ADHD Parenting: 3 Communication Tips for ADHD

Parenting ADHD kids requires good communication skills.

ADHD Parenting Requires Good Communication Skills

And I admit, it's not always easy!

ADHD kids can drive you crazy, and it's easy to say something that only makes everything worse.

I admit to blurting things out that I regretted and even screaming at my son. I worked on saying something appropriate. I stopped screaming. And I apologized, reminding him that I did love him. We lived through it, and he's now one terrific parent himself.

So don't beat yourself up. Get some effective strategies and

ADHD Woman Thinks Experts are Wrong

help-for-adhdYou know what really gets my goat with all these ADHD experts?

Even the psychiatrists specializing in ADHD make me want to scream?

Most of them are WRONG! Most mean well . . . but wrong!

You'll find out why in my story.

Now I'd always just thought I was crazy.

After all, I didn't hear about ADHD until I was a college professor here in Denver.

But one day I was feeling so crazy, I realized I needed help! So off I went to see a counselor. Explained what was going on. She said,

Smart ADHD Girl Flunks Math and Goes to Grad School

ADHD SuccessIf you're a smart kid with ADHD, you may get do well in 3rd grade,  even 5th grade.

Then comes middle school . . . and oops, the trouble starts. It's harder and takes more concentration of which you have little.

But wait, high school is on the horizon. Now you're in big trouble.

It's my senior year. I dutifully go off for my scheduled appointment with Mr. Attleborough, the college counselor.

"MaryJo, I've been going over your grades and your SAT scores. You did extremely well on the verbal part of the SAT. In fact, your
score is one of the highest in your class."

I smile. Of course, I did well on verbal part of the SAT. Hardly a big deal.

"But your math score is the worst in your class. Very odd that you would

ADHD Girl Wins Battle with Peas

girl and broccoliTo this very day, I'm convinced no food exists that's more disgusting than canned peas.

My adult son still gags at the mere mention of broccoli.

Here's what happened at my house for a little girl with ADHD named MaryJo who didn't like peas:

"Finish up your peas and bring your plate into the kitchen so I can wash your plate."

"I am," I hollered at my Mother.

"Don't yell," she replied. "And stop playing with your food."

"I'm not playing with my food. I'm making a neat picture with my peas."

We argued about me eating my peas for what seemed like an eternity.

"Cease and desist from all this dilly-dallying and EAT your peas."("Cease and desist" was one of my Mom's many variations on the word "stop.")

"MaryJo, I want to remind you of all the

Oprah Gives to Denver Charter | Are Charters Best for Your Child?

Oprah Winfrey Gives Money to Denver SchoolOprah Winfrey just gave $1 million to the Denver School of Science & Technology, a high performing charter school. I live in Denver. Of course, I’m thrilled.

But charter schools have become a political football. Many conservatives like them a lot and some liberals, including teachers’ unions, on the other hand, often don’t like them.

But some liberals who don’t like charters are annoyed at other liberals like Oprah and Barack Obama who do like charters.

Read the "Wall Street Journal," you’ll find charter school success stories. Read the "New York Times" and you’re more likely to read charter school failure stories.

Everybody's right. Some charter schools, Oprah’s choice in Denver and the new charter schools in New Orleans, for example, are excellent schools.

Other charter schools have proven no better and sometimes worse, much worse than their traditional neighborhood public schools.

And sometimes a great charter school is a lousy choice for your child. An open, loosely structured school environment won't work for

How to Help Kids Get Organized before School Starts

One of the most important things you can do BEFORE school starts is to help your kids get organized for school.

And I'm not just talking about shopping for new clothes and shoes.

Even if your kids don't have ADHD, organizing all their stuff and keeping it organized is often a challenge.

Staying organized is also a big key to school success.

Proceed with one project at a time.

Start with their room if there's stuff on the floor, under the bed and piled everywhere.

Set an intention to do this together without arguing. Your job is to make suggestions, not demands. Buy three brightly colored bins (even three good-sized waste baskets will do). Label them

Creativity for Kids: It's Good for the Their Brain

Creativity seems to be everywhere these days.

How about the dress made from 1000 origami whooping cranes? If you're in London, you can take a look at it in the London Science Museum.

Or the two college students at Rice University who used a simple kitchen salad spinner, yogurt cups, a comb and a glue gun to make a centrifuge for separating blood to test for anemia.

The professor told the class to invent a cheap medical device that didn't use electricity and could be used in developing countries. They didn't just get an A for their class project. This summer the two young women, Lauren Theis and Lila Kerr, are traveling in Africa helping clinics test their device!

Now I'm not suggesting your kids are going to come up with an invention like this during summer vacation (of course, they might) but they certainly can

Why Smart Kids Don't Learn

It's true. Some Smart Kids refuse to learn.

Even the very smartest kids, the kids with the highest IQ's. Their parents are frustrated. Their teachers perplexed.

But bottom line: Nobody learns anything if they aren't interested. And let's face it, for some kids, school is boring.

Your children only get interested in a subject (or in school in general) when they have an emotional connection to whatever you or your children's teachers think they must learn. Has nothing to do with how smart your kid is.

Sometimes just pleasing a teacher or a parent is enough. Sometimes the long-term goal of getting into a good college works. Lots of times it takes more.

What if They Hate Math?

I'm really bad at math. I don't get it. Never have. Now here's the emotional connection:

Smart Kids Need Help from Smart Parents

I don't know where you and your Smart Kids live, but here in Denver the schools have had their budgets cut.

I'm guessing your Smart Kids' school had its budget cut too. Maybe your Smart Kid's teacher was let go. It's happening all over the country.

In most cases, fewer teachers means more kids in a classroom. More kids means less attention for your child from the teacher. And less likely this teacher will have an aide. What does it mean for your Smart Kid? Will she fall behind? Will it affect his test scores?

Smart Kids Have Brains

Vigorous exercise helps with ADHD
Smart Kids have Brains. All Kids have Brains. That's obvious.

What's not so obvious is that all kids can be smarter.

All kids can reach their full potential.

I call that "Smart Potential."

Sure, it means some life-style changes: smart toys, challenging games, and new activities.

Means less TV, more protein and complex carbs, and lots more movement.

Bottom line with Smart Learning your kids can

  • Have fewer ADHD symptoms.
  • Stay focused longer.
  • Get better grades with less struggle.
  • Be calmer and more grounded.
  • Sometimes even raise their IQs
  • Excel at their passion

"Lots more movement" is right up there at the top of the list for helping kids reach their "Smart Potential." Dr. Paul Dennison, founder of Brain Gym, has shown repeatedly that movement is the key to learning. More recently, Dr. John Ratey, a psychiatrist at the Harvard Medical School argues 

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