My step kids were diagnosed with ADHD this week. I thought I was going crazy and that my feelings were unwarrented because they are "just kids". Now it seems that I am frusterated, and anxious for a reason. Those kids are UNCONTROLLABLE! Medically! So... I need a list of stress reducers or things I can do to relax when I'm being asked 20 questions a minute. Please help.
You've made a good start by asking others for advice. My blog is my major stress reliever. The one piece of advice I'd give is to get the kids outside. Running, climbing, playing and see if that helps them organize a bit. My kids don't have ADHD but I still want to lock myself in the bathroom somedays. :)
Sorry you are going crazy! :( There are a few simple things you can do to take a few minutes out of your day to relax. Here's more information that I hope will help you relax and unwind a little. Good luck!
It sounds like it's not optional for you to lock yourself in a room or leave the kids for a few minutes to cool down, so you have to find a way to destress when you are with the kids. What about having an Ipod moment? Put a relaxation song on your Ipod and put that in your ears for a few moments so that you can listen to that. This way, you can pretend to listen to your child while really listening to the music. I hate to suggest lying to the kid, but sometimes it might be necessary. Saying things like, "Mommy has to take a call" and setting rules about silence when Mommy is on the phone" might give you that two minutes to plug in your headset and actually listen to relaxing music instead of questions. I know, I know. Kids are savvy but sometimes, they buy into things. If yours is too savvy, try to find a way for the scenario to work. Let your child know that when the headphones go on, Mommy will be unavailable for questions for two minutes. Period. Good luck with it!
I just joined this site to find some help with my own plans to include Yoga in my weekly routine. I"m an internist who has patients in your situation -- with children that have ADHD. I agree with the opinions expressed here that you must make sure you take care of yourself, so you are able to take better care of your children.
I"m going to avoid the discussion of whether or not medications might be helfpful for your children -- but if you haven"t found a good pediatrician who can hellp you diagnose and manage your children, I could recommend Dr. Sheldon Gross, in Burlingame:
Dr. Gross listing
Can you really relax when you're being asked 20 questions a minute? I have a 7 year old with "ADHD", and it was very stressful until we found ways to help him manage his energy. I don't agree with calling it a disorder. I prefer to think of it in the way that people are different, and the higher energy ones are at a disadvantage. If you were running a farm and your kids had to help with physical chores for the survival of the family, they'd have plenty of outlets for their 'excess' energy.
When my blood starts to boil, I take the timeout. I have been known to lock myself in a room with both my kids knocking at the door and trying to get in relentlessly. I explain to them that my job is to be a good mom, and when I feel like that I can't be a good mom and I need some space until I can be again.
Often kids with ADHD are really bright, and get bored easily, partially because it's hard to find things that hold their interest. Or they don't have enough motivation to cooperate. I know of some parents who only award priveleges for good behavior - no treats, no TV (if they watch), no time on the phone (if they're old enough to be interested in that), perhaps no time with their favorite toys, unless they can do what they're asked to - whatever's most important to you to keep your sanity. All the extra's have to be earned. Or a reward system, earn a star for every day without a timeout and 20 stars gets them a treat of some sort, something they really want.
And make sure they get plenty of excercise! We call it running laps - whatever it is. The pogo stick is the current favorite ; )
Nutritional changes have made all the difference for my boy. No artificial additives whatsoever, low sugar, and tracking down some other foods he was reacting to. Adding omega 3 fish oil, a multi spectrum probiotic, and magnesium to his daily diet. We can tell within ten minutes if he's eaten something reactive. Docs may want to go to drugs first, but there can be some nasty lasting side effects.
Try ADHD_Drugfree yahoo group if you're interested in taking a drug free route with helping the kids, and you! Lots of info in the files and links section, and lots of other parents who've been there and have done a ton of research. Also Feingold dot org for a particular nutritional approach that has worked for a lot of people, although is not the answer for everyone. Even if you decide to take the medical approach, making nutritional changes can support or limit the need for higher doses of meds. And supplementation is a must with meds, different ones leach the body of different nutrients which need to be replaced.
I give myself a time out when my son with special needs is going a mile a minute. Sometimes just getting him OUTSIDE to shoot hoops, get on the skateboard-- gives me the space to do some breathing. I have learned to give myself free time by waking up earlier in the morning than he so I can have a cuppa, eat breakfast do my morning prayer and meditation. Priceless times. Having Mr. Busy involved in team sports and or martial arts also gave me some timeout time.... There are great examples for parents in the ADD-itude magazine. Also connecting to a local CHADD group (for family members with loved ones with ADHD) can help you to know you are not the lone ranger. All the best.
Hi my name is Traci and i too have a child with ADHD. I found a product that realy works. It takes a few days up to a week to start working, but its a great product. if you go to my web site you can see for yourself what this product can do not only for your kids but yourself, you sound like you could use a little stress relief
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Think of the future. My mom would snap at the smallest things and it affected us for the rest of our lives. My dad died with a broken heart. So, the "hyper" little kids of today might be great teachers or lawyers or what have you... but they are just developing now. Remember -- someone put up with you when you were a kid.
