Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Online Learning

By Connect with Kids

“Make time for [exercise] because once you get out of it, it’s so hard to get back in.”

– Tori, 16 years old

They run and play and participate in all sorts of sports.  But what happens when little kids become teens?

“After a while, you just become like a couch potato,” says Tori, 16.
 
When she was a cheerleader in middle school, Tori got plenty of exercise.  Now she’s 16, and she admits she hasn’t exercised regularly in years.

“I’m not physically fit,” she says.  “I mean, I’m skinny, but I guess it’s just because I have a fast metabolism.  But physically fit?  Noooo!”

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed more than one thousand children aged 9 to 15.

97% were active when they were 9-years-old, but by the time they were 15, only 31% of teens were meeting the recommended sixty minutes of vigorous physical activity during the week.  And only 17% met that target on the weekend.

The older they got, the less they exercised!

Experts speculate, for some it’s just laziness, for other, interests change, or they’re simply too busy.

Tori agrees:  “School starts to get harder, and you get more homework, and you want to spend more time with your friends and you need more sleep.”

Still, experts warn that teens must find a way to remain active otherwise they risk becoming obese or sick later in life.  Parents can help by getting involved in activities with their children.

“Whether it’s running and pulling a kite in the wind or going out throwing a Frisbee or going for a walk with your dog, if you incorporate those things, you’re just gonna have a better quality of life,” says Jon Crosby, an Atlanta-based sports and fitness trainer.

Tori’s advice to fellow teens:  “Make time for [exercise] because once you get out of it, it’s so hard to get back in.” 

Tips for Parents

Many studies have found similar results to the UC- San Diego study.  University of Pittsburgh researchers report that as girls age, they increasingly get less and less exercise.  In their study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers evaluated the exercise habits of 1,213 black girls and 1,166 white girls for 10 years, beginning at age 9 or 10.  By the time the girls were 16 or 17, nearly 56% of the black girls and nearly 31% of the white girls reported no regular exercise participation at all outside of school.

While this study focused on teenage girls, other research shows that participation in physical activity is decreasing among all American children.  The National Association for Sport & Physical Education reports that only 25% of all U.S. kids are physically active.  And while most parents believe that their children are getting enough exercise during school hours, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS) says that only 17% of middle or junior high schools and 2% of senior high schools require daily physical activity for all students.   

As a result of this physical inactivity, more and more children are becoming obese.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13% of children aged 6 to 11 and 18% of teens aged 12 to 19 are overweight.  These same overweight adolescents also have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults and are at an increased risk for developing health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer.  In fact, the PCPFS reports that physical inactivity contributes to 300,000 preventable deaths a year in the United States. 

Besides preventing the onset of certain diseases, regular physical exercise can also help your child in the following ways, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Helps control weight
  • Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints
  • Improves flexibility
  • Helps burn off stress
  • Promotes psychological well-being
  • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety

As a parent, you need to emphasize to your child the importance of physical activity.  This can often be a difficult task, as you may encounter some resistance from a child who enjoys sedentary activities like watching television and surfing the Internet.  The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends the following guidelines for easing your child into an active lifestyle:

  • Don’t just tell your child that exercise is fun; show him or her!  Get off the couch and go biking, rock climbing or inline skating with your child.  Skip rope or shoot baskets with him or her.
  • Invite your child to participate in vigorous household tasks, such as tending the garden, washing the car or raking leaves.  Demonstrate the value of these chores as quality physical activity.
  • Plan outings and activities that involve some walking, like a trip to the zoo, a nature hike or even a trip to the mall.
  • Set an example for your child and treat exercise as something to be done on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth or cleaning your room.
  • Concentrate on the positive aspects of exercise.  It can be a chance for your family to have some fun together.  Avoid competition, discipline and embarrassment, which can turn good times into bad times.  Praise your child for trying and doing.
  • Keep in mind that your child is not always naturally limber.  His or her muscles may be tight and vulnerable to injury during growth spurts.  Be sure to include stretching as part of your child’s fitness activities.
  • Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand.  Instead of high-calorie foods and snacks, turn your child on to fruits and low- or non-fat foods.

