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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Why meal time is so important

Once school gets out my day becomes crazy. Picking up kids, running to activities, homework, chores, and yes making supper! I don't look forward to making supper, I liken ADHD adults making supper to ADHD kids doing homework; it is a struggle! Finding a meal to create, wondering if I have all the ingredients, or hoping I took out the meat to defrost that morning are all stressful things. There was a couple of days in a row that we did a 'fend for yourself' kind of day where you find something easy you can make on your own which usually includes a sandwich.

 One night I told my son to "make a sandwich or if you want to wait I can make something." and excitedly he said "I'll wait!" so I went downstairs and found an easy express meal. All I had to do was boil water and drop two packages of beef stew into it and the kids loved it. The next night I made another express meal, beef stroganoff. They were singing my praises for a meal that literally took me 15 minutes. 

By night four I decided to go all out with a culinary masterpiece that took twice as long... a whole thirty minutes! It wasn't easy and this 'simple plate' meal they called it didn't seem all that 'simple' since it took six steps instead of two. I survived and we ate Garden Vegetable Lasagna. Yes it was FULL of veggies and yes all six kids really did eat it! Mom success at it's finest!

That night while putting the kids to bed my oldest daughter said "Mom, you are a good cook!" I felt doubtful since I was sure a pre-packaged express meals didn't really count as a 'home cooked meal' but her comment stayed with me that night as I thought about the difference in my kids when I did make these meals. To them it felt like a fabulous home cooked meal, it even tasted like it. Strangely enough I even felt like a good mom making these meals every night. 

Sometimes I think as parents we forget the tedious tasks in life like cooking, cleaning, and laundry really do make a difference. Our kids are happier and more calm in a clean house, they are grateful to have clean clothes to wear, and they enjoy a meal together as a family. I encourage you to bring your family around the table at night with a meal and conversation, no matter how simple it is. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Breaking Through Your Child’s ADHD with Music

Breaking Through Your Child’s ADHD with Music

According to the CDC, 6.4 million children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If your child faces this disorder, then you are probably well aware of the various challenges it can present, but are you using every strategy available to break through?

In recent years, studies have shown the amazing benefits music therapy can have for several physical and mental ailments. Music therapy has been found to be especially effective in children and adults with ADHD. By using rhythm in music, you can help your young one overcome their ADHD and increase their levels of concentration. Here are some ways to inject more music into your child’s life.

Singing Out Instructions

For children with ADHD, it can be challenging to focus on what other people are saying. Perhaps you’ve had moments where you’ve given your child instructions only to have them fall on flat ears. It can be hard for your child to focus in on what you’re saying, especially if they are honed in on a certain activity. A way to combat this problem is by breaking up the cadence of your speech. Doing so will make your words stand out, and force your child to listen carefully to find out what you’re saying. Singing is a great way to switch up your speech’s rhythm.

Rhythm to Grab Attention

If singing isn’t your cup of tea, there are other ways you can switch up the rhythm to grab your child’s attention. Pick up a pot, pan, or any other kind of noise maker, and start tapping out a beat. Hit each time you say a syllable, or use a constant tempo to hold their attention as you address them. Try to make a game out of it so your child will enjoy your conversations and learn about the importance of concentration when listening.

Foster Productivity Through Playlists

Every home could use a bit more music. Why not set up a few speakers and play some music throughout your home? Different kinds of music can affect the mind in a variety of ways. Slow music can calm and relax, while fast music can build energy. For children with ADHD, hearing the right kind of music can put their minds “in the zone” and lead to longer periods of productivity. Classical songs, with their complex melodies and intricate rhythms, are often used by teachers to encourage concentration. Creating a playlist through a variety of songs can help shape your child’s focus.

Nurture Your Child’s Musical Creativity

Another great way to help your child learn to manage their ADHD is by encouraging their own musical mind. Nurture your child’s musicality by giving them music lessons. There are a variety of instruments available for your child to learn, but you shouldn’t just head straight for the piano or guitar. Brass and woodwind instruments add an extra dimension for helping your child’s ADHD.

Not only will they master using their fingers to play the correct notes, they will also learn to focus on managing their breathing. Instruments such as the trumpet teach breathing control, and more importantly, teach the mind and body to coordinate together. There are great online trumpet buying guides as well as shopping guides for any other kind of woodwind or brass instrument your child is interested in learning.

Parenting a child with ADHD can be a struggle. You love your child and want to give them every advantage possible growing up. Perhaps the best key to unlocking your child’s ADHD lies in music.

Photo Credit:

Charles Carpenter