Have a child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Aside from the recommended path of counseling and/or medication, there are some simple things that parents can do at home that can also help improve the child's attention span if done regularly and consistently over a period of time. Here are a few quick ideas to interact with your child while also helping him or her develop a longer attention span!
Play Simon Says. As you progress through the game, give your child more complicated directions to follow. Offer encouragement when the child loses focus and guide him or her back to the activity in a positive way. Remember to make it fun or he or she won't stay involved long enough to improve attention skills.
Play board games that require attention to detail such as Battleship or Memory. Encourage your child to slow down and model how to think through a move, etc. in order to not only do better in the game but also reduce impulsive decision making.
Get an I Spy book. These books have lots of colorful pictures full of items to search for. Sit with your child and search for the items together. If the child gets involved and enjoys the activity, this is a great way to build focus and attention to detail in a fun way.
Another important tip for parents of an ADHD child is to make time to be outdoors as often as possible. Take a nature walk, play a ball game, anything like this is a great way for the child to utilize some of the excess energy that develops while sitting in class for a good part of the day. If done immediately after school, before homework time, I can assure you that when homework time does come it will be a lot more bearable for both the parent and the child!
While these activities are not meant to replace counseling or medication, they are all great ways parents can help their child gradually improve attention, focus, and impulse control skills while at the same time building a stronger relationship!