Hi everyone! I’m back finally. 🙂

Having been sick for the past three weeks with the Norovirus (AWFUL bug, look it up), my plan was to rejoin the blogging world today by posting something a little lighter and happier. The picture above is an indication of how I intended to start this Spring-related post. 😛

However, after reading one of my favorite blogs this morning Fashionable People, Questionable Things, I decided to post what I was really thinking. Thanks to L-A for the inspiration.

Check out her post on What Not To Wear Wednesday and then check out my comment below…

“AMEN, sista! You know what else annoys me? Preteens who are in shorts and t-shirts at this time of year. WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS?! Dress your children, so I don’t have to listen to mine complaining because he’s the only child at his school (a great school, might I add) wearing a jacket when the temperature is -10. Seriously. Parents. It’s calling for +5 LATER today. There was frost on my windows this morning. This isn’t “shorts weather” for your kids. Cover them up already. Arg. There, done. ”

Ah, it’s great to be back! 😉

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My recent post on ADHD and Substance Abuse was THE MOST VIEWED POST I have written to date. 108 hits in 8 days for a little blog like mine sends a pretty clear message.

I have also received many emails asking me to focus more on this subject because so many in the ADD/ADHD community seem to be dealing with the issue in their own lives. Alcohol and drug abuse (illegal and prescription) are certainly a very real challenge for someone with ADHD, as it is for many others.

My favorite resource to share is an informational booklet, created by Al-anon Family Group Headquarters, and published just this year. It is current, easy to read and filled with the basics to get you started. Whether you’re a parent, a child, a spouse, a sibling or a friend of someone with a drug or alcohol problem, this booklet is a great first step to understanding what you can do to help yourself live a healthier life.

Al-anon Faces Alcoholism 2011

If you feel that Al-anon or Alateen could be right for you, please reach out to them and find out about meeting times and locations in your area. To check out their website, click here.

I will be writing a post about my personal connection to this disease, once I find the words. I’ve been trying for 3 weeks. It’s a great deal harder than I had imagined it would be. I’m working on it.

I know…I know…it’s Wednesday. I choose to focus on the fact that I finished this post, and not on the fact that I am a day late. 🙂

So, what do I have for my loyal readers today? (Side note…I HAVE READERS!!! I actually looked at my stats yesterday and saw that there are 25-30 of you that seem to be checking in regularly to read my posts. I knew I had a few supporters out there because some of you send me such lovely messages or link your blogs to mine. Thank you so much for that support! But 25-30 readers?! I had no idea! A big hug to each of you. 🙂

Anyhow, now that I realize I have actual readers, I will do my best to be a better blogger. You can’t see me right now, but my hand is on my chest. I’d lay my other hand on the bible to make it an official oath, but I’m not religious enough to know where my bible is. Or if I even own a bible. 😛 )

Anywho…back to my tip of the week….

Check out the link for a Family Barometer Satisfaction tool I found, from the website www.ADHDSupport.com. I really like this tool for a few reasons.

1 – If you have a child on medication, you should really try to measure their progress and success, at home and at school, on a regular basis. This is the only way to objectively get a reading on whether the medication is helping over a longer term. (I haven’t been doing this, but I will be starting after our next appointment with Dr. M as we’ll likely be trying a slightly higher dose of D’s Vyvanse.

2-This document can be used, as is, by simply printing off several copies (4 for you, and 4 for your child’s teacher) and placing them in a binder to keep them organized. Easy!

3-You can also use this document to create a list of expectations for your child. Grab some big paper (newsprint, flip chart paper or bristol board) and write out the items you and your partner feel are important for your child to work on. This needs to be written in a way that is age appropriate for your child, supportive and with a little creativity and colour! 🙂  You can use the document as inspiration.

For example: In my house, my son has daily chores and weekly chores. He’s 12 so I took some colourful paper and wrote up what is expected of him each day (tidying his room, taking out the compost and emptying the dishwasher) and each week (cleaning his room, sweeping upstairs and folding some laundry). I used washable markers to make it more colourful and interesting and then posted them on the wall, where he can see them.

This makes it easier for him to remember what is expected of him. I still have to remind him that it’s time to do his chores, and I still have to check to make sure he is completing them properly but I don’t have to keep repeating what he needs to do.

