Meditate Away ADHD

My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of Secondary School and to say that he was hard work, was putting it lightly! However, being a therapist, and observing students I work with who present with ADHD, I strongly believe it is linked to anxiety and if you check out the symptoms of anxiety you can see a strong correlation.

Anyway – back to ADHD. My son was OK with his ‘hyper’ as he would call it though, through the day but struggled to get to sleep. Being aware that I meditate, he took it upon himself – after doing some meditation with me – to listen to meditation audios on YouTube. He found they not only helped him calm down and sleep better, they also made him feel better too.

He further added regular exercise to his regime and the change in him was amazing, Calmer, more focused, less angry and more able to reflect on his behaviour. WOW!

So if you struggle with your child’s ADHD and related behaviour’s – why not get them into a regular meditation practice? Not only does meditation help calm the mind, boost confidence and help children focus – it also helps to release tension and negative thinking too. A real win-win situation!

The old  ‘how can I get my kid to sit still for any length of time?’ is a question I get a lot. Don’t expect them to! Get them to listen to a short meditation to begin with – ask them to sit and listen and if they fidget – that’s fine. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took me a couple of months to get into a regular practice and it will take your child a while too – so drop those expectations and just keep going.

There is a lot of research into Vetiver essential oil and ADHD and it has proved to work wonderfully with reducing symptoms – so give this a whirl too. Ensure your child exercises daily as this releases pent up stress and emotions and gives your child a way to release tensions that can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD,

Also a healthier diet helps. There is a link between what you eat and your health and there are various diets out there to help with ADHD – mainly fresh produce and less processed food.

You have the power to make a difference to your child’s ADHD – so give mediation a go. Change their diet – gradually – to lessen resistance. Get out more with your child and try Vetiver oil too. All these tools can make a huge difference. Believe me I know!

Try out the video below – if you want a longer mediation – there are others on my YouTube channel.

You can do it. You can make a difference to your child’s ADHD without medication. So give it a go and let me know how you get on!

adhd, mediation,treatment,anxiety,meditating,

Live A Little

Mornings with kids and a dog can be pretty hectic especially when you work. So this morning was no different than most school mornings. I had to chase my middle child out of the door to get the school bus, then take the dog out for a quick run, dash home in time to get the youngest up…..and so goes another school morning.

I know like many parents, I go into ‘automatic’  mode on these school mornings. Get kids up, ensure they get dressed, shout at them to hurry up, get breakfast, shout again to ask what they are up to as it’s been fifteen minutes and they are still not dressed or downstairs. All the while I’m getting myself ready, along with breakfast and lunches, if I didn’t have time to do them the night before.

Mornings become a mundane ritual of shouting, chasing the kids and general chaos.  I look forward to the half an hour out with the dog to be honest! However, do my mornings always have to be so ‘moody’ and intense? Why do I always have to rush around and shout? Is it not possible to approach the start of the day in a more proactive and fun way? Surely there must be a better start to the day than chaos and noise?

My youngest came in to my room this morning to ask if I’d signed a letter which of course had to be in today – so I was less than chuffed as we had only a few minutes to get out. He sat on the bed and gave me a hug. Then he said ‘after three lets just fall back.’ My initial reaction was to say no, don’t be silly, we need to get out to school and he immediately picked up on this even though I changed my mind at the last minute and we both feel back laughing.

He knew what my response would have been. No fun mum before school! Instead I thought what the hell, he’s my son and why not have a few minutes of fun time instead? So we had a tickle fight and both of us ended up laughing so hard we had tummy aches. Now that was certainly a better way to start the day than the ‘norm’.

We both went off on the school run in better spirits and will undoubtedly have a better start to our day as a result. By showing him that mornings could be fun, his whole mood lifted. Lead by example. It’s hard for a ten year old to be full of beans in the morning if all you are doing is nagging them!

So next time you feel your life becoming stagnant or too prone to dullness – take a few minutes to inject a bit of fun into your life – it makes a huge difference to how you feel and how you approach life too. And besides, others benefit from your upbeat mood too.

Instead of shouting at the kids to get ready, make getting ready into a game. First one downstairs dressed and ready for school gets to chose the DVD that evening. Or set a timer and record their times for getting ready and ask them if they think they could beat their best time yet. Kids love a challenge and a competition! Tell them that if they beat you getting dressed they get a treat ….use your imagination! Your kids will be more willing to have fun and get ready believe you me, than listen to you nagging each and every morning. And if they feel happier and more motivated to get ready, imagine how much better the mornings will be for you too. Who knows you might even start the day with a smile!

So many people have forgotten how to have fun – and more depressingly cant even have fun with the kids – and no, dragging your kids shopping is NOT fun. Get them out  on a bike through the puddles. Get them climbing trees. Lighten up and you may begin to notice that the whole world lightens up with you!

