“Simple Tasks Seem Overwhelming to My Child”

Take your pick — the misconstrued labels for children with inattentive ADHD (once called ADD) are as vast and varied as the symptoms they manifest. Often misunderstood — or worse, neglected — at school, children with ADHD face unique challenges complicated by outdated ADHD stereotypes. Here, ADDitude readers share the biggest challenges their children with inattentive ADHD face at school and home. What struggles does your child with predominantly inattentive ADHD encounter? Share your stories in the Comments section below. “Mind-wandering is a challenge for my daughter when she needs to complete schoolwork, especially reading. She has a hard time focusing and will fixate on sounds around her (ticking clock, hallway conversation, foot-tapping classmate, etc.) rather than the one sound she needs to hear: Her teacher’s voice. However, her inattentiveness and mind-wandering are a total asset when she’s drawing, writing, or creating because it allows her to be fluid, make... Read more

Child Sleep Problems Affect Mothers and Fathers Differently

After the birth of children, fragmentation of parental night sleep and fatigue due to the nightly demands of the infant are common.1 Indeed, there is evidence that mothers’ and fathers’ fatigue increase immediately following the birth of their child.1,2 Resulting in insufficient, non-restful sleep, this poses a stress factor for parental health, daily well-being, and functioning.3 In contrast, good children’s sleep quality predicted good maternal sleep.4 Most often, this is a temporary problem and infants develop the competence to fall asleep independently in the evening and go back to sleep after night waking during the first year of life.5,6 However, about 20–30% of the infants and young children are affected by sleep problems during the entire first 3 years of childhood and need support by a caregiver to fall asleep.7–10 Consequently, many parents are concerned with difficulties pertaining to their own sleep as well as handling their children’s sleep problems.... Read more

Gifted People Can Be Wounded Too

Most people would not think of being highly sensitive, empathic, intelligent, insightful, and inquisitive as a cause for childhood trauma. Apart from being the target of envy and being the unwelcomed truth-teller in any social group, the biggest potential source of trauma for emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually gifted people often comes from their families. Here are some of the less-known gifted trauma: 1. Subtle Rejection of the Gifted The first layer of wounds for gifted people comes from their parents’ implicit rejection of them. Your parents may feel intimidated by your penetrative insights. In one way or the other, they may have felt a sense that you can see through them—their vulnerabilities, hypocrisies, mistakes, and weaknesses—everything they would normally hide from their children. They might have felt threatened by your speed, insights, honesty, and intelligence. To protect themselves, they put a wall up and pulled back. For a child, however,... Read more

What Type of Friend Are You? How ADHD Influences Friendships

What Type of Friend Are You? How ADHD Influences Friendships

Whether you collect new friends easily or lean on a few, long-term friendships dating back to kindergarten, there’s no wrong way to build relationships. This is true especially for people with ADHD, who often report that their symptoms complicate, challenge, and color friendships. The ones that work are the ones that accept and celebrate their ADHD. What Type of Friend Are You? “I fall in the Selectively Acquisitive Friendship Style category; I am very careful and particular about who I label a ‘friend.’ Anybody who I don’t refer to as a friend is my ‘acquaintance.’ My ex used to laugh at this distinction, but it’s super important because it helps me decide how much time I spend with these people, and if I make an emotional investment in them. Yes, I help everyone when in need, but I will do it much more for my designated ‘friends.’” — BAT “I’ve... Read more

Why unstructured free play is a key remedy to bullying

Why unstructured free play is a key remedy to bullying

October was National Bullying Prevention Month , and in my decade of teaching in high-poverty public elementary schools, I’ve seen strategy after strategy and initiative after initiative implemented to decrease bullying. While every case is unique, having a general understanding of why a student chooses to bully can be helpful. Kids usually bully for one of the following reasons: they are frustrated with life’s circumstances and don’t have the emotional tools to cope, they don’t have many friends and are lonely, they have issues with emotional regulation, or they feel powerless to control their life for any number of reasons. Our school’s approach to bullying is simple, yet effective: Unstructured free play. Seriously? Yes. Stay with me. In the years since my school began incorporating more and more unstructured free play into our school day (before school by opening up our playground, during school by adding an additional recess, and... Read more

Why is gamified learning through creative learning activities important for early childhood education

Why is gamified learning through creative learning activities important for early childhood education

The pandemic has been especially disruptive for early childhood learners. Bright vibrant classrooms, games and activities with peers were replaced with computer screens as a mode of learning. These challenges necessitated the need to leverage technology and make learning engaging, meaningful and personalized. Many Ed-Tech companies operating in the PreK-12 segment took up the challenge, innovated and offered exciting options for learning which included simulations, animations, video-based learning and gamification of content. Gamified learning is one of the most prominent trends which has been successfully implemented in early childhood learning. While it was being used even before the pandemic, this approach gained particular prominence during the lockdown. How is early childhood learning impacted by gamification you might ask. Why is Early Childhood Important for a Child’s Overall Development? The term Early Childhood encompasses the age group of children from birth to 8 years. This is a wondrous time of development... Read more

What to Know Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious Attachment and Tips to Cope

Anxious attachment is one of four attachment styles that develop in childhood and continue into adulthood. These attachment styles can be secure (a person feels confident in relationships) or insecure (a person has fear and uncertainty in relationships). Also known as ambivalent attachment or anxious-preoccupied attachment, anxious attachment can result from an inconsistent relationship with a parent or caregiver. Adults who are anxiously attached may be considered needy or clingy in their relationships and lack healthy self-esteem.1 Through approaches such as therapy, it's possible to change attachment styles or learn to have healthy relationships despite attachment anxiety. What's Your Attachment Style? There are four main attachment styles. The following are some of the ways they may manifest in relationships:1 Secure attachment: Able to set appropriate boundaries; has trust and feels secure in close relationships; thrives in relationships but does well on their own as well Anxious attachment: Tends to be... Read more

How Many Christmas Presents Should You Buy Your Children?

