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I Need Advice on Keeping My 7 Year Old Son Focused During Homework Time.

I have a 7 year old son that has the hardest time staying focused on his homework. It can take him up to 2 hours to complete it. Sometimes he gets so frustrated that he cries and hits himself in the head. I've tried everything like letting him take breaks to calm himself down, having him do his homework away from his 2 sisters in a quiet space. He gets notes sent home from school saying he isn't getting his work done and he's not staying focused. I've been advised to get him tested for ADD or ADHD, but my husband and I don't want to medicate him or single him out. I just really need some advice because I have a daughter that just started kindergarten and I want to give her equal attention when it comes to homework time. But my attention ends up having to mainly be focused on my son. I just really want homework time to be alot more peaceful and relaxing. Thank you to all of you that take the time to help me out!

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So What Happened?™

I should've mentioned some things in my first request. My son is my stepson,although I feel no different for him as I do my 2 daughter's who I gave physical birth to.He has a mother who left him at 6months of age with his father and came back into his life off and on a few months after that. She never really treated him like her son, he was always like her little brother.She actually even said those exact words to me! Well a couple years ago, she met someone and got married and moved out of state. He stays with her in the summertime and ever since then he's developed these "problems". She never goes over things that he's learned in school like reading, or addition, anything!So by the time he comes home, all is just about forgotten that he had learned the year before. So I think that has alot to do with his not staying focused. I don't have anything against people using medication if the child really needs it. I was just hoping someone had suggestions to try before I went ahead with him getting tested and all. I've heard wonderful things and awful things about medicating your children. I haven't done it so I'm in no way in the postion to judge anybody. I'd just like to hear ways that work without the medication first to see if they work. Thank you all who have responded to my situation and I will take every response into consideration! Thank you and God Bless!

Featured Answers

I guarantee you that he is add or adhd. It is a chemical imbalance, and he can't help it. The meds are cery good and will help him stay focused. Once he is in control, he will develop better self esteem.

I read some of the responses and people have different views about ADHD and putting kids on meds. I go both ways on this issue. I think that you should have him tested, and if they think that he needs to be put on meds, just keep on open mind about it. I'm almost done working on my BA in Psychology and have worked with kids with ADH. There is a big difference between when they are and aren't on there meds. One child I worked with his mother would let him have the weekends without any meds since he wasnt in school so that way he could have a little break from the meds. Maybe he gets frustrated by seeing all the questions he has to do. One thing that might work is covering up all the questions he has to work on except for one. It might be easier for him to focus if he only sees one question versus several. Whatever happens, I wish you luck.

More Answers

K.,

Hello. Before I start, I am a mother of twins, a boy who is ADHD / Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a daughter who has none of these symptoms. I have been many rounds lately with my son not focusing. Switching meds, behavior therapy, etc. He currently sees a psychiatrist and a psychologist. I am replying at the risk of not sounding harsh, if I do, my apologies. So here goes!

I too, when I went to his first appointment said "we don't needs meds this soon, he is too young." I could not have been more wrong. This time in your childs life is the most important. If you do not send him for testing, he will most likely fall behind in his phonetic learning, which will set him up for failure later in life with school. These are the words of my son's psychologist, not mine.

Honestly, you will probably single him out more if you don't do anything about this and he continues to struggle. Teachers will also be less willing to work with you if you are not willing to at least get him the testing suggested to you. In my opinion, this will single him out more. Getting in trouble at school because he isn't focusing with the class, not doing his work. He could also begin to lash out due to the fact he is so frusterated.

After my son got on meds, his school work improved 100%. I had never seen him be able to focus like he did when he was on the meds. And his progress made him so proud.

But let me stress the following point to all of the others leaving advice who think ADHD is overdiagnosed and people use meds too much, again, without the risk of sounding harsh, only factual:

***Unless you have lived with an ADHD child, you have no idea what it is like to see your child suffer without meds. You can do every case study you want, but you do not know how it feels to watch your child suffer not being able to do a series of tasks due to the fact he/she simply cannot focus. Watching them cry as they try to focus and not understanding why he can't as well as a sibling or other classmates. And the stuggle affects the entire family. More importantly than parents, young siblings not old enough to understand what is going on.***

Yes, I agree, meds are not the answer for all and are used a lot these days. But we also know more about ADHD these days than we did 20 years ago. If you had a broken arm, would you go to the doctor to get it set and casted? Of course! Then why not fix this problem? Your son can't focus, and it has been recommended you have him tested. The testing is available. What can testing him hurt? And the doctors will be happy to talk to you about all the different options you have available.

