Two families in my circle of friends have, in the past two days, either been told or have had it suggested, that their boys have Attention Deficit Disorder. We all know it as ADD. It makes me very sad. I know both these boys. The first boy is just starting elementary school, a first grader. He is six years old and acts like a six year old boy. He was tested last year as above average and this year his teacher is concerned. He stares off into space, doesn't pay attention and isn't focused. HE'S A SIX YEAR OLD BOY! Could it be that sitting in a chair for more than 20 minutes at a time, listening, and not being actively engaged could be a bit difficult or lets say impossible for A SIX YEAR OLD BOY?
The other boy is 11 and also has been tested above average and is characterized as very intelligent. Again he isn't focused, doesn't get his work done, his handwriting is not neat or legible. Again could it be that he is not actively engaged, could it be that sitting by himself with workbooks and a computer isn't actively engaging him? HE'S AN 11 YEAR OLD BOY!
I can write about this because I, as they say, have been there. I do recognize that it is important in the traditional school environment that children be able to sit, listen, do as they are told, focus, and get their work done. If the boy's parents were to ask my advice, this is what I would tell them.
First, pray for the health of your child. Then, a good diet and good sleep habits are essential. What does that mean? It means, eliminate processed sugar, no candy, no soda, no sweet cereal, no sugar snacks, no high fructose corn syrup, no juice drinks. Start reading the labels. The second elements to eliminate are food dyes, the reds, the yellows, and the blues. You would be shocked and amazed at all the foods that are supposed to be good for our children that have sugar and dye. Make a effort to eliminate these things from your diet too. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel.
Get you child to bed at a consistent time every night so he is rested for the next busy day.
Next, faithfully give your child a good multi-vitamin. Check the label, some vitamins have aspartame and dye.
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Observe, your child's behavior. You should be pleasantly surprised. And, none of these things can hurt.
My next suggestion would be that if diet and rest do not help, consider homeschooling. It could be that your child is just not the round peg in the round hole for school. Your child is your responsibility to train and teach. A six year old is a joy. Read to him, let him play with cars and Lego's and color and paint and make messes. You would be amazed at what he can learn. An 11 year old boy is a bigger joy. Read to him. Talk to him about what he is interested in. Let him play with robots, Lego's, cars, ropes, pulleys, and sling shots. The computer is an excellent tool for him when you are there to guide and train him. You would be amazed at what you can teach each other.
Please, before you let someone label your child, do some research. There are excellent book about healing with vitamins, diet, raising boys, and children's behavior. Talk to other parents. Take some time and responsibility and be the great parent that God wants you to be.