Children with ADHD and other learning disorders often suffer from low self-esteem issues, and one way to counteract this is to encourage your child to participate in community service projects. When kids volunteer for the holidays, they are giving of themselves and see how they can improve the community in which they live.
Community Service and ADHD: Fitting the Project to the Child
Each child has unique qualities and strengths, so it's important to match your child to a community project that brings out this potential. Community service for ADHD kids tends to be focused on scenarios where children can be active, but at the same time to learn to be patient and kind. A number of project types spring to mind:
- Working with animals in shelters
- Assisting the different-abled with simple tasks
- Environmental clean-ups in local parks
- Helping the elderly in seniors nursing homes
- Making and taking gifts to children in hospital
- Decorating a Christmas tree for a party for those in need
Becoming Involved as a Family
Whether your whole family takes part in a community service project or your child goes it alone depends on age and personality. If your child has behavioral issues and struggles with social occasions, it may be best if you participate together, at least initially. However, if you're teaching your youngster independence and how to cope with different circumstances alone, then going solo is probably a good idea. Obviously, very young children need you to be present or to help, so getting involved as a family is a way to spend time together for a good cause.
Getting the Most Out of Community Service
As well as making your child more aware of those less fortunate during the holiday season, take the opportunity to link community service and behavior improvement. Chat with your child after each community service session and encourage some reflection on what happened, why it happened, and whether a different type of behavior may have improved the experience.
It may also be a good idea to take your child along for an observation shift before entering into a particular project so that you can both make sure it's a good fit to your child's temperament.
Community service projects are fun for kids, and an ideal way to channel excess energy and learn about others. Use this holiday season to go on a journey of exploration with your child.
If you suspect your child has ADHD or has already been diagnosed with ADHD, contact us online or find a center near you to learn more about how the Brain Balance Program can help.