Raising kids is awesome.
They can make you laugh with their hilariousness. They can make you melt with their cuteness. They can
inspire you with their kindness. But raising kids is also very hard. Between temper tantrums, the constant
noise and mess, teaching them all the life skills they’ll need as adults. Introducing…
The Parenting Super Bundle.
I am honored that the e-book I wrote titled Raising the Blinds on Anxiety: Workbook for Kids following
my son’s battle with anxiety and panic attacks is included in this Parenting Super Bundle! (Perfect for all
you Superparents!) All the tools we learned in therapy, easy for a kid to understand, are included in this
workbook. The combined value of the resources in the bundle is amazing, and you will get EVERYTHING
for 98% off!
Check it out here:
This is like your favorite store that offers groceries, a cute top, a hot steaming latte, diapers, and that plum
lip gloss that makes you feel red-carpet ready all in one! One-stop everything to make life easier. Because
you have enough going on in your jam-packed world as a Mom and Dad. And sometimes this Mom needs a
shortcut in life. Oh, and I HATE finding out that I missed a good deal. (So grab this Parenting Super Bundle
before August 14th!) You will also find a few books that specifically address ADHD! (Win-win!)
I’m Deb! I want to invite you to a new FREE challenge that will help improve your child’s behavior! A child with ADHD is often criticized (at school and at home) and constantly corrected. As a result, they begin to expect the corrections, and consider themselves the bad kid. Over time, a child can adopt a ‘why bother’ attitude regarding efforts toward following rules and doing what is expected.
‘I couldn’t understand why I was always in trouble.’
~A child, following his diagnosis with ADHD.
This child knew what was expected, but couldn’t DO what was expected, due to his ADHD. What is ADHD? It is a brain difference that causes one to react and respond impulsively, without thinking about past experience or future consequences. Kids with ADHD live in a ‘now’ world, they live in the moment, acting first and thinking later.
You can imagine the negative responses they receive, all day, every day.
A child with ADHD who hears praise on a consistent basis will begin to see themselves as capable and work toward continuing the behavior that is being commended. Wanna jumpstart the kind of parenting your child needs in order to receive the type of behavior you really want?
Then get ready for ADHD Superparents: Find the Good 3-Day Challenge! And did I mention that it’s FREE? Yep, free for YOU! Plus, extras!
This challenge includes a daily email to your inbox describing that day’s activity, FREE parenting PDF’s, Facebook community love and another surprise when the challenge is complete!
Ready to jump-start the behavior you really want to see from your child?
Sign up below! And be sure to join our private Facebook community so you can chat about your progress with other parents. I will be there as well!
The ADHD Superparents: Find the Good 3-Day Challenge begins Monday, May 29th!
Talk to you soon!
Two things I learned in the early years of raising kids with ADHD.
1) No two kids are alike.
2) It’s exhausting.
Okay, make it 3 things, because I also learned that my husband and I weren’t on the same page regarding parenting tactics. Hell, we weren’t even in the same book! Back then, it went something like this:
Husband raises voice and demands the behavior stop or else.
Husband and kid power struggle begins while wife (that’s me!) steps in and tells husband he is being too harsh.
Husband and wife begin arguing.
Kid gets tired of waiting around and disappears from the room.
Repeat cycle all day, every day.
Not super productive. Remember those 2 things I mentioned earlier? Well, our kids also learned 2 things:
1) My parents don’t know what they’re doing; are not a united front.
2) I’m not sure what I’M supposed to be doing; getting mixed messages about my behavior.
Instead of teaching them strategies to handle emotions when they feel out of control (that’s what is really happening during a meltdown), we were either expecting them to pull themselves together or ignoring their needs altogether because we couldn’t get out of our own way to address them.
Back then, I was reading every book about ADHD that I could find, meanwhile my well-meaning husband seemed to be stuck in old-school parenting mode, saying things like ‘Because I’m in charge’ and ‘Well, I’m the Dad’ or my favorite thing he would tell me (*sarcasm*): ‘The boys just need more mental toughness.’
Cue me banging my head with the pantry door right about now.
Since our parenting differences and stress from the aspects of life with ADHD kept us from communicating effectively, I chose to write my husband a letter. Figured he may ‘hear’ my words better if they were written down as a visual. I was honest, sharing that we needed to wake up and get a grasp on our daily life. That we were drowning in chaos and could do better for our kids.
That I needed him to join me on this journey. He agreed.
It’s no wonder we were sailing in choppy waters when we first discovered ADHD. We weren’t a team, and you don’t win playing for yourself. Wins happen as a team. And a good team doesn’t just show up one day and take home a trophy. You have to practice to be successful.
So, we did.
We began by practicing 3 simple rules when we were struggling to remain calm with our highly emotional kids.
♦Walk away: We gave each other a free pass to walk away when we could feel our patience running low. Nothing wrong with saying we need a break and letting our spouse take over. We’re human. Rely on each other when necessary.
♦Apologize: We expect our kids to apologize when a situation calls for I’m sorry, and sometimes parents need to tell kids they messed up, too. Model the behavior you want to see in your children. Did you lose it and knee-jerk react with your child? Own it. Tell them you didn’t react the way you had hoped and you’re sorry. The message? When we make a mistake, accept the blame and do better moving forward. Parenting is teaching. For kids with ADHD, getting defensive and passing the blame is common, so there is no better lesson than seeing mom and dad show some empathy for the person who ended up as their sounding board.
♦Have a code word: Remember that Walk Away rule? Well, sometimes we don’t recognize that we’re getting hot under the collar on our own. Another set of eyes and ears (your spouse) will recognize our temper flaring and give us a nudge. Rather than undermining you in front of your child, we created a code word to use.
