Sunday, September 25, 2011

Parenting and ADHD


I have had so much on my mind. I start to write a post and then delete it and walk away. I dont know where to begin or what to say. So I guess I will just blurt it out!!!

Brian and I are the parents of a child with ADHD.

He was diagnosed with ADHD back in January. Truth be told, we have always known or at least I have. So I was not shocked when we got the diagnosis. And what a common diagnosis it is.

Does anything We have always been Owens parents and always will be. We have never known anything different.

As he gets older the struggles change and honestly get harder. As a parent we never want to see our kids struggle. We never want them to have a hard time at anything. And a child with ADHD does struggle. They have a hard time sitting still, paying attention, and unfortunately are constantly being reprimanded for their hyper and sometimes irrational behavior.

What does that do to a young child? It makes them feel like they cant do anything right, it makes them feel like they are not good enough and it takes away their confidence bit by bit.

In society today kids/people are expected to act a certain way or as I like to call it "fitting in the box". When they don't fit in the box they are told they are wrong. When in fact they are perfect just the way they are.

Owen fits in his own little box and its a perfect box.

There are plenty of daily struggles. It is not easy parenting a child with ADHD. Our biggest struggle and concern is how to help Owen be successful in school. How do we help him to focus and retain information.

For Owen its not that easy. He is such a smart boy. When he is sitting in a classroom full of other kids and has a task to finish its nearly impossible. Instead of seeing what is in front of him he sees and hears everything around him. Its like static in his brain. I am sure if a pin dropped two classrooms away he would hear it.

Our struggle as parents was how do we help him. We spent the year making changes in his diet, working with his teacher to come up with techniques that would help him. Nothing worked. He fell behind in reading and was getting frustrated. Homework was just as hard. We came home, sat down and spent forever doing it. He just couldn't focus. I sat here with him just as frustrated.

After another trip to the doctor in the summer we spoke with him and agreed that the best thing for Owen would be to try medication for school. I cringed in January when that came up. I refused it and said we would try other things. When nothing worked we started to rethink our decision.

The hardest thing about deciding to medicate your seven year old is the guilt that comes with that. It is such a taboo subject. There are so many people out there that flat out refuse and guess what, I used to be one of them. I always said no to medication and that there had to be another way. Well I was not in the situation I am in now and really had no clue what I was talking about.

If you look at the previous paragraph you will see that every other word is "I". Its all about how I feel and what I think. Truth be told, this is not about me, its not happening to me, its not me that has the problem. It is about Owen and helping him.

Together, Brian and I decided to take ourselves out of it and make it about him. Its not about us and what we feel, its about Owen and what he needs. We decided to try the meds out to see if they work. There is a misconception with ADHD medication. Many people think that it is something you take and it stays in your system which is what we thought. That is not true. You either take it or you don't and when its wears off its out of your system.

My train of thought was if your child had a heart condition you would give them medication. If they had allergies you would give them shots. Well what if they have ADHD? Its not as though he is sick but in a way he is. His brain doesn't work like it should. Why is it so taboo to give medicine to a child that needs it?

I have spent  many nights loosing sleep and many days crying over our decision to medicate him. We went back and fourth for months. Brian was for it, I was against it. I was for it and he was against it. I worried what giving such a young child chemicals for his brain would do. I worried about everything under the sun. I had anxiety, I had doubts but what it came down to is that he needs it. Its not about me its about him.

I am so lucky that I had friends to talk to about my concerns. Many of them being parents of Owens friends. Some with children who have ADD or ADHD. They helped me through my doubts. My family did nothing but support my decision and were standing by to help in any way they could. Support is key when dealing with something unknown and scary.

We gave him his medication for a week during the summer just to make sure he would not have any adverse reactions. I wanted to monitor him to see how he would feel. All went well. He felt fine. We made a choice to only medicate him for school. No summer, weekends or holidays. No days off from school.

We have been Owens parents for seven years with out medication and do not need it to parent him. I guess that is why it is so taboo. Some parents give it to their children to make parenting easier. We are doing this strictly for school and school only.

The result, when school started he did amazing. He noticed a difference immediately. Homework, gets done quickly and easily. Granted it is only 1st grade review but still. Its better than it used to be. He told me that he doesn't have a hard time following directions and getting his work done.

I talked to his teacher and told him our situation and how new this is to us. He will work with us to make sure we are all on the same page. In speaking with his teacher from last year she said she sees such a huge difference in him just in the lunch room.

