Friday, 8 November 2013

More Recesses And Fresh Air – Is This The Key To ADHD?



I have just been reading an article about a US family who moved to Norway. They were really brave in that they left their ADHD son’s medication behind. The good news is that the child who had lots of problems in the US school started to thrive in Norway.

The family were delighted to find that the child started to enjoy schoolwork and was keen to do homework. But they were also more than impressed with the school environment in Norway. They noticed that things are done differently there and it seems to help the children a lot:-

  • 3 recesses instead of 1
  • much less technology in the classroom
  • teacher gives undivided attention to the pupils
  • the school day is one hour shorter – gives the kid more free time
  • child has two hours of playtime which is four times the US average
  • a half day field trip is obligatory every week.
  • extra curricular activities encourage students to cook and do other manual tasks
  • in Finland, every hour lesson has a fifteen minute recess which must be taken outside, whatever the weather!  Finland has one of the lowest rates of ADHD in the western world.

Scandinavia scores highly in OECD ratings

OECD ratings have put the Scandinavian countries at the top of the list as regards literacy and numeracy.  Norway comes in at 6th in the rankings while the USA is doing very badly at only in the 21st category for numeracy while coming in at the 16th for literacy.

What can we take away from this story?

Well, a change of scene to a Scandinavian country will certainly not cure ADHD and the above story was probably a coincidence and there may have been many other factors at play which meant that the ADHD child was able to stay off his ADHD meds. Lucky him and lucky parents too! But there are some pointers that we can take away from all this:-

  • we need to give our children more time outdoors
  • we need to reduce screen time
  • we must look at alternative ADHD treatments rather than relying on amphetamine meds
  • we should organize our homes to be more ADHD friendly. 

                          Great Savings On These Natural ADHD Rmedies This Weekend

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Tips For Giving Younger Kids Consequences.



When I hear parents in the mall giving long winded explanations to their child as to why s/he should not eat or do something, I sometimes wonder. The explanation is long and it sounds terribly sensible and reasonable. But not to a young child of three of four years! In fact, it goes over their heads. Can you imagine if the child has ADHD with all the distractions he or she has to cope with?  Yelling and shouting might have been more effective but I am joking of course!

Why giving consequences is a long term investment
This is where giving consequences comes in. Once we start giving them consequences and do it consistently, then we are really laying the groundwork for them to become responsible adults. This will help them to mature, to be able to control their instinctive urges and to get along with everybody at school and in relationships with siblings and so on. 

How do you explain consequences to a three year old?
The first thing to do is show them examples of consequences of your own actions. If you do not cook, the family goes hungry. If you talk loudly on the bus, people will treat you badly. If you are always punctual at work and finish projects on time, the consequences will be more money and even promotion. There are lots of examples we can give.

Writing every thing down
Let us say that established a few simple consequences for when our kids start biting or hitting. We can write these on the noticeboard. Consequences can be no playstation, no television or an earlier bedtime and so on. We should also make sure that rewards for good behavior are also prominent on the list so that there is more emphasis on the good behavior in an ideal situation.

The consequences are there in black and white so when it happens, there is no need for long explanations. Just point to the notice and give the consequence. This has to be done immediately. If the child overreacts and has a meltdown, you will have to make sure that he or she has some time out in a safe environment. You may want to take time out too!

You are set up and ready to go
 Once these are in place, you can be confident in applying them consistently. If you start to waver or get emotional, then the child will spot the chink in your armour and exploit it for all it is worth.

It is also wise to make sure that all the family are fully briefed and that older siblings and both parents are all on the same page. The last thing we want is that there is a good cop and bad cop parenting attitude especially when one of the parents is at work or away from home.