AD(H)D (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been a blessing for our family. We are better parents, all our children are successful in their own way, and we are able to be a therapeutic foster family. I sometimes wonder --if we didn't have AD(H)D, would we be so fortunate? There were the years of guilt, frustration, hopelessness, and many other emotions. My son, Ray, was difficult, moody (including drastic mood swings), very unhappy and by age six wanted to "make himself dead." We sought help with different professionals, agencies, playgroups - you name it.
At a recent national convention on ADHD, one speaker suggested "good science" argues that ADHD is entirely a pathological condition, a genetic illness, and that there is no value whatsoever in a person "having ADHD." Anybody who may seek to offer hope to ADHD children or parents was accused of telling "stories," the citation again being "good science." The speaker suggested that ADHD is purely a genetic defect; the neo-Darwinist theory being that sometimes genetic problems are simply "weaknesses in the evolution.
Dear Dr. Sylvia, I have an eight-year-old daughter, who does not like to listen. Her teacher says she talks too much in class, and I have taken away some of the things she likes to do, but she still talks in class. It started in first grade and continues. I have read many books about discipline and have not found the answer. She is usually a sweet child, but sometimes she really gets out of hand and throws tantrums like a two-year-old.
QMy eight-year-old daughter doesn't want to go to school. For the past few months, she has said she doesn't feel well a couple of times a week and I let her stay home. She complains of stomach aches but the doctor says there's nothing wrong. Now she's fallen behind and has missed a lot. She likes her teacher and has friends. I don't know if this means the school isn't good or there are other problems. What do you suggest? A Guest expert Silvia Silberman, MA, answers: You may think of a tummy ache or other body pain as a way of expressing pain, preoccupation or anxiety that is otherwise difficult to express.
Dear WholeMom, Ever since my first daughter was born there was such a special way about her. She was different. I was delighted by her every move. I knew in my heart that she was gifted. By the time she was two, my sister and other relatives and professionals would comment to me about how wonderful she was. When she toilet trained herself, learned her colors, numbers, ABC's, and words to more than 30 songs by the age of two, I simply beamed with joy over her accomplishments.
A parent writes, “Our nine-year-old son has begun to express an intense dislike for school. In the morning, he will say he is not attending school. He may refuse to dress and will do so after our most determined insistence only. He cries at times. He has repeatedly expressed feeling tired. He may willingly agree to do homework, but does it poorly, or does not complete it without some kind of unpleasant episode.” Read what Dr. Sylvia Rimm advises this distraught parent, about helping the child to overcome hurdles now and in the future.
School days, school days. If they're not already here for you, they're just around the corner. In this new millennium, going back to school involves more than new notebooks, pencils and lunchboxes. As children, their parents and teachers become more familiar with the Internet, it becomes a useful--sometimes invaluable--tool for doing research and homework. "We think the sites will be a big help for the kids' school work this year," said a New York mom of three.
Dear Dr. Sylvia, My ten-year-old son hates doing his homework and drags it out. If I don't push him, he won't do it, and when he does, it looks sloppy. His teacher estimates that each assignment should not be more than an hour. He takes forever, and it looks messy. Should I make him sit there before dinner and after dinner until it's done? I work full-time, so I'm not at home with him and his dad to make sure it's getting done. Any tip would be helpful.
Dear WholeMom, I almost felt like I'm reading my own concerns about my almost twelve-year-old when I read the question about the "Unmotivated son." His teacher has advised that he will be failing his three major subjects on the next quarterly report card. His reading score in February of 99 is going to 40. He also was tested for ADD and learning disabilities, but very simply is not motivated. While his teacher has been fairly flexible, the simple fact is that success in school is measured by good grades and if you are in public school, there is very little room for special attention.
Exclusive to WholeFamily.... QDear Dr. Sylvia I'm having a hard time with my twelve-year-old son. School has been in session for about two months, and he has five F's right now. He will not do school work or homework. He has already been suspended from school for three days because he took a bullet to school. He lies all the time. He hits his sisters a lot. I am a single parent, and I don't know what to do with him. A It sounds as if you're having a serious problem, and you could use more help than I can give you here. If you weren't firm enough with your son many years ago, it could be that he won't accept limits when you try to set them now.
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