Back to School with the Children´s Needs in Mind

| September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

by Mrs. Freud

While the kids are still enjoying the last of summer, parents are getting ready for their next round of classes, assignments, meetings, etc. It can be very stressful for the parents, especially if the child has any kind of diagnosed needs, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We can all learn from these kinds of well-studied cases, especially since every child is precious and has a set of very specific needs, as well as talents and likes. It is very helpful and promises a strong start into the new school year if those needs are addressed consciously and with a plan.

Here are some things to consider as a means to take the edge off the stress for you and your child. All too often I see a parent in my practice that is busy keeping up with all the things that are typically piled into a school year. However, parents of children with ADHD know that their children are hypersensitive to distractions and that their attention span drops with information overload.

Whereas it is easy to tend to physical needs, it is not so easy when it comes to needs of the mind and the psyche. I like to use the image of a broken leg. As no parent would expect their kid to run a marathon with a broken leg, likewise, is it for a child with ADHD to not be overwhelmed with a full school and social schedule. While it is true that they can´t sit still or focus well, adding more commotion is not doing them any good. Therefore, I ask the parents to think about creating a unique lifestyle that fits their child. It is okay to do only one extracurricular activity or to be a straight B student instead of struggling for As. As a life fulfillment coach, my focus is on the prize of a higher goal: a fulfilled life, lived fully.

Whenever a child is “different,” it is so easy for he/she to become self conscious, to feel shame and develop a “less than” self image. Surrounded by their peers, we often want to guide them by using a “cookie cutter” model so they won´t miss any options in life. But I have to say, a fulfilled life is much more valuable to the individual, than a success-driven life that gets compared to others´ standards.

What does that mean for the new school year? Let your child be your inspiration for how the new schedule will look. If your son or daughter is overwhelmed, anxious or unhappy at the end of a week crowded with appointments, try one that has blocks of unscheduled, but not inactive time. After observing your child’s state of mind, look for ways to nurture his or her fun time, self- esteem, safety and security and bonding with you. It might not be the going model, but I hope you have the courage to give it a try. I am willing to bet that you will see the benefits as your child blossoms during the school year.

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit and follow her blog at; and a new social media offering is

Category: Education, Health & Fitness

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