Winters are hard for kids, especially active kids like our ADHDers. They can't just go outside and run and bounce and go free whenever they feel like it. Add our additional location challenges (for anyone new here, we live on the side of a mountain with no yard and frequent visits from black bears), and you have two seriously cooped-up children. What has resulted, as much from my laziness as from these circumstances, is children who spend an enormous amount of time watching TV or playing Wii, DS or Internet games. Completely unacceptable. I know, I know.
So, besides working to finish our house and sell it and move off the mountain and into a traditional subdivision, I have a new plan. I am full of plans, aren't I?My plan is to keep them busy.
This new plan is not only designed to give them activities that don't require a screen and to keep them moving. I am also hoping participating in these different things will give them the opportunity to discover their talents and a bit of bliss.
Luke already has occupational therapy weekly. For the next two months, he is going twice a week for Interactive Metronome therapy.
They started swim classes again yesterday that will take place once a week. While Luke didn't do very well with it (we had a "I felt like I was going to drown" incident in lessons last year that has caused a severe fear for him), Emma was elated and had a great time that provided her both physical exercise and a real boost in self-confidence. Luke swears he is not participating anymore, but we'll see what happens next week.
Since a lot of the focus in our home is on Luke and managing his ADHD, I promised Emma she could choose an activity that is just hers. She has chosen dance. While the class she wants will require some heavy-duty shuffling as it overlaps Interactive Metronome the next two months, I am willing to push the boundaries for her to have this thing all her own.
We have also discussed two other options: Taekwondo and Art Class. These options would be for both Luke and Emma. I have read so often that Taekwondo is great for ADHD kids to teach them discipline and focus. Emma has also wanted to take martial arts for several years now (and could use discipline and focus herself). The real issue with this is that it is so expensive. $158 every month for the two of them.
The art class can be as little as once a week or as much as 5 days a week (although our schedule would never permit that). It's a program called "Art in the Afternoon" and is designed as an alternative after school program. The neighboring school district buses participants over to the community center after school for this program. However, any child can participate. It's just $17 a day for both of them for an art lesson and up to 3 hours of care. We took this art instructor's week-long day camp last summer and the kids loved it. And Luke does so well with formal art instruction. I just talked myself into it while writing this and signed them up.
So here's what our schedule will look like when I get this all into place:
Monday -- Taekwondo 6:30-7:30 pm(assuming we choose to do this one) Tuesday -- Art in the Afternoon 3-6 pm , Swim Lessons 6-6:40 pm Wed -- Interactive Metronome/Occupational Therapy (OT) 5-6 pm Thurs -- Interactive Metronome/OT for Luke 5-6 pm, dance for Emma 4:30-5:15 pm Friday -- need a day for counseling therapy and other appointments/activities (although there is free time between school and scheduled activities Mon and Wed)
Come March, OT will be back to once a week and we will be adding Little League baseball and softball. We will dive in and try these new things and see how they go. We can always eliminate those things that just don't work for us. That's not quitting, but knowing when something just isn't a good fit.