Alarm clocks ignored. Repeat wake up attempts. Frazzled mornings. A fight over after school snacks. Long hours of homework. Rushing to after school activities. Late dinners. Bedtime struggles. Restless nights.
Sound familiar? Why does going back to school seems so stressful? These are the not the happy school days we imagine.
Certainly as parents we need to do our part to try to create as much structure and schedule as possible. This is particularly true for children and families who may be struggling with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Here are a few things that may help keep your child calm and focused during school, at home, and may help school struggles.
It's very important that children have regular sleep schedules and routine and are getting adequate amounts of sleep for their age. Most school-age children require approximately 10 hours of sleep per night. Limit electronics to 2 hours per day and no electronics for at least 30-60 minutes prior to bedtime.
It is also very important that they have a diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, as well as healthy fats and proteins. Most importantly, the diet should have very limited processed foods and sugars. Research indicates that children who consume higher amounts of sugar including sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda are more likely to have difficulties with attention, impulse control, hyperactivity, and poor sleep. So it is important to avoid sugary cereals, toaster pastries, donuts, etc. for breakfast and snacks. Instead, consider whole grain toast or waffles with peanut butter or eggs and include a fruit daily. Encourage trying new vegetables often and include some at every dinner.
There is some evidence that concludes supplements may be beneficial in supporting and treating some symptoms of ADHD.
Omega fatty acids, which can be found in foods like salmon and walnuts, are beneficial for brain health and reducing symptoms of ADHD.
The amino acid L-theanine has also been shown to improve attention and focus and reducing hyperactivity.
Multivitamins that include iron and magnesium, which are commonly found in most children's chewable vitamins, have also been shown to improve symptoms.
Melatonin is occasionally used, at low doses, for school-age children who are struggling to establish a sleep schedule. This supplement may be beneficial and helping the child reset their sleep cycle to develop a healthful sleep routine.
Of course, one of the most important interventions for children with symptoms of ADHD is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy can assist the child in developing new coping skills and ways to calm and focus their often overactive minds.
If you would like more information on ADHD or ways to specifically help you or your child, please contact us at Two Roads Wellness Clinic. We can be found at tworoadswellnessclinic.com or on Facebook.
Natural Product-Derived Treatments for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Safety, Efficacy, and Therapeutic Potential of Combination Therapy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757677/
A Clinical Overview of Sleep and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2687494/
Artificial food colors and attention-deficit/hyperactivity symptoms: conclusions to dye for. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22864801
Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption Is Adversely Associated with Childhood Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962219/