Hearts for ADHD
Did you know ADHD experts estimated that children with ADHD receive 20,000 more negative messages by age 12 than children without ADHD? 20,000 more negative messages! Let’s start at three years old, when most children start pre-school. From age 3 to 12 your child would hear around 2,857 more negative messages a year; around 238 more negative messages a month; 55 more negative messages a week; and about 7 more negative messages per day than his/her peers.
Dr. David Hartman reminds parents of ADHD children to remember the “‘five to one rule’: children should have at least five positive statements for each criticism, otherwise they only hear the criticisms and not the praise.” This tells me that as parents of ADHD children, we’ve got our work cut out for us…in more ways than one, right?
Parenting a child with ADHD is hard. Some would even say it is twice as hard as parenting a neurotypical child. Let’s face it, some days we are exhausted, frustrated and at our wits end. We know we love our kids, but sometimes they can be just plain hard to love. As the saying goes, “Those who are the toughest to love need the most love.”
Dr. Ned Hallowell, in his book Driven to Distraction, states, “These kids live with so much failure, they need all the positive handling they can get.” “…these children need and benefit from praise. They love encouragement. They drink it up and grow from it. And without it they shrink and wither.” He goes on to tell us to water our children with praise. In an article in Additude magazine, Dr. Hallowell said,
“When a child with ADHD receives a drop or two of praise, it’s like rain in the desert.”
That’s why I created Hearts for ADHD. An opportunity for those of us parenting a child with ADHD to come together, remember the things we love about our children, and be intentional about sharing them.
I’ve created everything you need in the downloads to participate. Each download has blank heart templates as well as some pre-made messages to get you started.
Participating in Hearts for ADHD is simple.
- Enter your name and email address below to access the free templates and instructions. Check your inbox for a link to the downloads and instructions. (And don’t worry, we won’t ever share your information.)
- Download the templates (there are 3 to choose from), grab some paper and print out your hearts.
- Each day, from February 1st-14th, shower your child with all the things you love about him/her using one of the hearts. You can post the hearts on their bedroom door, their bathroom mirror, put them in their lunchbox, or share them anyway you’d like. Be creative!
- Each day, after you give a heart to your child/children, take a picture to share with us on social media. Post your pictures on Facebook and tag my Facebook page. Share them on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #heartsforADHD. By tagging my Facebook page and using the hashtag, we can spread the word about all the strengths and positive characteristics our children with ADHD possess.
Will you join me in this movement to water our children with praise and encouragement this Valentine’s?