Understanding And Loving Your Child With ADHD

If you’re raising a child who has ADHD, you probably spend a lot of time focusing on his weak points — intentionally or not.  

To ensure that your child is happy and well-adjusted now and, in the future, — and to create a tranquil home environment — you’ve got to be a great parent to a child with ADHD. All it takes is a few small adjustments to your parenting strategies and the way you interact with your child.  

It’s not easy to accept that there’s something atypical about your child. But a child who senses their parents’ resentment — and pessimism about their prospects — is unlikely to develop the self-esteem and can-do spirit he’ll need in order to become a happy, well-adjusted adult. 

For a child to feel accepted and supported, he needs to feel that his parents have confidence in his abilities. Once parents learn to look at the gifts of ADHD — things like exceptional energy, creativity, and interpersonal skills — they can see the shine inside their child. 

While it’s true that your child’s mind works differently, he certainly can learn and succeed just like any other child. Just as a diabetic needs insulin and an asthmatic child needs help breathing, a child with ADHD needs their learning environment regulated. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Tips For Dealing with Your Child’s Learning Disability 

Your job as a parent is not to “cure” the learning disability, but to give your child the social and emotional tools they need to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help your child grow stronger and more resilient.  

Always remember that the way you behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on your child. A good attitude won’t solve the problems associated with a learning disability, but it can give your child hope and confidence that things can improve and that they will eventually succeed. 

  • Keep things in perspective. Remind yourself that everyone faces obstacles. Don’t let it distract you from what’s important — giving your child plenty of emotional and moral support. 
  • Become your own expert. Do your own research and keep abreast of new developments in learning disability programs, therapies, and educational techniques. You’re the foremost expert on your child, so take charge when it comes to finding the tools, he or she needs in order to learn. 
  • Be an advocate for your child. You may have to speak up time and time again to get special help for your child. Embrace your role as a proactive parent and work on your communication skills. It may be frustrating at times, but by remaining calm and reasonable, yet firm, you can make a huge difference for your child. 
  • Remember that your influence outweighs all others. Your child will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor, your child is likely to embrace your perspective or at least see the challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning what works for your child and implementing it the best you can. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Things to Say Instead of Stop Crying 

Children cry for many different reasons, they may be frustrated, hurt or want attention. Whatever the reason is, the way you as a parent react to their distress will make an impact on them as a human. Approaching sadness and unhappiness with love and compassion is the best way to go. 

1. It’s OK if you’re sad  

It is OK to feel sad. But sad feelings don’t have to take over your mood or ruin your day. You can do things to help yourself feel better. When sad feelings ease away, a happier mood can take their place. 

2. You’re so frustrated! It’s okay, I’m here for you. 

Your child may not be ready to reach out at the specific moment that they’re upset, different personalities deal with feelings in different ways. Let them know that you’re there when they’re ready to talk gives them the incentive to talk about their feelings when they are ready. Some people prefer to think about what they’ve gone through and talk about it later, and some prefer to discuss things straight away. Acknowledging that either way is acceptable makes them feel at ease, and not pressured to talk about things right away. 

3. Why don’t we go out for a break and have some fun? 

If your child is frustrated or crying because he couldn’t do something he tried, this is an excellent way to take a time-out. 

4. “It’s okay to feel this way, baby.” 

If your child’s done something wrong or hurt his friend, he/she may cry because of guilt. This phrase is a good way to help them process those emotions. 

The next time your child is struggling with an overwhelming feeling, don’t immediately jump to “stop crying!”, have some of the above positive phrases handy so you can react with empathy and understanding.  

Feelings aren’t something to be avoided, they’re opportunities for connection. 

At the end of the day, we want to show our children that we always accept them. When they’re calm AND when they’re emotional. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Benefits of Positive Reinforcement in Raising Children 

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that can help children form good behavior habits, while minimizing negative outbursts that garner negative attention. 

Positive reinforcement is a parenting technique used to encourage obedience and inculcate desired behavior without the use of punishment, threat, abuse, shame, or humiliation. If you haven’t given positive reinforcement a try, here are some of the reasons why it’s time you should. 

