Our Beginner’s Guide to teaching your ADHD child to meditate and practise mindfulness.
“Allow yourself to “embrace the wild and free spirit” that defines ADHD.”
Martyn Drysdale (Founder of Focused Education).
What is meditation?
Meditation has a long history before ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) was considered a disorder in children and adults. Thoughtful contemplation, reflection and prayer can all be definitions of meditation. The act of meditating will be different from person to person. It is an unusual gift that we are the only species to be objectively aware of our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Psychology, mindfulness and meditation are important to a child with ADHD.
Meditation for a child with ADHD may seem ironic.
Asking a child that finds it difficult to sit still to meditate might sound impossible to Perth parents. It is possible to teach children mindfulness and meditation that allows them to wriggle, stretch and move freely. Practising mindfulness in different physical environments like trampolines, pools or balancing on one leg is actually a great way of making an ADHD child aware of how environment and exercise affect feelings and emotions.
ADHD children and mindfulness.
Children with ADHD are generally less aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. They have difficulty understanding what emotion they are feeling and how to regulate their emotional state at school and home. Furthermore, most West Australian children diagnosed with ADHD have little more than a very basic understanding of the symptoms of ADHD and how they think differently.
How to meditate spiritually with a child that has ADHD.
It is very common for a parent to also have ADHD symptoms if their child has ADHD. Allow yourself to “embrace the wild and free spirit” that defines ADHD. Ritual, spirituality and togetherness have always been features of traditional cultures, often forming a ‘rite of passage’ from childhood into adulthood. Invent your own special ritual that allows you ponder ‘the great human question’. Families in Perth enjoy getting out into the ‘great outdoors’.
Great locations to meditate in Perth with your child.
Spending quality, bonding time at locations such as Scarborough Beach, Trigg Surf Lifesaving Club or Balcatta Reserve whilst meditating will be helpful.
Research has proven that being outdoors can improve mental health, especially in children with ADHD.
Kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder crave the outdoors due to the lower dopamine levels in their brain.
“The buck stops” with ADHD medication too often.
ADHD medication such as Ritalin, Concerta or Dexamphetamine can be an important part of an ADHD treatment plan. Medication should only ever be used as part of a holistic treatment plan of psychology, allied health and knowledgeable teaching. It is very important for a child with ADHD to label, understand and express what they are feeling with or without medication. Understanding why ADHD makes them feel different emotions is a key step in the mindfulness process.
How is meditation different for a child with ADHD?
Meditation for a child with ADHD should be taught by a trusted adult that is involved professionally or personally with the child. The adult must have an extensive knowledge of ADHD generally and be aware of the specific traits of the child they are instructing to meditate. It is recommended that your child is taught about ADHD and how it affects feelings, actions and behaviour prior to training them to meditate.
Why discussing ADHD meditation with a mental health professional is important
The best practise model of mindfulness and meditation for an ADHD child is supervised by a mental health professional such as a psychologist or occupational therapist that has specific mental health training. Whilst a psychologist or occupational therapist with an interest in ADHD is not mandatory for meditation, it is recommended that meditation and mindfulness training is discussed with a mental health professional so they are aware that it is occurring and can offer helpful advice.
We help children with ADHD feel better.
Focused Eduction’s psychologists can help your family. We offer a wide variety of professional, psychological services.
Our psychologist services include psychological testing for children such as:
- Comprehensive psychological and cognitive assessments.
- Autism Assessment.
- Autism Diagnosis.
- ADHD testing and ADHD diagnosis.
- ADHD treatment.
- Dyslexia Testing and Tutoring.
- Individual child therapy.
- Behaviour management plans.
- Behaviour escalation profiles.
- Parent Counselling.
- Family Counselling.
- Coaching and support.
- Specialist Holiday Programs for children.
- Group parenting workshops
If you need a psychologist with a knowledge of ADHD to guide your child’s self-awareness journey Focused Education can help.
Our psychologist team allows each child to contemplate their thoughts, feelings and behaviour through play therapy and group therapy.
CONTACT US TODAY BECAUSE WE CAN HELP YOUR CHILD