Most children who suffer from attention-deficit-hyperactivity (ADHD) do not slow down as the day progresses. Since these children are affected by hyperactivity and inattention throughout the day, keeping ADHD children busy after school hours can be challenging for both the parents and the child.
Parents need to evaluate how ADHD affects their child’s needs and personality. For example, if the child is interested in sports the parents must determine if the child is competitive or bashful. Some children are able to work with others as a team, and some may or may not communicate well with others.
Physical exercise is always beneficial for a child with ADHD. Exercise burns the extra energy and helps to stimulate the brain. Team activities can teach social skills and discipline. If your child unable to work with others as a team, you may need to consider other activities. Some children can focus better in activities that are one-on-one.
Classes in dancing, swimming or gymnastics offer the child an opportunity to compete with others or themselves, building their courage and skill on a more comfortable level. If your child is not over aggressive, martial arts may be an excellent choice. The arts of judo, jujitsu, karate, taekwondo, and tai chi all focus on the techniques of self-defense, self-control and patience which can be a definite benefit for a child with ADHD.
If your child is not interested in sports, consider a more sophisticated activity. The fine arts are an excellent form of creative exercise, music, dance, or art classes all offer the opportunity to develop social skills and self control.
Other good options are clubs such Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, other community oriented activities or church groups. Group activities aimed at community service such as cleaning a park, putting on a show, or visiting retirement facilities are some examples of ways your child can keep busy and learn to serve others in a positive manner.
Anything that increases your child’s self-esteem is progress. Keep in touch with the teachers or leaders of your child’s activities to assess how they are developing. Let your child be the guide, if the child is improving in behavior encourage them to continue. If the child’s behavior is not improving or they are regressing you may need to change the activity.
Every parent wants their child to be as near normal as possible, however some children have limits according to their abilities. Parents must consider the abilities of their child to help them select the after school activity that best serves their individual needs.
Caution: There are certain activities that are harmful for those with ADHD. Computer and video games place warnings that such games are not recommended for anyone suffering from ADHD or similar disorders.