Caring for Children With ADHD

ADHD better known amongst mental health professionals as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has in recent decades become a label loosely attached to children that appear more fidgety and restless than the rest of the crew. The hallmark symptoms of ADHD are marked by hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness. Children diagnosed with ADHD commonly have predominate symptoms in one area, for example, inattentiveness. In some cases, children may have combined types inclusive of both symptoms of impulsivity and inattentiveness. Caring for children with ADHD requires a specialized and intentional care that treats the child in manner that addresses all of their unique needs. Ritalin and Adderall are some of the most common psychotropic medications used to treat the symptoms of ADHD. However, many psychotropic medications come with side effects and can have a long-term impact on the structure of the brain. Unfortunately, many parents and child care workers are not educated on the holistic ways to care for their children. This article will discuss some ways to care for children with ADHD in a manner that will help them thrive.

Diet

Diet is plays a major role in the manifestation of symptoms. Sugar and food coloring can be kryptonite ingredients that fuel symptoms of ADHD. Research has shown that children with ADHD are deficient of iron, magnesium, and zinc. Each of these vitamins and minerals have a significant impact on the balancing the brain chemistry. For example, low iron levels are correlated with cognitive declines and severe forms of ADHD. Moreover, zinc and magnesium deficiencies play a major role in inattentiveness and poor focus. Research has shown that a well-balanced diet, namely rich in omega-3 has been shown to alleviate symptoms by 50 percent. As if it’s not difficult enough for parent to encourage health diets,  stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall, commonly cause a reduced appetite leading to nutritional deficiencies. Parents and child care professionals should be intentional in creating a meal plan and vitamin regimen that help fortify he deficiencies commonly present in children diagnosed with ADHD.Home-Care-in-Washington-D.C.

Established Routine

Children with ADHD commonly struggle with forgetfulness and disorganization. Additionally, when they become interested in an activity they tend to hyper-focus, which makes transitions to new task a battle. In order to help alleviate these issues children must have a strictly followed schedule to provide structure to their disorganized world. Child Care professionals and parents should be trained to prepare children for transitions and offer frequent breaks to allow prevent agitation and “acting out” behaviors. It is essential that both parents and childcare workers maintain the same schedule and approach to maintain consistency. Lack of consistency often hinders the child’s ability to adjust and adopt the schedule. It is essential that child care professionals and parents incorporate activity and novel experiences into the child’s schedule.

Emotional Support

Many children diagnosed with ADHD, quickly pick-up on the social rejection from both peers and adults. Children with ADHD are often blamed and condemned for their uncontrollable impulses and high energy. Moreover, depending on their symptom severity, children diagnosed with ADHD commonly struggle academically which can lead to embarrassment and low self-esteem. It is essential that child care professionals maintain a supportive environment by highlighting the child’s unique strengths and providing verbal praises for their effort and even small achievements. Child care professionals should be trained to avoid negative reactions to disruptive and seemingly defiant behaviors. Parents and child care professionals should encourage guided playdates to prevent feelings of rejection from peers. ADHD can be a challenging enough for both the child and childcare workers. It is essential that parents choose professionals that know the unique needs of the child and ways to care for them holistically.

Sources

Arnold, L. E. (2001). Alternative Treatments for Adults with Attention‐Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences931(1), 310-341.

Pelsser, L. M., Frankena, K., Buitelaar, J. K., & Rommelse, N. N. (2010). Effects of food on physical and sleep complaints in children with ADHD: a randomised controlled pilot study. European journal of pediatrics169(9), 1129-1138.

 

Overlooking Drawback to Overbooking Kids: Top 3 Reasons Overbooked Summers Can Be a Bummer for Children

Overbooked Kids and Nannies in Washington DC

For approximately 7-months out of the year, children are bombarded with pressures to not only perform well academically, but in many cases be ahead of developmental requirements. Children that maintain highly active schedules are faced with double the pressure to achieve success both in the classroom and in other extracurricular activities (i.e. sports).  In a study conducted in 2006, students experienced academic stress arising from both their own expectations to excel as well as expectations arising from their parents and teachers. Although, children typically receive holiday breaks throughout the school year, these breaks usually consist of other scheduled prep work for exams and sports competitions. The constant pressure received by children from various avenues in their lives can lead to diminishing outcomes versus progress. The Washington, DC area is known to have one of the highest populations of doctoral degree holding citizens. In short, many children in the Washington, DC are more likely to have high achieving parents that have higher expectations for them. Additionally, these same high achievers are more likely to hire caregivers that have received higher educations and enroll their children in schools with educators that possess degrees from competitive universities. Needless to say, from their school teachers to their sport coaches, children have no escape from the pressure. Summer time has traditionally been known to be a time for children to hit the local pools, eat pop-sickles in the sun and simply “be a kid”. Overbooking children during the summer can steal away this precious time for children. It is essential that parents resist their own personal fears of failing as a parent and examine the serious consequences to adding on pressure during the summer time.

