Monkey is Extremely ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). When I say Extremely, I mean literally bouncing off the walls (at least when he's not on his meds).
Potato is borderline ADD, just had the doctor visit about that today.
Oh and all three of them are ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) to some degree.
And of course there is me. I am ADD too.
Before he was even born, ten years ago, Monkey was hyperactive. I'm positive he used my insides as his own personal jungle gym. As a baby, Monkey wasn't happy unless he was in motion. Once he was able to move on his own (crawling, walking/running) he didn't stop. He would climb anything he could hold onto. Thankfully he is also very coordinated and athletic. I didn't know much about how boys act, so I never knew my super active son was actually hyperactive. Kindergarten was the first time I thought maybe my son is more active than other boys. In school he would roll around the floor, be very fidgety, or look as if he wasn't paying any attention to his teacher. Monkey has been on medication since he was five. I've always insisted on the lowest dose that helps manage the ADHD. (He's been on the same dose for the past 3 years even though he's gained weight and grown.) We don't really see much of the ODD, accept in the morning and at night (times he's not on the meds) Monkey still is fidgety and he's definitely still very active. We also manage his ADHD with diet changes, lots of reminders, and trying to stay on a regular schedule.
Here are some Tips and Tricks I've learned in the last thirteen years.
- Routines - All kids need them. They definitely help our family. The kids know what is expected and it helps them feel like they have control.
- Lots of Warnings - Let kids know when they will be moving from one activity to another. Example: Joey is playing with his trains. Parent "Joey in 5 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "Joey in 3 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "One minute we will be eating dinner." This lets the child know and helps them to remember.
- Stand up - Fidgeting is just part of the territory. If my boys are having trouble sitting for dinner or homework time, I let them stand. The rule is if they're standing they Must stay at the table (No walking). This gives their body something to do and most of the time they stand mostly still.
- Diet changes - There are lots of theories about different foods to help manage ADHD. The biggest diet change I've made with my kids is eliminating food dyes. I noticed a huge difference in (particularly Monkey) their hyperactivity level.
- Unconditional Love - This is the biggest key to "managing" every day. Don't just tell your kids you love them, Show them how much they are loved. Hugs, snuggling, little notes in a lunchbox, reading together. Here are some more ideas.
- Support groups - For your kids and you. Kids like to know they aren't the only one dealing with stuff. And for us parents it's great to have other parents to talk to and share ideas with.
~Your Earthy Mom