Kids with ADHD often struggle with following directions and as a result, may have poor self-care habits. If your child cannot or will not brush their teeth independently, you can make the process easier with our four simple strategies.
Create a Grooming Routine
When it comes to kids and ADHD, consistency is critical for success. In order to help your child get in the habit of accomplishing daily tasks such as brushing their teeth, you can create a grooming routine. Simply write down everything that your child must do as part of their morning or nightly routine and check mark each task as he or she completes it. Once all of the steps are completed, you can reward him or her with their favorite activity or provide plenty of praise. Do this on a daily basis until your child is able to accomplish all of the steps on their own.
Model the Steps
If your child is having difficulty with any of the steps, model it for them. You can also use a hand-over-hand prompt to help them understand all of the steps involved. This method is excellent for teaching proper brushing techniques.
Make it Fun
Brushing teeth doesn’t need to be boring. Gain your child’s interest by maintaining an enthusiastic demeanor throughout the process. Young children may especially benefit from brushing teeth songs and or games. If you have ever wondered how long kids [should] brush their teeth for, 10 seconds per side is ideal. You can create a counting song to accomplish this. Start singing the song as soon as your child begins brushing each side to encourage them to do it on their own.
Children with ADHD have a tough time staying on task, which is why you should limit distractions. You must focus on the task at hand to ensure that your child follows through with it. Don’t bring up anything else during this time. Praise your child for each part of teeth brushing that he or she successfully completes on their own.
If you would like further help motivating your child to take care of their teeth independently or have any questions, get in touch with us today! Be sure to visit our health resources for more useful tips!