Mental Health

As children are developing physically and cognitively, they are also developing emotionally. As parents experience life changes throughout the year, such as divorce, death and financial loss, children are processing these same changes in addition to managing responsibilities in other areas of their lives. Although parents try their best to protect their children from these stressors, children still experience the changes either directly or indirectly. However, children’s emotional resources are not as developed as adults and the compilation of stress can rise beyond their ability to cope. When children are so overbooked that they have very little time to process changes in their lives, emotional meltdowns and mood instability arises. In some cases, children can slip into bouts of depression, anxiety and even panic attacks. In many cases these symptoms may be over looked and nonchalantly attributed to development. For example, parents will often say “he’s just being a teenager”. Additionally, overtime if children do not take time to process emotional stress, it may manifest itself in physiological symptoms such as colds, migraines and fatigue due to a weakened immune system. Parents that hold taxing careers may not see their children often enough due to schedule conflicts and completely miss any changes. Families that have nannies/childcare assistance have an additional safety net that can monitor these changes. It is essential that families hire childcare works/nannies that are trained holistically. Holistically trained nannies recognize the need of the whole child and will monitor both physical and emotional changes that may be detrimental to the child’s well-being. This type of care teaches children at a young age the importance of self-care and taking personal time to maintain their overall well-being.

Less Family Bonding

Throughout the school year families are often busy with work and school schedules which leads to less time spent with the family. In many cases, families are often too busy to have dinner together. Research shows that families that eat dinner together regularly are closer and children have less behavioral challenges. No matter what developmental stage a child is in, it is essential that children spend quality time with their family consistently. This kind of consistency within the family is essential as children move through stages that cause them to question their identity in addition to receiving threats to their self-esteem. Unfortunately, the modern “achieving” world does not slow down to allow families to have dinner together on a consistent basis. However, this is an area in which nannies/childcare workers play an essential role in filling those gaps. As the saying amongst the wise states “it takes a village to raise a child”. It is essential that parents hire nannies that are not simply looking for a good job, but actually want to bond and grow with the family. A well-invested nanny will ensure a child is always receiving consistent support and bonding time at home. A good nanny will recognize the need to minimize a busy schedule that conflicts with quality time.

Cognitive Development

In a high-achieving world, parents are constantly in fear of not preparing their children to thrive in the future. In result, parents are constantly searching for athletic and academic enrichment programs to prepare their child to be the best and brightest. At the start of summer, parents become alarmed that their children will lose their sharpness and skills acquired throughout the school year. However, like muscles and anything else in nature, rest in essential. In studies conducted on the brain and studying, prolonged studying and school work without sufficient breaks leads to brain fatigue leading to memory loss and slower processing. Children that maintain highly packed schedules year round are likely to become fatigued and demotivated. This is a common occurrence reported by parents that are perplexed by the declines in their child’s performance from the previous year. A holistically trained nanny will recognize the need to adjust the child’s schedule to include a healthy amount rest/fun in addition to some educational activities.

 

 

 

 

 

Fathers Day

Importance of Father Involvement in Children     

An extensive amount of research has emphasized the pivotal role that mothers play in the lives of childhood development. Many studies highlight the valuable influence that mothers have on the cognitive, emotional and social development of the child. However, until recent years, there has been little research that highlights the benefits of father involvement on the well-being of the child. There has been an increasing body of research that emphasizes the differential outcomes between children that actively engage with fathers versus those that do not. According to a study published in Acta Pediatrica, active involvement of fathers has decreased oppositional behavioral, reduced psychological problems and enhances cognitive development. Additionally, active engagement of fathers can improve the overall efficacy of the family system. Consistent engagement of fathers reduces the responsibility and workload of mothers and decreases the likelihood of mothers burning out. When mothers burn out there is an increased risk of dysfunctional interactions with the family. These effects include tension, outburst of anger and unintended neglect. Unfortunately, mothers on average spend more time engaging with children than the fathers. Additionally, if parents are at work, often nannies end up spending a significant amount of time with children. Nannies serve as a buffer in the family unit and provide support during times parents are not present. Unfortunately, male nannies are less likely to be hired and are commonly discriminated against in the “nanny sector”. This is largely due to the underestimated value of the role that males and father figures play in the lives of children. Father’s and male figures play a crucial role in facilitating emotional and psychological well-being in children. In this article we will highlight some of the most valuable contributions fathers and male figures can make in children.