Change the mundane. Have fun. Smile and be happy. It IS a choice. So choose well and live a little..

A Little Perspective

Kids are great aren’t they? They can teach you so much about yourself that perhaps you never knew or wanted to know!

My son had been grounded yesterday and was supposed to come straight home after school but he didn’t. He arrived home late and brought along his old friend Attitude too. Not only was I unhappy that he didn’t come home directly after school and that he came home at a ridiculous hour, I was now not happy about his offensive attitude with me. He marched in ready for a fight and was determined someone was going to get it!

So being the adult I rose to his offense much to my dismay and as any parent knows, if you rise up to your kid’s challenge, you have automatically let them win. Mum loses control, shouts and gets upset. One nil to him.

Granted – most days I rise above it but I’m only human so some days I don’t do very well! Instead of jumping in and giving him what he wanted – an argument – I should have stepped back and walked away. If I had have given myself space to think about the situation I would have perhaps wondered at why he needed to ‘let off steam’. I could have allowed him to calm down and then had a chat with him later to see if anything was upsetting him.

As it happened, something was upsetting him – a rather amazing teacher had told him that he perhaps was the dumbest boy in the entire school. And how did I find this out? Only after I had upset him! So not only did he feel devastated that his teacher had upset him and humiliated him in front of his class mates but his mum was now having a go at him too!

So next time your child seems keen to pick a fight or his behaviour seems more volatile than usual – step back and think about what might be going on inside their head instead of automatically focusing on what is going on inside your head. Okay it’s not nice to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse however if we realize that something has to be driving this behaviour then we begin to see things differently and respond is a more positive way.

Most people when hurt or upset lash out at those nearest – it’s nothing personal yet most of us take it personally. Next time someone you love seems to be more verbal or volatile than usual – perhaps wonder at what it is that has upset them instead of launching right back at them. We all need gentle handling at times especially when we are hurt or upset and that is no different for children.

Respect that kids too get upset that they lash out in frustration at times too after all they are only kids! Give them space to calm down instead of adding fuel to their fire. By focusing on what is driving their upset you change the focus off yourself (I am so annoyed that he is talking to me like this) and place it on them (I will give him space to calm down and see if he wants to talk about it later).

Start thinking about how others think and feel – at why they might be upset or behaving badly. There is more than just one person in this world so start looking at how others work and what motivates their behaviour. By seeing things from a different perspective you can begin to gain an understanding of how other people ‘tick’. Only when you learn to understand what motivates other people can you begin to build better relationships.

Remember the world doesn’t revolve around you – other people get upset and need space too – so appreciate this and walk away don’t push them away. They will come to you when they need too.

Hindsight is a great thing but pretty much defunct too – unless you learn from it and change. So change your perspective and look at situations from other peoples point of view too. There is always a reason people behave the way they do and you know what – most times it has nothing to do with you!

Confident Children And Imagination

My son was a very anxious boy this morning. He is playing in the school team this evening in a deciding match for the league title and he is scared!

As a mum it’s all to easy to say ‘don’t be ridiculous, you’re a great player’ and leave it at that, but if your child is really worried about something or lacking confidence then surely there is a better way to help them that just offering reassurance?

Well thankfully there is! Confidence is based on perception i.e. your child’s own idea of whether they feel they can do something well or not and like us all, confidence can be diminished through ‘bad’ experiences. And when I say ‘bad’ the experiences themselves may not necessarily be bad but the meanings we take from them may be.

So your son is anxious about a match or your daughter feels scared about doing her Show and Tell – how can you help them?

Two ways really and both very simple and incredibly powerful.

The first one is to get them to ‘rehearse’ what they are going to do in their mind and talk them through it with as much positivity as possible. Make them feel incredible and make sure that every detail is positive and that the outcome is a success.

Not only will this boost their confidence as you are doing the exercise but it also programs their mind to do what they have been ‘rehearsing’ too! So when they stand up in front of the class or get in front of that goal, their mind goes ‘ah right, I know what I need to know now’ and more often than not, they will get the results the practiced.

However be realistic. Don’ set them up for failure! You son will probably not score 10 goals even if he is up front and not in defence! The idea is to get them to focus on the skills needed to get the results they want and to program their minds for success and remember what the mind can see you will achieve – so if your child focuses on failure (which is probable if they are worried) they are more likely to fail. So get them to always focus on what they want from this moment on (and you too!)

To help them feel more positive towards doing this and the following exercise, mention how all the top sports personalities carry out this exercise and how it improves their game/race etc.

Another great way of boosting your kids confidence (which can be incorporated with the exercise above too) is know as the confidence switch. This is quite simply setting up a physical anchor which when ‘fired’ produces feelings of well being and confidence in your child. 