Our code word? ‘Diet Pepsi.’
One night, my husband blurted out ‘You NEED a Diet Pepsi’ and I bit my tongue. I had been raising my voice, upset by our oldest who was being argumentative. I had wrongly engaged in a power struggle with a 12-year-old.
A minute later, our youngest ran into the room with a can of Diet Pepsi from the fridge, announcing, ‘Here, Dad said u needed a Diet Pepsi.’ Boy, did I ever! (On second thought, make your code word ‘wine.’) We both were laughing over his literal interpretation, enough that it diffused the angry environment brewing in our home.
What about YOU?
Are you and your spouse/partner using the same parenting tactics? Or are you sending your kids mixed messages? Need an ADHD Parenting cheat sheet to get back on track? Print it out! Kids with ADHD need lots of structure, clear expectations and CALM PARENTS.
You can’t teach a child to behave better by making them feel worse. They need, and actually WANT, parents to show them, teach them and explain to them what they want them to do. Calmly. They need the message to be clear and concise, from both of you.
Its no wonder our home was total chaos. I would parent my way, my husband would parent his way, and we hoped the two versions would magically collide and make life easier.
THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
We both agreed what we were doing wasn’t working and it was time to make a change. You can do this too, starting with this little nugget today!
‘Meet your kids where they are.’
Don’t hope they act like the kid who has it all together. Don’t wish they could be independent like you were at their age. Don’t nag for them to meet your unrealistic expectations.
Meet kids where they are. Your kids will learn and grow. But, it doesn’t happen overnight. Tackle one struggle at a time, not by yourself, but as a team.
Soon enough, you’ll earn that trophy.
It may have been 9 years since I stood along the sidelines at my son’s first flag football game, but I remember it vividly. Standing with other moms, coffees in hand, trying to stay warm, I was hoping for that big play or some defining moment that clearly proves your …
Please welcome my friend Jennifer from ADHDaze, who sheds some light on natural remedies for ADHD. (I am grateful to have found her, as we travel similar paths. Both of us have children and husbands with ADHD.) If you do a google search for ADHD, half the results will come back …
Many of us dread exercising, even though we know it is a proven method to get us in to shape. (Raise your hand if you feel like patting yourself on the back following 15 minutes on the treadmill. Guilty!) But, what about exercising the brain? It is a healthy option for anyone, and an even greater benefit to individuals who struggle with symptoms of ADHD.
Exercise flexes the brain’s muscle, so to speak. It flips a switch for our executive functions and helps to increase mood and focus.
So, why wouldn’t we encourage our kids to be active if they struggle to stay focused?
Exercise offers kids with ADHD many benefits. It improves working memory, and increases focus so they can be more alert in class and less impulsive, decreasing the severity of ADHD symptoms. It also allows the child who has trouble winding down his brain when it is time to fall asleep the chance to burn off that extra energy.
Some children with ADHD find it difficult to exercise, so the form of movement they choose is important. Not every child with ADHD excels at competitive sports due to lack of coordination or the inability to follow fast-paced, complicated directions. Any activity that raises the heart rate will do: martial arts, running track, swimming or even cycling where kids tend to compete against their own individual ability are great examples. Or maybe your child with ADHD isn’t eager to join a school sports organization or any organized sport.
Exercise as a family!
Find an activity that appeals to your child, (walk the dog or play catch in the yard) and use it as a time to bond, all while helping improve your child’s focus in a natural way. My husband has been known to run the boys through a fun obstacle course similar to the television show WIPE OUT in our basement, just to get them off the couch. (Or on the couch, as my husband sometimes allowed. I pick my battles.)
As a child with ADHD, your son or daughter often feels misunderstood, always expecting to fail, so the benefits of exercising together will also help to increase their confidence! A competitive game of HORSE with Mom or Dad at the basketball hoop can create some friendly competition while releasing endorphins.
Schools appear to be jumping on board with the notion that exercise can improve kids ability to focus. An elementary school in Colorado has changed time-outs to time-ins when kids misbehave, offering them 10 minutes on a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer instead of sitting them in a hallway. It’s a win-win for the student and teacher. A school in North Carolina launched a program in 2010 called Read and Ride, where students can pedal on stationary bikes while reading their favorite book. An elementary school in New Jersey is following suit, and began asking parents for old exercise bikes to help ‘get the wiggles out.’ Kids earn time to go to a separate room filled with stationary bikes and pedal out their impulsivity. Teachers often say kids returning from a half-hour physical education class tend to focus more on lessons.
Children often lose recess time when misbehaving, but it is the worst outcome for a child with ADHD.
So, why take ADHD medications if exercise helps work in a similar but natural way? The effects of exercise only last a few hours following the activity, serving short-term but big benefits. It can help to clear your head, though other interventions like medication can be helpful and offer benefits throughout the day. Likewise, medications aren’t the only fix for ADHD symptoms. Health experts recommend a combination: Medications, behavioral management and exercise, along with education for the parents. A great site to follow is ADHDaze, written by a mother whose daughter and husband have been diagnosed with ADHD. Jennifer covers it all, including why their dog became a great therapy tool for ADHD, sensory, diet and why she first chose to share her journey. You can also find her on twitter at ADHDdaze1.
Many people don’t try new things because it requires stepping outside of their comfort zones (hello, hot yoga class that I attended ONCE) or it addresses something even bigger: RISK. Toss that worry aside. Exercise is a no-risk treatment for kids and adults with ADHD and teaches healthy long-term habits. Studies show as little as 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can benefit the brain, so why not give it a try. Your waist may or may not be trim, but your brain muscles will be firm.
Get to flexing!
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