Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wild creativity with ADHD

Several weeks ago, the idea struck me that it might be fun if we figured out how to go about entering some of Lexi's art projects in the State Fair of Texas.  
Just for fun, 
just to see what would happen.
Don't know if you've heard, but the fair is a pretty big deal down here in the great state of Texas.
So big, in fact, that Oprah herself
came to visit back in 2009.
Like she's the Queen of Sheba, or something.
(We made sure to stay AWAY from the fair that day
since it was crazy packed out!!)

Anyway, Lexi loved the idea
so we pursued it.
We got it all registered and taken to the fairgrounds for judging,
and have been WAITING anxiously since the end of July for the results!!

today they came,
in the mail.

She got TENTH place!!

I am so enormously proud of her.
Her first ever entry,
at 12 (almost 13) years old,
and she finishes in the top 10!!!
She amazes me everyday!!

Here is a picture of the piece she entered.
Sorry it's not a great picture.....
I'm not the artist....
she is!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pictures of the party

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Digital scrapbook personalized with Smilebox

This year, I caved to Lexi's request for a sleepover for her birthday because it's a special birthday. She pretty much planned the whole thing from the time schedule to the activities to the kind of cake she wanted. It was a breeze!!!
For her 11th birthday, I had made a "Chocolate Dream" Cake complete with chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate shavings. She requested the same one this year too.
Super easy.
Bake your chocolate cake mix according to package directions.
Frost with store bought frosting using the Wilton Dessert Decorator.
Melt chocolate bark coating in microwave and dip strawberries. Chill until firm.
Grate remaining bark coating for top of cake.
Decorate with shavings and strawberries.

Monday, August 23, 2010

How does this HAPPEN??

How do you go from this.... THIS

in just the blink of an eye??

I've heard for YEARS that your children grow up so fast.
That you should enjoy them while they are little because they'll be gone before you know it.
I have to be honest and admit 
I didn't believe it.
But low and behold, our oldest turns 13 today
 and it's a bit surreal for me.
I remember when I was 13.
How can my own daughter now be 13?

But I'm excited.
Excited about all she is learning about herself and the world around her.
Excited about how this girl just oozes creativity and discovering things.
Excited to start letting her have a little more responsibility at little at a time.
Excited about watching her discover what the Lord has in mind for her life
and for the gifts and talents He has woven into her.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The quarterly review

Part of the life of the Type 1 Diabetic is the quarterly visits to the endocrinologist.
Yesterday was our third visit this year.
I have to admit that I was more apprehensive this time than in the past.
I'm not exactly sure why.
Ashlyn has had pretty good blood sugar numbers this summer,
and she has been really busy and really active.
The last time we saw the doctor he said that he wanted us 
"to start thinking about the pump."
My initial thought was this:
"The PUMP??  WHY?  She hasn't even been at this for 2 years yet 
and she's only 10!!  Do we seriously NEED to do this?"

I guess most people really love their insulin pumps.
I just don't think we would.
Except for mealtimes,
Ashlyn doesn't even have to think about this disease.
I don't think that I would want to have this mini-computer connected to my
waist with a needle ALL the time.
I think it would be a CONSTANT reminder that you are living with this potentially fatal condition.
What if the needle gets yanked out while she's jumping on the trampoline?
How do you swim or randomly play in the water hose? 
I've heard of tubing that gets crimped or pulled out and then you are without insulin at all.
I've heard of entrance sites for the needles that get infected and sore.
I've heard of pumps cracking, and breaking, and then having to go through
the hassle of getting on the phone and wrestling with insurance to get another one sent to you
the next day!!
I just don't think we're ready for all that.
We've barely got a handle on all the figuring and variances in routines and foods
and how that affects Ashlyn's blood sugar now.
I'm not sure I'm ready to have to take more education classes 
and figure out all the numbers and figures that make the pump run properly.

In the last couple weeks Ashlyn's blood sugars have been all over the map
from really high to really low.
I think my fear was that if her A1C was up quite a bit from our last visit in May,
that the doctor would force the issue and pressure us to go the pump route.