1. Positive Reinforcement Boosts Self-Confidence – Encourage your children and give them verbal praise for displaying positive characteristics. This may build their self-esteem and help them see their personal strengths. If children are constantly being told they are doing things wrong or they are ‘bad’ then they may start to believe these things about themselves. 

2. Positive Reinforcement Makes a Child Feel Loved – Not all children understand the concept of discipline, and they don’t grasp why their parents try to make them behave in certain ways. This is the reason why, when children get punished or reprimanded, they mistake it as a sign that they are not loved, and that their parents simply just want to hurt them for misbehaving. That’s the last thing we as parents want to make our children feel. 

3. Positive Reinforcement Helps Motivate Your Child to Do Better in the Future – When a child, or anyone, is feeling down, sometimes all it takes is kind words of affirmation from others to help us feel motivated.  Since children are constantly growing and learning, positive reinforcement can motivate them to do better and keep striving to achieve their goals. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Focus Tricks for Students with ADHD 

 A young child can typically complete a five-minute chore with only occasional supervision. The average teenager can do a task, with short breaks, for one to two hours. But for children with ADHD, it’s completely different. Try these tricks for increasing focus and attention in your child with ADHD at home. 

🌟 Break schoolwork assignments into small segments. It’s easier for kids with ADHD to do six five-minute chores than to do one 30-minute chore. 

🌟 Reward your child when he finishes a task. Giving your child something to look forward to will energize him. 

🌟 Ask your child to estimate how long a task will take. Your child may think it will take an hour to do his math homework. If he finds it took him only 15 minutes, he will be pleasantly surprised — and much less likely to procrastinate the next time he tackles it. 

🌟 Gradually increase attention. Set a timer for two to three minutes longer than the baseline measurement and challenge your child to keep working until the timer rings. 

🌟 Be there. Children can sustain attention longer when someone is physically with them. Do homework time a family affair. 

🌟 Schedule movement breaks. Kids with ADHD work more efficiently when they have regular opportunities to get up and move around. 

🌟 Help him visualize time. Devices that show elapsed time will help him reset his focus when it drifts from the task.  

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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5 Important Social Skills for Kids 

Good social skills allow kids to enjoy better peer relationships. Making friends takes practice, and you can help your child by rehearsing social situations and role playing ahead of time. Look for teachable moments where you can help your kids do better. 

Teaching kids’ social skills is one of the most complex, confusing, but rewarding aspects of raising young children. I am here to help you learn the 5 most important social skills for kids. 

1. Sharin

Sharing is a part of daily life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! A willingness to share a snack or share a toy can go a long way to helping kids make and keep friends. 

When you’re teaching children the concept of sharing, you can teach different things at different ages and it’s important to consider the child’s brain development. 

2. Following Directions 

Following directions becomes particularly important once your child enters into their school years. 

This is having the ability to listen, understand expectations, and follow through in a timely manner. 

Keep in mind, however, that multi-step directions are challenging for young children. To help them develop the ability to follow directions, give them one direction at a time. 

Strategies to teach following directions: 

Play games for following directions, like Simon Says and Freeze. 

3. Making Eye Contact  

Good eye contact is an important part of communication. Some kids struggle to look at the person they’re speaking to. 

You might even show your children how it feels to hold a conversation with someone who isn’t making eye contact. 

Invite them to tell another story and make appropriate eye contact while they’re talking. 

4. Patience 

It’s normal for young children to be impatient. However, patience really is one of the most rewarding social skills for kids. It’s important to remember that each child has a different temperament, and they learn patience in various ways.  

One strategy might work well for one toddler, it may not for another, and that’s okay. The goal is to find what works for your child and utilize those techniques to help them manage situations that require patience. 

Patience is indeed a virtue! By introducing it now, you can set your child up to reap the many benefits of this skill throughout their lives. 

For example: Practice turn-taking with board games. 

Try to practice and prepare him as much as possible at every opportunity, be it dishing up at the table or getting into the car. It helps with his social skills. 

5. Using Manners 

Good etiquette and social manners are essential life skills that enhance the personal, social and emotional development of every individual. 

