17 Sep 5 Ways to Help Your ADHD Child Tackle Boredom
Has your child ever come up to you complaining about being bored? Boredom is a common theme for children, yet ADHD boredom can happen more frequently due to hyperactivity and inability to maintain focus. ADHD boredom is not a symptom of ADHD. The ADHD brain fires off faster than another child’s brain making it easier to fall into inattention and distractibility. This is when ADHD boredom can set in. Impulsively acting-out and using attention-seeking behaviors is your child with ADHD way of expressing their boredom. When these behaviors take over it does not mean your child is bad; they just need help tackling the boredom.
Here are five ways you can help your child with ADHD tackle boredom.
Provide structure by scheduling after school and weekend activities
A child with ADHD thrives on structure and being busy with things to do. Scheduling afterschool and weekend activities can help them tackle their go-to of being bored.
Encourage your child to be proactive
A lot of time your child with ADHD gets bored and cannot think of all the things they can or like to do. It is never a bad idea to plan in advance with your child. Make a list together of what steps they can make at home and school of things they can do when they get bored. Having a visual list of free time activities for the home will help your child feel independent and proactive in times when their brain tells them they are bored.
Don’t drop everything to rescue them from boredom
Being a parent is stressful enough, try not to take on your child’s boredom. Giving your child choices can help them feel empowered and focus their attention to overcome their boredom. If you are doing something, the child can assist in doing ask them to help or direct them an activity you know is one their activity list to do until you are free to give your child your full attention. Remember it may take your child some time to come up with something or pick from the choices you offer them so try your best to not jump in with ideas of what they can do but instead choices for them to process and figure it out on their own.
Set Strict guidelines for Screen Time
Setting healthy limits with children around screen time is difficult and more so with a child with ADHD. It is essential screen time is not the go to choice to give your child with ADHD when they are expressing boredom. Be proactive and help your child make good decisions about technology.
Allow your child to be a part of the planning process
Find one day a week or a scheduled time every day to sit down with your child. During this time map out plans for the week or day, create to-do lists to help them know what has to get done in a day, and have a family calendar as a visual reminder to help with promoting about activities coming up.
Remember children with ADHD thrive off of excitement and stimulation. It is difficult for them to fill their free time because they struggle with executive functioning skills. Help support your child find ways to stay busy and locate things to do when they are experiencing ADHD boredom.
Allison received her Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy at The Family Institute at Northwestern University and earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree from Ball State University. Allison enjoys the challenges and variety of offering individual, couple, and family therapy to children, teens, and adults. She has been working in the mental and behavioral health field since 2009 in various outpatient and inpatient settings and has extensive experience working with children and their families through AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteer work prior to receiving her master’s degree.
With children and teens, Allison empowers her clients to learn tools to overcome struggles with depression, anxiety, emotional regulation, attention/behavioral issues, trauma, self-esteem, and gender or identity. Allison also believes that family work can often strengthen one member’s success with these struggles. Allison tailors her work to her clients’ needs and utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Solution-Focused Therapy, and play therapy to help her clients achieve their goals.
With adults and couples, Allison has experience enriching and empowering dating, premarital, and married couples. She helps couples with relationship enrichment, intimacy issues, conflict resolution, family of origin conflict, parenting issues, and infidelity. She can assist in giving tools to enhance intimacy, foster healthy communication and conflict, as well as work on identifying and changing the patterns that get couples stuck in a negative cycle. Allison has training in integrating Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Gottman Method Couples Therapy, and Psychodynamic theories while working with couples.