When our daughter was 2, she loved to to bounce in her bouncing swing for hours. As she got a little older she would act out at daycare/pre-school. She would hit the person next to her for no reason, or run around when she was supposed to be sitting. She would never sit still and would get easily distracted.
We decided we needed to get a handle on her so we did some research and went to work with our ideas.
The first thing we did was observe her. For two weeks we watched her actions, her responses to things, what she navigated towards. We discovered that Ashley had a sincere interest in other people and that she loved to memorize things. We used these two traits to help re-direct Ashley when she got unruly. For example, when she needed re-directed, we would get down on her level and make her look at us. We would say something like” you know what honey – I heard that Suzy’s mom has been really sick – maybe you should make her a card’. Ashley would get really excited about her new project and even more excited about giving the card to her friend. We used her memory skills to keep her busy by giving her new challenges. Her favorite was the leapfrog learning system. She knew all the state capitals by the age of 5!!!!!!
Ashley is 12 years old now. She does take medication to help keep her blood pressure under control. We continue to develop new ways to help her stay organized. One method that we found that works really well is what I call “The Zone Method”. It doesn’t work to say “Please go clean your room”. So I have her room divided into zones. I drew a diagram of her room and assigned different areas of her room a different color or “zone’ When Ashley gets home from school, she knows she is supposed to look at the calendar and see what her chores are for that day. Each day there is a different zone. So if it says “blue zone” she can look at her room chart and know what the blue zone is. This way the task of keeping her room clean is much less overwhelming.
It is my sincere hope that these tips will help and encourage other parents. Keep watching for more articles on parenting!