But thankfully that was not the case.
Her A1C this time was 7.8%
In February her A1C was 7.6%,
and in May it was 7.7%.

The target range is between 7% and 8%,
so she's doing fine.
But it doesn't go by me that she is slowly inching her way up.
The nurse practitioner (we see the NP every other visit) did mention
that they see a lot of blood sugar swings in the summer time because people
are all over the place and they are eating differently
so that tends to throw things off for a time.
It was hard to keep track of every morsel Ashlyn put into her mouth this summer,
especially when she was at VBS every morning where they serve
some novel snack.

So, now that we're nearing the end of the summer schedule,
I do anticipate that we'll get a better handle on her blood sugar ranges
as we settle into a more consistent routine.

After our visit, Ashlyn and I took a couple minutes to look at this amazing model car
display that was set up on the ground floor of the medical facility.
We hoped it made her daddy jealous that he didn't take her himself this time!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Close your eyes

We're getting ready for school over here in our neck of the woods.
Choosing the subjects to study.
Cleaning things out that have accumulated into space taking piles.

I was talking to some other home-schooling parents yesterday afternoon while our children were in choir
practice at church.
We started chatting about "learning styles."
I had to admit it.
I'm a visual learner.
I learn better when I see a picture of the subject I'm studying.
I need the big picture.
The finished product right in front of me.

Reading was never a problem for me.
I love to read and always excelled at it.
Didn't really need books with pictures.
But when it came to Chemistry.......
I needed models, pictures, something to hold in my hand.
For those of you familiar with homeschooling curriculum,
I went to an A.C.E. (Accelerated Christian Education) school.
We used "Paces.
They are little study books you completed at your "own pace."
It was beautiful for me.
(Now, for my ADHD children.....not so much.
Too much sitting and having to concentrate on lots of reading
and a mind-numbing amount of pages to complete in a day.)
I did fine with English, and Social Studies, and even Math.
But when it came to Chemistry,
I just wanted to SEE how the electrons rotated around the neutrons
and how an atom was constructed.
It was so difficult for me that they called in a special tutor to get me through it.

On my early morning walk this morning, I was thinking through some situations we are facing here at home
that just seem so insurmountable.
I was also listening to a dramatized audio Bible, and was finding encouragement in Psalm 77.
David was voicing his frustration at the beginning of the chapter,
and even seemed to wonder if God was even aware of his struggles.
By the end of the chapter, David seemed to have righted his thinking
and was determined to focus on what he KNEW of God instead of just what he was seeing at the moment.
That is something that I always struggle with.
And I wonder if it's because I tend to be such a visual person.
I love to see how our mighty Elohim reveals Himself to us daily in nature.
It is a wonder to me how intricate and magnificently designed the human body is.
I love to see how flowers are put together,
and animals,
and habitats,
and music,
and babies.
I like to see how things are put together and how our history all falls together on a timeline.
I like to see pictures in magazines of the recipe I'm going to try,
or pictures of the toy I'm putting together for my children.
I can get things done in HALF the time with a picture instead of just written instructions.

But what about the times when I can't understand why things happen the way they do.
Why bad things happen to good people.
It looks like God doesn't have the plan right.
Why do we struggle and struggle to do the right thing,
and yet nothing productive comes of it?
Why there seems to be no fruit for the agonizing amount of thought and effort we put into our children,
or homeschooling, or our finances.

But maybe that's what a life of faith is all about.
The Lord tells us that His "yoke" is easy and His burden is light.
How can that be when our responsibilities feel so heavy that we're drowning?
Am I missing that He has this all planned?
He is the great Captain of our ship and is navigating us through the storms.
He sees what I can't see.
He wants me to trust that He is working, that there is a plan,
and that just because I can't see what it is
doesn't mean He doesn't have everything under control and taken care of.
I just have to learn the discipline of closing my eyes to what I see around me,
plug my ears to the doubts I hear from the culture around me,

Is that when we can relax and leave the results up to Him?
Is that when it gets "easy?"
Is that what it means to live a life of FAITH?