If you discover that your teen is having trouble staying motivated to exercise, the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests these strategies:

  • Choose an activity that your child likes to do.  Make sure it suits him or her physically, too. 
  • Encourage your child to get a partner.  Exercising with a friend can make it more fun.
  • Tell your child to vary his or her routine.  Your child may be less likely to get bored or injured if he or she changes his or her exercise routine.  Your child could walk one day and bicycle the next.
  • Ensure that your child is active during a comfortable time of day.  Don’t allow him or her to work out too soon after eating or when it’s too hot or cold outside.  And make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids to stay hydrated during physical activity.
  • Remind your child not to get discouraged.  It can take weeks or months before he or she notices some of the changes from and benefits of exercise.
  • Tell your child to forget “no pain, no gain.”  While a little soreness is normal after your child first starts exercising, pain isn’t.  He or she should stop if hurt.

With a little encouragement and help from you, your child will be up and moving in no time!

References

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American Council on Exercise
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Association for Sport & Physical Education
  • Office of the Surgeon General
  • President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
  • The New England Journal of Medicine

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Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Military Schools are opening soon. Is your child a candidate?

I hear from many parents at this time of the year that their children are struggling academically and they are considering Military Schools.

As a reminder, Military Schools are an excellent opportunity for boys and girls that need motivation and stimulation, however your child has to have somewhat of a desire to attend.These are not schools for at-risk or troubled kids.

I think Military Schools offer a great sense of responsibility and discipline for children.If you think your child may do well in a Military School take the time to research them. Email me for more information at www.helpyourteens.com – As a parent, my son attended a Military School and it was an excellent education and experience.

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Parents Need To Learn the Dangers of Inhalants with Today’s Teens

I know I have Blogged a lot about Inhalant Abuse and I will continue to do so – especially after reading about the recent senseless deaths. Take a moment to read their Blog at http://inhalant-info.blogspot.com/ – Take the time to learn more and you never know when this knowledge will be necessary. www.inhalant.org

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WHAT IS INHALANT ABUSE

Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of “getting high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be “gateway” drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Inhalation is referred to as huffing, sniffing, dusting or bagging and generally occurs through the nose or mouth. Huffing is when a chemically soaked rag is held to the face or stuffed in the mouth and the substance is inhaled. Sniffing can be done directly from containers, plastic bags, clothing or rags saturated with a substance or from the product directly. With Bagging, substances are sprayed or deposited into a plastic or paper bag and the vapors are inhaled. This method can result in suffocation because a bag is placed over the individual’s head, cutting off the supply of oxygen.

Other methods used include placing inhalants on sleeves, collars, or other items of clothing that are sniffed over a period of time. Fumes are discharged into soda cans and inhaled from the can or balloons are filled with nitrous oxide and the vapors are inhaled. Heating volatile substances and inhaling the vapors emitted is another form of inhalation. All of these methods are potentially harmful or deadly. Experts estimate that there are several hundred deaths each year from Inhalant Abuse, although under-reporting is still a problem.What Products Can be Abused?

 

There are more than a 1,400 products which are potentially dangerous when inhaled, such as typewriter correction fluid, air conditioning coolant, gasoline, propane, felt tip markers, spray paint, air freshener, butane, cooking spray, paint, and glue. Most are common products that can be found in the home, garage, office, school or as close as the local convenience store. The best advice for consumers is to read the labels before using a product to ensure the proper method is observed. It is also recommended that parents discuss the product labels with their children at age-appropriate times. The following list represents categories of products that are commonly abused.

Click here for a list of abusable products.

Why is My Child So Distressed?

 

By Jane Hersey
Author of “Why My Child Can’t Behave”

 

Many things can lead to the development of behavior problems in children, and there are many ways to address them.

If the reasons for a child’s problems stem from a family situation, interaction with peers, events at school, etc., then the place to look for resolution is clearly there. But if the child has always been hard to parent, the answers might be as close as your kitchen pantry. Here are some children whose families have found answers in their kitchen.

Joshua had a history of social and behavior problems and was expelled from several day care centers and private schools. He did not cope well in special classrooms with a ratio of six children and three teachers. His diagnoses included: severe ADHD, ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), Tourette syndrome and mood disorder syndrome. He was angry, aggressive, compulsive, threatening to kill others and himself, and nothing helped. The counseling, drugs, and even the psychiatric facility did not impact on his downward spiral.

