How/when do you let them “off leash”

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    • #67859

      My son spends so much of his day, his week, hearing things like: Keep quiet, sit still, don’t fidget, listen to adults, don’t act silly/crazy, etc.

      Basically his day is filled with constant self restraint. Even when he plays with kids his own age, it’s still an excercise in getting along, which means more self restraint.

      I’d love to hear how other parents let their kids fully let go. Run and move and jump and sing and yell and laugh… while still being safe, respectable and respectful.

    • #67895

      Before we started medication, we set up a small trampoline with net in our garage. Every morning before school he would go out there for about 10-20 minutes and bounce to his little legs couldn’t go anymore. Back then and now, as long as everybody is having fun, there’s no intentional destruction of property and no one is getting hurt, when my son is home and playing I don’t mind if things get a little chaotic and loud. If it gets to be too loud, outside they go.

      Home is our safe zone. Sure we spend time with homework, chores and practicing our coping skills – but its also a place to let loose and not worry about if he’s following all the social norms and rules.

      Current favorite games: talking (more like screaming) through the air vents to talk to his siblings in another room and mega star wars light saber battles (complete with sound effects). LOL.

    • #67962
      Penny Williams

      My son got to fully let go at occupational therapy (OT). They had crashing mats and all sorts of ways to bump and crash that were safe. It was a safe place to fully let loose, but also worked on sensory needs and self-awareness too.

      Could an Occupational Therapist Improve Your Child’s Life?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #68099

      Here are some idea that have worked for us, maybe we can get more ideas going:

      Overall I try to mix it up and make sure that our son always feels like he is moving on to something new, different, better.

      OT and Therapy Group – Perfect for non perfection. We relax all the rules on those days and make them relaxing and special. We want our son to get the most from therapy, so we don’t plan any other taxing events on that day.
      Playdates: We have playdates at our house so we can keep a close eye on our son. We keep them short, and try to have a playdate with as many different classmates as possible. Rotating the kids helps to avoid “ruts” and allows for fun but applies a little pressure to treat each guest well.
      Cub Scouts: Cub Scouting does not emphasize perfection, and we roll with it. Getting out and camping, and being able to tromp through the trees without a lot of rules (Mom!) is a lot of fun. We went with a pack that does not focus on uniform compliance and strict rule following.
      Church: We found a “playing church” that engages the kids in a lot of lively play. We want him to feel like he can be himself at church… so we pick one that is large… and not attended by kids from his school. The church is large enough that quirky behavior gets lost in the crowd, and things are so lively.. he is more inclined to let something go so he doesn’t miss out on the fun.
      Camps and child care: We look for variety and offerings that other kids from school might attend. All too often people say “oh I know your child” with a knowing look. This has become our signal to “check out”. However well meaning, it signals to us that they feel they know him from the past.. and his behavior improves so rapidly these people hold him back.

      • #68104

        I totally second Cub Scouts. We’re part of Boy Scouts and it has been amazing for my son. Find the right troop, and it’s an excellent mix of freedom, acceptance and skill building.

    • #68368
      Heather Costlow

      My son loves to climb and flip on anything. We had tried a gymnastics class, but it was too
      structured. About a year ago we found Ninja Zone It is a cross between tumbling and ninja moves, usually fully of spirited boys with like-minded coaches (we even mentioned his ADHD and the coach responded with a smile and happily said, I have a lot in this class). It is more free form, and they also learn Ninja code, which focuses on good choices. It’s been a great experience for him and he loves going to it every week.

    • #68379

      I have a 10 year old son and understand exactly what you are talking about – I hate thinking that he is constantly being “held back” and “told no” and asked to “stop this and that” … Sometimes I’ve found the best thing to do to help him release and have fun is to play with me – find a field and grab a soccer ball and just play without any major rules – chase after him and let him chase you … grab nerf guns and bring those along too … Not only does he need that energy outlet but also craves the one in one positive time with me. I find anything where there are other kids can be good- but he is always the one going too far, jumping on kids, being too intense – and with siblings it’s the same – with me – I don’t have to worry about anyone else but him – about having fun- and about doing something positive together.
      (I have not found boyscouts to be the type of unstructured fun release I feel you are looking for. He is a scout. But I still feel it is so organized and structured and you are asking more for just a chance to get a little “crazy” :)! )

    • #68391

      We go on a lot of nature hikes! That works for my 13 yr old son.

    • #68397

      We found a indoor trampoline park called sky zone every once in awhile I just turn him lose . He jumps hops screams we normally take a friend they have sponge pits ,basketball trampolines in the summer we swim as much as possible at pools . I’ve also found he did real well at camp . He went for the first time this summer for a week they did meds too . He was apprehensive but after sabout 5 min there he was ready for me to leave . That was the first time we had been apart . My son is 12 ADHA/ODD I’m a single parent with a 14 yr old as well . There is always camotion . Hope this helped

    • #68416

      I hear ya! My son is very similar and it is difficult when they are constantly hearing what they can’t do versus what they can. We recently signed our son up for drum lessons and it has been amazing! First, for obvious reasons, its a great outlet. Second, his drum teacher is very similar so he just ‘gets’ him. He tailors his teaching style to engage my son properly and only gives him ‘homework’ that he knows he will want to complete and at a pace that is appropriate for him. They are private lessons as well which keeps him actively engaged and he is then not disruptive for other kids. We purchased a practice pad only at home so he can bang away yet allow us to keep our sanity since a practice pad is relatively silent. We also have him playing basketball, due to the constant running and aggressive nature of the game. He has seems to have taken to that as well. Hope that helps!

    • #69459

      Like the other parents mentioned, basketball is an excellent outlet. My 7 year old may not shoot well but the energy and tenacity he puts into his defense really impresses the coach. In fact, he slows down the leagues best offensive player!
      Restaurants are torture for him but instead of giving him my cell phone we play tic tac toe or hangman, he loves it.

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