Gate Keeper

Historically, fathers have maintained the impression of the dominant figure in the home. Additionally, they have been viewed as the firm figure that maintains the rules. Although, women actively take on a dominant parental role in the family dynamic, studies have shown the mere presence of fathers in the home can reduce the frequency of defiant behavior. At various stages in development, it is typical for children to test the limits and boundaries of their parents. At each stage defiance can come in different forms ranging from refusal to do school work to staying out after curfew. Although “children will be children”, it is essential that children are provided with flexible boundaries and firm expectations to safely navigate these phases of their lives. Father’s can help play an important role in safeguarding children through those phases of “testing the limits”.

Coach Motivator

Growing up in a competitive culture can be difficult for children. Many children lack motivation and confidence in their abilities at each stage of their development. Girls typically struggle with self-esteem issues more than boys. Several studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents. Fathers typically take on a coaching and solution-focused approach to helping their children build confidence and attain their personal goals. During early childhood through late adolescence, children are faced with more competitive situations through sports, arts, and education. These experiences may have a negative impact on a child’s self-esteem. Fathers play an important role in encouraging and motivating children to try their best and continue to strive for their goals.

Mental Health

Research has shown that father involvement is linked to better psychological adjustment. There is evidence that active and regular engagement of fathers reduced psychological problems in young women. Girls typically experience challenges with mental health at an earlier age. These mental health issues include; depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Although the experiences of mental health challenges are inevitable for some children, father involvement can provide children with reassurance and comfort throughout the process.  Additionally, challenges with mental health can be debilitating and hinder functioning in school and extracurricular activities. Active involvement of fathers can help children maintain optimal functioning through challenges with mental health.

Sources

Sarkadi, A., Kristiansson, R., Oberklaid, F., & Bremberg, S. (2008). Fathers’ involvement and children’s developmental outcomes: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Acta paediatrica, 97(2), 153-158.

Spring Cleaning and Organization In The Washington DC Area

It’s that time of the year again to start thinking about spring cleaning, which likely means some serious decluttering, reorganization, scrubbing and polishing. Spring is the time that we all begin thinking about cleaning and organizing our homes. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that a good spring cleaning is a worthwhile exercise.

 

But did you know that it can also benefit your health and wellbeing? Below are some reasons why clearing out those closets and grabbing the polish can actually good for you. Let the cleaning commence!

In the Washington, D.C area, many residents lead busy schedules that prevent them from routine spring cleaning as other responsibilities become prioritized in the “to-do-list”. Spring Cleaning can increase productivity. Making the effort to declutter and organize your home or office can save you tons of time looking for or replacing lost items in the future. Organization makes you more productive, while the cleaning process itself can increase energy levels. We all need to learn to let go. If you haven’t used something since the last spring clean, it might be time to say goodbye. Cleaning can be a great way for Senior Care professionals to get clients active and engaged.

Spring cleaning is also healthy. Many elderly individuals struggle with allergies but already take a slew of medications leaving little room for allergy medication. A good spring clean can help you avoid allergy symptoms and lower Asthma attacks. Removing allergens from the home can make you feel healthier, especially at a time when allergies are rife. You want to try to get those hard to reach places too where dust build up. Make sure though to ask for help moving big pieces of furniture or climbing up ladders when going for those hard-to-reach spots.

 

Spring cleaning can make you happy. Taking the time to thoroughly clean and maintain a tidy home makes people happier, studies have shown. The act of cleaning provides a sense of satisfaction, which in turn can put you in a good mood. Also, putting on some of your favorite music while cleaning can make it even more fun!

Spring cleaning can help to reduce stress. Cleaning and organizing your personal spaces lets you enjoy a tidier and more organized environment and this can relieve stress. Levels of stress can also be reduced during the act itself as cleaning is considered to be therapeutic. But make sure to always be realistic. If it’s all getting too much, take a break. It’s not a race after all.

 

Lastly, Spring leaning can help you to focus. Those who make a point of clearing out the clutter once in a while are able to free up the brain for more essential decision-making, according to a study carried out by the founder of America’s Anxiety Disorder Center. A thorough clean helps to clear your mind of things that need to be done around the house and makes it easier to focus on other more important things. You should concentrate though on one room at a time to make sure you get the job done properly