Betsy was only 7 years old, but was haunted by thoughts of death; one of the pieces of art work she brought home from school was a black paper with three tombstones, bearing the initials of her parents and herself. She quietly planned on ways that she could end her life, which held no joy for her despite a loving family that desperately tried to help her.

Sean was expelled from preschool for his violent aggression and uncontrollable behavior. His family tried a therapeutic preschool, and he was at risk of being kicked out of a hospital treatment center because even they could not deal with this little boy’s behavior. No amount of medicine controlled his “bi-polar behavior” and psychotic episodes, and his parents were told that Sean was “seriously mentally ill” and would require life-long support.

Frank had a history of violent behaviors and at age 17 it was only a matter of time before he would be incarcerated. But he heard about a special diet and decided he wanted to try it. His meeting with the doctor who was using this diet to help children like Frank, Sean, Betsy and Joshua meant flying from Tennessee to California. Because his mother was afraid of him, Frank’s older brother accompanied him to visit with the doctor, Ben Feingold, who was chief of allergy at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in California.

Dr. Feingold discovered that some of the many chemicals routinely added to foods have the ability to affect any system of the body, including the brain. When a child is predisposed to be sensitive to these chemicals, they can wreak havoc. In order for a brain to function well, there are many chemical and electrical processes that must work appropriately; in other words, a lot things have to “go right.” When you add in a potent chemical such as an illicit drug (or even a legal one) our brain chemistry can be dramatically affected. Our bodies handle food additives and drugs in a similar manner.

All of these children described above have stories with happy endings once the offending chemicals were identified and removed. Joshua is an outstanding young man who has won numerous honors in school, in sports, and is a leader in an Air Force program for future officers.

Betsy is a normal, happy girl, Frank is a successful adult and Sean has no remnants of any “permanent mental disorder.” In fact, his mom reports he has recently joined the church choir.

Our bodies are composed of the food we eat; this is where we obtain nutrients of all types, including essential fatty acids, trace minerals and the many vitamins a healthy human body requires. But more and more children are no longer consuming food. Instead they are existing on a diet of synthetic substances that do not deliver the needed components to keep bodies working well and keep our brains operating rationally. These so-called foods might look like real food, fooling our eyes. They might even taste like food, fooling out taste buds. But our bodies are not fooled and when they do not receive the nutrients they need in order to function, things begin to go wrong. In addition to the nutrients they do not receive children today are ingesting a chemical stew of foodless ingredients, many of which are derived from crude oil (petroleum).

Dr. Feingold’s experience with troubled children showed that there are a few food additives that appear to be the worst offenders, and removing them brought about significant – often dramatic – changes in behavior, mood, and the ability to focus and learn. These additives include synthetic food dyes (such as Yellow 5 and Red 40); they are created from crude oil, and most of the dyes added to our food start out in petroleum refineries in China. Common preservatives, artificial flavors and even fragrances typically are created from petroleum; rose petals no longer are the source of those pretty scents!

The Feingold diet has been helping families for decades, and the non-profit Feingold Association continues to offer information and support to those who want to learn more. Parent volunteers show others how they can find the foods they enjoy, but minus the unwanted additives; most of them are available at neighborhood supermarkets. See www.feingold.org.

In addition to removing the offensive additives, researchers have found the many benefits of adding supplements to nutrient-starved bodies.

Researchers at Oxford University have shown that the behavior of young male prisoners calmed down when their diet was supplemented with a combination of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (EFAs). Other British research has shown the dramatic benefits of the EFAs, including help for children with ADHD and autism. In the US EFA research has been ongoing at Purdue University for many years.

When nourishing food was given to teens in juvenile detention facilites the improved behavior was documented. And when the Appleton Alternative High School in Wisconsin switched from the usual school food to fresh, healthy food, the behavior problems evaporated and learning improved.

Another risk factor for children with behavior and learning problems.

The drugs that are generally given to children with these problems offer additional concerns. While they may bring about improvements, they are not risk-free. The Food and Drug Administration now requires ADHD drugs to carry warning labels that some children might have reactions that include:

psychotic behavior, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, violence, as well as a host of health effects including cancer, liver damage, strokes and heart attacks.

