I’m excited. And overwhelmed. I got my first sale, but I know to keep them coming I have to have a serious marketing campaign. I’d like to say I’m one of those writers who can be happy to just see her words in print, but I want to know that kids are reading my stories. So, first comes the creator and then comes the businesswoman. Still, it felt incredible to hold my book in my hands for the first time!
What happens when your ADD collides with your child’s ADHD? Now, I just have problems staying focused on one thing for long periods of time and I can tend to have a bunch of projects going at one time. My youngest has the same problem, but then you have to add in hyperactivity. This energy is great when competing in gymnastics, but not so welcome when she has to write a paper. I’m also what’s called a ‘visual learner’; I learn by what I take in visually. The problem with that is disorder is REALLY annoying to me, and a nine year old with ADHD probably has a messier room than college boys after a keg party. I always seemed to be annoyed and snapping at her because of this. She can’t help how she is anymore than I can, but we’ve got to coexist in this house. You’d think someone who just graduated with a Masters in counseling could figure this one out, but it’s a different animal when you become the client.
The start of the new school year is only a couple of weeks away for us in New Orleans and this is accompanied by the usual routine of gathering school supplies, new clothes and great bling for your locker. But there’s one other thing that kids take to school on the first day and that’s anxiety. Even if your child is a return student or walking into a new school for the first time, take a minute or two to see if they have any questions or issues which need to be addressed. Familiarity helps. My fourth grader gets to meet her teacher and bring in her supplies before classes start. At this time she also gets to see who’s in her class. Since her school is not huge, she usually has friends in each class she’s known since preschool. What if you’re entering a new school for the first time?
- Try to arrange a tour of the school before classes begin so your kids can get the lay of the land.
- Meeting the new teacher is great, but if they get a chance to meet some of their new schoolmates, that’s even better.
- Make the first morning of the first day as calm and relaxing as possible by preparing the night before.
- Start with a good breakfast. It’s hard to concentrate when your stomach is grumbling.
- Don’t forget to put a little surprise in the lunchbox or put something familiar in the bookbag.
- At the end of the day, go for ice cream and talk about their first day experience. Whether the day was good or bad, this relaxing down time will be good for the kids and parents.
My oldest girls are now 22 and 19. As I reflect on how we raised them and how we are raising our 9 year old, there are stark contrasts. Like any firstborns, my oldest barely touched the floor and there was always this urgency about tracking her developmental progress. All parents want to believe that their child is doing things before other kids. What veteran parents usually figure out by the time they have kid three and four is that kids are usually pretty good about figuring out what they like to do on their own. Our youngest is an acrobatic gymnast, and I’ve seen some stage parents which make me believe you should have to get a license before you’re allowed to procreate. While our daughter has just won her first national championship, if she came to me tomorrow and said she wanted to try another sport, we’d certainly discuss her decision, but at the end of the day, if she is not committed to the sport, we can’t make her love it.
Things happen for a reason, and if your child wants to end one activity, try to look at it this way. Maybe a door is opening for another opportunity which could be more satisfying.
One way to make a new friend is to share something special about yourself. Emmie really likes ladybugs and butterflies. When Annie sees how the friendly bugs land in Emmie’s hand, she becomes interested in Emmie’s hobby. Do you have a hobby you’d like to share? Sharing hobbies is a great way to make a friend.
Emmie is a very quiet, very thoughtful little girl. She likes to use her imagination to discover the world around her. Her cat Blink and the ladybugs and butterflies in her garden are her best friends. Emmie spends a lot of time with her Mommy, who likes to take care of the flowers in her garden.
Annie is new to the neighborhood. She likes to meet people and make new friends. Annie has an active imagination, just like Emmie.