Respect – The Foundation of Good Boundaries

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Recognize the need for good boundaries. Aretha Franklin was right - R-E-S-P-E-C-T - is the foundation for any relationship. Respectful children who know good manners and recognize the boundaries in place are more pleasant to be around. "No, thank you" and "Yes, please" will take your children far - no kidding. Respect for authority and abiding by the rules are just as important to a teen learning the rules of the road as they are to a pre-schooler shopping with you at the grocery store. I'm at that point in my life where the nest is steadily emptying. Ron has just finished college, Joe … [Read more...]

The Tantrum Chairs

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When our first son Ron was a baby, we bought a beautiful old home with the intention of fixing it up. It was one of those charming old houses with great potential. Built in the early 1900's, it had oak mantels, crown molding, French doors and high ceilings. But -- and that's an incredibly large three-letter word -- it needed a lot of work. Take the living room. A fabulous set of double doors led into a large room of musty-smelling rust-red long-pile carpet. A classic iron chandelier had been repainted with silver paint that flaked every time the wind blew....and sometimes when it didn't. … [Read more...]

Another Chore Hint – Laminate!

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We have another great hint on getting kids to do chores from Molly Donnelly, who graciously gave me permission to include her name and her method! For my kids I have printed out and laminated cleaning cards for each chore. If they have to do the bathroom, they take the card and it lists for them step-by-step instructions so nothing gets forgotten-spray the sinks, toilet and shower with cleaner, wipe down shower and rinse, clean the inside of the bowl and wipe down the outside and floor around it, wipe down the sink and counter, use a clean cloth to dry the sink and counter, wipe down the … [Read more...]

Reader Hint – Getting Kids to Do Chores

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A reader sent this in last newsletter. It makes me want to go do chores with her! I wanted to throw something out there for working moms who feel like they're always picking up "everyday clutter" constantly, and have a hard time staying organized and caught up. I have two children, ages 8 and 14, with ADD (one inattentive, one hyperactive). I have found that when I say, "clean your room, and help pick up the house", I don't always get a good response, at least not to my satisfaction. Being a working mom, I have had to let go of having the show-room look, but I do like to keep things … [Read more...]

Getting Kids to Do Chores

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I've made two blog posts about chores, recently: The Chore of Chores discusses the importance of getting our kids to do chores. Chore List lists guidelines for deciding which chore a child can do. The fact remains, however, that kids don't like to do chores. So how do you get them to cooperate? Do chores together. Everything is more fun with a partner. Work side by side with your child. Have your child clear the table while you wash the dishes. One of you vacuum while the other folds laundry. (Pick up those feet!) One take things off the shelves while the other dusts and wipes down … [Read more...]

Chore List – Guidelines for Assigning Chores to Kids

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In a recent post, I listed five reasons that is important for us to make sure our kids do chores. You can read the list on the ADHD-Inattentive blog. But just how do we assign chores that our kids can - and will - do? Here's your chore list: It's important to match the chore to the child. When you assign chores, take your child’s age, ability and personality into account. From the moment they are out of the high chair, a child can ‘dump their plate’ and put it in the sink. I have sweet memories of our little ones reaching over their heads to lob their dishes (plastic, of course) into the … [Read more...]

Making Friends – The OTHER Social Studies

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Some children are born social butterflies. They attract friends, know what to say in any situation, have an uncanny sense of style, and always land on their feet. Then there are my kids - and maybe yours. Here are some tips on helping your child succeed in the study of all things social. Help your child learn to make friends. Although we feel that friendships should happen naturally, finding friends is a skill that can be taught. There is a wealth of information available on this subject. A great source is the online ADDitude Magazine, which has a whole section on Friendships and Social … [Read more...]

Go Outside and PLAY – ADHD and Outdoor Activity

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I know it doesn't seem like it, but the days are growing longer, now that the Winter Solstice has passed. Despite the cold, encourage your child to get outside more. Studies show that activity -especially if it takes place outside - reduces ADHD symptoms. Try practicing spelling words or math facts in the great outdoors. While you're studying, sit on a swing, kick a soccer ball back and forth, or dig in the garden. It just might make those math facts more fun! Even if you're like a friend of mine, who lives in the sub-zero of Alaska (60 below...), remember that inside activity works well, … [Read more...]

The Spider. A Story About Empathy

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As a general rule, I don't pick up things I can't identify. Therefore, I must have been rather distracted when I reached into my washer to retrieve the debris left from the laundry. I should have known better. After all, I've found everything from razor blades to snake skins to little pieces of ca ca after the clothes have been removed from the machine. Nonetheless, on that fateful day I plunged my fingers in, and pulled out the sodden object. I immediately realized that the rather large item had legs, and lots of them. Some of the legs had come loose and clung to the side of the tub. It … [Read more...]

First Day of Class

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The line of cars was long as I waited to pick up my son from his very first day of class. I craned my neck to see him, wondering about his first day. Did he make any friends? Did he have enough to eat? Was he nervous - afraid? And then they let the kids out, and as I saw my son, my firstborn, my eyes filled with tears. It seemed just yesterday that he was born, and now I was sending him out into the world. For an irrational instant, it seemed I was sending him to his doom. The new experiences and challenges he was facing seemed more like new danger and conflict. I thought about the cruel … [Read more...]