Risk factors with antidepressants and related drugs

Psychotropic drugs are routinely given to children who are diagnosed as depressed, bi-polar, etc., and these also carry warnings that side effects can include depression and violent behaviors. It can be difficult to sort out whether a behavior is originating within the child or is a side effect of some of the medications he is taking. The fact that all of these drugs are now being given to children who are still infants raises many red flags. Who knows what long-term effects they will have?

While it’s comforting to think that only a minority of children experience the most dangerous reactions, the number of children now being medicated means that a minority can be a very large number of children. (It has been estimated that 10% of all 10-year-old boys in the United States are now on drugs for ADHD.)

A new awareness in Europe

The scientific evidence for the harm caused by petroleum-based food dyes is now so compelling that the British government is seeking to ban them and the European Parliament has voted to require warning labels on foods that contain them. While dyes are not the only additives that can cause adverse reactions, they are the most notorious, the easiest to replace, and offer no value to the consumer.

So, for the child whose behavior has gone over the edge, or if you worry that your youngster is on this path, one simple change that you can implement with no risk, very little cost, and relatively small effort, is to replace those mixes, cookies, candies, sodas, and fast food with nearly-identical versions that are free of the worst of the additives. And while you’re at it, try eating the good food yourself; every parent needs to have their brain cells working at optimum levels as they deal with that temporary insanity called “adolescence.”

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) 10 Quick Parenting Tips for Today’s Teens

 

1.                  Communication: Keeping the lines of communication of your child should be a priority with all parents.  It is important to let your kids know you are always there for them no matter what the subject is.  If there is a subject you are not comfortable with, please be sure your child has someone they can open up to.  I believe that when kids keep things bottled up, it can be when negative behaviors can start to grow.

 

2.                  Knowing your Children’s Friends:  This is critical, in my opinion.  Who are your kids hanging out with?  Doing their homework with?  If they are spending a lot of time at a friends house, go out of your way to call the parent introduce yourself.  Especially if they are spending the night at a friends house, it important to take time to call the parents or meet them.  This can give you a feeling of security knowing where your child is and who they are with.

 

 

3.                   Know your Child’s Teachers – Keep track of their attendance at school: Take time to meet each teacher and be sure they have your contact information and you have theirs if there are any concerns regarding your child.  In the same respect, take time to meet your child’s Guidance Counselor.

 

4.                  Keep your Child Involved:  Whether it is sports, music, drama, dance, and school clubs such as chess, government, school newspaper or different committees such as prom, dances and other school activities.  Keeping your child busy can keep them out of trouble.  If you can find your child’s passion – whether it is football, soccer, gymnastics, dance, music – that can help keep them focused and hopefully keep them on track in school.

 

 

5.                  Learn about Internet Social Networking: In today’s Cyber generation this has to be a priority.  Parents need to help educate their kids on Cyber Safety – think before they post, help them to understand what they put up today, may haunt them tomorrow.  Don’t get involved with strangers and especially don’t talk about sex with strangers.  Avoid meeting in person the people you meet online without you being there.  On the same note – cell phone and texting – don’t allow your child to freely give out their cell numbers and never post them online. Parents should consider ReputationDefender/MyChild www.reputationdefender.com/mychild to further help protect their children online.

 

6.                  Encourage your teen to get a job or volunteer:  In today’s generation I think we need to instill responsibility and accountability.  This can start early by encouraging your teen to either get a job or volunteer, especially during the summer.  Again, it is about keeping them busy, however at the same time teaching them responsibility.  I always tell parents to try to encourage their teens to get jobs at Summer Camps, Nursing Homes, ASPCA, Humane Society or places where they are giving to others or helping animals.  It can truly build self esteem to help others. 

 

 

7.                  Make Time for your Child: This sounds very simple and almost obvious, but with today’s busy schedule of usually both parents working full time or single parent households, it is important to put time aside weekly (if not daily at dinner) for one on one time or family time.  Today life is all about electronics (cell phones, Ipods, Blackberry’s, computers, etc) that the personal touch of actually being together has diminished.

