Family ADHD Life Coach

Negative ADHD Comments

What do you do when people have negative ADHD comments? We have all heard them.

  • ADHD isn’t real”
  • “those kids just need more/better discipline”
  • “we don’t believe in labels”

The list could go on! Sometimes it could even be a spouse who doesn’t feel their child could have ADHD. What do you do? How should you handle those individuals?

What's Normal?  Come hang out with these crazy horses.

I asked my ADHD son one day what he would say to someone who doesn’t believe in ADHD. Without a pause he said, “I would tell them to hang out with me for a day with out my medication!”

Relationship Matters

First you need to decide if that person will be a part of your child’s life. There are many acquaintances that will make negative comments. If these people are not in your child’s life, they are not worth the energy it takes to explain. Don’t count on those people to be your support and encouragement when it comes to your ADHD kid! You learn rather quickly what settings or company you can talk freely in.

Family and Close Friends

Family and close friends matter.  Find a way to make it work if possible.

When the individuals relationship affects the child, it is important that everyone is “on board” or at least willing to put their opinions aside for the sake of the child. Remember that you likely have had more time to process and learn than they have. Be gentle with those around you as they come to accept your child for who they are. Take a deep breath and try not to become defensive.

Start with where they are at and relate to them. “I struggled with finding out he/she had ADHD as well”, “I didn’t think ADHD was real until I noticed these behaviors with him/her”. Allow them time to process and understand the best that they can.

Generational differences can play a factor in their understanding. You will find some who are willing to try to learn and some who are stuck on their view. It really is not our job to change their view. We can present information and resources but they have to believe it on their own.

What if they refuse to believe ADHD?

If they are a family member and have a relationship with your child, I hope they can put their differences aside for the sake of the child. They do not have to believe it to be supportive of you as a parent and encouraging to your child.

There may be boundaries that need to be set in place with some family members. These can be extremely difficult conversations to have but remember that you are doing it for the well being of your child. Talk to the individual and request ADHD topics not be discussed around the child. Let them know their relationship is important to you and your child and you as their parent are doing what you feel is best. There may be firmer boundaries needed if the loved ones struggle with your guidelines.

GRRRR…

Angry Cat!  Wishing people would be more accepting and less judgemental

As I have been reading a little to write this piece I have become angered! It is unbelievable how many people in this world, that pushes for acceptances of everyone, believe ADHD is made up. “There is no blood test for it” they say. Well is there a blood test for anxiety? Depression? Migraines? “There is so much more ADHD being diagnosed than back in the day”. Yes there is. As well as more cancer, more depression, and other diseases you weren’t even aware of back in the day! How many of those kids “back in the day” grew up feeling isolated and misunderstood and now have depression and RSD (Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria)?

Why does our society have to point fingers and blame the parents? I for one am grateful that some in our society are taking this serious and giving our kids and adults the help they need and deserve. They are not bad, they are often misunderstood. Their brain wiring is different. There is no cure or quick fix. It is a lifetime of learning, finding their strengths and working 100 x’s harder than others to get the same results.

Find Your People

I hear story upon story of some of your battles with the non acceptance of your ADHD kids. For some of you it is from teachers and doctors, and for some of you its grandparents and aunts and uncles. In some cases it is heart wrenching and I want you to know we may not be your true family but we are your ADHD family. Find your people who can understand and support you. There are some great Facebook and Instagram ADHD pages where you can find encouragement and information.(@adhdcoachlaureen for FB @familyadhdcoach for IG).

2 hands making hearts.  Working together we can support and accept one another.

I know, I am living in a fantasy thinking we all can accept each other for who we are and love one another. I for one will not stop trying. This is why I do what I do. To teach, create awareness and support all of you who feel alone. Please reach out to me if you are struggling!

For the mom who needs some encouragement. Here is a blog post for you.

adhdcoachlaureen@gmail.com

From my Family to yours,

ADHD Coach Laureen

Summer Break With ADHD Kids

Summer break with ADHD kids is a much needed break for everyone! It is also a time of year that can have its challenges. Many parents feel summer is a time to let up on schedule, rules, and time allowed on electronics. It is good for these kids to relax and have some of the demands taken off of them. Unfortunately, complete lack of structure can end up causing more stress, and outbursts from your children.