Good luck. Again, I don't mean to sound harsh, but I feel very passionate about this subject as it is very near and dear to my heart due to my son's problems.

God Bless and take care,
Lee

1 mom found this helpful

You have a lot of good advice on here both for and against medication. I think it's still a bit controversial and I think it's such a personal decision that I wouldn't make any recommendations on way or the other. I would like to say, since it hasn't been brought up yet, that you may want to delve more deeply into his summers away. What is going on there? There may be more going on than you are aware of. You mentioned that the problems started when he started going to his mother's for the summer. It may simply be that he's forgetting what he learned, and it may be that he's really being affected by the two different lives he now has to live. He is only 7 and to me, truly sounds like a regular boy. We put so much pressure on our young children today to hurry up and grow up and we no longer let them be children. You may want to talk to him more about what he does all summer, and if he's not sharing, see if you can find ways to help him cope with all these changes. Children are tough and resilient, and at the same time, so tender. He may just be really torn about trying to please 2 sets of parents and having to change. Hopefully there is nothing worse going on over the summer. You may also want to check into homeschooling him. I've heard from MANY mom's of boys that certain areas of learning, like reading, take boy's much longer to do. The average reading age of boy used to be 10 and girl's was 7. This was before we demanded that they know how to read by the age of 5-6. He may just need to go his own pace for a little while, they do catch up! All the mom's that I've spoken to, that homeschool, had their boys not only catch up but surpass the one's they were behind. Just some options for you! Let me know if I can help you more,
Y.

I have an 8 year old son who has ADHD, his father has it, and so does his grandfather. It's not terrible, and it's not a flaw! Try looking at it like this - if your son had trouble seeing, would you get him glasses or ask him to try harder? It's a general approach. There's alot of things to try before medication - so don't despair. Changing his diet slightly may work a miracle!

My son too had difficulties doing his homework. So here's what I did - if your son has ADD/ADHD this will likely help. (or it did for us) Kids with attention spans fairly short benefit from schedules / breaks and knowing what to expect. Say he has vocab, math and reading. When he gets home, have a chart ready with a point system for him. If you want a copy of mine - email me and I'll be glad to send you an example chart - it's easy and kid friendly. Have his homework broken into sessions - instead of one big sit down. He's been in school all day so he's likely needing to unwind... so with our son we let him play for 30 min, then do 1 part homework. Then a 10 min break, then 2nd part of homework and so forth. Usually this works and prevents boredem as well as frustration and rushing. The point chart compliments him - he can earn special things for doing his work w/o complaining, this isn't necessarily tangible - it can be ball with dad, special game time w/ mom and dad...etc. You can set up your rewards program as you want, rewards earned daily - or a larger rewards program that allows him to work for rewards for the weekend (a sundae or a movie, or an hour at the park). Make his homework his 'job'. Just like mom and/or dad have to do their job - his homework is his. Just like mom and/or dad earn their money/rewards - he earns his! My son loves working hard for his rewards! And I'm not bribing him - these 'rewards' are our general activities, so it's a win/win situation - you get a kid who completes his homework - and he gets to feel accomplished and rewarded!

Good luck! I know it will work out!!!

You should definatly have him tested. He might not have ADHD or ADD. It could be dislexia or something else or nothing. And you don't always have to medicate sometimes diet helps alot. But know what your dealing with can do anything but help. And try letting him get some school stress out before he sits down and does homework.

