugh – laughter releases feel-good chemicals throughout the body which reduces pain, tension, and stress.
  • Sit with your child on a regular basis and teach deep breathing methods they can use whenever they start to feel overwhelmed or upset.
  • Help your child learn visualization techniques to slow down the mind chatter – start by asking them to close their eyes and imagine breathing their favorite color in and out of their body.

Practicing relaxation techniques along with your child daily should help reduce your own personal stress so it's easier to communicate with your child overall.

Encourage Exercise

Exercise is an awesome tool that can be used to stifle ADHD symptoms while at the same time improving health overall. Regular exercise effectively quiets the mind and allows those with ADHD to take a break from obsessive thinking and open up to a more relaxed mindset. Getting active daily will help to stimulate natural dopamine levels within your child's body which provides a similar effect to methylphenidate, a popular prescription treatment for ADHD.

You should find that regular exercise also noticeably diminishes anxiousness, restlessness, and even hyperactivity. Whether playing in the park, running around the backyard, or taking a family bike ride around the block, any and all exercise is sure to benefit your child, so focus more on the time spent exercising rather than the kind of exercise that's taking place.

These ideas should help your entire family better support your ADHD child, so consider holding a family meeting to teach everyone how they can help implement the techniques you choose to use. If you're looking for more information on how to get an ADHD assessment, companies like Focus MD may be able to assist.