Children often come home from school worn out and stressed from the long day. Since children with ADHD often struggle with the cognitive skills necessary for academic and social success, they are especially susceptible to feeling stressed after school. This can make it difficult to communicate with your child in the evening and to get homework done in a timely manner.
Harvard Health states that exercise helps us to relax by reducing stress hormones, producing endorphins, improving self-confidence, and distracting the mind from our daily struggles. If you block out some time for your child to get exercise after school, you may see improvements in their behavior and their ability to follow through with tasks at home. ADDitudemag.com suggests that individual sports are more effective for children with attention challenges. The list includes:
- Martial arts
- Horseback riding
- Running/Track events
The difficulty with team sports is that they require keen focus and awareness, the ability to follow gameplay instructions, impulse control, and organizational skills. All of which can be difficult for a child with ADHD. However, if your child is up for the challenge it can be a therapeutic experience. Be certain to talk with the coach about modifications and adjustments to help your child be successful.
Most types of exercise will help you to relax and de-stress. You need at least 30-40 minutes of moderate exercise or 15-20 minutes of vigorous exercise. This can be done all at once or in blocks of 10-15 minutes. If you need more help with stress reductions, consider exercises with deep breathing and muscle relaxation.
Once your child is more relaxed and less stressed, communication skills will often improve greatly.