Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cultivating Hobbies With Your ADHD kids

Hobbies take time, energy and sometimes money. How much time, energy & funding we choose is up to the individual families but in my opinion, it's very necessary! If parents take time to really think about this they will come up with some great ideas. Most of us are running at high-speed from sun-up to sun-down (or son-up to son-down) and we've convinced ourselves we have no extra time to do things like this but the truth is we either brought these kids into the world or chose to adopt them. We aren't doing our job if we don't get our priorities lined up and take time to strategize our parenting as well as take time to enjoy our kids.

Hmm, where could we come up with 30 minutes to think about hobbies OR actually do them? Here are the suggestions I made to myself:

1) TURN OFF the cell phone. For thousands of years people operated without every person they knew having immediate contact with them. It's still possible. Put it away for an hour or two a day.

2) TURN OFF the television, movies, computer, computer games. Again, it is only contemporary society that has 24/7 entertainment at their finger tips.....while at the same time wondering "where can I get time to figure out my kids?"

3) Make a written list of ideas and post them on the refrigerator. We tried this and it was amazing to see Bobby standing by the frig reading through the 75 activities. None of these involved the television, computer or gaming systems. Amazing, huh?!

4) Last but not least, LISTEN. We've tried to keep "plugged in" to what Bobby's talking about and when something seems interesting we check into it. ADHD kids move from one thing to the next so rapidly it's really hard to discern what's a "whim" and what could turn into a real hobby, so I don't run out and break the bank over the latest "idea" Bobby has. I simply listen. When he's been talking about the same thing for weeks we begin to see this may "take" and if it's not expensive we plug in!

Over the past 5 years hobbies have come and gone. Some cost nothing. Some were small change and some were a bit of investment. All were worth it. No question.  

U.S. Quarter collecting, bicycling, sushi-making, ant collecting,  raising baby chicks, bottle-feeding bummer lambs, building forts from scrap wood, skate-boarding, soccer, legos, fishing and the most recent interest......bees. (This one's over-the-top!) We'll know next spring if it's successful. For now, Bobby's reading everything in sight about raising bees!

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