If you have an ADHD child, you know how hard it can be at times on both your child and yourself. When my son was diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten, it was the beginning of a long journey. A journey to discover what would work best for my son and our family. A child with ADHD can’t help how they are and it is up to the parent to understand that. There are things that you can try to make it easier but any parent with an ADHD child (myself included) will tell you that things can get pretty crazy at times.
For instance, taking your ADHD child shopping can be harrowing but you can’t stop shopping just because your child has ADHD as there are going to be times you have to take your child to a store plus they need the experience of going out in public anyway. This article will give you a few tips on things I have tried with my son.
#1: Go When They are Most Mellow
There are times of the day where my son is more….active then other times. Like in the mornings he bounces off the walls and at night he is like a steam roller. So if I need to take him shopping with me I do it in the middle of the day. This helps make things a little less stressful compared if I took him with me during his peak “active” hours.
#2: Give Your Child a Plan
When I go to the store, I lay out a plan for my son. I’ll say that we’re going to such and such store and that we are getting certain items from the store whether it is food for the home or clothes for school. This helps him know what to expect while we are there.
#3: Don’t Shop at Busy Times
A lot of ADHD kids don’t do well with over stimulation and when you go to a loud, busy store that is what they get. If everyone is shopping at 5 PM , try to go earlier or later when the store will be less busy. You don’t want your child to fall apart because it is too nosy and there are a lot of people around.
#4: Make the Trip Short
If you know that your child is not going to do well at the store, then make the trip a short one. You can try to do a longer trip when your child is at school or someone else is watching them. I try not to take my son on long shopping trips because he can’t contain himself. It is hard to control an ADHD child when they are running around the store or talking in a very loud voice so for you and your child’s sake, try to make the trip a short one.
#5: Take Backup
Not everyone has this option but if you have someone that will go with you, take backup. You can ask if they will help watch your child as you are shopping in the store. It can help to have another set of eyes with you for when your child runs off.
#6: Give Them a Job
Your child may be a bit more distracted from roaming around the store if you give them a job. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always work with my son but sometimes it does. I’ll give him a short list of things to look out for and tell him that I need his help finding those items so that we can buy them.
#7: Stay Calm
Stay calm no matter what your child is doing. If they see they can get a rise from you, they may act even worse. It’s harder said then done but getting upset in a store is not good for you or your child. Try to take a few deep breaths and go on with what you’re doing. If it is really bad, go to checkout with the few items you have or leave your cart at the store, go to your car and drive home and go back when you can leave your child with someone.