Dear ADDitude

Dear ADDitude: How Can We Keep Her Active But Safe?

“I’m keeping my daughter very busy this summer with lots of sports camps, but on ‘down’ days she wants to ride her bike or scooter around the block. I have watched her numerous times not watch for cars until she is halfway into the street, or stop to talk with any stranger walking a dog. How can I instill caution in her without making her anxious?”

ADDitude Answers

Great question! ADDitude actually has an article that addresses this specific concern – how to keep kids with ADHD safe (but active!) during the summer months, when bumps, bruises and bug bites are not all that us parents have to worry about. I would highly recommend it as a good starting point.

This post, by Dr. Larry Silver, also offers some age-specific advice.

I hope this helps!

Posted by Anni Rodgers

A Reader Answers

Before I allow my daughter to do things like that on her own, I model them for her and with her. I do them for several weeks, then I slowly allow her to go on her own. Maybe the first few times, she is allowed to go halfway. I think it’s important to speak to your daughter constantly even when not going through the motions of a new activity. My daughter and I talk about strangers and we play-act situations. I did similar activities with my other child who is more typical. They each catch on – but the younger child requires more guidance and instruction.

Posted by Speduc8r

A Reader Answers

No summer medicine holidays! If your child had diabetes, would you give them a break for the summer from their insulin and let them eat all the chocolate cake they wanted? No way! Why do we parents of ADHD children think it’s a good idea to let our kids go around with a less than as-good-as-possible functioning brain? Considering all the danger, as exhibited by your post above, that exists in our world? Not assuming you are giving a medicine holiday because impulsiveness can happen even with meds. Just saying it is just as dangerous as a so-called medical condition.

Depending on how old your child is, you will need to reiterate the rules every so often which means supervision. And remember the rule of 30 percent – your child off meds is 30 percent younger than their chronological age in responsibility and maturity. On meds, you may still need to consider them at least 10 to 20 percent younger. Supervise accordingly.

Posted by YellaRyan

[Free Download: Great Sports & Activities for Kids with ADHD]

A Reader Answers

This is a huge problem for us and one I brought up to our psychologist with tears in my eyes. I watch my son like a hawk in parking lots and crossing streets – it’s still an issue at age 12. He doesn’t ride bikes due to dyspraxia, and I don’t allow him to go out in the neighborhood alone. If he is walking with a friend, I mention to both about stopping and looking for traffic. I don’t let my son walk home from school during the school year, as we have several huge intersections he would have to cross. I have to say this is my number one safety concern.

Posted by E’s Mom

A Reader Answers

I thought we were the only ones with this issue. I am constantly after my 6-year-old son to look both ways when crossing the street – and only when we are with him. He’ll often run ahead, and I’m left screaming after him to pay attention to the cars or bikes and not to cross the street without holding my hand.

Now I make him stop about 10 feet before the end of the street and hold my hand from that point until we cross the street. Works better – but it is trying to hold back a rocket!

Posted by MamaLori

A Reader Answers

Yep. Been there, done that. My son is 8 and not independent enough to cross streets – yet. We are good most or the time because he prefers direct supervision as his general operating style. One day, he went off on his own at the dog park. Nearly got ran over, and I got many judgmental looks from other parents.

I’m a good mom, and like many of us I have seen, do an endless, courageous, committed job of parenting our amazing children. For now though I am still mindful ALL the time of his deficit and continue to give constant direction often. When he does the right thing in a situation, I praise him and explain what I saw him do right. I thought I was alone on this one. Obviously not the case. Thanks for your share!

Posted by RyanTsMom

[Play It Safe]