Dear K.,
I have been a teacher for the last five years and I can understand your frustration. If you can see how much trouble your son is having at home with homework, think about how much trouble he is having at school with several other children in the room that can distract him. So my question is, why don't you want to have your son tested for add, or adhd? You see him struggling and you want the best for him but you are deciding to not get him the help that he needs? Don't you think he is already singled out at school when he can't complete his lessons on time? Don't you think he is singled out at school if he punches himself in the head when he is frustrated? (Believe me if he does it at home he does it at school too) If you want to help your son, go and have him tested. The doctor will be able to give you much more information about add and adhd. Perhaps you can try something else besides medication. Letting your son fall behind in his school work because he can't concentrate certainly isn't a better solution than talking with a doctor. Please, for your son go and get him the help that he needs!
C.

Hi K.,
As I was collecting my thoughts for a response, I read the others' comments. The lady named Lee actually said exactly what I was thinking in every way. My son has taken Strattera for quite some time and it has been a life saver in many ways. Many people tend to judge those medicating their children without any real knowledge of what ADHD is or does to the child's self esteem, his school life, and his home life. Medication may not be the answer for everyone, but for a child with true ADHD, it made all the difference. It did not change his personality and he continued eating normally. He takes one capsule before leaving for school, so he is not singled out during the day, although I suspect he is not the only child taking medication. I get great support from the school staff also. If something improves my child's self esteem, helps him look forward to going to school, and makes home life so much better, it made no sense to me to feel badly about giving him medication. The other methods might be worth a try, and some may help your son improve, but nothing else worked for my child, and I have never regretted it.

Hi K.,

My nephew is the SAME way, in fact until I saw your name I thought my sister-in-law had written in. I babysit him and his brother afterschool so I am in charge of homework time. I would like to address this in a couple of stages. First something that works for my nephew's frustration and then the testing and medication.

What works for my nephew's frustration level is breaks, but we have about an hour when he comes home from school. He can play or just go be by himself. He likes to spend time alone and his brother doesn't so Matt always ends up playing with his brother. I decided to stop that. It is entirely up the what Matt wants to do. Adam can ask, but he isn't allowed to do the guilt trip thing or keep asking more than once. Other wise he gets a 5 minute break after each piece of work completed. It sort of forces him to calm down. I also remind him to focus and to sit down a lot, but he doesn't get frustrated as easily.

If your son has a perfectionist attitude, Matt who is 7 really really does, make sure he knows it is ok to make mistakes. That every one does sometimes. I had to start letting my nephews see mine on my classes, as this has really helped them see that just because their work is easy for me, they are in first and second grade, that not everything is. I think this is one of the best things I did for them.

As far as testing and medicine. I understand your reluctance to go that route, however there is no harm in testing. It doesn't single them out. My family has a long history of ADHD and my dad wouldn't let us be tested or treated. We all suffered for it. Behavior problems and impulse control issues are especially bad in my family. There are many safer medicine that is now on the market. Ok, just wanted to say my peace about that as I have issues with it...hehe. But things you can try before going the medicine route. Limit sugar intake, if he truly has ADHD give him coffee or other caffiene products (limited of cource...maybe one at homework time). ADHD is a chemical imbalance and the caffiene works differently, it actually will calm someone down. Red dyes are really bad for it to. So limit those, things like catsup, BBQ sause, any red or pink kool-aid, you get the gist?

I don't know what to say about biological mom, because you are his real one. I do not understand people who don't put their children first, and be actual parents, not big sisters or friends, but hey another soap box of mine I will get off of :)
If possible I guess I would try to get him back a week or two before school starts and do a short but intensive summer program with him or give him "homework" to take with him. Find something he is really interested in, such as history or science and make cross words or word searches, that sort of thing. Maybe that will help with not losing as much information.

If you ever need to talk to someone with lots of experience with this, please let me know. I am here.

C.

My 8 year old has ADHD. It is not a diagnosis that came in his doctor's office. We spent many hours having psychological testing done to test for developmental disorders before we derived at a diagnosis of ADHD. It is very frustrating for a child to feel as if their mind is a TV remote and someone in the background is flipping through the channels. In addition to meds, which is a personal choice, but one I suggest be looked into, we had family counselling sessions, and behavior modification lessons. Your son is old enough to tell you how HE feels. My son's homework takes hours and hours on the days he just doesnt feel like it. Those are the days I tell him "No tv/ video games today, until it is done". He gets to make the decision. Bad grades mean no fun stuff. Report cards came yesterday...straight A's.

