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Our Mental Health Blogs

Childhood ADHD and Stealing: What’s Going on with Your Kid?

Childhood ADHD and Stealing: What’s Going on with Your Kid?

Is your child with ADHD stealing from you? There are four reasons why your child may be stealing. Knowing them can help you be a better parent. Read this.It’s common for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to steal from family members and friends. Knowing ADHD is probably behind a child’s stealing behavior doesn’t make it less frustrating, of course, nor less scary. After all, outside our homes, stealing is illegal. Parents of children with mental illnesses already worry enough about our kids ending up in the legal system. It’s important, then, to figure out what might be causing our children with ADHD to steal.

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Mental Health Setbacks for Children with ADHD Will Happen

Mental Health Setbacks for Children with ADHD Will Happen

Mental health setbacks are a natural part of mental illnesses such as ADHD and DMDD. When mental health setbacks happen, you can make it a learning experience.

You can sometimes predict that a mental health setback will happen, but still, when it happens, a mental health setback seems to come out of nowhere. I got a call from school staff this morning saying that my son was disrupting the class. He had been out of his seat, kicking chairs, and refusing to do work. In the background of the call, I could hear his teacher attempting multiplication lessons while the paraprofessional explained quietly that my son was now on the floor, unmovable and unresponsive to everybody. He was no longer allowed on Friday’s field trip. The staff put the phone to my son’s ear so I could try to talk him, but he hung up on me instead. After months of doing amazingly well at school and home, this was definitely a mental health setback.

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5 Things Parents of Children with Mental Illness Don’t Do

5 Things Parents of Children with Mental Illness Don’t Do

Parents of children with mental illness don't do 'normal' things. It's surprising, and often devastating, to decide what we just can't do to and for our kids.As a parent of a child with mental illness, there are many things I wish I could do. My child’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors, or my own anxiety, often get in the way. Parenting a child with mental illness is intense. I often feel like a snowball of anxiety rolling down a snowy mountain of anxiety towards an icy river of even more anxiety, and if I type “anxiety” one more time, you’ll start to feel as anxious as I do. Because I am a parent of a child with mental illness, there are some things I just don’t do.

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Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Holiday Mental Health Plans for Families with Mental Illness

Do you have a holiday mental health plan to make the holidays fun for everyone in your family? Try this tip to develop a holiday mental health plan that works.

Maintaining mental health over the holidays can be a real challenge for teens and young adults with mental illness. With 64% of mentally ill people finding holidays stressful, according to a study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), it is important to find ways to stay healthy during the holidays. So read on for holiday mental health tips.

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Childhood Bipolar Disorder and DMDD

Childhood Bipolar Disorder and DMDD

DMDD is one way to manage the childhood bipolar disorder diagnosis controversy. So, if your child has DMMD, does that mean he'll develop bipolar disorder?A child’s mental illness diagnosis can take years to get right, especially when both disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD) and a childhood bipolar disorder diagnoses are possible. One diagnosis can look similar to another. It takes a skilled provider to tease it out and, let’s face it, as parents, we don’t always know if our providers are the skilled ones. It took three years to get to my son’s diagnosis of DMDD. Prior to that, they briefly considered childhood bipolar disorder. I still sometimes wonder if it’s not.

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Suggestions for Sleep Problems in Childhood ADHD

Suggestions for Sleep Problems in Childhood ADHD

Children with ADHD often have sleep problems too. Routines and nutrition help, but there are other ways to minimize ADHD related sleep problems. Watch this.

Sleep problems are common with childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Parenthood and sleep don’t mix, and if you have a young child with ADHD, you’re probably getting even less sleep than other parents. Sleep problems with childhood ADHD are common and the sleep problems come in many forms (ADHD and Sleep Disorders). The methods we use to get our children to sleep come in many forms as well.

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Childhood ADHD and Lying: Be Careful What You Punish

Childhood ADHD and Lying: Be Careful What You Punish

The child with ADHD may use lying as a way to deal with shame over being unable to meet expectations. Discipline gets tricky. Here's something to think about.

Of all behaviors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), lying is one of the more frustrating. My son’s therapist recently reminded me of something important, though. Lying serves a purpose, and punishing our children with mental illness for the lie itself may mean we’re missing the underlying issue all-together.

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Both Sides of Bullying Affect Children with Mental Illness

Both Sides of Bullying Affect Children with Mental Illness

Both sides of bullying affect children with mental illness. Their behaviors make them a target and, sometimes, make them the bully. So what is a parent to do?

My children start school this week, so I’m back to worrying about both sides of bullying. As a parent of a child with mental illness, who is not going to be mainstreamed this year, the fear is real. Will he be bullied for being “special ed”, or will his behaviors make him the bully? I tell myself that, if I can just get him through adolescence, he’ll be okay. In the meantime, though, how do I manage when I understand that both sides of bullying could affect my child’s school year?

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Fostering Independence in Your Child with Mental Illness

Fostering Independence in Your Child with Mental Illness

It is difficult to foster independence when your child has a mental illness. Helicoptering isn't useful, but you must be present--in some way--all the time.The parenting questions I’ve been wrestling with recently are how much independence to allow my son with mental illness and how do I foster independence for him. Should I be a “helicopter mom” or a “free-range parent”? Sadly, I don’t have a pilot’s license, and my children aren’t livestock, so I have no idea. I can tell you, though, that the question of independence is an entirely different one for my daughter who doesn’t have a mental illness than it is for my son who does (Siblings of Children with Mental Illness). How do I foster independence in my child with mental illness?

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Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Mental Health Screenings in Schools Should Be More Inclusive

Early mental health screenings in schools catch problems like autism, but miss most other mental illnesses. Many kids can't access the programs they deserve.While mental health screenings in school may take place, they need to be more inclusive. Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and childhood mental illnesses like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can look similar on the outside, the way they’re treated in schools looks different. From the perspective of a parent of a child with mental illness, they seem like unfairly disparate worlds. It makes me think of the need for inclusivity in school mental health screenings.

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