Creating a Schedule that Works for Your Family (Part 2 of 2)

Recently we explored why kids crave consistency and routines. The benefits are seemingly endless but we focused on these five reasons:

  • Positive predictability makes kids feel safe and comfortable
  • Routines give kids a sense of purpose and control
  • Routines increase self-confidence
  • Consistency helps build a sense of respect
  • Schedules help develop self-discipline and build life-long habits

So now that we know a handful of great reasons why we should maintain a schedule or routine, how do you establish one that works for your family?  There are lots of different types of schedules for everything from morning routines to bedtime routines and everything in between.  How do you know what’s right for you?  

While it seems simple enough, a lot of planning and thinking goes into a successful schedule. And there is no “one size fits all” routine for kids.  For example, your child’s age and abilities will dictate a lot.  Can your kids read or will they need a pictorial?  How detailed should you be and should you include specific times, or just durations?  How will you get your kids cooperation?  It can be overwhelming when you set out, but relax, it’ll be ok!  We can work through this together!

Before we dive into the process, here are some general tips to keep in mind.

  • Keep it simple!  Don’t make it any harder than it has to be.  Even though it takes some thought,a good routine just needs to be a list of activities; anything more than that is extra.  
  • Make it easily enforcible!  You have to be able to easily enforce the routine. If you can’t, it’s not going to work, no matter how well-planned it is.  
  • Write it down!  Starting with a rough draft on a piece of paper allows me to revise and refine it, before I make a larger poster to display. Displaying it helps with accountability and any confusion that may arise.  The schedule will need to be posted somewhere that everyone can see it, at the user’s eye level (not at the parents’ eye level). Young non-readers may need a picture schedule.  You can find cheap supplies for posters and the like at your local $1 Store and use old magazines to cut out pictures that depict the specific step.  

From the beginning, you have to decide how loosely or tightly you will schedule the time.  Will you list specific times of the day, or will the schedule just be an order of events?  For example, during quarantine, my children wake up at different times, but they still need to eat, practice personal hygiene, do chores, perhaps school work, before they get to play.  But since the start times are different for each child, our morning ritual doesn’t list specific start and end times, but rather a duration for each task:  Eat breakfast – 15 minutes; Brush teeth – 5 minutes.

Keeping these tips in mind, here is the process I’ve used many times to set up consistent schedules for our family, as the kids have grown and their needs and abilities have changed.

  1. Determine what exactly you’re trying to schedule.  It sounds silly, but yes, determine exactly what you want to chart. Is it a morning routine for a toddler?  A bedtime routine for a tween, or how about a homework schedule for your high schooler?  The age(s) and abilities of your kids, as well as what activities you’re trying to establish will be integral to a successful routine.  For my family, I found it worked best when I started with a small block of time, such as a morning routine, rather than starting with a full day, especially for the younger kids.
  2. Using one of Covey’s Seven Habits, begin with the end in mind; determine what you consider to be success.  Is it a successful routine only if your child completes ALL his homework, or works on it undistracted for just 30 minutes?  If your child takes a shower, but doesn’t wash his hair, is it successful?  
  3. Once you understand what success looks like, list out each necessary step in your routine. If there’s an element to the process that is crucial to success, it has to be included in the routine.  Having said that, however, keep it simpleand be careful not to micro-manage the process.  Young kids, especially those with ADHD, are likely to get overwhelmed with too many steps and a lot of detail.  I’d recommend no more than maybe two or three steps at first.  For example, I couldn’t tell my youngest child to get himself dressed until he was six years old.  Getting himself dressed was too overwhelming, and he couldn’t even start the process.  For him, I had to break his morning routine down to several “subroutines”, of which getting dressed was just one.   So be patient if your child needs a little more guidance at the beginning.  As they get older or more used to a routine, you can try to add more steps.  This is one area, however, where you need to gauge your child’s individual needs and abilities to be able to give him or her enough detail without overly dictating activities. 
  4. After you know all the tasks in the routine, assign a specific time (ex: 10:45 am – 11:00 am) or a length of time (ex: 15 minutes) for each step.  For any schedule that needs to end by a certain time, such as leaving the house in the morning before work/school, or bedtime routines, you may find it helpful to work backward.  For example, if you need to get out of the house for work by 7:45 a.m., then start from there and work backwards with activities to determine what time your kids should get up.  For bedtime, I want my kids in bed by 9:00 p.m., so working backward and allowing time for snacks, getting pajamas on, brushing teeth, my children’s bedtime routine starts at 8:30 p.m.
  5. Once it’s created, be sure to explain it to your kids at an age-appropriate level, and post it for everyone to see.  Be sure to post it at their eye level, not yours.  Then plan to help them implement it.  This means you may have to teach them certain skills.  If the morning routine includes making a bed, but they don’t know how, you will have to take time to teach, then supervise, the task until they’re comfortable performing it on their own.  

