Parenting Information

Kids: Channeling Mania Towards Productivity

More and more kids these days are diagnosed ADD, ADHD, or Bipolar. There are biological reasons for this, and there are environmental elements which can soothe or aggravate the symptoms. It becomes increasingly easy to "react"to each mood swing rather than to develop a plan for different positions on the pendulum swing. Yet, preplanning is the best chance at teaching our children coping skills that will serve them throughout life. A child will learn better during a manic or hyper state-if the parent is able to stay strong and kick into a preplanned directed goal.

Some of the most creative, successful people in the world's history are bipolar. (one small list of such people can be found at: have been rulers of countries with it, artists, authors, astronauts, musicians, ball players, financiers. The goal of parenting is to help assist our children to learn the coping skill that they will need to be successful at their level in the world around them as adults. Your child may choose to be the next Nobel Prize winner, Secretary General of the United Nations, or they actually may just have similar goals on an equally grand scale.

Keep in mind that adults, who are clinically required medicine to help curb the mania, often go off their meds because they enjoy the added energy and creativity. They like feeling euphoria, accomplishment, and a higher sense of capability and esteem. Yet un-channeled, that high energy can run rampant, and create a wake of problems left behind them which will increase the slower, depression side of the mood cycle.

When our children are young, we can take the time to help them identify these moods and teach them subtly-- some ways to harness that energy, and utilize it in appropriate ways that still align with their desires. The following suggestions are modifications from the book The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child by Judith Lederman and Candida Fink, M.D.These suggestions work well in the state where creativity & thinking out of the box is identifiable. This is not intended to treat other phases of mania such as rage, or extreme irritability & negativity.

1) Listen and Learn. Pick up on cues and subtle comments that can help you understand you child's interest at the time. Ask questions about her desires and thoughts regarding hopes, dreams, goals, wishes. Use this time to bond and grow closer to the inner part of you child that is revealing itself.

2) Encourage participation in those desires in a physical way now (right now) if possible. Writing poetry or a mini-novel-even a script for a tv show, drawing, picking up and instrument and trying it, shooting photographs, making a video, painting and decorating his bedroom, sending a letter to the President of the United States, etc.

3) Ground the child in reality of the situation & current needs. When she has to do something RIGHT now, calmly and detached state in few words what needs to take place. Also validate her desires by adding "it would be nice to do that someday". You may even want to converse further about that impulsive desire-again: listen and learn, while helping her attend to the responsibilities of the situation at hand.

4) Meet some of the desire while lowering the intensity for her. If he just has to go to a professional ball game (now!), try going through his card collection to see which players and positions he is most interested in. OR get on the computer and begin a card collection for him-let him help pick out the cards and teams. Have someone in the family take 20-60 minutes out to play that sport with him now. After energy has been released, maybe go to blockbuster and get a video where that sport is the theme.

The process to help a child deal with STRONG impulses is time consuming. Two points of reality are:

a) There really isn't any way around the time consumption.Whether we deal with the desires head on or waste time arguing and trying to shift our children to something else "more reasonable", the time expended will be relatively equal.

b) We are giving them life long skills that may save them years of frustration: by taking the time to encourage our children to think creatively, stay with a theme of desire while channeling it reasonably. And this is one of our heart's desires  .

Until next time-all the best,


About The Author

Kate Hufstetler is a well established Personal Life Coach. Her clients come from both the United States and overseas. She offers coaching services via email and phone consultations. For more information and current highlights please visit:



Reno Gazette Journal

Living with Children: 1960s parenting theories still failing
Reno Gazette Journal
This is the second installment of my three-part series on wrong ideas disseminated by so-called parenting experts. The laundry list includes the core belief of what I call Postmodern Psychological Parenting: the idea that it is good for one to hold a ...

and more »

Registration for Positive Parenting classes begins in December
Goshen News
The classes are designed to help parents gain insight into their child's development and their own parenting styles, learn appropriate expectations for their children, better understand why children misbehave and how to prevent it, and how to set ...

10 tips for finding the right shoes
Harvard Health (blog)
Our children are growing up in a digital age, and parenting needs to reflect that. The AAP understands this, and is working hard to understand the ongoing research about the effects of media on children, so as to give the best recommendations to parents.

Share the care: Long-tailed tits show coordinated parenting is beneficial for ...
This situation generates conflict between the parents because each of them would like their partner to take a greater share of parenting effort. How parents negotiate to resolve this conflict has rarely been investigated, but 'tit-for-tat' alternation ...

and more »

Huffington Post

5 Reasons Why Parallel Parenting Is Better Than Co-Parenting
Huffington Post
You're probably expecting me to say that co-parenting is the solution. Co-parenting is a parenting partnership that should occur when the parents are no longer married or were never married. This is the type of partnership where the parents consult ...

Parenting and Economic Anxiety
Dr. Erica Reischer says the pressure many parents put on their kids to succeed may reflect their own economic anxiety. By Erica Reischer. If you have kids, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about their future, trying to decide when to push them ...

A.V. Club Austin

Our new parenting feature kicks off with a look at the world of trains
A.V. Club Austin
If you're a parent, as well as an A.V. Club reader, you undoubtedly want to raise your kid with that same pop-culture savvy. Our new A.V. Club Field Guide To Parenting is designed to guide you toward the best kids' books, shows, movies, and music, just ...

Washington Post

My best parenting advice: Don't keep score with your partner
Washington Post
And yet, as with virtually all parenting advice, this is easier said than done. For even though I am not the tallying type by nature, it is score-keeping with regard to childcare and household duties that has proved, more than anything else, the ...

Yahoo Parenting

8 Rules of Mindful Parenting
Yahoo Parenting
Mindful parenting is more than an irritating catchphrase thrown around by other well-meaning parents on the Internet. Mindful parenting was coined way back in 1997 when Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, ...

Huffington Post

13 Tips For Parenting Your Teen
Huffington Post
My mother would say that being a parent is the hardest job on the planet. Certainly it's the only job you can't quit or get fired from. And, there's no pay -- at least not in actual money. Instead, the way parenting works is that you, the parent, pour ...

Google News

Article List | Index | Site Map
All logos, trademarks and articles on this site are property and copyright of their respective owner(s).
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved.