Do you have a child with inconsistent behaviour and who can’t be still in one place? Or do you know someone who is extremely hyper? Can’t sit at one place for longer, lose their calm often! Well, one thing that is very common among these people is being hyper and impulsive. This condition of being hyper is not only found among adults but is also very common among children.

When hyper activeness is associated with several other psychological symptoms, then that condition is called Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This condition often begins during the early stages of childhood and can be persistent throughout your adulthood too. ADHD is a psychological condition where a person has above normal levels of brain activity. These people are impulsive, hyperactive and have difficulty focussing.

For parents, dealing children with ADHD can be a roller-coaster ride. These children often have extreme behaviour which might be quite difficult for parents to control all the time. Children with ADHD may have these symptoms in addition to hyperactivity and inattention:

*Violent behaviour
*Mood swings
*Depression and frustration

These children tend to lose their calm very easily. When in a situation, where things are unfavourable for them, they usually showcase these symptoms and end up hurting themselves or those around them. Since they are hyperactive they can be violent while playing, messy when compared to others, rushed into decisions. And as they are impulsive too, they tend to have emotional and temper outbursts, difficulty in focusing, always perceived by others as on the go, difficulty in waiting for their turns, losing stuff like erasers, pencils easily due to absent-mindedness, lack of patience and are fidgety in nature.

Read| Parenting tips: How to handle a child with ADHD

In a situation like this, it can be quite a task for a parent to calm them down. But with help and through correcting their behaviour from the very first day, it can bring in some change in their condition. Here’s how as a parent you can play a role.

Converse with them often: As you know, children require attention. Keep talking to them regularly. Ask them their opinions. Make them feel important. Give them the confidence that even they can take right decisions at the right time.

Know ADHD: Know the ins and outs of the condition. The better you understand their condition the more you will be able to deal with them in the right way.

One at a time: These kids, as mentioned before, are very hyperactive and cannot multi-task. So always teach them one thing at a time. Too many instructions at one time can confuse them and lead them to react violently.

The right principles: Discipline them in the right manner. They always react the best with love and warmth. It may play a very vital role in later stages of their life.

Set target goals: Build a list of things you want your child to do. This can involve activities, behaviour, things you want to build for them. Make them realise the importance of having a steady plan. This is very important to them, as they as born impulsive.

Explain the condition: Not telling them their medical condition after a point of time can be difficult. Explain their medical condition to them. Tell them it’s totally fine to have such issues, and they can be better with help and support. Let me know that as a parent you are always there for them. Keep their teachers also informed about their condition, ask their teachers if they can allow them to sit on the first bench as it reduces potential for distraction.

Take help from support groups: Support groups, counselling sessions can be very helpful for people with ADHD.

Reduce the clutter: Clearing unwanted stuff in their room helps them in focusing better, by reducing distractions.

Channelling their energy: Exercise, dance, sports should be practiced regularly to channel negative energy, anxiety and helps them to calm down.

Consult the doctor: Medicines are extremely effective for ADHD, and are the mainstay of treatment. These are non-habit forming and are devoid of major side-effects, but must be considered after consultation with a doctor.

With proper guidance and medical help, children with ADHD can turn out be as regular as other children as adults.

(The author is consultant – psychiatrist, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield.)