Any moms with children who have ADHD or behavior challenges?

Sandy - posted on 07/06/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Where do I start? I am a member of the kids with ADHD community here, but I want to know what Christian moms are doing to help their kids with their behavior. My biggest block is behavior modification plans. You would think as a mom who loved her child and wanted to help him I would embrace and try whatever I could. But for some reason, behavior mod. plans make me cringe. I attended a "support group" where all we talked about was BMPs. All boiled down, it is a plan that they get rewards when they are "good enough". If they are not good enough, they don't get the reward. For the group I was in, the big thing is points. The child earns points that they can cash in for rewards. It all sound good. (We all actually use a form of this, most likely with the "I'll take away _________ if you don't ________")

But as a Christian mom, I"m worried that my children will turn this towards God and start to think that they have to be good enough to get something from God. I know God disciplines us. I discipline my children. But does he only bless us if we are good? (See, even I have the question in regards to myself and my situation.) Will they think that because Mom and Dad will only do things with them because they have earned enough points by being good that God will be the same way? I know our ultimate gift is free. Salvation is given without having to do anything, and that is more important than any other blessing God may give us in this life. I also don't want my boys to start to think that they will only do something if they get something.

One parent in the group said "this is a fact of life. They need to learn this" in regards to getting something for doing something. But does a 10 year old have to learn this? I'd rather he learn to do things for others without expectation because that is what Jesus taught us. We share scripture with the boys every time we discipline that relates to what they have done and talk about their behavior.

I know BMP's can work. But I really think the kids need to be motivated by such things. I"ve tried plans before, but my son just isn't motivated by getting things. Summer reading programs don't work, prizes at school don't work. Even buying him a big firetruck for potty training didn't work! Now, I"m toying with the idea of turning all the points into money. But I tried this last summer with chores and it didn't really work, not to mention, we really don't have much money for this.

Anyone have ANY thoughts or suggestions??

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Andrea - posted on 09/05/2011

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I have ADD and found an encouraging book by Focus on the Family entitled: Why ADHD does'nt mean Disaster. Also subscribe to ADDitude magazine. Behavior Modification is stupid with short lived results. Children with ADD are extremly intelligent and creative. Get to know what your child is interested in and use his interest as a vehicle for education. Homeschooling is a great idea, so is involvement with spotrs. Using the computer helps ADDers to concentrate so let him do as much of school work as possible on the computer. Depression goes hand in hand with ADD. I suggest you learn as much as you can about ADHD. You can never pray enough! Read the book I mentioned, it will encourage you!

Sandy - posted on 07/06/2011

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Our son is on the generic Ritalin. It is much different than when it was first given out. He's not the zombie that people think kids on meds are. We are at a dose that really helps him concentrate. Maybe I have such a problem with these plans because he really isn't as bad as other kids. Now days, they don't differentiate between ADD or ADHD when diagnosing. So our son really just has ADD. I don't get the temper tantrums and angry outbursts, but I do get melt downs and him calling himself "stupid" when getting frustrated over homework. During the day he is easy to talk to and get to do what he needs to. One or two prompts (on a good day) is all he needs. In hind site, yes, he is making strides. It may be baby strides, but strides. We still have a mountain to get over though. He and his brother do not get along AT ALL. Polar Opposites in everything! 2 minutes is about as long as they last before fighting. I know people tell me this is normal, but I don't think they realize just how bad it is for them. Being able to play together and respect each other is part of our BMP, too. I just don't want them to grow up like their dad and his brother. They don't speak to each other now, and when they do, his younger brother puts him down.

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Kristina - posted on 07/07/2011

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My son is also ADHD and on the same meds as Sandy's son. Like she stated he is not a zombie. It really works to help get the pistons firing right in his brain. He has a hard time with homework because it’s the end of the day and he’s been working that brain all day, so I do get the meltdowns mainly at night. He doesn’t like to help me around the house but there are something’s that he is "required" to do on a daily or weekly basis that shouldn’t get rewarded for. The best thing I have found that works but not always is taking things away, I rarely take away outside time or play time because he needs that or he would be the wrecking ball for our house. lol He does get angry real easy and I have tried some new things. http://www.ivillage.com/8-simple-stress-... and they do seem to help out some. My biggest challenge now is trying to get him to control himself with out my help and to stop and think for himself.
I do believe that children have to learn that you do have to earn most things in life, not all of course such as our love and Gods love. That should be show regardless of behavior. Even discipline is a form of love, but of course they don’t see that lol. When you find something that works then stick with it. A day at the park can be a reward or picking where to go out for dinner.
Sounds to me that you are doing a great job. Just keep teaching them about God and they will know God will accept them no matter what. God Bless.


Sandy this is for you. I was trying to find games that they could play together for the competition hoping their fighting could come out in this way not yelling and all that. Hope it helps you too. God Bless!
http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/fe...

Carla - posted on 07/06/2011

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I think the most important thing here is not to let the 'plan' devour you. Sometimes we get so focused that we forget that we are people, fallible, stumbling humans.



Back in the 70s, our son was diagnosed with ADD. They wanted to put him on Ritalin. I went to my pharmacist and asked for a pamphlet out of the Ritalin to read (this was before it was sooo easy to look up on computers ;)) The medication was worse to me, than the cure. So we talked with a health care worker and she told us about food that seemed to trigger the 'antsiness'. Red food coloring, like ketchup, Kool-Aid, and that unsugared tea counteracts the hyperness. We got him sugar-free jams, syrups, drinks, all that they had back in those days. The rest, we just kind of worked with. He was a sweet, loving kid, just couldn't sit still! He went through that until he got married, now he's so tired, he hits the bed like a log ;) lol



School was a little challenging, but in the end, he dropped out of high school and attended adult ed/high school completion. It was a different setting, more one-on-one teaching, and he graduated.



All the plans seem to hint that the child can be 'brought out' of this with a little bribe of a prize or money. I didn't find this true. Yes, I had to keep after him to get ready for school, yes, it took 5 times of telling him to clean his room before it got done, but, in hind sight, it wasn't that bad.



I would seriously pray about this, honey, and ask the Lord what to do. He understands your child, and knows exactly what should be done, if anything. We all expect our children to be this shining example of childhood, when sometimes that just isn't happening. All kids are different, and it's up to us to figure this out and find what works for them. Don't try to put him into the cookie cutter and make him fit. Find him where he is.



God bless, honey, sometimes being a parent is harrowing, but it's always, always worth it.

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