 

8.                  When Safety trumps privacy:  If you suspect your teen is using drugs, or other suspicious behaviors (lying, defiance, disrespectful, etc) it is time to start asking questions – and even “snooping” – I know there are two sides to this coin, and that is why I specifically mentioned “if you suspect” things are not right – in these cases – safety for your child takes precedence over invading their privacy.  Remember – we are the parent and we are accountable and responsible for our child.

 

 

9.                  Are you considering outside treatment for your child? Residential Therapy is a huge step, and not a step that is taken lightly. Do your homework!  When your child’s behavior escalates to a level of belligerence, defiance, substance abuse or God forbid gang relations – it may be time to seek outside help.  Don’t be ashamed of this – put your child’s future first and take steps to get the help he/she needs – immediately, but take your time to find the right placement. Read Wit’s End! www.witsendbook.com for more information.    

 

10.             Be a parent FIRST:  There are parents that want to be their child’s friend and that is great – but remember you are a parent first.  Set boundaries – believe it not kids want limits (and most importantly – need them).  Never threaten consequences you don’t plan on following through with.

 

 By Sue Scheff

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Body Image and Teens by Sarah Maria

Body Image in Teens

If you’re in high school, most of your friends are probably on a diet. A recent study shows that 90% of junior and senior girls are on a diet regularly, even though only 10-15% are actually overweight.

The modeling industry also promotes the idea that you need to diet and exercise religiously. Fashion models are actually thinner than 98% of American women. An average woman stands 5’4″ tall and weighs about 140 lbs, while the average fashion model is a towering 5’11” tall and weighs under 117 lbs.

In reality no amount of dieting, exercise and discipline can earn you a magazine cover-ready body because those photos have been Photo Shopped, doctored and airbrushed. Don’t waste your time attempting to be what you are not, instead; focus on cultivating who you are!

Body Image Tips
As you progress through puberty and your high school years, your body changes as fast as your favorite ringtones. But learning to appreciate your body and have positive self image is a task that few adults have even mastered. Here are some tips to help you learn to love yourself:

  • Learn to Cook– It is never too early to learn to cook. In just a few years, you will be on your own and you will be expected to feed and take care of yourself. Get some practice at home by preparing some family meals or meals for just yourself. Try some new foods by looking through cookbooks and online. Impress your friends by having a dinner party. This also helps you understand how food functions within a regular diet. Learn how to cook healthily so you can eat healthily, but don’t spend too much time worrying about food!
  • Don’t Diet!– Dieting is a great way to ruin your eating habits and your relationship with food and your body. Instead, learn about healthy eating and exercise habits. The healthy habits you learn while you are young will serve you throughout your life!
  • People Watch– Go to the mall or a public space and people watch. How many are fat or thin? How tall are most women? Men? What do you like or dislike about people’s styles, looks or body type? How much of their appearance is “style” and how much is their actual body types? Cultivate the ability to see style and beauty in everyone. As you learn to do this, you can be a trend-setter instead of a trend-follower.
  • Keep it Real– Remember, people only pick the best photos to be on their MySpace or Facebook page. Remind yourself that they all have bad hair days, the occasional zit or an unflattering outfit choice.
  • Stay Well Rounded– Sign up for activities that you have never tried. Join an intramural sport or speech meet. Build up your college resume by participating in extracurricular activities. It’s a great way to broaden your social circle and prepares you for college or a job.
  • Be a Trend Setter– Don’t just follow the crowd – create your own crowd by being a trend setter. Find your own style and look by experimenting with your hair, makeup and clothing. What is your look trying to say? Does it match what you want people to think about you? Someone has to set the trends. Why not you?
  • Learn to meditate– It is never too early to learn to meditate. You will find that this is a skill you can use all your life. By focusing inward, it is easier to distill the truth rather than listening to outside influences. It will also help you manage the stress of your busy life.