"Now faith is the substance of thing hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen."
Hebrews 11:1

Continuing on in what I know is right even when it seems the obstacles are too insurmountable.
When the flavor of life has gone tasteless,
and the colors have faded?

"Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being alone."
James 2:17

Trusting in the unseen.
NOT being a visual learner,
but a truster.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When I'm worried, and I can't sleep.....

Do you know the rest of the words to this song?
Can you remember what lovely, old movie you will hear this song in?

As parents of a rather large family (though I think that's really all about your perspective),
my husband and I have found ourselves fretting lately.
The fact that there never seems to be enough of it.
No matter how much we cut back.
No matter how close we trim the fat.
No matter how many hours we both work (he outside of our home to bring the money in....
and me inside of the home to keep the money from bleeding out.)
And not for fluff.
Simply for the necessities.
For shoes.
Diabetic medications.
School books.
We don't take family vacations.
I only shop at THREE stores once a week to limit the impulse spending
 from those extra trips throughout the week.
We don't eat pizza or steak every day, much less eat out....hardly ever.
We don't shop for clothes.....ever.
My husband drives the same car to work that we had when we first married......14 years ago.
We don't have car payments or voluntary debt.
But we still worry.
Doesn't everybody at times?
Isn't that a plight common to ALL adults?

"When my bankroll is gettin’ small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep, counting my blessings"

But then things like this happen:

A neighbor is moving to a new house and wonders if we could use this......

(A piece of organization that I've been wishing for for a long time!!)

The very same afternoon, another neighbor is cleaning out his backyard and wonders if we would like this for our children:

(Something I've read over and over is so very beneficial for ADHD children because of the energy it burns!)
Last weekend my MIL brought us a large box STUFFED full of this from some lovely ladies at our former church who love our children:

(A year's worth of supplies for homeschooling!!)

Wednesday I received a call from some lovely, thoughtful, generous friends from our church family.
They have been cleaning out their daughters closets and wondered if we could use a some things:

Things for the big girls........ well as the little girl.

It's when these kinds of things happen when our anxiety is at it's height that I'm reminded of these scriptures:

" not be anxious for your life, 
as to what you shall eat,
or what you shall drink;
nor for your body,
as to what you shall put on.
Is not life more than food, 
and the body than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air,
that they do not sow, neither do they reap,
nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not worth much more than they?
.......And why are you anxious about clothing?
Observe how the lilies of the field grow;
they do not toil nor do they spin.
.....Do not be anxious then, saying,
"What shall we eat? or
What shall we drink? or
With what shall we clothe ourselves?
.....for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things."
Matthew 6: 25-26, 31-32 NASB

"So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings."

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's hard to fly like an eagle, when you're surrounded by a bunch of turkeys!

In all my reading about foods most beneficial for the ADHD brain, I consistently found that starting the day with a high protein breakfast was essential.
Okay, so having that information is terrific. How to implement it is another story.
Neither of my ADHD children would I classify as "morning people," and neither do either of them wake up
and immediately want to eat.  If I tell them "they eat now or wait until lunch," then they just pick and are starving by 11 am which only triggers behavioral issues.  So, in the past we would resort to a bowl of cheerios with milk.
Not horrible, but too much carbohydrate, and not a ton of protein.
As you've seen in my post from yesterday, we do have pancakes once a week or so, and even some muffins now and then.  But I'm trying to think of ways to add more protein to the menu without scrambling eggs everyday and shooting their cholesterol levels through the roof.
So I stumble upon this recipe while reading through this website.  
My children enjoy sausage now and then, but I've been hesitant to purchase it because of it's high fat content and  all the chemicals in it.  Plus, it's rather expensive.
But this recipe for turkey sausage hits the SPOT.  It's super easy to put together and tastes dynamite!!
My children like it (expect for a couple, but they all are slowly warming up to it) and my husband LOVES it!!

Homemade Turkey Sausage

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg

Mix all the ingredients and chill for an hour or so.  (I mixed mine up the night before.)

