Very young for a diagnosis because there aren’t many toddlers who can sit still or focus for very long. All the professionals agreed with the diagnosis and many years later it is obvious that early diagnosis was accurate
Imagine a joyful Tasmanian Devil doubled.
Suffice it to say, when we walked to drop off their siblings to school, they stayed in the stroller for their own safety. They sat in the cart at grocery stores and strapped into their stroller at the shopping mall.
But I believed they needed to learn how to walk safely, and it provides valuable exercise especially needed for kids with ADHD.
I created time during our day for walks around the neighborhood.
How did I do that without losing my sanity or even worse one or both of them getting lost or run over by a car?
The Keys to Talking Enjoyable Walks with Your Toddler
#1. Allow for lots of TIME.
One of the key components to an enjoyable walk with a toddler is extra time. A walk of less than a 1/4 of a mile can take as long as a half an hour.
Time gives your toddler freedom to explore, and time gives you the gift of patience to allow your toddler to express their natural curiosity.
Mine liked to investigate bugs or observe the beauty of the flowers.
What may be ordinary to you is amazing to a toddler, and they need the time on walks to delight in their discoveries.
#2. Create Boundaries.
Young children need to be mindful of traffic safety rules especially moving vehicles.
My twins toddlers used to run into the street without a care in the world. This certainly created a lot of anxiety in me and was a safety hazard.
By taking lots of walks and reinforcing boundaries, they better understood safety guidelines.
I created boundaries by using landmarks. Since, we walked the same routes there were landmarks we used as stopping points. This spiky plant was one of them as are the red squares at street corners.
By creating boundaries for safety, it gave my children freedom to run on our walks. By observing them repeatedly respecting the stopping points, I felt more confident giving them more freedom to run ahead a little.
Taking walks with proper boundaries encouraged independence in my toddlers.
#3. Calm Down Time
Due to impulsiveness because of ADHD, there were times when they still did not adhere to the boundaries. At that point, we stopped walking. We sat down in the middle of the sidewalk to calm down our bodies. We took calming breaths and talked about safety. We stayed seated until their bodies showed they were much calmer to pay attention to safety rules and the world around them.
Once boundaries were established and the twins practiced taking a lot of walks, they had more freedom when they walked and we relied on the stroller less.
In fact by the time they were almost 4 years old, we went on a vacation to California. They managed to walk entire full days at Disney Land and the San Diego Zoo and respect boundaries and not get too tired. We didn’t need to use their strollers at all.
If you would like to help your toddler learn to walk more safely and build more stamina, take walks more often using these three simple ideas of more time, establishing boundaries, and calm down time.