ADHD Natural Solutions and Managing Summer Moods

New Site Notice

In this months newsletter, I inadvertently left out the url where you can find Dr. Kutscher's online book. Here is the address so that you can benefit from from his research. You can read his book at My apologies for the inconvenience.

The Parent Coach: Managing Summertime Moodiness

Dr. Steven Richfield
A parent writes: The summer has barely begun and already my kids are having trouble dealing with all their free time. Moodiness, frequent arguments between the three of them, and miscellaneous aggravations are the order of the day. And I'm just referring to the time after camp! Any ideas for coaching "summer survival skills" for parents? For many children, summer is eagerly anticipated as a time of boundless fun and fulfillment of their expectations. Sleeping late, lounging in front of the television, playing video or computer games whenever they want, or enjoying the outdoors to their heart's content may all appear on their list of perceived entitlements. The lack of homework and other structuring activities further reinforces the perception of summer months as "time off" from work and "time for" the good life. Such unrealistic expectations set the stage for a host of problems that turn siblings into adversaries and find parents deep in the trenches of child management. Children's successful adjustment to the increased freedom of the summer can be made easier by parents who act preventively by employing the following coaching tips: Rather than wait for kids to spiral downward in their behavior and mood as expectations collide with reality, talk about these issues a head of time. Schedule a family meeting where you point out the challenges of the summer months in terms of increased sharing, turn taking, negotiation and compromise, and other skills that are more often needed during this time of the year. See if the kids can come up with some of their own strategies for sharing the computer, resolving disputes over sports games, borrowing items from one another, requesting their physical and verbal space not be violated, and other common sibling trigger points. Write down these problem areas and solutions so that they can be posted and serve as "Our family rules of conduct." Some children benefit from more intensive mood management because of their less resilient personalities. Since summer time is not without it's frustrations and annoyances, some children with brittle personalities can quickly succumb to fits of bitter protest and feelings of unfairness. These meltdowns are often the product of what parents may see as a typical, and often minor, frustration experienced by the child as a direct attack upon their entitlements. Mood management refers to strategic efforts by parents to activate a child's awareness of how their frustration is forcing them in the wrong behavior direction. State firmly and flatly, it's time for you to make a choice between allowing your frustration to rule your reactions or controlling your reactions to your frustration. Instruct children in how to resist getting entangled in the nets of arguing, moodiness and provocations by their brother or sister. One child's bad mood tends to be contagious. In effect, children try to create the same negative feelings in others that they feel themselves. Parents can help preempt this process by coaching 'know when to back off and ignore' skills when the bad mood alarm sounds. Privately confer with each child about the signs and signals to look out for in their family members so that they don't fall into the bad mood trap sprung by their sibling (or perhaps by a parent, as well.) Reassure them that this watchfulness will pay off in their not getting into trouble. Be prepared to back up your management efforts with consequences. Unchecked negativity and/or hostility should not be tolerated by parents and other family members. Don't hesitate to enforce the rule that hot heads need private cool down time. Ensure that when children threaten the family peace they spend time by themselves to recover control over their reactions. Suggest that they spend at least five minutes in their room to take some deep breaths and tell themselves to put their bad mood behind them so that it won't spread to create more problems for themselves and others. Dr. Steven Richfield is a child psychologist in Plymouth Meeting, PA. His column appears monthly.
He can be contacted at 610-275-0178 or

Correcting Learning/Behavioral Disorders Naturally!

Michelle Davis

Dear Readers, Today's article is to focus upon ourselves for a change and that is meant literally. Too often we place ourselves at the end of the totem pole and in the process our health becomes jeopardized. This I have learned from experience in my own life and that of many others I know which has led to this article. Depending upon our diet, stress level, and personal lives we often don't take the time to take a good look at what "WE" need mentally or physically. Women often do not take the appropriate vitamins, minerals, herbs, and products that deal with PMS/Menopause which leads to emotional imbalance in all phases of our lives. When we do figure this out it than takes time for the above to work while those who are close to us wait "with bated breath" to see whether we will bite their head off for a snack or not. In my own family life this has been an ongoing battle for the women since we place our personal needs last not realizing that by taking care of ourselves we are balancing the emotional needs of everyone around us by how we react. It's time to take of ourselves with what is needed most in our systems and that is with Multi Vitamin/Mineral, Iron, Calcium/Magnesium, Vitamin E, B complex, cut down caffeine, drink more water, and check into natural products for estrogen. Our hormonal balance is imperative. Estroven is a natural product that can be bought over the counter and my sister swears by it. Recently, I have bought it myself to take daily and will let you know if I get the same success. Now for the men... Many women would swear that men have hormonal imbalances but from most studies and research it is largely diet, blood pressure, and stress. Men need more exercise and the ability to express themselves instead of holding in what is bothering them. There is a much needed load off the shoulders when the air is cleared and things are in the open. If you have a hard time expressing yourself than I suggest taking a step at a time with a problem at a time. I love the saying "You can only eat an elephant a bite at a time!." Counseling is another option for those more open minded to taking steps toward better communication. With the above in mind, often times women do not realize the stress you carry inside concerning work, relationships, and by distancing yourselves it causes a wall to build. Also, getting a yearly physical and blood testing for what may be deficiant in your system is a wonderful way to go for both men and women. A male body needs more nutrition than that of a female. Minus the Estrogen, men need the Vitamins,etc. listed above for women along with a good healthy diet. A healthy body and mind helps us to choose our battles instead of being ruled by them. Life and research is my education. I pray this has been a help to many since the above has made a tremendous amount of difference in my own life. When you balance yourself the world around looks and feels each day as a new beginning to start fresh. God bless,

Copyright 2001 Brandi Valentine. All rights reserved. This Newsletter is copyrighted by the authors and/or publisher and is registered with the Library of Congress.

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