Chilling the mix enhances and blends the flavors as well as helps when forming the patties.
Make into patties and fry in a skillet or on the griddle.

Cool and then freeze or enjoy right away.

If you don't have all the spices you can make it without using them all, except the sage.
The sage gives it that great sausage flavor!!

** I double the recipe for our family and use garlic powder instead of onion powder,
and onion salt instead of regular salt.
I also skipped the cayenne pepper so my children would actually eat it!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh, do you know the muffin man?

Besides reading labels more fanatically, 
putting things back on the store shelves that contain items from our "no-no" list, 
and experimenting with homemade alternatives, 
I'm also modifying some favorite homebaked delights to reflect this "cleaner" eating
 that I'm pursuing for my family.

We LOVE pancakes.
Here is my recipe for our version.

I was inspired by this recipe,
and have since ceased using all-purpose white flour
and instead use whole wheat pasty flour instead.
I use organic cane sugar crystals or honey for sweetening, and
I also add about 1/2 cup of cold-milled ground flax to my pancake batter to increase the
Omega-3's, which are said to be very beneficial to those with ADHD.

You can try adding in fresh blueberries or bananas, but my children turn and run from my kitchen
when they see ANYTHING in their pancakes.  Big chickens!!

Another favorite on our breakfast menu is MUFFINS!!

I love them any flavor.....blueberry, apple, cinnamon struesal (my spell-checker is not helping me here!).
But our all-time favorite is chocolate chip!!!
Here is my quickie, mix-up in-a-snap recipe before tweaking:

Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients.  In a small bowl, beat egg, milk and oil.
Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
Yield:  1 dozen

Here's my tweaked version:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup honey or organic sugar cane crystals
Several scoops of cold-milled ground flax
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola (or olive) oil
3/4 cup mini-chocolate chips 
1 egg

**Sometimes I mash up some old bananas and mix them in too.
But my children notice that.  They are DETECTIVES when it comes to mom slipping in fruit on them.

I double my recipe and bake them in mini- muffin pans.  
Yield:  5 dozen delicious mini-muffins!!!

Since I use mini-chocolate chips, they aren't as chocolatey sweet as you would think.
I do not make cookies or dessert anymore on a daily basis in an effort to serve less sugar laden foods,
so these are a nice sweet treat on Sunday mornings that my children will gobble up on our way out the door to church!! 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homemade cream soup

When I began really reading ALL the labels on EVERY food in my pantry, I was mortified to find MSG in the ingredients of cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soup. I thought that was the ONE ingredient that I had done a good job of keeping out of my house.   That is on the "no-no" list of foods for ADHD children.  Something about it being a preservative and sensitivity to it, and contributing to hyperactivity in ADHD children.  Anyway, I'm avoiding it now.

So I needed to find a recipe for making my own cream soups since I wasn't about to trash this recipe OR this one.

I am not including pictures of this recipe for several reasons:

1.  I am cream soup/gravy challenged.  I've never been able to get it thick enough
before it scorches on the bottom and ends up tasting burned.

2.  I'm still experimenting with the recipe and instructions to get it just right.

But I'm excited to announce that the batch I made this morning was delightful and I'm sure there will be pictures coming at another time.

But for now, here is the recipe:

Cream Soup (Substitute for Campbell's Soups)

6 T. butter (This morning I used 3 T. margarine and 3 T. canola oil and it was much better!)
1 T.  instant chicken seasoning
1/4 t. pepper
6 T. whole grain flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 t. salt
4 cups milk (I use skim)

In skillet, melt butter.  Combine powder ingredients and blend with melted butter.  Heat until bubbly.  Remove from heat and slowly blend in part of the milk. 
(Here is where I start having problems.  This morning I only added one cup at this point.)
Return to medium heat and continue stirring in the rest of the milk as it thickens.
(Another problem point for me:  here I added a cup at a time and ended up only using 3 1/2 cups of milk total)
Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
(Final problem area for me:  It never gets to a full hard boil for me without scorching on the bottom.  So when it was just starting to bubble around the edges, I set the timer for 1 minute).