Kids with ADHD have a very hard time when there is a lot going on around them. When there is a lot of action and excitement they get so over stimulated and cant handle it. The lunch room was a perfect example of that. Its loud, chaotic, and pure over stimulation. He always had a hard time remaining calm enough to sit and eat. He wont usually eat when there is a lot going on around him. At birthday parties, family parties, functions...he doesn't eat. He cant focus long enough to sit and eat a meal. Even at dinner time he gets up three or four times.

I don't want him to think that he needs his medication to do good in school so on the weekends we read, draw and do other things with out the meds just to prove to him that he can be successful with out it.

The hyperactivity is still there and will always be there. That is Owen. I wouldn't change it for the world. The meds don't take that away. It strictly removes that static so he can focus on what is in front of him. His little brain is less chaotic.

How do we deal with the hyperactivity? The same way you would with any hyper boy. We keep him active. He plays outside and RUNS all the time.

All of this has been on my mind for so long. I wanted to share but didn't want my boy labeled as the boy with ADHD. We kept it sort of quiet for a while. Only telling family and friends.

The I realized, this is nothing to hide. There is nothing wrong with sharing this with others and our decision in how to treat him. I stand behind our choice and our boy. We support him and encourage him to be who he is and never change. I will love him no matter what he does in life and will only coach him along to make sure he gets through it all unharmed.

In a previous post I spoke about parenting and how hard it can be at times. How you have to roll with the punches and are constantly changing your views as you go. I never want to judge others for the way they parent and hope in return no one would judge me. I know there are those out there that do look down on others for certain things they do but I know in my heart that we are doing the best thing as parents for our children. We love them and support them. We teach them and help them grow. That is the best we can do. We are here for them no matter what.

I am not going to say that parenting a child with ADHD is not very hard at times. It is extremely difficult and requires a lot of patience. In all honesty, my patience wears thin often and I have to remind myself to calm down and take a step back. Every day is a new day. And as I tell Owen when he asks if he had a bad day, no day is a bad day there are only bad moments. If you have a bad moment breathe, and move on to the next. For so long we got caught up on good days bad days. 

Not anymore. We have good days everyday...well, that is a lie. Not everyday is a good day but I wake up every morning and try to have a good day. That doesn't always happen but I will continue to try to make it happen.



Fall is in the air...yeah right. Its hot, and muggy. I feel like I live in FL. Its almost October. I want cold mornings, sunny cool afternoons, and cold evenings. I want to put away all of the summer clothes . I want to burn my Pumpkin Spice candle, bake pumpkin breads, make french onion soup in the crock pot and take walks in the neighborhood so I can hear the leaves crunch under my feet. Go away Indian summer!

I have been so busy the past few weeks. School has started, bake sales are being organized and homework is getting done. Thank god I dont work. Well I do work I just dont get paid for it.

I started watching my friends daughter a few weeks ago. Her name is Kennedy, she is a beautiful two year old girl (pictures coming). Shane loves having her here. They are buddies. We go to the library once a week. It has been really great having her here.

Well off to play with my kids, Shaney just woke up. He is not feeling well so I need to go wipe boogies.

Have a great day!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years Ago

Like most Americans I remember exactly where I was and who I was with on this day 10 years ago. I was working in an office, it was quiet and my co-worker turned to me and said, "wow, a plane just hit the World Trade Center".  I thought she was joking. We thought it was an accident. I called my mom who was home from having knee surgery. I told her to turn on the TV immediately. 

I spent the entire day on the phone with my family and friends, came home from work and spent the night in front of the television. I could not believe my eyes and ears. I could not believe what happened to our country.

It was a sad, sad day. You never realize how these things affect you. I was not there and did not know anyone there. Yet still, to this day I have such a heavy feeling in my heart any time I think about that day. 

As Brian and I sit here and watch the ceremonies that go on we both feel so emotional. I look at my babies, sit back and realize I am one lucky lady. I have a beautiful, healthy, safe family. I know many affected by that day have gone on with their lives as many do.  I hold a special place in my heart for each and every one of the people that lost their lives and their families on that sad day. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Little of This, Little of That

This is my favorite time of year. Fall is just around the corner which means, fall clothes, leaves changing, school starting, fires in the fireplace, holiday excitement, my birthday (big 3-0 this year) and so much more. 