I have a friend who has had lifelong ADHD -- and is a FAMOUS rock star. Just remember, these kids are the future, but you have to give them their chance.
I'm with Stephanie, too. I've never heard of kids being indefinitely diagnosed with ADHD, but maybe that's just me...It sounds like your own level of stress is something that has determined how you relate to your kids. I think you probably should work on yourself before laying the blame entirely on your children. It seems likely that there may be other factors in your life that have affected your attitude towards your kids and your life in general. I think that cultivating love, acceptance, and peace in your life might help the way you approach your children; if you're not loving towards them, they'll feel it and act accordingly. Make sure you get some time alone to yourself--even 30 minutes of silent meditation or allowing yourself to do absolutely nothing might help to alleviate some of the stress.
nutrition and yoga. My suggestion would be that not only YOU do yoga but have the kids do it as well. I've heard that it can really calm kids, especially when done over time (the bulk of the benefits come with extended practice, for everyone who does yoga.) Perhaps some meditation on top of the relaxation portion of yoga practice will help too.
Otherwise, consider changing the way they eat. Make sure they are eating things that are not filled with sugar (that includes juice--water is best) and try to feed them foods that are as close to their natural form as possible (no fried foods or processed meats and lots of fruit and veggies.) A tip: if it comes in a wrapper, don't give it to them. There are recommended diets for ADD/ADHD; have a gander at those for help.
Lastly, why not try to create a completely calm and restful environment? Soft music(perhaps get some yoga music to play), calm voices, no TV, no overly brightly lit rooms...just calm. Perhaps over time, the ambience will catch on.
When you chill out the kids will. I agree with Stephanie B that at least some of the problem is with you. The kids are feeling your negative, non coping feelings and running away with them. If you relax and come from a peaceful, nurturing place when you are around them, you might find a huge change in the children.
Take a yoga class. Taking a yoga class will ensure you get out of the house and away from the kids. It is also a great way to relax and chill out. Breathing and stetching has been proven to destress the body and mind.
"Those kids" are responding to your energy. It hit me really hard when I read your message that the issue is more you than the kids. I'm not sure what your situation is, or whether your stepchildren live with you full-time or not, but I honestly did not feel much love coming from your post or your description of them. If you are resentful that they are there (because they aren't "your" kids), then they are likely to ACT OUT by responding in a manner that will then further irritate you. You need to look inside take responsibility for your own moods and not put it out "there" on "those" kids or anyone else but yourself. I guarantee that if you change your attitude towards the children that they will behave better. And BTW, there is no "medical" diagnosis of ADHD. Nobody takes a blood test to determine whether someone has it or not. It is a label given by someone who "decides" whether someone else has it or not. And your post saddened me because you were all too quick to label your creative, energetic children as "medically uncontrollable" rather than finding a way to work with them better. Be more loving. That's your answer.
Congratulations You Have Normal Kids!!. A.KA ADHD is a hoax.
I founded a school and run a tutoring center. None of my kids have Learning Disabilities.
Kids should ask questions, they should be active, they should want to know more.
Once a child is labeled, it is just an excuse not to be in communication with them. It is just an excuse not to teach them. It's just an excuse not to be a parent to them.
Before I go into details about that, I highly recommend you research the subject. Do you even know what ADHD is?
Check these books at this web site http://www.cchr.org/index.cfm/5329/5921
Try to play games and keep the kids busy doing fun kid games.
Trade with other moms or dads. I don't know how old your kids are, but trading off with another parent for a couple of hours one or two times a week was a great help. My two boys have ADHD and were hyperactive for many, many years. I also hired energetic teens to babysit (turned out that hiring two friends to babysit them together worked best and well worth very cent I spent). I can't recall ever being able to relax with them unless we went to the movies or a well-supervised swim lesson.
Any kind of transition (end of start of school, trip, new or crowded activity) would set them off and I learned that I had to keep balance between having a daily routine and having enough interesting activities to keep them engaged.
You might consider joining a support group (C.H.A.D.D.) and taking a parenting class (on parenting challenging kids) with your spouse. You will get helpful information and some great strategies to use.
BTW, my boys are now 18 and 20, going to school and holding part time jobs. They still have the short attention span but they are far less hyperactive and can channel their energies productively.
Support groups. You might consider finding a support group in your area for parents of ADHD children. They would be able to provide you with valuable information and educate you about the best way to handle the constant questions. Don't forget, while you are taking care of them, you need to take care of yourself as well.
Relax BEFORE You're with the Kids. The thing I've learned about relaxation is you've got to invest some time in practicing it when you're NOT under stress. Find an activity that works for you like yoga, massage, breathing, or meditating and then commit to practice it regularly. The deep relaxation you can achieve when you're not under direct stress seems to seep out into the rest of your life and make those stressful times more bearable. Also - you just need to breathe and make sure you have plenty of support with those kids. Non-ADHD kids can drive you insane. I can't imagine! Good luck!
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