I guarantee you that he is add or adhd. It is a chemical imbalance, and he can't help it. The meds are cery good and will help him stay focused. Once he is in control, he will develop better self esteem.

I am a sahm with 4 children. I put off having my oldest son tested because I did not want to medicate. I came to regret that decision later.I finally had him tested in the 5th grade. 2 years after the teacher first recommended it. I did not just go to our pediatrition, we also went to a psychologist and had many sessions with testing and talking about what he was feeling, etc. We finally decided to put him on a very low dose of adderoll and it is amazing the tunaround, but it was too late and he is now in the 9th grade and still playing catch up. He is in a special ed class at the school and all his friends know. He can function well now with the medicine and the acting up has stopped because he can focus on what the teachers are saying instead of being lost half the time, But he is still behind. I know that some people think add/adhd is over diagnosed, but if you have a pediatrition you can trust he can refer you to a psychologist or a psychiatrist who will do the testing and be honest about the results.
My son only has to take his adderoll once a day and it wears off a little after he gets home. If he still has trouble focusing on his homework I give him a very small dose of ritalin which wears off after about 3 hours. Meds are not for everyone but the testing cannot hurt and maybe you could talk to the dr. about other things to try. I have lots of guilt for not listening to the teachers and putting off the testing. I could have saved him a lot of problems. I also would have had more energy left over for my other children. I hope this helps you. I wish you the best of luck.

Wow your 7 year old sounds just like my 7 year old son. I found that trying to make a game out of his homework helps, Also only making him do it for 20 minutes and letting him get up and play or do something he wants to do helps, Just getting his mind of off it so when he come back to it he can be more focused. And of course rewards always helps. B.

K. L,

I have a 11 year old that has had the same problem. He is a slow learner and needs help understanding the work, so he is in a special class in school. He is not on any drugs either for the same reason that you have desided and he still has his moments. I also have a 7 year old who does fine in school who will try and help his big brother. My best advice to you is to sit down with both of them and get your 6 year old involved in his work (which will help her get a good start) and have him be involved in her work as well. He know that he can count on his brother to for help if he doesnt understand a question or cant read a word as while as us. Having a two year myself I know I dont always have time to sit and help so they have learned to help one another by doing this with them. I did forget to tell you that my 11 year old is a A, B student and has been on the Hornor Roll for the past 2 years!

D. B

Hi! I want to say that I have experience with this. My son is borderline ADHD, but I am full-blown ADD. I am 36 years old and have struggled with these kind of things on a daily basis. I take Strattera and it doesn't bother me. It isn't quite the same type of medicine as the other meds, which I have tried as well and didn't like. I didn't like how they made me feel. Strattera isn't like that with me. My family can only tell when I don't take my medicine. My life is less stressful and happier because of the medicine.

Having said that, strattera only works on my best days. On my worst days, almost nothing can make me finish tasks that I don't want to do. What is almost always going on during those days is that I am overwhelmed. People with ADHD and ADD have a hard time turning on and off their emotions when they switch from one thing to the next. So the stress they feel at school is compounded when they are doing their homework. It keeps building and building until they do that activity that they enjoy that causes them to release their stress. How long that activity has to last depends on the amount of stress that has built up. Managing the stress when it gets to this point is like swimming against the current. You can get there, but it takes a while and it's very difficult, emotionally and physically. Yes, homework can be physically exhausting to a person with ADD and/or ADHD. Little things help a lot! Keeping a well organized environment is step #1. Knowing where to go to get a pencil and piece of paper eliminates "source of stress" (SOS) #1. Kids with ADD/ADHD who have a place for everything and everything is in its place, thrive! Having a quiet environment free from TV and/or loud voices eliminates SOS #2. Now, it's probable that by the second problem, he is going to think about something unrelated to homework. He is going to want to go check on it or touch it or play with it. Have a scratch pad ready and tell him to write down whatever external thoughts come into his head. That way, he won't forget it. (We really are afraid we are going to forget to play with that toy.) After 15 minutes, grab the homework and help him by calling out the problems and suggesting ways to solve it. After another 15 minutes, he gets to take a break. 30 minutes later, he's back and he has a snack or drink to "fiddle" with for the remainder of the lesson. Sometimes, a stress ball or some little thing you can play with without paying attention to helps.

