It isn’t always easy to parent a child who has ADHD. But you can make your days easier by practicing meditation and mindfulness in your daily life
As parents, you want your children to have the best future possible. You want them to show respect, be kind to others, have plenty of good friends, and do well in school. But attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may make these simple pleasures difficult to achieve.
It is estimated that more than 6.1 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD. These children are easily distracted, which can make it difficult for them to pay attention which can cause problems both at school and at home. ADHD can also make it hard for children to develop empathy for others and may cause them to exhibit selfish behaviours.
There are many ways that parents can cope with ADHD. There are pills, schools and sessions you can do with your children to help them strengthen their focus. But there is also an all-natural way to help them cope – with mindfulness and meditation.
Here are five ways meditation and mindfulness can help to treat your child’s ADHD:
1. Meditation helps with ADHD symptoms…
According to the Children open access journal, meditation can be beneficial not only for helping children focus but can also reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
The journal is quoted as saying that during a clinical study of meditation for ADHD, “78% of participants reported a significant reduction in their ADHD symptoms with 30% reporting at least a 30% reduction.”
These findings are absolutely amazing for parents looking for a holistic way to help their children cope with their attention disorders.
2. …and increases attention span
The World Journal of Psychiatry found that mindfulness will help a child to develop “an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function.”
Another great benefit is that meditation has been proven to promote brain health. Studies show that meditating regularly helps preserve brain structure and function, which can help your child in nearly all aspects of their lives, including (but not limited to) social relationships, empathy and schooling.
3. Positive reinforcement improves behaviour
Out of frustration, children with ADHD are often criticised by doctors or teachers for what makes them different. This negative reinforcement can lower a child’s self-esteem and make them unwilling to try in school or with coping strategies. This can be detrimental to your child’s mental and educational health.
One great parenting tip for dealing with ADHD is to use positive reinforcement to encourage your children.
Mindfulness encourages participants to be accepting. When you are mindful as a parent you can learn to focus on your child’s good qualities. This means that instead of fighting against your child’s disorder, you will work with their strengths to read their full potential.
Expressions of appreciation or pride in your children can have a positive effect on their mental health and self-esteem. Mindfulness will not cure your child’s ADHD, but it will encourage them to work with the tools they were born with.
4. Meditation and mindfulness can improve patience…
One of the best parenting tips you can apply is to set a good example for your children. If you are encouraging them to meditate and be mindful, you will benefit from doing the same.
Raising a child with ADHD presents many challenges for parents. It can be frustrating to have a child who isn’t prospering educationally or who has difficulty staying focused. When you practice being mindful on a daily basis it helps you to process your emotions and then let them go. This encourages a peaceful attitude and helps you deal with your frustrations in a calm and patient manner.
When both parent and child practice mindfulness it helps them gain a better understanding of one another and results in less reactive behaviour during conflict.
5. …as well as improve your child’s ability to learn
Children who have ADHD often have difficulty paying attention.
Mindfulness meditation takes concentration. You are honing in on one thought or feeling and doing a deep-dive to explore what that means to you. When a child makes a practice of doing this, they train their brain to keep their thoughts centred.
In addition to focus and concentration, practicing mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce childhood stress and anxiety.
The calming effect of meditation can help children focus their attention for longer periods of time. This will then funnel out into other aspects of their life, such as interpersonal relationships and their behaviour at school.
It isn’t always easy to parent a child who has ADHD. But you can make your days easier by practicing meditation and mindfulness in your daily life. This will help you learn to relax, trust the process, and be more accepting of the circumstances in your life.
By encouraging your child to practice mindfulness and meditation, you enable them to lower stress, and boost peace and calm, whilst making parenting a more enjoyable experience for you and your partner.
Article by Rachael Pace, Relationship Writer, Marriage.com
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