So how do you literally turn on a confidence switch? Well the first thing you need to do is decide what the switch will be (a good place is a knuckle on one hand, the back of the hand or even their nose) and ensure you keep this ‘switch’ and that the pressure used is the same too i.e. press the same place all the time and with enough pressure to register the touch but not too much that it’s obvious. Also once this is set up the switch needs to be something that you child themselves can access themselves if and when they need it. So discretion might be key.

Once you have decided where the ‘switch’ will be then you need to set it. So get your child to remember a time when they felt really great, perhaps when they scored a goal previously or when they were doing something they loved doing such as dancing, singing or simply a time when they felt really great – perhaps playing with friends or on the rollercoaster! 

Get them to close their eyes if they want to (it’s ok if they don’t want to) and get them (with a little help from you) to talk through the positive experience as if they were actually reliving it again. Ask them what they see, what they hear and ask them to really focus on how great they were feeling and as you know yourself, when you focus on happy memories those old feelings flood back don’t they? 

So when you see that your child has associated into those feel good feelings (it will be very obvious with a child when they are!) simply touch their ‘switch’ for roughly 10 seconds. Then stop.

Get them to go through the memory again maybe this time bring in more details or try another memory. Again get your child to really focus on all that they remember and when you see them accessing those happy feel good feelings again, anchor them by touching their knuckle again.

Do this a couple of times at any one go – don’t overdo it as your child will get fed up! Do it again with them the next day or the next to ensure that their confidence switch becomes more powerful.

However one of the best things about the confidence switch is that your child doesn’t even have to know what you are doing! You can get them to focus on happy memories whilst you anchor these feelings by touching their hand (in the same place and the same hand!)/knuckle/nose in such a way that they are unaware of what you are doing. 

Also every time they are feeling happy, confident or at ease with themselves you can simply top us this switch by touching their knuckle for a few seconds. 

You need to go this exercise around 4 – 8 times and then try out the switch. Get you child to focus and then flip the switch and ask (and watch out for signs) them what they noticed? Keep topping up this confidence switch – whenever you child is doing something they are enjoying, when they tell you about a fab goal they scored at school or how they did this incredible dance move – just switch that switch. The more you do this the better the result.

They will be delighted with their new weapon of  mass construction! So give this a go – it’s easy to do and will make your child feel so much more confident and in control. Furthermore, the more they use this switch the more likely the behaviour is to become a natural part of who they are. 

I will keep you posted on the result tonight!

Take care and speak soon!!!

But…..And

Next time you go into a conversation with someone with the intention of coming out with an agreement think about your ‘buts’ and ‘ands’.

When ever someone is presenting an argument or fighting their case they will ultimately use the word ‘but’ to signify something that they disagree with or are not happy with and it’s something we have learnt to expect over the years. As soon as I say ‘but’ to my son he switches of automatically or gets frustrated because he’s expecting a rejection or a negative response.

Just as the word ‘and’ suggests that there is something else to expect doesn’t it and you would be right wouldn’t you? So choose your words wisely whenever you are seeking an agreement from another party. If you wish to negate the other person’s argument avoid the ‘but’!

Consider the two statements below.

‘I feel very strongly about this issue and I appreciate how you feel too and that is why it’s important to get this right’

‘I feel very strongly about this issue but I don’t think that you do so how are we going to come to any agreement?’

Which statement is letting the other person know you ‘hear’ them and want to work towards a compromise? Which one is more likely to open up the other person to your ideas too?

Likewise consider how each of the statements below would impact on the receiver.

‘I know I ask you to work late some nights but that’s why you got the job in the first place and why you’re still here’

‘I know I ask you to work late and I really appreciate all your efforts but without your valuable contribution we may fail to hit our target’

At the first but (in the first statement) the person is waiting for the negative and they get it so it really doesn’t matter what you say after that as the person has already got the ‘but’ and switched off!

However in the second statement the ‘but’ is qualified by a positive statement (your valuable contribution) and as a result is a more persuasive argument.

The ‘and’ works in the second statement too as it suggests something other than the expected ‘but’ and it allows us to add in a supporting and positive (persuasive) statement too before ending on the ‘but’, which takes the persuasion up another notch.

So yes you can use the ‘but’ but ensure you follow it up with a positive and persuasive argument and use the ‘and’ to negate their argument in a more positive and inclusive way.

The Butterfly Hug

Recently I have mentioned the Butterfly Hug which is a really simple yet powerful way to release negative emotions such as grief, anxiety, depression and trauma and this is an excellent tool to help kids who suffer from anxiety due to Aspergers, Autism, ADHD etc as it’s something they can use themselves easily once taught.