Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Step Aside "Reality" TV!

Seriously, what would any of the current "Reality" TV shows have on MY reality? No, I wouldn't want cameras in every room of my home, nor would I want my son to think for a second that his behavior was worthy of entertainment, but for a few minutes today my girlfriend's idea was novel. One of my closest friends in middle school and I reconnected today. We talked like we hadn't missed a year and it had been 30 years!We talked about her 3 kids and my four. Each one with their special qualities. We discussed husbands, jobs & life in general....which led to a deeper discussion. She asked about my youngest child. Everything in the conversation became heavier and she accurately sensed the overwhelming feelings I have raising this child. Her support was so sweet but it was her last suggestion that still has me smiling. "You guys really need to turn this into a reality tv show!" I gasped and then laughed out loud. Amazing thoughts people have when they are looking in at us! Her thoughts were genuine I could tell and I felt validated to hear her say, "You two are experienced parents who work incredibly hard to guide this child and he is trying to stump you at every turn! A show would be every bit as entertaining as the other Reality shows out there today."  Hmmm, the only time I've thought of cameras in this house was for tracking Bobby, so this was intriguing, but for now we'll just pretend we're celebrities and continue entertaining our "live" audiences at school & in the community! (We could change our minds in the future though, Lisa - thanks for the fun suggestion!!)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ADHD & Church

If you have never taken an ADHD child to church and you're thinking about it... plan well! Some families have made regular church-attendance a part of their routine but even if it's a routine, it isn't easy with a bouncing, darting child in a place of worship. I do not recommend "dropping off" this child in a kids' class and walking away. Get to know the teachers just as you would in his/her school classroom. And, in all fairness to the teachers, let them know about your child's special needs. Often times church division teachers do not have a lot of training or experience working with kids with high needs but they are wonderful teachers. Your child needs to feel successful or he will not want to return. If he or she is unsuccessful and always in trouble for a long period of time your child may never want to enter a church again. This really isn't what you're going for!

Some churches are more formal than others. One isn't in general better than the other, but for the ADHD child, less formality might be better. Don't be afraid to let trusted people in on your need for help with your child. These people will offer high-fives, smiles & greetings when others may be so overwhelmed they can't engage him. The less formal congregation may even allow this child to carry out roles traditionally offered to adults...ie helping out in the service.

Stay with your child as much as possible and consider taking along a good book or quiet activity your child enjoys as well as a small snack (non-messy one & only if it's allowed). These things will occupy time and keep child calm during your worship experience. (Also keeps him from dropping things from the balcony & running through the baptistry!)

Change is difficult but if your child isn't successful in church it might be time to re-evaluate his needs and match them up with the right experience.

HiDe ThE kNiVeS?

Are we still talking about ADHD? Still? Curiosity, impulsitivity & lack of reasonable control are the bywords of my daily life and yet there are days I really believe we've taken a step forward into maturity. Then we plunge 3 steps back.

If I didn't need my kitchen knives for chopping and slicing, I'd just get rid of them. I want to lock them up but how helpful is that in teaching my son self- control (as well as very inconvenient for me!)

Boys love knives. I'll never get it but it's a fact. That's why I gave my son pocket knives. Just so he could cut sticks and stuff outside. Not my living room furniture. Not the dining room stool. And not with my knives!

There have to be consequences. Lose the pocket knives for a while. And...he should spend the day outside. Kids that destroy furniture probably shouldn't sit on the furniture and watch movies or play the wii. No indoor playtime during daylight hours for a week. Plus, he's going to work off some $$ for the damages.

Bobby's the caboose in our family but if he thinks for a minute I'm out of ideas or energy...he better think again!!! He has met his match! (Matches - another topic!)