Another thing about us is that we love to organize, fix, win, or succeed at something. But our accomplishments are often overlooked. It's harder for us to clean up our room than other people. For us, cleaning our room is like cleaning the whole house. We need kudos and guidance. What we don't need is discipline, because we know we should do better. However hard you are on us, we are going to be three times harder on ourselves behind closed doors. Knowing our efforts are recognized and appreciated is what keeps up going.

I'm glad you are not quick to medicate in order to fix the problem. I would recommend taking your son in to be interviewed by a local learning center. They can evaluate him to see if there is a learning disability present. Learning disabilities do not mean it's a permanent disability that cannot be worked through. My cousin now in her 30's had a learning disability all through school and they found out she had Dyslexia, I am in my late 30's and I would do great on homework and school work but when it came to testing I failed and would even fail if I had the answer's in front of me. I would shut down with a fear of failing. If it had not been for tests I would have been a straight A student but because tests are a requirement I pretty much made D's and E's and repeated 2 grades. I was never fortunate enough to have someone care enough to have me tested. I finally quit High School out of frustration. I ended up being successful anyway in my adult life but this is not true for everyone.

A young boy I taught in my Sunday school class was so sweet and polite but the moment I would put some type of curriculum in front of him he would write volatile things and I could tell his personality changed. After talking with his parents I learned he had a learning disability that caused him to lash out when he felt he didn’t understand or could not comprehend something. They did not medicate him to try and fix it yet used a learning process to help him through it. Medication can be a coping mechanism when in fact it doesn't fix the actual problem so when they become adults they still have the problem. ADHD/ADD can however be different, this is chemical. I will warn you from working with many youth on medication that altar the brain chemicals sometimes can have a bad affect on them causing them to shut down further or the med.’s end up altering their chemicals permanently. Educate yourselves well and please help your son as soon as you can. Not only will he know he is loved and cared for but his confidence and self-esteem are so important.

K.,

When I read this I was thinking "Did I write this?" This is EXACTLY what we have gone through with our 7 year old. My son is ADHD/OCD/ODD and is on meds for his ADHD, but by the time I pick him up at 5:30, his meds are off. We had this problem until the end of last school year. I can tell you what worked for us, it may/may not work for your child. I used to sit with him and struggle with him to do his work. I neglected myself, my husband, everything because I spent my ENTIRE evening just to get him to do simple assignments that should only take 15 min. each. It was torture for him and torture for us. What finally worked was I had to let go. We sat him down one day and said, this is your job, you have to do it, you have to make a choice. either you make a good choice and you do your homework with good behavior and be done with it and you can have the rest of the evening for fun time, OR, you can choose to sit in this spot all night until it gets done. After that I walked away and ignored his screaming and crying. It took about 2 weeks and he finally broke. He would scream for hours (luckily my husband was out to sea) because it was very hard on me. Some nights he didn't get his work finished and I talked to the teacher and got special permission to get it done on the weekends until we got through this phase. Once he realizes that he either does it then, or on the weekend and he sees that he starts to lose all his priviledges then he will change. I know how much you want to tend to his needs, but it hurts you and the other children. YOu have to walk away and find a room and when he decides to follow you, you have to tell him that he is only allowed in the room if he talks nicely. If you talk to him and try to calm him down, he is only getting what he wants, your attention, if you ignore him, he will stop. It is hard, but it worked for us. From time to time he still tries to pull his stunts with me because my husband is deployed, but I just try to go back to those same procedures and all is well the next night. I hope my advice helps or at least let you know that there are people out there going through the same things you are.
M.
Virginia Beach