How Many Christmas Presents Should You Buy Your Children?

One of the most celebrated traditions of Christmas is sharing gifts with your loved ones. For that reason, Christmas is one of the holidays most favored by children, who are often treated to several toys and other gifts on the day. Toy sales in the U.S. soared in 2020, with millions of families kept home by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a February 2021 statement from the Toy Association: "One silver lining of the pandemic is that it has helped families rediscover the joys of spending time together and find value in bringing play into their daily lives." The association projected that this year families would be "seeking new toys that promote togetherness, as well as inclusive playthings that can be enjoyed by kids of varying abilities and interests," the statement said. But can these toys and other gifts become dangerous for a child's health? Can Too Many Gifts Be... Read more

A Survival Guide for Parents with ADHD: Strategies from Preschool to High School

A Survival Guide for Parents with ADHD: Strategies from Preschool to High School

For any parent with ADHD, raising children, managing a household, and maintaining emotional health is a Hurclean task. ADHD impacts nearly every facet of parenting, so caregivers with the condition need distinct tools and resources to manage their symptoms and effectively meet their kids’ needs through every developmental phase. Here they are. Parenting is hard. It’s rewarding, yes. But also difficult, demanding, and draining. When caregivers have ADHD, the challenges of parenting seem to multiply in number and intensity. ADHD symptoms like inattention, impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation inevitably impact the daily rhythms and responsibilities of parenting, not to mention the relationships we forge with our children as they grow. From diapers to driver licenses, here’s advice for parents with ADHD on simultaneously managing their symptoms while raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted children. How ADHD Impacts Parenting Skills Parenting requires the daily, dependable execution of non-novel, repetitive tasks, a combination that’s kryptonite... Read more

Should You Make Your Child Play Sports? There's No Easy Answer

Should You Make Your Child Play Sports? There’s No Easy Answer

Organized athletics have benefits beyond just staying active. Parents, a commissioner and a psychologist weigh in on forcing kids to participate. On any fall weeknight, city parks and recreation fields across Central Ohio transform into a colorful and sprawling sea of youth sports matches. Sign-up flyers come home in your child’s backpack. Yard signs pepper busy intersections. Even local churches and other houses of worship play host to junior basketball leagues. Here in the athletics-minded Midwest, youth sports can begin to feel like a bit of an imperative. As fall sports kick into high gear, the same question arises for many families: Should parents make their children try a sport? We asked a local mom, a coach/youth league board member and a pediatric psychologist with a sports concentration for their opinions. The answer, not surprisingly, isn’t as simple as “yes” or “no.” Youth teams—while not without their critics for everything... Read more

Autistic and Gifted: How to Support a Twice-Exceptional Child

Autistic and Gifted: How to Support a Twice-Exceptional Child

Autism and giftedness can go hand in hand. Twice-exceptional kids have great ability, but they also face certain challenges. Giftedness and autism share some qualities, like intellectual excitability and sensory differences. Some kids have these qualities because they’re both gifted and autistic. If your child is nonverbal and shies away from eye contact and touch but can play piano concertos after hearing them only once, it’s easy to spot the coexistence of autism and giftedness. It’s usually not that obvious, though. Not all autistic kids avoid eye contact or shun hugs, and many are great conversationalists. Meanwhile, only a few gifted kids are prodigies with exceptional recall. It’s more likely you’ve noticed that your child has some impressive, detailed knowledge about a focused interest, plus they show bouts of emotional intensity or sensory issues that are common in gifted children. Giftedness is extraordinary ability, high IQ, or both. It’s a... Read more

10 Evidence-backed Tips to Teach Kids Focus and Concentration

10 Evidence-backed Tips to Teach Kids Focus and Concentration

Teaching kids to listen, focus, follow instructions, keep rules in mind and practice self-control Adele Diamond, a well-known Professor whose studies have focused on self-regulation, argues that children should be taught to: 1. Develop self-control, i.e., they should learn to do what is appropriate rather than what they want to do. 2. Develop the working memory, i.e., they should be helped to hold information in memory while mentally incorporating new information. 3. Develop cognitive flexibility, i.e., they should learn to think outside the box. Diamond believes that teaching self-regulation skills can help improve children’s concentration and focus. These skills can help your child learn to follow instructions and persist even when they encounter enormous challenges. Other studies have found that self-regulated children are able to listen, pay attention, think, then act. Everything you need to know to help your child focus and concentrate better “My child won’t concentrate on anything”... Read more

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