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ADHD, Taekwondo and Your Child's Positive Sports Experience

Apr 19, 2008
A child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder known as ADHD is gifted with spontaneity, creativeness and the ability to focus intensely on any task they take an interest in.

On the flip side, that same child can be difficult to parent due to frequent distractibility, impulsiveness, aggressiveness and hyperactivity. These traits usually define the ADHD child to the outside world and label them as "troublemakers" which can irreparably damage self-esteem.

All children are impulsive, inattentive and easily distracted from time to time, but the ADHD child lives with these attributes frequently. You can aid your ADHD child by showing her how these character traits are an advantage, not a disadvantage.

Notwithstanding, ADHD is not just a shortness of capacity to remain attentive, but also the skill to focus intently on the subject matter of choice. Kids with ADHD don't actually lack focus but have the tendency to focus unsuitably and are quick to become bored with a task.

Sports can be either constructive or negative for all children but more so for the ADHD child. Expelling extra energy is a positive side to sports, but playing on a team is often frustrating to the child, coach and teammates. It can be difficult to learn to adhere to the rules and fulfill particular needs of the team.

Martial arts, like tae kwon do, can be immensely therapeutic for the ADHD child because it allows aggressive behavior in a safely controlled environment. Directions are given by an instructor and immediately acted upon so there is a sense of relevance and immediate satisfaction.

Tae kwon do stresses self-confidence and control which, when mastered, raises self-esteem for any student. ADHD children can benefit from this type of instruction because it increases confidence and they learn to see what some call negative character traits as positive attributes.

Children learn the "right action" at the right moment which tempers impulsiveness and turns it into a positive action. Boredom is negligible due to the fast active pace of a martial arts class that is full of jumping and spinning, punching and kicking; the hyperactive child can unleash behavior in an appropriate way and be praised for it.

And martial arts training focuses on respect and tolerance for others while receiving the same regardless of what label may have been given in other environments.

ADHD is not a boy problem. An equal number of girls are diagnosed with ADD the counterpart lacking the hyperactivity component. It is a genetically passed difference in character. In fact, a large study found that 25% of children with Attention Deficit had a parent with the problem.

You can never outgrow ADHD, so you must help your child find ways to work with the negative aspects to build success. Give her the chance to learn how to change negative traits into advantages to take into adulthood.

There have been many successful people in history who most probably suffered from ADHD. The common traits to all these businesspeople, athletes, politicians, artists and entrepreneurs can be pared down to what some would consider negative traits. Tenacity, fast thinking, spontaneity, intense concentration and creativity were the characteristics of Mozart, Thomas Edison and Winston Churchill. Not bad company to keep.
About the Author
To find out more on how tae kwon do training can benefit your ADHD child, visit Kalynn Amadio's great website Taekwondo-Network and read more about the types of classes a good school provides for kids tae kwon do lessons.
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