Store in refrigerator up to 1 week, or freeze in 2-cup containers up to 1 month.
Makes 4 cups.
2 cups of this is about equal to 1 can cream of mushroom soup.

Mushroom Soup - Add 4 oz. can finely chopped mushrooms
Celery Soup - Add 1 cup finely diced celery, cooked
Chicken Soup - Add 1/2 cup finely chopped leftover chicken

**Use rice milk if allergic to cow's milk.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Out with the old......In with the new!!!

As I was in the midst of trying to figure out how I was going to swap out these particular ingredients in the foods we normally consumed, I happened upon this cookbook:

When I say "happened,"
I mean I was trying to kill some time in the grocery store waiting for a prescription to be filled
in their pharmacy.
So I started browsing the books, and this cookbook practically JUMPED into my hands.
I immediately loved what they had to say and on impulse bought it.
Hands of the best impulse buys EVER.

I knew the recipes would be good because the authors are from my homestate of Ohio,
and they are Mennonite!!!
If you've never had Mennonite cooking, my friend, you have truly missed out on one of life's greatest pleasures!!

Anyway, on page 167 of this cookbook is a fabulous recipe for making your own taco seasoning.
I use taco seasoning in several dishes including THIS one which I have shared with you in the past.
I now use my own taco seasoning and we like it even better than that nasty 'ol store bought stuff.
Have you seen the sodium levels on a packet of that stuff??

Taco Seasoning

Place in one pint jar:

1/2 cup onion flakes
3 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
3 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cover tightly and shake well to mix.  To season, use 2-3 tablespoons of the mix and 1/2 cup water
for each pound of meat or beans.

** I tripled the recipe and don't use the cayenne pepper.

It's really THAT easy and a snap to put together.
Better ingredients, less salt.....WIN!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Several months ago, I talked about researching 
how our diets affect the ADHD in my children.
I won't rehash all that, but you can review that information if you would like right
So during this summer, I have been very slowly modifying some of our "staple" meals to be more "ADHD friendly", as well as experimenting with some new recipes.
I thought this week I would share some of these recipes.

Making these dietary changes hasn't been nearly as traumatic as I was envisioning it would be,
and in fact, my family is loving some of the new things that have come to the dinner table!!

I have learned that in making diet changes it works great to just pick one or two things you want to eliminate and find alternatives.  
Don't try to knock out the entire list of things all at once.
It takes time for you and your family members to learn to like new flavors and textures,
especially if they are addicted to sugars and chemical flavor enhancers.

So one of the first things I started purging from my pantry was the

Can I just say that I was embarrassed at how much of that one ingredient permeated our diet??
I had no idea.
And since it is largely a thing of the past.....the difference in the calmness of my children has been palpable!!

One of our favorite family recipes is Homemade Chicken Fingers.
I thought I was doing great making these at home and baking instead of frying.
Store bought bread crumbs have high fructose corn syrup in them.

So I found a recipe to make my own chicken coating mix!
You have to make it with bread that has no HFCS in it though, so be careful.
"Nature's Own" and some "Oroweat" bread is free of HFCS,
and I can get that inexpensively at the bread store outlet near me.
The homemade coating mix is wonderful and no one in my family noticed a difference!!

Coating Mix for Oven-Fried Chicken 

2 cups dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I leave this out if I have the onion and celery salt, or it's too salty for us)
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. poultry seasoning 
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I actually like to use a little less or it's too oily)

To make the bread crumbs:  Save the heels of bread or rolls or toast in the freezer until you've accumulated enough for a batch of bread crumbs.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line your cooking sheet with the stale bread and dry it thoroughly in the oven.  Put cool toasted bread in your blender and whirl until very fine.

Blend the bread crumbs and remaining ingredients with a fork until well mixed.
Keeps unrefrigerated in tightly covered container.
Makes 2 1/3 cups of mix.
Use as you would the shake and bake!!
Very tasty!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's a pressure cooker in here!!!

