Did the Easter bunny hop by your house this morning? All this Easter talk today made me think about two of my boys who had difficulty with hopping issues. Our youngest, Max, had attention concerns. Hed hop from one thought to a completely different one without skipping a beat. Micah, on the other hand, had more issues with any task requiring him to stay still. He physically hopped all over and it was exhausting to try to keep up with him.
When you have children with these types of behaviors, realize the external world has a huge impact on their internal behaviors. The more chaotic, loud or unstructured the environment becomes, the harder it is for them to self-regulate behaviors. It is a challenge to control your internal world when the outside world is in a state of disarray. A second strategy is to remember visual and kinesthetic cues are probably the best way to provide information. Auditory information often gets lost in a sea of never-ending internal babble. Strategic visuals and the use of touch can really help a child slow down and focus. This is difficult for adults, because if for no other reason, we are in the strong habit of talking too much.
In the world we live in, it seems very few individuals stay-put and focus on any one thing for long periods of time. We change activities as quick as we change channels. 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 behavioral needs change, so too can adult responses. And if we can survive the younger years, maturation and self-control will slowly strengthen positive behaviors. I now have two boys that remind me of this fact through their behavior regularly.
Hoppy Easter, friends.