 

Parental Tips
If you are a parent of a teen, you know the challenges of living with an emotional, possibly aloof teenager who begs for guidance but disregards most of what you say. Their alternating moods and attitudes make approaching a touchy subject like body image feels dangerous. The following are some tips to help with a positive body image:

  • Have an Open Door Policy-You’d like your teen to approach you with any problem she is facing but often you aren’t sure if she’s coming to you, going to her friends or suffering alone. Encourage regular candid conversation by noticing what times and places your teen is most likely to talk. Is she a night owl? Does she talking on a long drive? Is she more comfortable emailing? Use the time and venue that is most comfortable for her and encourage open sharing.
  • Limit Harmful Media– Put your teen daughter on a media diet. Don’t feel you need to restrict website, magazine or TV shows entirely. Just be cautious of what mediums she concentrates on. Be especially mindful of any one celebrity that she idolizes or photos that she tears out and stares at repeatedly. Discuss how all magazine photos are airbrushed and doctored.
  • Compliment Her and Her Friends– Make a point to compliment both your daughter and her friends on a well-put together outfit or a new hair style. Teens are trying on new looks and personalities as their bodies change. Let them know that they have hit on a good look when they experiment in the right direction.

Make sure to compliment them on things not related to their appearance as well. A good grade, a valiant sports effort or kind deed also deserve notice. Try to practice a 90/10% rule. Let 90% of your comments and insights be positive and only 10% should be carefully worded constructive criticism.

Resources:

Health AtoZ: Is it a Diet or an Eating Disorder?

Eating Disorder Statistics
http://www.freewebs.com/anadeath/statistics.htm

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Positive Parenting Tips for ADHD Children

By ADDitude Magazine
Five Tips for Smoother Mornings

Shift as many tasks as you can to the night before. Sign permission slips, make sure book bags are packed, and leave everything by the front door, in a “launch pad.”

If your child takes ADHD medication, wake him up half an hour early to take his pill. Then, let him fall back asleep or just relax. By the time he needs to start getting ready, his medication will have kicked in.

Draw up a checklist that spells out your child’s morning routine (“get dressed,” “come to the kitchen for breakfast,” and so on), and have her check off steps as she completes them.

Use a timer to remind your child when it’s time to move on to the next task. This will keep you from micromanaging his routine, and give him more control over his own schedule.

The morning rush is already hectic, so don’t add extra stimuli to the mix. Leave the television and the computer off until your children are out the door.

Five After-School Strategies

Establish a start time for homework, and stick to it. Some kids work better after a little downtime; others find it harder to switch back to “school mode.”

Find the homework environment that works with your child. The kitchen table is often the ideal homework station-there’s plenty of space to spread out books and you can stay close by.

ADHD kids can have trouble staying focused for long periods, so let your child take frequent, short breaks. A five-minute break for every 20 minutes of work should be sufficient.

Get your child in the habit of packing her completed homework in her book bag as soon as she’s finished, before moving on to any other activity.

Have fun afterward. Your child is more likely to apply herself if she knows that a fun activity, such as playing a game or watching TV, will follow homework.

Five Ways to Ensure Happy Meal Times

An all-carb breakfast is a recipe for inattention. Make sure your child eats plenty of protein, along with complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and/or vegetables.

Keep a supply of grab-and-go breakfast foods, like protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, and cartons of yogurt, on hand, in case you fall behind schedule.

Create a “Top-10” list based on family members’ favorite meals that you can cook over the course of a two week-period. Soliciting everyone’s input means everyone will be happier around the dinner table.

Share the responsibilities for dinner preparation. Younger children can set the table, older kids may appreciate the responsibility of helping to prepare the meal.

If your child’s medication impacts his appetite, keep meal times flexible. If he doesn’t eat much for lunch, for example, give him a hearty snack rather than make him wait.

Five Keys to the Bedtime Routine

Wind down slowly over the course of an hour or so. Find the bedtime routine that works-bath, brush teeth, 20 minutes of reading, lights out to soft music-and stick to it.

Set a realistic bedtime. Put your child to bed too early, and there’s a chance that he’ll remain awake-and restless-for a long time.

Enforce bedtime consistently-on weekends, too. Letting your child stay up late on weekends will disrupt his circadian clock; on Monday, he’ll wake up with something akin to jet lag.

If your child gets up, tuck her back into bed and gently but firmly remind her that it’s time to go to sleep. Reassure her that you’ll be nearby.

Keep in mind that some ADHD kids are kept awake at night by restlessness and mental activity caused by a lack of medication. If you suspect this in your child, ask her doctor about an evening dose.

Learn more at www.additudemag.com