7 Simple Ways to Gain Cooperation With ADHD Children
by Tami Gulland
Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), whether they have been officially diagnosed or
not. While it may not be apparent, these children have a naturally sensitive nature
and often act out what they feel. Because of this they can also be known as spirited
children. When parents of spirited children understand the true nature and gifts of
their child, it becomes easier to love, support and help their child assimilate in the
world and become more cooperative and successful.

Children, just like adults, have a wide range of dispositions and temperaments.
Children that are more 'intense' experience life at a higher level of sensitivity and
awareness. They can be inconsistent, energetic and distractible. They can also be
easily derailed by their emotions, become more fixated on things they want, and
have bigger mood swings and reactions than 'average' children.

Spirited children are usually gifted intellectually, intuitively, artistically or in other ways.
Because they experience life with heightened sensitivity, as they grow, they are ideal
candidates to contribute their unique perspective and gifts to make a powerful impact
on the world. In fact, some very noteworthy people in history were considered
spirited children. Albert Einstein, Isaac Newtown, Thomas Edison, Vincent van Gogh
and Beethoven are notable figures who have been identified as intense. They each
made significant contributions in their respective fields and to humankind.

Learning to understand and work with the wiring of the spirited child is the key to
helping them bring their distinctive gifts to the world. Spirited children are often
'energy challenged,' meaning they lack the experience to successfully channel their
physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy in positive ways. Since traditional
parenting methods don't teach these skills in a holistic way, what works with 'typical'
children often fails with the intense child. With tools specifically designed for intense
children, these same dynamic children can flourish.

Children don't necessarily have the words to articulate what they are feeling. Instead,
they may communicate with their behavior by acting out. Because of their sensitivity
and perceptiveness, the spirited child often absorbs energy around him or her and
can easily be overwhelmed. If a child is exhibiting negative behavior, it is a signal for
the parent to look deeper into what may be affecting the child.

Parents can learn holistic ways to channel their child's intensity into positive choices
and behaviors. By beginning to look at intensity as a gift, parents can adopt a
positive mindset. This is an essential ingredient to creating a deeper connection and
increased harmony with the child.

Even though the spirited child may be extremely intelligent and gifted, it may not be
apparent at school. The intense child often processes information differently from the
way school systems teach. Parents can observe if their child's dominant learning
style is visual (learns from and describes things in pictures), auditory (is an avid talker
and likes books on tape) or kinesthetic (prefers hands-on experience). The parent
can support that learning style at home and work with the child's teacher to support
it at school.

An intense child processes large amounts of sensory, mental, emotional and physical
energy. For this reason, the child may have a difficult time settling down or
transitioning from one activity to the next. It is important to mentally prepare the
spirited child for a transition by announcing them in advance whenever possible.
Maintaining some routine and clear boundaries also helps the spirited child feel more
secure and relaxed.

The spirited child often has many ideas and concerns racing through his or her head.
Parents can teach and model healthy ways to discharge emotions and stress to help
the child unwind. Additionally, the child requires physical activity to burn their motor
out daily. This gives them another positive outlet to expel energy.

When the child's sleep cycle, diet or hydration levels are out of sync, mood swings
and negative behaviors tend to escalate. Spirited children need adequate water and
sleep daily. Their sensitive bodies and brains function well on foods free from
excessive chemicals and preservatives.

Spirited children often feel different from other children. One way to build self-esteem
is to talk about and focus on their strengths and how they specifically contribute to
the family and the world. This reinforces that the child is cherished, important and
loved for who he or she is.

By understanding and working with a child's unique attributes, the child learns that his
or her intensity, heightened senses and abilities are powerful gifts. With this
foundation, parents can guide the spirited child to bring his or her talents out into the
world and live a most extraordinary life.

About The Author

Tami Gulland is author of "Embracing Your Spirited Child: A Transformational Guide
for Parents of Children with ADD/ ADHD, ODD, PTSD and Attachment Disorder." She
is also the founder of The Center for Family Love. The Center for Family Love is an
online resource with a mission to serve parents of sensitive and intense children to
restore harmony at home and create healthy, heartfelt connections.

To learn the secret to creating real harmony with your child and the hidden factor
impacting your child's behavior, visit:
Jan is a loving mother who is
challenged by her child's behavior and
attitude. She confides in her neighbor,
"My son argues with us about almost
everything. When I ask him to do
something, he doesn't cooperate. He
explodes when things don't go his
way. He can't seem to sit still. He
rushes through his homework or
doesn't even remember to bring it
home. It is so stressful! You don't
seem to struggle with your son...
What am I doing wrong?!"

There are many parents that have
children like Jan's who shows signs of
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