K., I AM IN THE SAME BOAT KINDA! I DID FILL OUT THE PAPER WORK AND HAVE THE TEACHER FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK FOR THE ADD AND ADHD AND WHEN I TOOK IT IN TO OUR PED. SHE SAID THAT HE MAY WITH (MAY) BEING THE KEY WORD THERE HAVE A MILD CASE BUT NOT ENOUGH TO WARRANT MEDS. BUT I HAVE TALKED TO ALOT OF PEOPLE!!!AND I DO MEAN A-L-O-T!!! AND YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT OTHER THINGS LIKE IS SOMEONE PICKING ON YOUR SON AT SCHOOL,COULD SOME OF IT BE THE TEACHER, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVEN'T HAD TROUBLE IN THE PAST, IS HE WITH A DIFFERENT CROWD OF CHILDREN.SEE I HAVE FOUND OUT THAT THERE IS PEER PRESSURE IN SECOND GRADE NOW, WHICH BLOWS MY MIND!!I DIDN'T THINK I HAD TO WORRY ABOUT THAT TILL AT LEAST MIDDLE SCHOOL!!AND IF SOMEONE IS PICKING ON YOUR CHILD THEN THEY COULD BE ACTING OUT! BY THE WAY MOST OF THE (ALOT OF PEOPLE)PROFESSIONALS THAT I TALKED TO SAID THAT ALL KIDS GO THROUGH A STAGE SOME EARLIER THAN OTHERS.AS FAR AS THE HOMEWORK GOES MAYBE JUST NOT DOING IT. I PULLED THAT ON MY SON. HE PITCHED A EVER LOVING FIT AT HOMEWORK TIME SO I SAID JUST TAKE IT AND PUT IT BACK INTO YOUR BACKPACK IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND DO IT THEN I DON'T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE AND MAKE YOU DO IT!AND THIS JUST AMAZED HIM THAT NOW HE GLADLY DOES HIS HOMEWORK. I HAVE SINCE EXPLAINED THAT ALL OF US ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMETHING IN LIFE. LIKE DAD IS FOR THE MONEY, FOOD, CLOTHES. MOM IS FOR THE COOKING, CLEANING, LOVING,HELPING W/ HOMEWORK,PLAYING. AND YOU GUYS ARE FOR YOUR ROOMS BEING TIDY,YOUR HOMEWORK GETTING DONE. AND THAT THERE ARE CONSIQINSES (I KNOW I SPELLED THAT WRONG BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) IF WE AREN'T RESPONSIBLE. YOU DON'T EAT, YOUR CLOTHES ARE DIRTY, YOU FAIL........ ANYWAY GOOD LUCK AND REMEMBER THEY ARE SMARTER THAN YOU THINK. A REALLY WISE MAN TOLD ME THAT AND I'VE COME TO BELEIVE HIM!!!T.

I read some of the responses and people have different views about ADHD and putting kids on meds. I go both ways on this issue. I think that you should have him tested, and if they think that he needs to be put on meds, just keep on open mind about it. I'm almost done working on my BA in Psychology and have worked with kids with ADH. There is a big difference between when they are and aren't on there meds. One child I worked with his mother would let him have the weekends without any meds since he wasnt in school so that way he could have a little break from the meds. Maybe he gets frustrated by seeing all the questions he has to do. One thing that might work is covering up all the questions he has to work on except for one. It might be easier for him to focus if he only sees one question versus several. Whatever happens, I wish you luck.

I really have to agree with the message from sarah f. I too had ADHD as a child, but my parents chose not to medicate me, rather they worked closely with my teacher and the school principal to set up a schedule and reward system. I had the same system at home. My time was broken up into smaller blocks of time. If I had Math, Spelling, and English homework, then it was done in smaller chunks of time, say one page of math then a small break, another page of math another break, with bigger breaks of time between each subject. It may take time and a lot of effort to set up such a schedule but your child will appreciate it greatly in the long run, I know I did.

