I am often asked how parents can stay calm with their children with ADHD and/or autism. In the midst of an emotional outburst or meltdown, it isn’t easy, that’s for sure. Yet, it is possible most of the time. Not easy, but definitely possible. In this video, I explain how I maintain calm composure in the face of ADHD/autism behavior.
Positive changes at home
So often, when raising a child with ADHD or autism, parents worry more about their child’s behavior and performance at school than at home. There’s good reason for that — we’re taught that school success is paramount to life success in our culture. We think, “As long as Ricochet can keep it together for school and stay out of trouble, I can handle behavior at home. That’s good enough.” Yet, it’s not good enough. In thinking that way, we are sacrificing our own relationship with our child and our family’s joy. That’s simply not okay. You can improve life at home, too.
More damage than good?
“Sit down right NOW!”
“Why didn’t you turn in your homework? You are so forgetful.”
“Why do I have to tell you over and over again? Just do it now.”
“You are driving me crazy!”
“Your backpack is a mess.”
“I don’t want to play with you.”
“Just focus and do your work.”
“Look at Jimmy over there, he’s doing his work. Be like him.”
Statements such as these can leave kiddos feeling defeated, inadequate, and incompetent, and with low self-esteem. As parents, we can nurture our children’s self-esteem by making a few shifts in our parenting approach.
Lying Can Be More Than Bad Character
Society has always thought of lying as a character flaw. For the most part, I agree. Willful lying to deceive is not acceptable and could be an indicator that someone lacks integrity. But what about when that individual has ADHD? Is it still a character flaw? Not exactly.
It’s a matter of comfort.
“I just want to be alone,” Ricochet says, his eyes fixed on his feet. He seems to sense that it will disappoint us. We hear this quite a bit from Ricochet these days. He doesn’t want to participate in family activities. He doesn’t even want to have family dinner anymore. Why this seemingly sudden shift?
A bit of free advice on parenting kids with ADHD
I’m so fortunate to have met play therapist and school counselor, Jackie Flynn, when she asked me to do an interview with her for her new podcast series, Parenting in the Rain. You are going to love her!
Our interview on parenting kids with ADHD is a free podcast download on iTunes, or you can listen on Stitcher. Click here to listen on iTunes:
My son, Ricochet, is a very sensitive individual. He gets very emotional very easily. For years, he cried over just about everything. When he was picked on, he cried. The crying in those situations lead to more bullying, and even more tears. He was often told to “act his age,” or “quit acting like a baby.” Even with the added autism diagnosis about nine months ago, people still felt this behavior wasn’t age-appropriate.
We’ve been working long and hard on how to interpret the actions of his peers. With poor nonverbal communication skills and a very literal interpretation, it has been an uphill battle, with no end in sight. He is constantly upset by the words and actions of his peers, even when they’re really showing camaraderie, because he just can’t see it. Read More
A Cautionary Christmas Tale
[Editor’s Note: The following blog post was originally published on amomsviewofadhd.com December 2009, 13 months after my son was diagnosed with ADHD.]
Impulsivity is a hallmark of ADHD. We know that all too well in our household. Most mornings Ricochet is up before anyone else hunting for the cookies, chocolate, and candy and eating as much of it as he can before anyone else wakes. He has found and accessed all our hiding places. Even the top shelf of the pantry, about 8 feet up, is accessible to him (he climbs the shelves like a ladder). I am now going to have to resort to hiding “treats” outside of the kitchen. Ugh.
In light of this knowledge and experience, Daddy decided he had better sleep on the couch by the Christmas tree the night Santa leaves all the presents. But Read More
Is that thing you don’t have really better?
I’m sure you all know the proverbial saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” It means, something else always looks more promising from a distance. It’s a warning that things can be deceptively alluring from a distance. It’s a warning I have finally learned to heed. Finally! When it comes to special needs, Read More
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