Wednesday, March 04, 2015

How to Avoid Behavioral Issues in Children with ADHD while Outside the Home

The conversation with my kids before we get out of the car to run errands is as follows:

No you may not ride under the cart, in the buggy or in the child's seat. You are too big. I don't want to hear my legs hurt, No screaming, No yelling, no begging to go home, No "when are you going to be done". NO hiding from me in the racks. DO NOT lick every tag you come across or the mirrors or your brother. No jumping around like a jumping bean. Do not ignore me and use your manners!

It's all too familiar if you have a child with ADHD. We go through this ritual every time we go somewhere. Whether it's to the store, doctor's office, restaurants, etc. 

ADHD Parenting

Compounded by too much stimulus, anxiety, the need to jump, run, and climb, and boredom. Our trips out of the home can be very stressful. My youngest has ADHD, Anxiety and Autism. We have experienced tears and begging and sometimes even rage from being overwhelmed with crowds of people to many noises and too many things derailing his senses. 

I have come up with some ways to help alleviate some of their distress and help you have a calmer more happier time when taking a child with ADHD out in public.

"Kids with ADHD Need Prior Notice"

Give advance notice. Remember , any change of routine can be stressful and unnerving. Children with ADHD need preparation; avoid catching them off guard. I usually try to let my son know at the beginning of the day where we are going and why. And remind him again about 30 minutes before leaving. It has eliminated the tantrums and crying while we are trying to get ready to go. 

Before going into public places (stores, doctor's offices, restaurants, church, movie theaters) or visiting other people's homes, talk to your child about behavioral expectations. State the rules simply. Review. Have your child repeat them back to you. Make sure that you keep your list to a minimum or they will be overwhelmed at trying to keep every single rule and that can lead to anger and frustration. 


Keep them Busy

Be prepared with a bag of tricks." Kids with ADHD get bored easily. Make sure you have something for them to occupy their minds whether it's a book, your phone, audiotapes (with headphones)  Keep the "bag of tricks" replenished and changing to maintain novelty and interest.  A bored child can be impulsive and very active which can lead to a stressful outing for mom. 

Establish a reward that he will be able to receive if he follows your rules and behaves appropriately. It can be a frozen yogurt, extra TV time, getting to the park etc.  Setting goals for them to look forward to can help a great deal. Sometimes my son has to be reminded of this and sometime often. Tell them that they are doing a great job following the rules. 

Ask for their help. All kids like to feel needed. But by giving them a task to do, such as pushing the cart (with your supervision of course), or marking off the items on your list can help them stay on task and focused. 

Keeping ADHD Children Busy

One thing that I am going to start doing is using Essential Oils to help maintain calmness, and bring focus while we are out running errands. Young Living gives you the opportunity to purchase essential oils at wholesale prices. For more information about buying essential oils wholesale visit: Wholesale Essential Oils – Young Living. You save 24% off retail prices when you join. If you are interested in retail pricing visit

Most importantly : Praise Praise Praise. Focus on the good behavior rather than the bad. Let them know you're proud of their accomplishment. 

I wish you a less stressful outing with your ADHD child. You can do this, and so can they!


  1. These are great tips for kids in general. My 2 year olds loves getting out and being my little helper at the store! It's so much easier!

  2. I think those tips are good for ALL kids! I try to give both of my boys advance notice of expectations when we go anywhere - it's always a good thing!

  3. I make sure to clearly describe what my daughter is to expect at non-typical places/events. She is autistic and while she is usually pretty good with me when doing typical things like shopping or eating in a restaurant, anything too far out of her comfort zone can trigger terror, crying and screaming on her part.

  4. These are definitely great tips. We constantly remind our girls of our expectations and what is going to happen when we go out...and we always ask for help, too. It can go a long way!

  5. It's so smart to think and prepare ahead like that. It's great that Essential Oils are working for you too!

  6. Going out with kids can be overwhelming for everyone. These are great tips that all parents would benefit from.

  7. These really are great tips for any child. I'm sure it's amplified with ADHD but having two boys, these are useful for those who don't have it as well!

  8. These are some great tips! I will definitely be sharing with friends who have kids with ADHD

  9. I have heard essential oils are great for kids with ADHD. I will have to try them out myself.

  10. Emily, Let me know if you have any questions about them. I'd be happy to help.

  11. These are great tips! I think they'd be useful for both kids with and without ADHD.

  12. These are really great tips. They work with non ADHD kids too.


I love comments!!! I will try to reply to your comments. But please be patient. I have three kiddos in the house and sometimes I am a tad preoccupied.