Implement Play Dates

Uncategorized Feb 26, 2019

Play Dates

You probably already know the value of spending one-on-one time with your child, and many families have monthly date nights where mom and/or dad take one child out to do something - just the two of them.    I would encourage you to try a weekly play date at home so that you give your child an opportunity to communicate things that are bothering them that they might not otherwise.   


For these playdates, make an appointment card and give to your child to set this up as an important event.   Then, have a special set of toys and materials that are used only in play dates.  Some guidelines for these toys and materials are:

  1. easy to use and fun - don’t want to create frustration
  2. allow for creative expression and mess making (plan for easy clean up) (peel the labels off of crayons and break them)
  3. give the child the ability to act out real life experiences
  4. allow the child to express their needs symbolically


You will want items...

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Family Game Night

Uncategorized Feb 26, 2019

Family game night is a great time to connect and bond with your children.   They will enjoy the time with you, and it will be time that is not in front of a screen.    There are so many benefits.   Many games build fine motor skills and eye hand coordination.   Games also build cognitive  and executive function skills such as processing speed, working memory, planning and prioritization and logic and reasoning.    Not only that, but kids build social skills such as taking turns, losing gracefully, cooperation in partner games, and more.    

Download a list of games that build cognitive skills here:

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What do I need to know before my ADHD teen starts driving?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019
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How do I handle over-talkativeness in my child?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019

Have a secret signal for to give the other person a chance to talk.  The Sign language sign for turn works well.   Hold index finger and thumb out with other finger tucked in.  You palm is facing down.   Then, flip your hand over. 

Teach your child the 3 question conversation rule for conversations.   Before continuing or moving on to another topic, teach your child to ask the other person 2 – 3 questions and to listen to answers before talking again.   Practice this in role play.

Pass the microphone or talking stick or ball when having family discussions to give him/her a visual cue when it is his/her turn to talk.

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What do I do if my spouse and I disagree about discipline?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019

This is such an important topic for at least two reasons.   1.   Consistency in discipline is very important for children with ADHD.  2.   Parenting children with ADHD is stressful.   In fact, parents of children with ADHD are twice as likely to divorce before the child reaches age 8 as compared to other parents.   You need each other! 

Here are some tips to make a plan that works:

  1. Nurture your own relationship, and get away occasionally.   
  2. Check for understanding by mirroring back what your partner is saying before reacting.  
  3. Parents should both become as informed as possible about ADHD, and attend all meetings, important diagnostic appointments, etc.  
  4. Make decisions together and compromise, if necessary, so that you can agree to enforce the rules and provide consistency.   If necessary use the House Rule worksheet available in the files section of the Mission Life Success Parent...
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What to Do When Your Child Constantly Interrupts

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019

Children who struggle with impulsivity often interrupt you, and it can be frustrating.

Even if you’ve taught them to say excuse me, they often have trouble knowing how to use excuse me appropriately, so you might need to do some role playing to reinforce what you are teaching.

It’s not enough to say excuse me.  

First of all, give your child a silent signal to use if they want to talk to you while you are talking to someone else (such as tapping you gently on the back).  When they get your attention, teach them to say “excuse me.”    Then, tell them that sometimes you can give them your attention immediately, but sometimes you need to finish what your conversation before giving them your full attention, and in that case you will give them a signal (such as a thumbs up or a nod) so that they know you know they are waiting.    Then, as soon as you can, honor that “promise” by giving them your full attention before going...

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Why Is the Do-over an Effective Behavior Management Technique?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019

Teachers have long loved the do-over.  It is also very effective at home.   

What do I mean by the do-ever?  For example, your child runs in the house and slams the door.   You might open the door, and say, please remember to close the door softly.  Come back and try it again” And have them close the door softly

Important because 

1.  it gives child chance to practice the desired behavior

2.  Provides a natural consequence of requiring more of their time and delaying whatever gratification they were seeking by braking the rule

3.  Gives you the opportunity to praise the job done correctly so that you are ending on a positive note instead of on the negative one.  

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How Do You Explain ADHD to Your Child?

Uncategorized Feb 24, 2019

How do you explain the need to go to doctors or take medication or see a counselor or use accomodations to your child without making them feel like they are damaged or defective?   


Of course, this will depend somewhat on age.   The older they get, the more of the science explaining ADHD you can share with them.   In the simplest terms, for young children, I say “Some brains work a little differently than other brains.   Some people are able to focus on one thought at a time, and other brains think about lots of different things all at once.    When you have one of those kind of brains, it can sometimes make it difficult to get your school work done or finish cleaning your room because your brain is thinking about lot of other things it wants to do other than what it is supposed to be doing.   Kind of like some people need glasses to help them see better or hearing aids to help them hear better, when you have one of these super...

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Managing Screen Time

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2019

Screen time can be difficult to manage for  children with ADHD because 

  1. time has little meaning to them, 
  2. impulse control - there are so many sounds, lights and objects designed to pull their attention away - one leads to another and to another, etc. and they have trouble stopping themselves
  3. they sometimes hyperfocus and completely forget about all other tasks that need to be done, getting lost in the game or television show

Why is screen time a problem? 

  1. social interactions can be more difficult for children with ADHD, so the more time they spend with electronics, the less time they have to practice and hone social skills
  2. children with ADHD tend to engage in risky behaviors more often than those with a neurotypical brain, so they are more at risk to engage with predators or to watch inappropriate content
  3. they need a great deal of physical activity and sitting in front of a screen can limit the amount of physical activity that they get
  4. screen time near bedtime...
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How to Teach Your Child to Advocate for Himself

Uncategorized Feb 16, 2019

First of all, make sure your child understands his/her own needs by reviewing assessments and talking about areas of difficulty.  Help them think of some accommodations that might help overcome the difficulty.   

Next, teach them to effectively communicate their need using FESTA.   Role play to practice the skill and help your child gain confidence   

  • Face the teacher
  • Eye contact
  • State the accommodation request and the reason you require it
  • Thank the teacher
  • Accomodation use
  • Know when to seek help from other teachers, administrators or parents

Some of the obstacles and considerations that might prevent a child from wanting to advocate for themselves are: 

  • shyness 
  • don’t want to draw attention to your weaknesses in front of classmates
  • afraid of being disrespectful
  • time/opportunity

Discuss those obstacles and brainstorm ways to overcome in advance.   

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