Trust me, that’s something. It’s one less broken record playing at him all day. 😛

The Naughty Step

October 16, 2010

For those of you with young children (with or without ADHD), you know that discipline can be a challenge. However, there are some techniques out there that can help.

One that worked for me when D was little was ‘The Naughty Step’. This technique has been seen by many on the popular parenting show ‘Supernanny’, where Nanny Jo Frost teaches it to parents struggling with children who have been lacking the necessary discipline.

There are also variations on the theme such as ‘The Naughty Stool’ and my personal favorite ‘The Naughty Mat’ – for those who like to discipline on the go. 😉

Watch the clip below to see Nanny Frost explain how this technique should be implemented.

You can find out more about Supernanny’s technique by clicking HERE.

Fear not, your little ones may test you to see how serious you are about this new approach. Just keep at it though and you’ll see results. Like any technique, the key to success is consistency.

Though it may be tough now, your children will thank you for it later. Ok, MUCH later. Maybe… 😛

If you have a tenacious child between the ages of 2-12, this book might be just what you’ve been looking for. I used it years ago during the “terrible twos/meltdown mania” stage and loved it!

It isn’t only for children with ADHD either. It is full of insightful information to help any parent establish a little structure and discipline. Not every idea is going to work for every child, so I was grateful that this book had lots of options. 🙂

Having used the book successfully, my advice would be to read it cover to cover before you start implementing any of the strategies and techniques. You’ll need to be ready for the possible push back if you have a very determined and clever child. They can change tactics very quickly and you’ll need to stand your ground and be consistent, so that they can understand the boundaries you are putting in place to keep them safe, healthy and happy.

It also helps if the child has the same boundaries, regardless of where they are or who they’re with. You may want to enlist the help of those closest to the child and talk with them about any possible changes you would like to make and your expectations. That way, regardless of whether they are with mom, dad, grandma, granddad or their childcare provider, they’ll feel safe and secure knowing what is expected of them at all times.

In an ideal world, parents would talk about these things together and implement them as a team. However, we know that this isn’t always the case, so just do your best to present this new strategy and new materials as a positive and healthy step towards teaching your child right from wrong. Hopefully, family members will come around once they see the results.

It’s always good to be open to the ideas of others and often family can be a wonderful resource. However you also need to trust in your ability as a parent and know that YOU know your child best. As long as you are acting responsibly and in a way that encourages, supports and nurtures your child’s development, you should stay positive and move forward. Keep trying things until you find what works.

Even if you are struggling with the issue of discipline on your own, this book will still empower you with the tips and tools you’ll need to affect positive changes in your home.

Good luck! 🙂

Bullying is Unacceptable!

October 1, 2010

This is too important a message not to share. Watch the short message above.

Bullying of any type is unacceptable. Some children feel so alone in the world that they feel their only option is ending their lives. It needs to stop. Things need to change.

We need to teach our children how to respect each other’s differences. We need to model this acceptance for them on a daily basis. So I am urging each of you to take a moment and think about what you could be doing to improve the lives of our children.

Thank you.

Tip Tuesday – September 28th

September 28, 2010

As a few of you may remember, I was a tad frustrated with homework last week. (Understatement.)

After some much-needed humour (see above) from an episode of How I Met Your Mother (LOVE that show!), I was back at it and combing the internet for some tips and ideas to help us stay positive about homework.

The reality is that this year is 100 times better than last year, in respect to homework. D’s teacher is sending home less work sheets and what he does send home reflects what they have covered in class (a foreign concept for a few of the teachers D’s had in the past). However, we still have our moments. Homework is the bane of my existence on some nights.

There are tips that can help though.

Over the years, we have learned that being organized is the MOST important skill you and your child will need when it comes to school. This may also be your biggest challenge.

Having a child with ADHD inevitably means that you are likely having discussions on a daily basis about books that have gone missing, worksheets they forgot to bring home and agendas they left on the playground….they think. 🙂 If you also have ADHD yourself, then life might be even more chaotic and getting organized may not be one of your strengths. However, this does NOT have to mean you give up on it. Luckily, there are many things you can try! 🙂

I will be discussing several of these tips for getting organized over the next few months because I think they could really help those living with ADHD and it’ll be a great review for me too. After all, there may have been strategies that didn’t work a few years ago that may be exactly what we need this year! 🙂

So, the first little tidbit I’ll share on this Tip Tuesday comes from ADDitude Magazine.

Battling Disorganization

Enjoy! 🙂

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