Did the Easter bunny hop by your house this morning? All the Easter talk today made me think about two of my boys who had difficulty with “hopping” issues. Our fourth son, Max, had attention concerns when he was younger. He’d regularly “hop” from one thought to a completely different one without skipping a beat. Our second born, Micah, had difficulty remaining still. He was hyperactive and physically “hopped” all over the place.
When working with children who have these challenges, remember that the external world has a huge impact on their internal behaviors. The more chaotic, loud or unstructured the environment, the harder it will be for them to self-regulate behaviors. So slow down, model a calm state and – since auditory information often gets lost in a sea of never-ending words – say what you need to say in the fewest words possible.
In the world we live in, very few individuals focus on any one thing for long periods of time. We change activities as quickly as we change channels on the television. This means issues of inattention and hyperactivity are probably going to continue to plague our youth for years to come. The good news is that as kids’ behavioral needs change, so too can adult responses. I’m living proof of that – and now have two older, calm boys who regularly remind me of this fact through their behaviors.
Hoppy Easter, friends.