Even after you have a schedule created and you’re implementing it, there are several steps to ensure it works, and tips to help make it stick.  

  • Don’t set them up for failure. As parents, we have to give them the tools necessary to compete the routine on a consistent basis.  Using the previous example of showering, this can be as simple as making sure they know where the linens are, and that you use shampoo on your hair, rather than bar soap.  Perhaps it’s making sure they have clean clothes laid out for them in the morning so they don’t have to make those choices in a hurry, or having a healthy breakfast ready that they can eat on the go. 
  • Success deserves reward. When your child successfully completes the routine, reward him or her immediately.  Rewards don’t have to be expensive (heck, even better if they’re free); in fact, the simpler the better.  You can reward them with a treat, an extra story, some snuggle time, letting them choose dinner, 5 minutes of extra screen time, etc.  We use a token economy in our household.  If they don’t successfully complete a routine every time, try not to punish, no matter how much you want to.  And believe me, I KNOW you want to (I’m in your shoes frequently!).  
  • Use the timer functionality on your phone to ensure the process keeps moving.  It also helps when you want to end an activity that isn’t on your routine, like gaming or hanging with friends, or looking in the toy aisle at your local store.  And because our kids tend to argue and fight a lot, we’ve established a system of odd/even days to determine which child goes first for some activities like brushing teeth or goodnight hugs/kisses.  (Yes my kids will physically fight over who gets a goodnight kiss first!)  
  • Allow older kids input on their schedules. This will help them recognize that they have some control and they may be more likely to adhere to it.
  • Be prepared to make revisions as you and your family implement the schedule.  For example if you find it takes your child 40 minutes to complete homework, instead of 30 minutes, it’s ok to adjust the schedule.  If it only takes your child 10 minutes to unload the dishwasher instead of 15, decide whether or not it’s worth having five extra minutes built into the schedule or if that time should be adjusted.  
  • Once your schedule is established, be consistent!  Screen time at our house ends at 8:30 p.m., no exceptions. Friday nights, screen time ends at 8:30; long holiday weekend, still 8:30; summer vacation, still 8:30.  If you make exceptions to the routine, they’ll often take advantage and you will have done a lot of work for nothing.

There you have it, folks:  the strategies, tips, and tricks I use whenever we need to outline a schedule or routine or process in our family.  Remember that, in order to create a schedule that works for your family, you have to put some thought into it, but then keep it simple. Give your kids the tools they need for success.  Let them provide input, expect revisions, and be consistent.  Be sure to enforce it.  Reward success immediately, and when failure happens, be patient and offer encouragement for next time.  For more information about rewards, check out Our Token Economy.

If you like our article, be sure to share and follow us on Facebook.  Our website is www.ourhyperactivelife.wordpress.com.  Feel free to comment below, or email me at Parents@OurHyperactiveLife.com.

Related Topics:  Reaping the Benefits of Routine, Part 1Token Economies

Reap the Benefits of Routine

We’ve all heard the experts tell us that kids need consistency and routines, and under present circumstances of distance learning, less in-person socialization, and no time-bound requirements for school, our kids’ routines have all but been obliterated.  It’s difficult to cope as an adult, but imagine being a 6-year-old wondering why you can’t see your friends everyday.  Or imagine being an 8-year-old soccer player who suddenly is told soccer season is over.  Or a 13-year-old whose long-anticipated Band trip has been canceled.  The coping mechanisms just aren’t there in their growing little brains yet.

Have you ever actually wondered what it is about a routine that kids crave? Do you know what “craving consistency” looks or feels like in daily behavior?  Well, in this two-part article, we’ll explore that, and discuss what kinds of routine are appropriate, and how to create a routine that works well for your family.

Let’s start with why kids, especially hyperactive kids, crave routine. What is it about a routine that kids like?  What benefits do kids get by having a routine?  While the benefits are numerous, here are five important ways that schedules help kids.