I cant believe I am going to be 30. I am not bothered by this at all. In fact I cant wait for my thirties. Some people freak out but truth be told I am relieved to be turning 30. Most of my friends in my adult life have always been older than I am. I dont look at age as a number but more of a state of mind. 

I have always been older than I actually was. I got married young, had my first child young but I didnt look at it as I was too young to do those things. I was mentally ready to have a family at that time. I dont feel I missed out on my 20's. True, I didnt party every weekend, I didnt do girls trips annually but I did get to spend every waking moment with the love of my life, my best friend. Together we raised a beautiful young man. 

That being said, I have enjoyed my 20's tremendously but am looking forward to saying good bye as I anxiously await the next decade of my life. 


Labor Day weekend has passed. I am sorry to see the summer come to an end. What a great summer it was. My guys fished all summer. They camped, we beached it, tons of play dates, parties, and lots of family time. 

We spend our Labor day with family at my nephews 9th birthday. 


Owen loves his big cousin. They are so much alike and just so comfortable around each other. 

Try getting either of them to smile for a picture...IMPOSSIBLE


I have to do it when they are not looking


Shaney and Vicky are two peas in a pod. Vicky loves her baby cousin. She is amazing with him.





Great Grandma loves her boys!


And so patiently and calmly tries to get Owen to stop eating the frosting


(Joey and Owen are definitely shirt or shoes EVER)

Brian had a blast too...he is a BIG kid




Someone got hurt so he needed daddy to console...he does that well


Grammy took some time to help put Shaney to sleep...she had the grandmother touch because he was out for well over an hour.


At the end of the day my kids were tired and they should be. That to me says they had one hell of a time!


Baby Brother is mobile!!!

He just decided yesterday to take a stroll across the livingroom. 



Big Brother is a second grader!!!! 


He started school and loves it. He loves his teacher. This is going to be a good year!!!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Do I really live in New England?

Well I can honestly say I have survived my first hurricane. Or should I say Tropical Storm. Either way it was exciting, chaotic, nerve racking and everything in between.

My husband is a survival show junkie...he watches them, reads survival guides, has all the gear and was ready to go when he heard Irene was headed straight for us.

Me on the other hand, I didnt really think it would hit. I mean honestly, we live in New England, we never have hurricanes, not bad ones anyway.

The way the news made this one sound freaked me out.

Then there was the police and fire trucks that came the day before warning us to evacuate. Stay at our own risk. "If you stay we cant help you", they said to us. They even took our next of kin information.


That was enough to put me over the edge. I was ready to pack it up and take off.

Not Brian. Nope, he was staying put to ride it out. He told me to take the kids and go up to his brothers house in the northern part of the state. I almost did. But then reality hit and if I was going to be with anyone during this hurricane it was going to be my husband. So we stayed. I am glad we did. It was not bad at all and kind of an adventure.

Early Sunday, the morning of the storm Brian woke me up (I mean 4am early). We had lost power and he was on the back porch with the grill boiling water for the french press. He woke me with "c'mon, we have no power, I made coffee on the grill, grab the boy and get up, I know you like your coffee hot". I mean he was like a kid on Christmas morning. I couldnt resist. I grabbed Shaney (he was cuddled up next to me) and headed towards the coffee.

The rest of the day the four of us had our heads pressed against the windows and back door. The winds were strong, it rained off and on but nothing like I expected. I kept texting my friends and family with power to see if it hit us yet and when it was supposed to be over. I didnt want it to end.

It was almost uneventful.  We lost power and lost some tree limbs but nothing awful happened and I was thankful.

(getting our road closed down due to down power lines)


(we were waiting for that thing to come down)


As soon as we thought it was safe we were out and about. Touring the neighborhood.



Black Rock was lucky. There was flooding but nothing awful and a few homes were damaged due to down trees but all in all we stayed strong!












The next day was amazing. We had no power which equals no distractions. No tv, no computer, no cooking, not very much cleaning, just good old fashion fun. Being outside all day, fresh air, friends, and fun!




Black rock just felt different when there was no power.



I would say it was almost a glorified camping trip. We went to a few hurricane parties, spent the entire day outside, and just had tons of fun. There were times when I wanted the power to come back  but that meant back to the real world.

So in one week we had an earthquake (I felt nothing) and a hurricane (down graded to a tropical storm). That is why I wonder, Do I really live in New England? Winter is coming, I am sure I will not questions that in January. There will be no question in my mind that I live here!!!

Have a great week.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...