A mom writes in asking for advice on how to help her son who has ADHD. Specifically, she’d like recommendations on natural ways to calm him down.
Certified school psychologist Kathryn Schwab weighs in with some expert advice below.
A Mamas Uncut fan asks:
“How can I help my son who has ADHD?
No bashing, please! I just need some advice. My son has extreme ADHD, and I’m looking for natural ways to calm him down. I’d try anything at this point, as I’ve got a 5-week-old as well, and the two don’t mix. We don’t want to try prescribed medicine because of bad past experiences with it.”
Advice from Kathryn Schwab
I understand your reluctance to try prescription medications for your son. Fortunately, there are natural ways to help him feel calmer.
First, make sure that your son gets plenty of physical activity. To give you an idea, children aged 1 to 5 need at least three hours of activity a day and children 5 to 18 years of age need one or more hours a day. He could participate in a structured activity like soccer, swimming, or dance. Or, he could participate in unstructured activities like playing at the playground or playing tag with friends. It has been found that children with greener play environments and opportunities for unstructured play experience less severe ADHD symptoms.
In addition, many parents have found that essential oils help their children to relax and feel calmer. You could try adding a few drops of chamomile or lavender to an aromatherapy diffuser.
Another way to help your child feel calmer is to make sure that he is getting a well-rounded diet of protein, fats, fruits, and vegetables. Try to avoid artificial colors, sugar, sodium benzoate, MSG, and caffeine. These additives have been found to worsen symptoms of ADHD.
Children with ADHD also benefit from sensory activities. For example, provide him with a fidget toy or squeeze ball, play soft music, blow bubbles, or swing. Some children also enjoy input through animal walks, jumping rope, carrying heavy objects, and the use of a weighted lap pad. Provide these activities and see which ones your son enjoys.
[Images via Shutterstock.]
Kathryn Schwab, M.S., Ed.S., is a certified school psychologist who has worked with children and their families for over 10 years. She received a Master of Science and Educational Specialist Degree from the University of Dayton. She is also the founder of Tons of Goodness, a resource that helps women and their families build a happier and healthier life. Kathryn lives in Ohio with her husband and her daughter. When she’s not working, Kathryn enjoys cooking, hiking, photography, and spending time with family.
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