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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Having Kids with ADHD Behave in Restaurants

Do you struggle having your child with ADHD sit still when you go out to eat or other moments when sitting still is essential. Here are some tips for you!

We go family friendly restaurant, at a non busy time usually getting there about 4:00. Before going into the restaurant we ask him if he needs to get rid of any energy he usually says yes, so I let him run or jump on the side walk. I bring things my son enjoys to do to keep him occupied while we order. (he has to order his own food). After we order we take a trip to the restroom where he washes his hands, we go back to the table and I bring out number two thing he enjoys doing. By the time he starts getting bored with that food is starting to come. If he finishes eating before we do we bring out number three what he 
likes to do. 

If at any time he screams in a restaurant we excuse ourselves (we will be back in 5 min) we go out away from people where I talk to and let him know that I know he is trying very hard to use good behavior that I am very proud of how hard he is trying and that I noticed he needed to get his energy out and let him run up and down the side walk a couple times, recently his OT has him do jumping jacks. We go back in and finish our dinner. Most places we choose to eat at do not have florescent light due to they can trigger behavior. Always let him know what to expect when we go out as well what behavior I will consider to be good in nice way. "we are going to use our quiet indoor voice. We are going to keep our food on our plate, if we do not want to eat something we will leave it on our plate. Then when need we remind "Hey, did you forget if you don't want to eat something you leave it on your plate, can you please pick that up for me". 

Always acknowledge when he does what is requested and that he is trying to be good. Now the stores are a different story I go with a plan, I tell him my plan I let him know if he is good in the store (I don't expect perfect) he will get a reward at the end (a piece of candy, or money for one of the machines) when I see him doing good even if I am mad at bx he just had I let him know hey good job walking away from the toys, good job staying with me. The florescent lights in the stores often our triggers for bx as well are the crowds. I tend to try to go when places are not busy so there are less people. If anyone else corrects my son I quickly correct them, that they have no place to be talking to my son or to be telling me how to raise my son. He does not need to be ganged up on and needs to know you wont allow strangers to do so. There is a book call the AD/HD Parent Handbook by Colleen Alexander-Roberts I highly recommend it to all parents. It gives tons of ideas and resources.

-Missy Srednas

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