Ask Deepak: How to Parent a Hyperactive Child
— Hengameh M., Sanandaj, Iran
Thank you for the appreciative words. I sympathize with the difficulty of raising a hyperactive child, and I think you need to balance your child's needs with your own. It takes effort and patience to develop the coping skills needed. If your child is not yet of school age, you need to find time to be by yourself several times a day. Even if a school takes over for part of the day, you still need time out in the morning and evening.
I'd also suggest getting a helper who is patient with children to take some of the burden off you. Once you have free time, don't use it for activities like shopping or household chores. This must be your personal quiet time, when you can meditate and find your center again. There is a level inside you that is quiet and at peace, no matter what the surrounding chaos is like. Your primary goal should be to find this place and return to it three times a day—morning, midday and evening—for at least 10 minutes.
A simple meditation is to close your eyes and easily follow your breath as it goes in and out. But if you are behaving inappropriately with your child, there must be a good deal of pent-up tension and frustration. This cannot be released toward a child, and you don't want it to spill over into your adult relationships. Therefore, you need to find a way to release this stress physically. Find an activity that allows you to really let yourself go—dance aerobics can be done at home, for instance. Use this time to release any emotion you need to release, even if you find yourself shouting in anger or crying out in frustration.
This gives you a three-step program that I hope you will take seriously:
- Find free time every day for meditation.
- Find your own center.
- Release pent-up feelings.
I'm sure that if you keep these points in mind, you will be able to personalize your own program. You need to find your balance-point, because the situation is long term. I also hope your husband and close friends can be turned to for support. Every day, you need to have contact with someone to whom you feel an emotional bond. I haven't touched on medical treatment for your child's condition, but at present that is the best course. I hope this helps.
What should you do if you're being given responsibilities that are beyond your ability?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Get over your negative mind-set
How to help your adult child find meaning in his life
Why moms don't have to be martyrs