Timing’s Everything for an ADHD Child

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Kayla may have shared with you about how she almost kept Mike out of kindergarten for a year to let him start a year later. She and I have been discussing this issue lately because many kids (ADHD or not) benefit from maturing a bit before they start their school careers. What Mike ended up doing was taking a gap year after his first year of college. It looks like Kayla’s instincts about holding him back a year were accurate – he just ended up taking the time a little later than anticipated. We have our own timing story. When Lesley was 4, she started kindergarten in Maryland. It wasn’t my … [Read more...]

Brock and Lesley

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Like Kayla told you last week, I'm Brock Myers, and I'll be writing a good bit for adhd-inattentive.com. I have a 14-year-old daughter who's ADHD inattentive, and like you, I've gained a lot of valuable tips by reading Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet? This newsletter has allowed me to learn so much from other parents! I love the new focus that Michelle shared on the blog when she started seeing "how ADHD is really a gift and not a deficit." It's so true for Lesley who's the youngest in our family. (Her brother Edison is in his second year in university, and her sister Olivia is … [Read more...]

Timers for ADHD

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Looking back over the last ten years, one piece of equipment keeps showing up - the TIMER. Timers have been essential in our house. There are all sorts of timers - free ones on the computer or your microwave. Timers that come as a function on a watch or a cell phone. iPhones have special timer applications. There are visual timers, timers that buzz/flash/beep, timers that sing. (Here's a whole post about reminder clocks.) We've used timers for all sorts of things - like on Halloween night we set the countdown for 30 minutes and let the kids eat all the candy they wanted. That is NOT a … [Read more...]

What We Did Wrong…the Tip of the Iceburg

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After I posted ADHD - What We Did Right yesterday, it showed up on my Facebook page. I got the most glowing comments - all of which would have gone to my head had I not know that - today was coming. So here it is...my tip of the iceburg list of all the things that I did WRONG. Trust me, this post would be way too long if I listed them all. Yelling, inconsistency, throwing a tomato (yes I did), not taking supplements, talking about it too much...Sigh. I'll depress myself if I think about it. So here are three of our TOP mistakes. Not Learning Together - Since at some point Ron did assume … [Read more...]

Help Your Child Make Friends

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When we think about ADHD, we often focus (no pun intended - promise) on the attention issue. But I've often addressed the fact that attention is just the first of the challenges our kids face. Often their struggles include social issues. They may be too shy,too forward, too quirky, too active, too - whatever. But the fact remains that they end up on the sidelines, the last chosen for a sport, the uninvited guest to the party. It's so hard somtimes for our kids to make friends. Many of us have been in their shoes. You yourself may know what it’s like to be a painfully shy child or teen. You … [Read more...]

Teaching a Child to Ask for Forgiveness

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One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to say, "I'm sorry." It is interesting to me that dogs can convey remorse without words, but humans often can't find the words to smooth over a problem that they created. Kids have a terrible time admitting they did wrong; for most adults, it's even harder. One skill that we need to teach our children is how to ask for forgiveness. Here's my formula: Admit wrongdoing. Don't make a child say "I'm sorry." If she's not sorry, you're compounding her transgression by making her lie. An insincere, 'Sorry', doesn't make anyone feel better, … [Read more...]

Clocks for ADHD

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When Ron was in his second year of college, he signed up for his first 8:00 class. This was a huge deal for him, as he has always been a chronic oversleeper. Lots of ADHD kids are. Nevertheless, I quit waking him up while he was in high school; when he oversleeps, it's his problem. (He has walked the four miles to school.) At the beginning of college, Ron simply scheduled later classes. But one semester a class he really wanted to take was only offered at 8:00. So he signed up. To make sure he wakes up, he has set THREE alarm clocks and his cell phone. He also has asked my husband to check … [Read more...]

The New Year – Looking Back and Looking Forward

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The New Year has always been a time to reflect on the past, and look forward to the future. The name "January" actually comes from the name of the Roman god Janus, who has two faces for standing at the threshold and looking backwards and forwards in time. Take a minute and look back on your year with your kids. Start with the accomplishments they have made - big and small. Think about: Academics (made it to regionals on her science project) Organization (kept up with his bookbag the entire year) Personal responsibility (remembered to feed the dog without being nagged too … [Read more...]

College Homework and ADHD

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Recently, our oldest came home from college for a weekend, homework in tow. I know the child is 23 years old, but I was happy that he was able to find the assignment (okay, so it was online, but still). I was even happier that he had the correct book. Ron's homework was to write a comprehensive summary of three chapters in one of his business textbooks. Talk about boring. He's pretty interested in it, though. He explained enough to show me he had a good grasp of the subject, although for the life of me I can't remember what it was. We had a good discussion about how hard it is for him to … [Read more...]

Handwriting on the Desk and Other Random Parenting Hints

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If your child is in elementary school and keeps forgetting the same things, type up a "to do" list and tape it to their desk. When one of our sons was in fourth grade, the teacher had encouraged her children children to do this - not just ADHD kids. I saw 'how to label a paper', 'what to pack for home', 'what to unpack in the morning', and 'before I speak'. (I'm not saying whose that was!) It's a life skill to make lists, so all children should learn how. If in the chaos of changing classes, your middle schooler can't remember what's needed for each class, here's a hint for you. It was sent … [Read more...]