Saying please and thank you and using good table manners can go a long way toward helping your child gain attention for the right reasons. Teachers, other parents, and other kids will respect a well-mannered child. 

The more your child experiences the benefits of social skills, the more intuitive these skills will become for them. However, all children learn at different rates. With practice (and patience!), we know they’ll get there. 

If your child seems to be struggling with social skills more than other kids, talk to your pediatrician. While it may just take a little extra reinforcement and maturity to catch up, a lack of social skills also can be a sign of other problems. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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How to Get Your Child to Obey Without Yelling 

Most parents yell at their kids at one time or another. However, for some parents, yelling becomes a bad habit. Yelling, bribes and threats may be the easy choice to get kids to listen, but they listen from fear instead of learning to obey and respect you as a parent. 

Teaching kids to be obedient is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but with a little patience and effort, it is certainly possible! If you want to get a handle on your child’s unresponsiveness, the first thing you need to do is figure out WHY he is NOT listening. Often, his lack of response is a SYMPTOM, not the actual problem. 

Here’s how to discipline without yelling: 

  1. Establish Clear Rules – Don’t assume your children know family rules until you’ve talked about them. Be sure your children understand why these rules are being made and the consequences for breaking the rules. Resist the urge to yell, nag, or lecture. When you do, your words aren’t likely to teach your child to do better next time 
  1. Connect before you direct – Instead, stop what you’re doing, go over to your child and acknowledge what he’s doing: “That looks like a cool race track you’re building.” Invite him to tell you about it and invest the time to really listen. 
  1. Ensure comprehension. – Have your child repeat back your request after you’ve made one to ensure that he understands what you’re expecting. This is a simple way to make sure everyone is on the same page, to allow you to clarify if you’re not and to ensure that your child actually heard what you were saying. 
  1. Follow Through – Avoid nagging or repeating a warning over and over. Instead, follow through with the consequence to show that you mean what you say. Consistent discipline is the key to getting your child to change his behavior and become more compliant. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Put Down Your Phone and Pay Attention to Your Kids

It’s not enough to just be around your kids. You must be present, that means putting away your phone. Your children deserve phone-free time from you. 

The fact that no matter what we do, our children will follow. Parenting techniques have evolved from spending high-quality time with our kids; talking with them and playing with them, into distracting them with a screen as soon as they show the first sign of distress.  

As we struggle with the high demands of today’s fast-paced life, we as parents often find ourselves too overwhelmed to be completely capable of catering to our children’s needs.  

Because of this, we often resort to the convenience of a phone or tablet to occupy their ceaseless imaginations. Though sometimes useful, our choice to introduce our young ones to technology so early on could be hurting them far more than it helps us. Every time we put a phone screen in front of our child, we push them a step further into developing a dependency on an external source for “happiness” and “contentment.”  

So, try to limit your dependence on your smartphone as much as possible. Make up some rules that give you phone-free time—that give your kids phone. And make sure that when you’re with them, you are grateful for the moment you’re getting with them. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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The Benefits of Play for Children 

Play is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. Playing together brings joy, vitality, and resilience to relationships. Play can also heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe. 

Play helps children develop all kinds of skills 

Children’s minds are like little sponges. They soak up everything around them. As they interact with parents and others, they learn how people behave in social settings. They also learn what’s acceptable by taking their cues from you. Playing with adults in their lives widens children’s imaginations. 

Play helps build strong relationships 

Play and laughter perform an essential role in building strong, healthy parent-child relationships by bringing you closer together, creating a positive bond, and resolving conflict. 

Parents who use play to help their children report seeing: 

  • A happier, more confident child. 
  • Longer interactive attention spans. 
  • More spontaneous social communication use. 
  • Increased eye contact and social referencing. 
  • And more communication development. 

While play is crucial for a child’s development, it is also beneficial for people of all ages. Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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Using Positive Language to Encourage and Empower Children 

Our words and tone of voice have a profound effect on children. Positive language is the professional use of words and tone of voice to enable children to learn in an engaged, active way. This includes learning social skills.  

