Saturday, April 28, 2007

Donald Trump Jr.

For months we've been trying to figure out how to deal with Elegant's ADHD. Specifically, how to get her to pay attention in class. The hyperactivity and impulse control issues -- those I can deal with. But the lack of focus has been a real problem all year and last year too. We haven't medicated the girl yet, because we feel that some of her issues are related to the fact that she's one of the youngest in her class and also somewhat immature. So we've been working with the teachers to come up with motivators, preferably positive ones. For example, getting a sticker at the end of the day for work done well and in a timely fashion is a positive motivator. Threatening to take away all or part of recess is negative -- plus a sure-fire way to bring the Wrath of Jen down on some teachers. But that's another story.

On a seemingly unrelated but definitely related note, the first grade has been learning about money and economics. They will soon be setting up the First Grade Store, where the children can buy small items, such as stickers, pencils, etc. We parents are donating the store's merchandise. The only way to earn money to shop in this store is through completing assignments on time and good behavior. For example, on Tuesday Elegant came home and announced that she'd earned 14 cents that day. At first I thought, "That's ALL she earned?" but I quickly ascertained that that's a reasonable amount of money. It turns out the children earned two cents for each worksheet completed on time, plus another five cents for something else and then four cents for something else. You get the point, I'm sure. As of Thursday, Elegant had earned a total of 67 cents, so she's rapidly building her wealth.

Elegant had a really good week at school and not once did I hear from the teacher to tell me what a challenging day Elegant had. In fact, Thursday was her best day this week, which is amazing considering how much she hates the Thursday morning assignments.

The moral of the story? Elegant is motivated by money and the shopping power she'll have as a result. If first grade were a paying job, and salary was based on performance, Elegant would be the six-year-old equivalent of Donald Trump. She'd be wheeling and dealing and amassing a fortune in no time at all. All to support her shopping habit. Please don't let her learn about Manolos any time soon.


Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I've been reading your blog for awhile - found it on the Cville blogs. My son has also been diagnosed with ADHD. We were able to avoid medicating him by doing the following: cutting out most TV (no more than 2 hours per week) and all video/computer games; cutting out all processed foods and artificial ingredients; incorporating regular chiropractic visits; and supplementing with lots of omega 3s (cod liver or flax seed oil). Today he takes all honors classes and has been on the honor roll since he started high school. Good luck to you! Malena

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the ideas. It's always good to hear from other parents in the same boat. We already do a lot of the things you suggested and I'm always looking for other ideas. We're very lucky that Elegant doesn't have any other comorbid issues or learning disabilities -- in fact, she's currently being tested for the gifte/talented program for the coming year. -- Jen