Want to get your school-age child off to a great start this year? Here's how not to do it.
by Stephen Anfield
I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about elementary school. I spent most of my younger years risin' and shinin' to my mom pulling on my toes, pouring freezing water on my face and creating a pseudo-club experience made possible by the quick on/off flickering of my bedroom light. As a parent, you know about all of the challenges that your ADHD child may face in and out of school. Just in case you forgot a few, I've decided to share what you SHOULDN'T do if you'd like your child to be successful during these formative years.
The number of Pop Tarts I've eaten during my lifetime is pretty disgusting. Let's be honest...that shiny foil packaging is pretty attractive, right? The contents, however, leave something to be desired if you want your child to maintain focus and perform well throughout the day. In a previous blog post about protein, I share some of the ways I get necessary nutrients needed to fuel me through my day. I might be an adult with ADHD, but the same nutritional tips can work for your child. Oh, yeah...and Pop Tarts give me gas.
I taught a few years ago, and it was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Believe it or not, there are parents out there who could care less about the academic well-being of their child. This is obviously bad. Establish a relationship with your student's teachers and let them know that you want to take an active role in helping your child be successful. Your student may need an extension (or several) on larger assignments, and I've found that teachers are more likely to be understanding if you've already shown an interest in what's going on with your student. It's not fail-proof, but every little bit helps to ensure the academic success of your ADHD child.
If your child is anything like I was, they'll take an interest in MANY extracurricular activities. I can remember having a very active life outside of the classroom, which was usually filled with private music lessons, orchestra rehearsals, marching band practice, Cub Scout meetings and gymnastics practice. While playing personal chauffeur for your child may wear you out, it can pay off in the long run. When I discovered that I pretty much sucked at gymnastics, I directed my focus to music. Thanks to persistent practice, I was able to get a music scholarship to college. And if you didn't know this already, music does wonders to help increase focus.
These are just a few tips and tricks to get you started as you begin planning your strategy for a new school year. Is there anything else that I've missed and want me to cover in another blog post? If so, let me know by leaving a comment below!