One thing that has been incredibly frustrating and painful for me as a mom of 6, two of which are living with ADHD, is the constant pressure that is on me (as the parent) to keep these children "under control."  We already draw enough attention to ourselves when we're out in public simply by the number of children that follow behind us.  But when one of those children draws even more attention to us because of the (always loud) disrespectful reaction to me when given a response he wasn't wanting, or the constant climbing on stacks of toilet paper, or the angry tantrum in the van because of an unforeseen seating issue, the pressure is almost unbearable.  

I have never had someone come up to me directly and say something incredibly judgmental or unkind, but I know that there is an immense amount of misunderstanding about the behaviors involved with these types of issues.  I try to be kind and give my children's Sunday School teacher's and any other adults who will be caring for them a bit of a heads up on really what's behind certain behaviors and unruliness.  For the most part, we have have been met with tremendous understanding and patience, and this has greatly benefited my children.  But I know there are many other parents with ADHD children who have not been met with grace and support.   Such is the following excerpt from a blog post that I revisited lately that was tremendously encouraging to me.  

Recently I got a newsletter from The title caught my attention ‘Bad Attitude: The Newest ‘Disorder’ I read the article and I encourage you to as well. Mr. Ken Connor wrote this article is response to George Will’s take on the new DSM for psychology coming out, A ‘Cure’ for Character Both of these articles discuss the medical community over reaching to create disorders to explain away our child’s problems. Do I agree with this…No with a touch of yes.
I have seen a child in full rage. No thought just a locked, frustrated, screaming cycle that can go on for hours. Is this A normally responding child would throw a tantrum at a young age attempting to assert their will usually to get something. The parent should not give in, you are in charge. A rage is as different as a house cat is to an anger lion. They are similar and you can try to explain away they are basically the same. But if you try to pet that lion to calm it down you will get hurt. A child in a rage does not respond to normal calming techniques. They do not stop until the intense emotional outburst ends. I think though that even with all that rages are not a diagnosis. They are a symptom.
Do conditions like ODD and RAD exist? YES!!! and I am sure I could easily get a show of hands that live it. These articles belittle those of us that deal day in and day out with children that have these disorders. I don’t think the authors know that. 

You can read more from this article here.

I remember before I had children, thinking I had it going on when it came to training children and keeping groups of children under control.  But then I was given a child who didn't respond AT ALL to nearly every technique and strategy I tried.  So I adapted and learned and things were still crazy, but bearable.  Then we were given another child who not only didn't respond to what we knew in the area of child discipline, but went crazy!!  You try and try, and try again.  For years.  And then you hear you just need to spank them more, or be more consistent.  And it's terribly confusing when our other children who are not ADHD easily learn and follow along and get along happily with each other and actually WANT to do things with me.  So then I started thinking I was a bad parent.  Especially when you read articles such as the one she mentioned in her blog above.  You know the kind.....the ones that say these issues don't really exist, they are just excuses for children who aren't disciplined well enough or come from bad homes.  Well, I know better now.  
I certainly don't watch the screaming children in the grocery store and think I know better how to raise that child, or that that child simply could use a good spanking.  
I wish that the adults of the generation that I grew up under had had more information about it so I could've watched them handle it and already have an arsenal of techniques tried and tested that I could apply for every single situation that I deal with on a daily basis.
I do believe that these differences exist.  They are very real!!

I think it would be much more beneficial for parents such as myself if the judgmental folks spent more time equipping parents with ADHD children (and the myriad of other issues out there) on how to get these children to sleep at night, or how to be able to calm their brains enough to absorb the atmosphere around them in a church service, or to resist the urge to jump on a quiet sibling, or to be able to memorize the steps for cleaning up their bedroom.  It would really help take some of that pressure off!!!

Oh, and the lady who wrote the above article has a tremendous blog for parents of special needs children who homeschool:

Monday, August 2, 2010

How To Be a Daddy To Your Daughter 101
"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, 
and the heart of the children to their fathers...."
Malachi 4:6

I'm not convinced that most of the men I know who are fathers to daughters
really, REALLY know how important they are in the life of that daughter.
It's pretty well-known and highly documented the incredible impact a father's relationship with 
his daughter has on that daughter's life in so many different areas of her life.