Before taking him to the doctor for ADD or ADHD which tends to be overused in today's society and entirely too many children are being medicated unnecessarily for a disorder that they don't really have, make sure that his diet is in order. There have been numerous studies proving that diet is directly related to behavior and concentration disorders. You can probably find a book online at barnes and noble, but basically he needs to be off of food with preservatives, processed foods, dyed food, and eating whole foods, fresh veggies and fruits, and fresh meat that is not processed so no chicken nuggets etc... This would include milk products that are processed, if you think that he needs to have milk then get organic milk or if you have a dairy farm close by, see if you can get fresh milk there, It only lasts a couple days in the fridge so you only buy what you need, but it is fresh and people don't have the same problems with it that we do with processed pasturized milk. Also limit his simple carb intake at dinner this would be things like mac and cheese from a box, and white rice etc... they hit the system very quickly and cause a boost in our energy levels and then when our insulin is triggered to counteract the added sugar to the system, our bodies crash down and this can cause concentration issues and focus problems. I hope that this helps. I am not a medical doctor, but I have spent several years studying the effects of food and diet related behaviors in children and adults and it is amazing how many things are related simply to the way we eat. Good luck.

Our now 11 yr old son had these same issues! I would set the timer when he got home to let him play (he likes outside) for 25 minutes. It helped to let him use up that energy from the end of the day at school and he was able to focus better when it was time for the work. Hope this helps!!

Hi, I'm C.. We had the exact same problem since my 9 year old was in Kindergarten. We changed her diet, she gets no sweets, only fresh fruit and veggies, things like that. She was still not doing her work. I finally took her to her ped and he set up a session with a psychologist. He diagnosed her with ADHD (she is very overly hyperactive). I observed her in class without meds one day. I felt so bad for her teacher. We put her on concerta. 2 weeks later, her homework and classwork improved ALOT. I hated the idea of meds but if I didn't, she wouldn't be doing good in the 4th grade now. I had ADHD as a child, my mom wouldn't get me meds, I fell behind until I started middle school and just grew out of it. I hope this helped a little. Have a great day.

Hey K.!

I have read some of the reponses and they all sound great. I am here to give you my thoughts and experiences. First thing I will say is that ADHD is known to be genetic. One step is to find out the medical history of the biological parents. I grew up with a sister who had ADHD and my parents did not medicate her in time, she ended up so frustrated with her abilities that she dropped out of school at 16 years old.

I have a 7 year old myself, and I am a single mother. I started noticing signs of hyperactivity in my son when he was 4. I was completely against medication. I tried so many different things to try and help him. He started school, and in kindergarden we came home 2 or 3 days a week with notes saying he was disruptive, not sitting still, and talking too much. First grade came, and he got notes sent home at least 4 days a week with the same reasonings.

We tried changing his diet, no sweets, all natural foods, that did not work in the least. We tried all kinds of rewards systems and discpline actions. They worked but only for a short period of time, we had to change the system just about every 2 weeks. He got bored with the systems and decided that he didnt care one way or another. The summer after first grade I decided I was going to get him tested and try medication away from school to see how it worked. After 2 weeks of Adderall I saw a HUGE difference. It did not change his personality at all. I explained to him why he needed to take them, and even asked him if he saw a difference. He loves the meds and even reminds me in the morning that he needs to take them. He still has some days where he "wakes up on the wrong side of the bed" and acts out in class, but they are minimal, normal boy behavior. We have forgotten to take in some mornings and the teacher will ask if he took it. He knows that it is there to help him focus, but it is up to him to still try his hardest to behave and do his work.

We also noticed that in first grade he was behind in reading, once we started the meds he is now at or above were he is supposed to be in reading. He still has trouble with the detail in math, he understands it but sometimes forgets the small stuff.

If your children truely does has ADHD, then you do need to do something that will help him understand the disorder. Medication is not for every child, but that is up to you and your physician to figure out. One other thing to ask, have you done any research on ADHD yourself? I am currently doing a reasearch paper for school on the subject, and there is SO much info out there. Good Luck! Let me know if I can assist with anything else.

I would get your child tested. If you have some results, you have a baseline by which to go by when planning how to help him. Even if you/school district agree that he exhibits ADD or ADHD tendencies, doesn't mean that you have to medicate your child to help him. Go to some ADD/ADHD websites that may give you some ideas without medication...more strategies to help him cope with his frustration and possible learning problems (focusing, comprehending, etc). He may also need 504 modifications which can help your son succeed in school if he is having problems with behavior or grades due to his frustration and focus issues. I would also see if the school counselor could meet with him on a weekly/bi-weekly basis to help him/check up on him.

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