The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, school is out, no schedule to follow –WAIT – school is out!!! What am I going to do with my ADHD child (children) over the summer??????
Summer is usually thought of as a peaceful time with no schedules, the children will be well behaved and will read and find things to do for themselves and you will have extra time to garden, or read or whatever it is that feeds your soul. If only!
When you are raising an ADHD child this is definitely not what your summer looks like. You instead are dealing with a very energetic child who needs and wants to do something all day long.
Since I have been there and done that I thought I would give you a few hints.
1. ADHD children do need to be busy so see what it offered in your city or town. Often there are recreational programs offered in the summer that will keep your child occupied for at least half of the day.
2. Summer may be bit easy for some families due to the lack of a strict schedule, but ADHD children thrive on schedules. They want to know what they are doing and when. So get together and set up a schedule. It does not have to be written in stone but it will give your child a sense of security knowing what the expectations are and what they will be doing.
3. Often, during the summer, parents decide to take their children off of their medication. Whether or not you do is a family decision to be made in conjunction with your doctor. If you do decide to take them off of meds then please adjust your expectations. They will be more impulsive, they will find it harder to focus, they will be more active, and they will be moodier. This might be a good time to set up new expectations, ones that will make sure your child has a successful summer.
4. This is a great time to plan some family time together. It is best to make sure that whatever you do there is some kind of physical activity involved. Head for the beach or the lake, take a family bicycle ride, go to the zoo, check out an interactive children’s museum. Whatever you decide, remember that your ADHD child needs to move.
5. Find something that you and your child can do calmly together. Once you have tired them out a bit, try playing board games, do a puzzle, or build something out of Legos or blocks. Stay with you child and help them to increase their focus time.
6. This is a great time to reconnect with your child, to just play and enjoy each other.
Have a wonderful summer and have fun out there!