Take these thoughts for instance:

Stats About Daddy's Girl

  • Girls with a father figure have higher self-esteem, and are more likely to get along with people and attend higher education.

  • Girls with fathers who are actively involved in their life show higher English and math skills, as well as having a higher IQ.

  • Girls with active dads tend to be more determined, more successful in school, more self-nurturing, more independent, and are less likely to have abusive relationships.

  • Dad's that are loving tend to have daughters that are less likely to try drugs, and less likely to be truant or delinquent.

  • When a father support his daughter playing sports, he is helping her lesson the pressures of sex roles, and helping to promote her social independence. 
Dad's Are Important Too
It has been said for far to long that dad's "take a backseat" to moms in the relationships with their daughters.  If this is true, then daughter's are suffering because of it.  
Father's often focus more time on their relationship with their sons because they may believe that mom will take care of their daughter's needs.  Sometimes dad's don't realize how important they are to their growing young ladies, and if they did, it may shock them.
Father's are very important role models for their daughters, especially in the puberty and teen years. A father is the first male that a girl comes to intimately know, and he can set the stage for how his daughter interacts in future relationships, especially with men.
If her father is a loving, supportive, encouraging, protective, honorable husband and father, his daughter will seek out relationships that mimic these positive qualities in other men.  Father's have this unique ability to inspire their daughter's, and daughter's give their father power like no other male in their life. 

You can read more of the above statements here.

About a year or so ago, my husband took our oldest daughter out for a "date" night.
They had so much fun!
They went to eat at the restaurant of her choice and then he took her where she would want to shop.
He let her pick the store.
Instead of rolling his eyes and continuing to look at his watch, he was helping her pick out
some clothes that would be appropriate as well as adorable.
When they came home, Lexi was just an excited chatterbox about all the fun they had had.
Ashlyn, then of course, wanted to know when it would be her turn.
I think he unwittingly started a tradition.
I'm sure he wishes he could do this more often with each of the children, but time and finances
prevent this.
So, he is working his way down the line and each child is looking forward to some extra,
"daddy and me" time.

This past Saturday was finally the day he planned to do something with Ashlyn.
She was talking about it ALL day.
She was ready to go the minute he walked in the door from his 12-hour shift at work.
Out to dinner they went.
Out to the girly-girl store they went.
He didn't disappoint.
Look at the outfit he helped her pick (in the correct size for her),
complete with (matching) shoes, and a necklace!!

What great memories for a daughter to have.

These are the kind of things that fathers can do with their daughters.

** You'll have to MAKE the time.
It won't happen until you deliberately pencil it into your calendar.
**You'll need to be aware of the things SHE likes.
It's more special if you know her and what's important to her, and not just to you!!
**It doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
(We can only afford something like this once in a while, but you don't even have to spend any money.
It's the time and details that matter.)
**Pay attention to her while you're with her.
Don't share your time with the cell phone, IPhone games, or something else.
Look at her and listen and learn to enjoy what SHE likes.

Here are some great benefits to the above suggestions:

Benefits of the Father/Daughter Connection
Father's can help daughter's build self-reliance and self-confidence by letting her know she is special and can achieve anything she wants to.  Daughter's who have actively engaged fathers are also less likely to experience depression, become a teen mom, develop body image problems, use drugs/alcohol, or engage in criminal activity.  
Father's teach their daughter's adventurism and achievement, assertiveness and self-worth.  The way a father relates to his daughter will determine how she will relate to herself and others, and what type of a family she will create in her future. Father's also teach their daughter's leadership, humility, and courage.
(Taken from here.)

Most importantly we find in the holy Word of God this command (as opposed to "suggestion):

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all they soul, 
and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up...."
Deuteronomy 6: 5-7

So, I humbly submit this question:
How can we do this (teach our daughters how to love God as the above scripture tells us to do)
if we don't spend time with them and let them see God's power and working in our own lives?
How can a daughter learn of the love and interest of her Heavenly Father better than when
her earthly father takes an interest in her?