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Have you been told your child has ADHD?

Have you been told your child has ADHD?

For most parents being called into a school principal's office or to a meeting with a teacher is pretty nerve-wracking. Add to this the issue of ADHD and ADD and there is a potential recipe for some very tense discussion.  Here are some great tips to navigate through and find the best solution for your child… 

  1. Avoid the Blame Game

Try to avoid heated arguments. This is often as a result of discussing what is best for your child and where the responsibility lies to meet these needs. Teachers may argue that a child needs structure at home and parents may feel the classroom atmosphere is to blame. A parent may feel the teacher is expecting too much – while the teacher may feel the expectations of a parent are too low. Pointing fingers will not solve the issue and chances are the real issue of your child will be missed. The answer is somewhere in the middle. Try to leave any pre-conceptions at the door, and remember you are there to find the best solution for your child. 

  1. Respect each other

Parents: close your eyes and imagine your child on his worst day, then times that by 25 other kids in a classroom. Teachers: imagine a student on a particularly bad day and then imagine that child 7 days a week. Remember that there are always two sides to a story so try to leave room for empathy and compromise. A teacher was once a student and likewise a parent was once a student. Remember too that school has changed since then and that today's classroom may have a vastly different dynamic.

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  1. Catch more flies with honey

Be nice! Chances are that angry shouting will only diminish your credibility as a teacher or parent and reinforce the idea that the issue comes from home or the school. Start off with a compliment: perhaps something about how it is appreciated that the school or teacher is holding your child to a high standard and cares enough to do that. As a teacher you may comment on how much it means for parents to care so much to come in and discuss a difficult topic. Starting with something nice to say will not fix the issue, but will leave the road open for ideas and constructive conversation.

  1. Focus on the topic and communicate!

Ask questions. You might try: "Does Kevin listen better in the mornings?" or "Has Kevin ever had a good day in class?" This shows that you are looking for real solutions and that you understand their perspective. Don’t stray off topic (eg. family history, medical tests) and rather focus on the issue at hand and finding the right solution. Voice your fears or concerns and ask for input – and listen. Try a technique called 'reflective listening'. If your teacher says: "Kevin smeared paint all over the wall on Tuesday." You might reply: "I know it's frustrating when Kevin smears things, he did the same to his dad's car seats last month." This shows that you are listening, understand and it may help you build a rapport. You will also establish common ground to work with.

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  1. Work towards a solution

It doesn't matter whether you're a teacher or a parent: your AIM is to find a workable solution to the issue and act in your child's best interests. Try to avoid a check-mate situation where there is no room to budge. If this does happen, suggest a guidance councilor joins you for a second meeting or ask the teacher or parent to read some literature on ADHD and schedule a follow up meeting. Remember that most solutions consist of smaller strategies used as a whole. There are natural treatment options and you may find that your teacher or school is open to help administer these natural medications in the classroom (with a parent's consent).

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Back to School - A note for SHY or ANXIOUS children:
Joining a new class or meeting new friends can be extremely traumatic for children of any age – but especially the little ones. K-OK Kiddie Calmer is a safe and natural remedy especially formulated by a Clinical Psychologist for naturally shy or anxious children.

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