ADHD children need external controls to help manage their symptoms. These controls or structures keep life more predictable and organized for them. This then gives them a sense of security and control when the rest of their world is out of control. All children benefit from structure, but ADHD children need it more. These external controls help set the ADHD child up for success. When a child achieves success at home they are more willing and able to take risks outside of the home.

PRACTICAL SUMMER BREAK TIPS

With a summer schedule its important to find a balance. We do not need to create the same rigid schedule that a school year may impose. It is important to relax but also find a schedule that works for your situation.

  1. DAILY PLAN: Have some predictability through the summer days. Keep a morning routine such as get dressed, comb hair, brush teeth. Have a few chores each day to be completed. Everyone reads after lunch for 1/2 hour. Plan for meals to be at regular times. In the summer I find it easy to prolong lunch being as I am not always hungry. When temperaments start to fluctuate I realize they have not eaten in awhile! Being proactive keeps the “hangry” emotions away!
  2. WEEKLY ROUTINE: Have certain activities on specific days of the week. Every Thursday may be the day you go swimming, Tuesdays are Taco Tuesdays, Wednesdays may be invite a friend over day. Organize it however it fits for your family.
  3. SCHEDULE REVIEW: Create a habit of reviewing the days events the night before or at breakfast. That way if there are any changes to the schedule they will have time to mentally prepare for the change, thus hopefully reducing meltdowns!
  4. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: This is a must for ADHD kids! Physical activity increases focus and cognitive function. Sometimes it is hard to fit this in. Work it into their chores if there are days you can’tplan for much activity. Depending on the age they could have chores such as mowing the lawn, carrying the laundry baskets for you, vacuuming, washing windows or helping you with whatever your chores are that day. Younger kids often find it fun to help mom!
  5. BEDTIME: If you are anything like our family bedtimes go out the window a bit in the summer. In the reading I have been doing, everyone states how important it is to keep their summer bedtime similar to the school year. It is hard on kids to fluctuate too much. Now I know my teen may have some issues with this! So I have been thinking of a compromise. Monday-Thursday we may keep regular sleep and wake up times with Friday -Sunday being more flexible. That being said I am not one to let my teen stay up until the wee hours of the morning. I do believe that is hard on their minds and bodies.
  6. BOREDOM: Research shows that boredom is good! This gives them opportunity to be creative and come up with their own plan. I love when my kids say their bored! I usually respond with a “Can I help you with that?” They know that usually means they will be helping me out with something! That something may be fun or may not be. These are often the times I see my kids creativity come out the most.

FUN SUMMER TIPS

Don’t forget to have fun! Our kids may need some structure and routine but they also need to be kids. Here are some ideas to fit some fun into your schedule!

  1. SUMMER BUCKET LIST: At the beginning of summer, brainstorm and pick ones that would be feasible to do.
  2. STRENGTH PLANNING: Each of your kids has their unique strengths. Plan some activities around those things. For example, library trips for the reader, dinosaur park for your paleontologist, hikes for the nature lover.
  3. SET GOALS: Pick 1 or 2 must do goals. For example, go to 10 new playgrounds, try 5 new flavours of ice cream, ride your bike around a new area of town etc.
  4. SOMETHING NEW: Choose an activity that is new to all of you and give it a try!
  5. SOUS CHEF: Summer is a great time for kids to help in the kitchen. From shredding lettuce to letting your older kids plan a meal or 2.

CONNECTION

A lot of these tips, whether practical or fun, build connection with your kids. This is a season to connect with your kids in a different way, and them with you. Within the scheduling and planning there can still be flexibility. Just beware of changing plans spur of the moment and how you handle that with your ADHD child. No matter the age! Goodness I still struggle with that!

As you head into summer break with ADHD kids I wish you all the best! Take this time to learn more about them and the things they love. I am realizing how quickly things change and learning to embrace each stage they go through. Laugh more, love more, and let things go that do not matter.

From my family to yours,

Family ADHD Coach Laureen