Jennifer Gay Summers
Author | Journalist
After being cooped up together for so many months, it’s easy for our family to point the finger at each other when problems crop up. A mistake or feeling of failure can spark anger, even though we know blame doesn’t solve any problems. In this blog, Lee and I tackle blame and personal responsibility:
Welcome to my blog!
I’m a mom and an ex-public school teacher who’s been in the ADHD trenches for the last 20 years, navigating the school system and standing up to those who use judgment as their weapon against differences. At the same time, I’ve watched the gifts of ADHD help my daughter, Lee (pseudonym), blossom into a creative, intuitive, wise young adult.
Raising a child with ADHD is like living on a rollercoaster, riding to the top with your hopes soaring and racing down, holding on with all your strength. In my blog, I write about my crazy and not-so-crazy mom moments to offer encouragement, what insight I’ve gained, and some laughs along the way.
In December, I celebrated seven years of blogging for ADDitude magazine, my favorite national resource for people with ADHD. I’ve been called “Mom’s the Word” for many of those blogs, a name I hold dear to my heart. So often, I’ve felt anything BUT “Mom’s the Word.” My blog is dedicated to all you moms and dads struggling with that same frustration. Together, I believe we can raise awareness and help our children with ADHD succeed.
...When Lee was thirteen, I went to a conference for people with ADHD and met the representative for ADDitude magazine, a leading resource for the ADHD community. Without a doubt, I knew this was the place I wanted to submit an essay. The ADDitude representative...
... To hell with what other people thought or the obstacles I might face along the way. I signed up for the CHADD conference and my world did a 180. From doctors to psychologists, to educators, to other moms in support groups, I found my ADHD community...In my...
I’m excited to share with you a blog published in ADDitude this month, “Every Child with ADHD Needs a Miss Ellie.” Click on the link for the full blog. https://www.additudemag.com/hyperactive-adhd-girl-preschool/BlogsRelated
With the world turned upside down and heading into the holidays, tempers can become combustible. Take a child who can’t pay attention and a burned-out parent, and you have the ingredients for disaster. As parents, we know we should stay calm and not react. But yelling feels, oh, so much better. And with ADHD children, it can be the difference between getting their cooperation or a cold shoulder.
Here’s a blog where Lee and I explode, then learn to try something different:
As Thanksgiving approaches, I remember a time I didn’t feel grateful. While focused on my daughter’s disabilities, I wasn’t taking in the whole picture. In this blog, I see my child’s talents shine and find more than enough reasons to be thankful:
The first blog I wrote for ADDitude was back when Lee was in seventh grade and hated to shop:
From Calm and Collected at the Mall with My Attention Deficit Daughter-Really!
“Every three months, my daughter comes home from middle school with the top of her Vans peeling off. “No way, Mom, they’re fine. I’m a tomboy. Live with it.” I look down at Lee’s toes, all five peeking through, and we eye each other. We both know what’s coming…the dreaded trip to the mall.” Read more…
In my more recent blog, I talk about the scary transition to middle school, when we parents face the huge challenge of taking a giant step back:
From What No One Ever Told Me About the Middle School Transition with ADHD:
“Despite the September heat, my friend, Melanie, and I set off for a morning walk down one of the steepest hills in our neighborhood. As we left, I could feel she was on the verge of tears and put my arm around her, giving her a quick squeeze. “Josh?” I said.” Read more…
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With so much stress surrounding this school year, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. Nothing, for me, beats quality time spent with Lee. Here’s a blog where I throw out all I “should do” and follow my child’s beautiful impulse:
Shopping Tips for ADHD Children
- Dress them in bright clothing that is easily recognizable.
- Have a plan of where to go before you get in the car.
- Park near the store, if possible.
- Never take your eyes off your child in the store.
- Ask for help to speed things along!
- Look for a cashier with no line.
- Have your money easily accessible. Don’t spend time having to fish it out of your wallet.
- Lee liked to pick up stray pins off the floor in clothing stores. Store clerks loved it. She kept busy nearby while I paid the bill. Just be sure to bring sanitary wipes!
- Keep to your plan…don’t throw in extra stores.
- Lee’s tip: Tell your child she/he will earn a reward for good behavior after the shopping trip is over.