1.   Positive predictability makes kids feel safe and comfortable

When hyperactive kids (actually, any kids, and adults too) know what to expect, they can relax and be themselves.  They’re not worried about what’s coming next because they already know. Think about the last time you started a new job.  That first day, you may have worried about things such as how long it would take to get there during morning rush, where to park when you arrive, how lunch will work, if your new workspace would be comfortable, and what your new coworkers would be like.  You likely felt a little anxious because you weren’t familiar with the situation. Kids may feel the same anxiety, even if they don’t know how to express it, when they don’t know how their day will go. That is to say, when they’re not held to a schedule, kids can feel nervous too.   Having a clear path for the day lets a child be at ease and enjoy the activities at hand. It’s also why giving kids a warning prior to transitions can be helpful; they know what to expect.  

A routine also helps kids know what they should be doing, and when.  When I tell my 13-year-old to stop playing video games and unload the dishwasher right now, he is caught off-guard and gets angry. BUT, if I have the schedule posted on our bulletin board that chores are started at 10:00 a.m., he’ll be mentally prepared for that, and is less likely to incite a riot.  Bedtime routines are another perfect example, and we’ll talk about creating those in Part 2 of this series.

2.   A Sense of Purpose and Control

Any parent of a toddler knows they need to feel that they are an important part of their world and that they have at least a little bit of say in things.  “ME do it!”  My 8-year-old is the perfect example.  He always wanted to get dressed by himself to show us that he could, so from a young age, his morning routine allowed for him to choose his clothes and get himself dressed, then surprising me afterward with the show of his efforts. I discovered through that process that he has a love of crazy socks, regardless of whether they match anything he’s wearing or not.  I am not the kind of mom who frets over whether my child’s clothes match, if you are, that’s fine but as the Chaos Coordinator in my family, Lordy, I have enough things to worry about besides that.  I don’t mind him wearing the tall purple and black cat Halloween socks with a green shirt in the middle of summer, so by giving him the opportunity to choose what he wants, he feels that he has some control.

3.   Routines Increase Self-Confidence

What’s the best way to become great at anything you do?  Practice, practice, practice!  What is a routine?  It’s practice.  If your child makes his bed every day, eventually he will become great at making his bed.  Being great at something boosts self-confidence.  And kids can be great at a lot of things in their routine, like brushing teeth, getting dressed, getting shoes on, folding clothes, unloading the dishwasher, making dinner, etc.  Make sure the tasks are age-appropriate so the child can be successful.

4.   R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I hate to be interrupted when I’m working.  As I type this, my husband has asked me to approve his work on our new air conditioning system that he’s installing (I should note that I am NOT an HVAC technician!), my 6-year-old has asked for hugs and to sit on my lap, and I’ve been asked what’s for dinner more than once.  I really want to be left alone so I can finish!

Well, I hate to break it to you, but kids want to be respected as much as adults do, and schedules can show kids that they too are important.  For example, if I want to hear a bunch of under-his-breath complaining and some foot stomping, all I have to do is tell my 13-year-old to stop what he’s doing right now, and come do some boring chore.  I find that if I remind him at breakfast to unload the dishwasher before he starts playing, he usually does it without arguing. By having a specific time set aside for chores, he’s much more willing to help out, and he’s easier to get along with, because he feels respected.

5.   Schedules help develop self-discipline and build life-long habits

If you start a routine as early as possible, say making your bed as soon as you get up each morning, it’s more likely to just become a part of “you” and it’s easy to continue.  We’ve tried to teach our kids to take their shoes off as soon as they get inside the house. 

This benefit of a schedule doesn’t apply only to specific items like making your bed daily. It can be more generic like “work before play”.  You can help engrain this into your child’s point of view by choosing to make chores a part of your family’s morning routine.

There are SO many more wonderful benefits to keeping your kids on a schedule this summer, at least as much as possible.  Schedules and routines make life easier and more predictable for them, and in turn, for you.  Come back next week for Part 2: Creating A Routine that Works.  In the meantime, feel free to comment below, or email me at Parents@OurHyperactiveLife.com.

Dude’s Story

LTF pool 032018

As a prologue to the novel that is Dude’s ADHD story, I want to say two things. First, we are NOT naïve parents who think our kids can do no wrong. Heck no. My kids are some of the wildest, most energetic kids you will ever meet. Especially Dude.