Learning to use positive language with children takes time. But you don’t have to do it all at once. Any enhancements you make in your language will do so much to help children choose positive behaviors. 

🔸 Replace “don’t” with “do”. Tell your child what she can do! It is more likely that your child will make an appropriate choice when you help her to understand exactly what appropriate options are available. 

🔸 Offer a choice. When you provide your child with a choice of things that he can do, wear or go, he is more likely to select one of the options you have offered because it makes him feel like he is in control.  

🔸 Tell your child “When.” When your child asks to do something, rather than saying no, acknowledge her wish and tell her when she might be able to do it. This answer feels more like a “yes” to a child.  

🔸 Use “first-then” language. Another way to tell a child when he can do something in a positive way is to use a “first-then” statement. For example, you could say “First, pick up your toys and then you may watch a TV show.” 

🔸 Give your child time to think. Remember that your child is learning a language. She needs time to think about what you said and how she is going to respond. If you remain calm and patiently repeat the statement again, you will see fewer challenging behaviors and enjoy more quality time with your child 

🔸 Help your child to remember. Children are easily distracted. Sometimes your child may need you to help him remember what you asked him to do in order to do it. Stating the information as a simple fact, rather than a command, gives him the information he needs to make the right choice on his own without blaming him or making him feel like he has failed. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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How to Avoid Gaslighting Children 

Gaslighting is a psychological term used to describe the process of grooming someone into believing that they are losing it or going crazy. Gaslighting parents do it to maintain dominance over the child. They will, for example, talk down to the child and attribute every claim and complaint to his or her imagination. 

Understand the importance of avoiding behaviors that could deny, withhold, or trivialize a child’s thoughts or feelings. Evaluate the ways that you respond to what your child says and does. Focus on providing a more nurturing environment for them. 

  1. Denying the child’s feelings or needs. Do you ever ignore, deny, or trivialize what they say as incorrect or unimportant? Even if you don’t realize it, this can hurt your child’s self-esteem and trust in you. 
  1. Respond with understanding rather than anger. Try to become more aware of your emotions as well to avoid letting them get the best of you. If you notice that you are feeling stressed, take a few minutes for yourself to calm down. 
  1. Focus on reinforcing the child’s positive behavior. Even if the child is fearful of something, do not criticize them for it. Make sure to encourage them to find healthy ways to overcome their fears and build confidence. 
  1. Don’t expect a child to act like an adult. Make sure to allow children to be children. When they are upset, focus on addressing their most common concerns. Pay attention to the possible reasons behind their behavior. 
  1. Label and honor their feelings, be empathetic if you don’t understand. It helps to acknowledge, label, and talk about what your child is experiencing. You can validate their feelings even while you set the rules. Offer compassion and reassurance, even if you have no idea what the problem is. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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What To Do If Your Child Is a Bully? 

No parent wants to hear that her child is a bully. It may be a shock and you may be at a loss about what steps to take. But bullying is also a serious issue for the aggressor. It is important to remain calm and not react in anger or frustration. 

If your child is said to be engaging in bullying behaviors it might be a sign of serious distress. He might be experiencing anxiety or depression and have difficulty regulating his emotions and behavior. Here are five ways to keep your kid from being a bully. 

🔵 Don’t accuse your child of bullying. 

Avoid the temptation to yell. Don’t be surprised if he admits nothing and shows no remorse. You should remind him of how he felt the last time someone was mean to him. 

🔵 Be realistic. 

It takes time to change behavior. Recognize that there may be setbacks. Be patient as your child learns new ways of handling feelings and conflict. Keep your love and support visible. 

🔵 Prevent bullying before it starts. 

Ask the teacher where the bullying occurs. If it’s on the school bus, try assigned seating — putting your child near the bus driver and away from his target. If it’s at recess, have your child play only in a well-supervised area. 

🔵 Help your child control her emotions. 

Use role-playing to help her regulate her feelings. 

🔵 Stay connected. 

In some ways the most important action you can take is to build an open channel of communication with your child about his day-to-day life that will put you in a better position to recognize signs of bullying and trouble. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

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