#JustANormalKid: Don’t forget kids are kids first!

“He is ready to go and won’t stop until he goes to bed!”
“She is so forgetful and I get frustrated because I have to keep nagging her. When will she learn to take care of her own things?”
“I am constantly getting calls from the school and quite frankly it is stressing me out! I don’t know what to do.”

It is easy to forget that kids with behavioral and mental health issues are kids first. So much of the conditions I write about and care for can cause real stress to the child, to the caregiver, extended family and even with teachers and child care providers.

This is true with all parenting experiences. There are going to be good days and bad. There are going to be days when you want to post #mommyfail (or you feel it but maybe just not post it on social media).  Kids without behavioral and mental health conditions act out about 1/3 of the time. This is part and parcel of parenting and how kids learn rules.

It is hard to look beyond the immediate stresses when you are in it. When I see a child in my clinic, I always end on questions that focus on the strengths and time-in. “Tell me what you love about your child. What are some of his/her strengths? What do you like to do with him/her as fun time together?”

It is always troubling when a parent does not know how to answer that question or stops and has to think for a long time. This is when I know it is time to step back and really work on the basics of time-in and fostering positive parent-child interactions.

In an effort to remind everyone that ALL kids are kids first…we developed a wonderful video that highlights this very message, in the context of childhood ADHD. This is the most recent installment of our “Let’s Chat ADHD” project that as you recall was co-designed by families for families and the community. See my previous post here for more info: Helping parents find their voice: The Let’s Chat ADHD Project

Please watch the video and don’t be afraid to comment. I know the kids would love to hear if you liked their joke, or loved their humor and smiles. They would also love it if you helped us push it on social media to get the word out that ALL KIDS are #JustANormalKid.

CUTE KID ALERT! Click here to watch our VIDEO: #JustANormalKid

Much thanks to the children and families who have been with me on this journey since the beginning. This beautiful project is the result of the hard work and dedication they brought and I know it means a lot to them to have you take a look.

On behalf of our families and team, THANK YOU and remember, #JustANormalKid the next time you feel frustrated with your own parenting challenges. There is much to celebrate of our children too.