It takes the general public about 1 minute before they start making comments like “You have your hands full with that one, don’tcha?” Or “I wish I had some of his energy!” In fact, just last week, we were in a fast food joint and after I ordered our food at the counter (maybe a 2-minute process), I turned around to see a gentleman with a petrified look on his face who almost screamed at me “He’s LICKING THE WALL!!!” Sure enough, there was my boy, licking the wall right next to the bathrooms! #Mamaproud #thatsmyboy #EfreakinColi! So we are well aware of the chaos that our kids bring to this planet.

Second, in spite of their often-feral behavior, we love our kids, a lot.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t try so hard to help!

Now on to Dude’s story. Feel free to lol at any point because if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry (who am I kidding? I already do cry, a lot!)

One morning, a year or two back, I was dropping Dude off at daycare when his teacher asked if I had a minute to talk. Those of you with kids already know that that’s never a good sign, ESPECIALLY during morning drop-off. The teacher started off very gingerly asking about Dude’s behavior at home; how well did he play with his brothers; would he sit still during meals, was he very talkative, was he aggressive, did he sleep well?

I am a fairly direct person, and given his two brother’s diagnoses (as well as Dad’s), I just asked if she thought Dude had ADHD. I got the typical response like “I’m just a teacher and can’t diagnose” and “I was wondering based on things we see in the classroom.” Blah blah blah. What she observed in the classroom was someone unwilling/unable to sit still during circle time or listen when required. If he got upset, he’d hit or kick. And at times, he’d be bored and would refuse to participate in class. Instead he’d go off by himself and do his own thing. My (thankfully internal) reaction was “No f’ing duh he has ADHD! But he is just 3 years old. Those are normal behaviors for his age.”

But alas, I shoved my brain-to-mouth filter into overdrive and asked how Dude’s behaviors differ from other kids his age. Her response will probably sound very familiar to those of you who have ADHD loved ones. She said Dude was just more intense than other kids, and that by his age, other kids had already learned not to be physically aggressive. SER-I-OUS-LY??? How many 3 year olds have you all actually seen in your lifetimes? Not physically aggressive my @$$!  Ultimately she suggested that we have the little stinker evaluated by our school district.

BUT, let me get “heavy” for just a second. In spite of the fact that I was rolling my eyes out loud a lot during that discussion, my brain-to-mouth filter can be amazing, when it needs to be, and we had a decent, and more importantly, a civil and collaborative, conversation. When you’re talking about your kids’ wellbeing, it’s important to set aside your own feelings and think about what your child really needs, and what it’s gonna take to get that. This is true whether you’re dealing with your kid’s teachers, your spouse, your EX, or even in-laws you don’t get along with. I can’t stress that enough.

Ok, enough preachin’! A few weeks passed when the Director of the daycare called to tell me she had received a parent complaint about Dude. A new boy, also 2-3 yrs old, would cry when his mom dropped him off.  His mom thought he was afraid to come to school because Dude had pushed him once. The Director asked what she and her staff should do to control Dude. (Again, with the eye rolling and filter in overdrive.) The thought that ran through my head was “WTF? I pay you a freakin’ fortune to already KNOW how to deal with my child. We know he’s God-Awful, but he cannot POSSIBLY be the worst kid in the history of your school!”  I really wanted to use a lot of “f” words, but I didn’t. I just took a few deep breaths, remembered my church upbringing, and told her I would think about it awhile then reply via email.

This back and forth went on for a time, and Dude’s behavior never improved for very long. I asked if he could be moved up with the next higher age group, because he was the oldest one in his class. The answer was a resounding no, because that classroom also had a difficult student, and two of them together would be intolerable. Eventually though, he was moved into a different classroom where he found another boy who was just as rough-and-tumble as he was, and they played and fought like siblings! It was nice.

Honestly though, Sparky and I already knew that when summer started and Dude was old enough to move to our school district’s Early Childhood (EC) program, we’d move him, so I had mentally checked out on daycare at this point. We realized this cute little kid was a holy handful, and we needed more care than this daycare could provide.

We transitioned Dude to the EC program the summer after he turned three. That was the earliest they would take him. Almost immediately after the next school year started, the EC program coordinators began the evaluation process and we started to see a psychologist. (Another topic for later – what to look for in a mental health provider). We filled out all kinds of personality scales for the coordinators, as did his teachers. We made sure the new therapist got copies of all the results.

For our first visit to the therapist, it was just me, Sparky, and Dude, who was about 3 ½ years old by then. During that 50-ish minute visit, the therapist described him as “a little terrorist”, “diabolical”, and “a sociopath”. Not an exaggeration; those words did indeed pass the therapist’s lips! That gives you a little bit of an idea of just how wound up the kid really is.  Dr. Tom diagnosed Dude with ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD); yet we never once talked about those diagnoses at all!

We saw Dr. Tom two more times, but instead of discussing strategies for helping Dude, the second visit was all about me as a parent, and how I am a “stereotypical Midwesterner”, much too proper and nice. We had to take all three boys to our third visit, and we spent that day discussing Buddy and how great a kid he was. I couldn’t take Dr. Tom’s lack of focus anymore, so we didn’t go back.

In the intervening months, Dude started special education with an itinerant teacher. This didn’t bring the progress that we hoped, and he was moved into a special education classroom for half the day and a general ed room for the rest of the day. This is still his current placement, at least till the end of this school year. He still likes to hit and kick when he gets mad or doesn’t get his way.  And he’s still hyper as heck!  We work on teaching him social skills and self-control on a daily basis. Frankly, it’s just exhausting, mentally and physically.

Most people would probably ask Sparky and me why we put up with it, or tell us to spank it out of him. Well, we have tried everything from ignoring his behavior to spanking him for it. Nothing has worked. And frankly it would be pretty hypocritical of me to make him stop hitting people, by hitting him. That’s pretty dumb. He’s still belligerent, runs in parking lots, climbs on anything, puts all kinds of crap in his mouth, turns every run-of-the-mill stick into a sword or a gun of some sort, and is pretty much still Hell on wheels. I thought it was hard to keep Snix safe, but this kid needs a full-time lifeguard (or six).

So back during the winter, I made an appointment in a fully integrated behavioral health clinic (one that has every level of care from counselors to psychiatrists and even inpatient services). We had to wait a long time for an appointment, and we met first with the psychologist, Dr. Greg. I’m pretty sure Dr. Greg had confirmed the ADHD diagnosis before we had even made it past the waiting room and into his office. We spent at least an hour discussing Dude’s behavior, what we’ve tried, how he responded, you name it. Then, to my ever-lovin’ surprise, Dr. Greg gave us resources! What? Resources? You mean there are manuals on this crap? Why hadn’t anyone else suggested these tools to us before? He named off some books to read and websites to peruse, books and sites that clinicians use when they need information about ADHD.

Before we left, Dr. Greg had confirmed that not only does Dude have ADHD, but it is severe (about as severe as it gets), and that he likely has ODD, but treatment for ADHD and ODD is the same. He said that he typically doesn’t try to sway parents one way or the other when it comes to medication, but that Dude’s “condition” was so severe that treatment would likely be unsuccessful if medication was not a part of the plan.

A few weeks later was our appointment with the psychiatrist, Dr. Kristina. We could tell she’d done her homework before our appointment, because she knew I am a teacher by education, and that Sparky’s an engineer. She also knew beforehand that Dude was the youngest of three boys and that his siblings also have ADHD. We talked a lot about our family medical history, and a bout of RSV that landed him in the intensive care unit for 6 days (plus 2 more days on a regular pediatric floor of the hospital) when he was just a month old.

We also talked about symptoms of something called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), where some kids literally feel things differently than the rest of us. SPD kids (Buddy is one too) are often totally jazzed, or completely turned off, by certain sensory input. For some kids, it’s shirts with tags, or seams in the soles of socks, or loud noises, or strong smells, or whatever. Seems Dude’s got a touch of that too.

At the end of the appointment, we spent time discussing our options. She agreed that Dude was also putting himself in danger, so, in spite of the risks, she prescribed meds. (And a chorus of angels sang “Hallelujah!”). He just started his medication last week, and we’re still working on finding the right dose.

In the meantime, I’ve finished reading a couple books and have started on a third. I found out one of the books is actually available on video from our public library, and I have that reserved to pick up tomorrow. Cheating? I think not!

And that brings us to now. Every day is different. Some days are great. Some days suck more than a Dyson vacuum in a sand pit! One minute the Spawn of Satan is kicking me in the shin and calling me stupid, and the next minute he’s hugging me, apologizing and asking if I still love him. Or it’ll be a good day where he gives lots of kisses and tells me I’m beautiful (and what mom doesn’t want to hear that!?) Sparky and I just use the strategies we’ve learned and do our best to stay calm and sane. Some days we succeed, and some days we don’t.

So what are the take-aways from Dude’s story? Lord, I’m still trying to figure that out myself, but some of the lyrics to Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” come to mind.  I’m certain that every one of these will be a future topic in this blog.

  • Work with your child’s teachers and school staff as if they were your teammates. After all, they are! What’s that saying “You catch more flies with honey”?
  • Finding the right mental health professional can be a very personal and tough job, and they are not all created equal.
  • There are others out there going through what you are going through, and there are resources to turn to for help. Use them.
  • Probably the most important point is to try hard to find humor wherever you can! Laughter can lighten your heart even during the hardest days.

 

Snickerdoodle’s Story

Spring 2018 school pic Kinder age 6

Honestly, I don’t remember much about Snix’s ADHD story, but with good reason that I will explain in a minute. First you should know Snix is the middle child; he’s currently 6 and today is his last day of kindergarten.

I do remember that Snickerdoodle was WAY more active than Buddy was, AND he was dangerous. Buddy was literally scared of his shadow (not exaggerating!) but Snix wasn’t afraid of anything! A fearless child can be either good, or bad, depending on the circumstances. But, at 4 years old, Snix was clueless about his environment and terribly impulsive. Fearlessness and cluelessness does not a good combination make. He would run off in parking lots, climb on everything, wander off or hide in stores, and talk to anyone who looked his direction. We were worried for his safety.

So right before he started kindergarten, he was evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD. I remember that part well, because I was actually in the hospital, on 8 weeks of bed-rest while I waited for Boy #3 to make his debut. With my OB’s permission, I sneaked out of my hospital room long enough to go to the pediatrician’s office on a different floor of the hospital for Snix’s appointment.

This time around, it was much easier to decide if we should use meds, because 1) we already had experience with Buddy, so we knew more about what to expect, and 2) we certainly didn’t want Snix to accidentally get himself killed. We started him on the same meds that Buddy was on, and honestly that made dialing in his dose MUCH easier, and a much quicker process. We planned it out so that we were adjusting meds over the summer before he started kindergarten. I believe it made his transition into kindergarten a little easier for him.

Now, even on meds, Snix still shows a lot of ADHD symptoms, and we’ve toyed with increasing one of his meds, or the other, BUT, he too is quite thin, and his eating habits suck. If we give him a higher dose of meds, a side effect is decreased appetite, and he can’t afford to lose any weight. But, for the most part, he’s able to stay safe, and manage ok at school. In fact, we’re starting to notice some of the same “smart” traits that we saw in Buddy too, but Snix is wired for more artistic endeavors. All in all, we’re willing to compromise here with a smaller dose for now.  We’ll see what First Grade holds for us this Fall.

 

 

Why Start A Blog?

Hi there! Thanks for joining me!

I decided to start this blog because life’s always easier knowing you’re not alone!

Meet my family.  We have a life of seemingly endless chaos. If you follow our story, you will either find something that resonates with you, or that you can laugh at. In a very serious and, at times, difficult, world, I search for humor a lot. If I didn’t poke fun of us, I’d probably cry more than I do, and might even trying to find comfort in alcohol (if only I liked the taste!). So you’ll find a lot of sarcasm here too.

You see, I am #boymom to the extreme! I have three young sons,  (Buddy, 11; Snix, 6; and Dude, 4). I’m married to a smart, talented, and a little bit (who am I kidding, “very”) strong-willed guy. Even our dog and cat are males! But what makes life even harder is that I am the only human in my house who HASN’T been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)!!  Some days the amount of activity, both mental and physical, is exhausting!! But let me tell you, there are days that the amount of stuff that gets done is amazing!

And some days we struggle, a lot. You see, people with ADHD can be very passionate, sensitive, and emotional people, no matter what they are feeling or how old they are. Anger, sadness, joy, etc! ADHDers are often just “very”! And I’m just coming to realize that that means I’m living in a house with more emotions than a girls’ restroom on prom night!

So follow along as I share our ups and downs of everyday life in the hopes that you can know there are others out there who aren’t perfect, and are just trying to get by without any of our kids going to prison before at least finishing middle school.

But remember, I’m just a mom and not an expert in anything. I just have a beautiful family that challenges (forces) me to see some things differently than I ever thought I would.

I will share strategies we try, failures and successes, resources, suggestions, etc., for everything from how to buy clothing for the ADHDer who also has sensory issues to how (not) to discipline (because frankly we suck at that!) and everything in between. Chime in when you can.

Let’s start with introductions. My family and I hope you enjoy!

Next I will post Buddy’s story.  He’s our oldest, and when he was born, I really had no idea how to raise boys, especially a super-smart one with ADHD and sensory issues.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

IMG_2860.png