Parenting a Person with ADHD/ODD and Anxiety

This post likely contains affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy here and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

When I held my son for the first time I new it was going to be an adventurous journey to raise him. However I never expected the 3 year old him to be hitting walls, slamming doors, physically fighting us, and yelling louder than I thought humanly possible. I blamed it on the poor examples at his daycare (he was fine until he moved to the 3 year old’s room and came across some VERY out of control examples). We even moved schools to follow a teacher we really loved…who ended up not being his classroom teacher.

But things started to get worse. He was biting (and being bitten) and spitting at his classmates and teachers. One day I went to take him to daycare and he started crying, begging me not to leave him there. I was devastated. During the conference with the director and teacher, his teacher informed us that she had to “Bear Hug” him two separate times when he would just not cooperate and she felt he would hurt himself or others. This was the first time I had heard anything about this situation occurring and needless to say, I was livid at the lack of transparency from a professional childcare agency. We pulled him out that very day.

After 2 other day cares, countless issues and getting no where with the advice the “child care professionals”(they may have a degree but I don’t see any clinical practice going on in these places) had given us, we decided to keep him home until kindergarten. There were multiple factors leading up to this decision but it seemed like the best option: keep him home and try to undo all the damage done while he’d been in daycare. Which meant I left my career to become a stay at home mom…while having a complicated pregnancy and a child who constantly defied me. Oh man do I not miss those days. Any time I would ask him to do something, anything!, he turned into a tiny dragon with a big furious temper. So naturally I suited up in my battle armor and put him on time-out….endlessly….and to no avail. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I couldn’t just do nothing! I kept asking myself over and over…

Why is this happening? What am I doing wrong? I’m following what the articles and people are saying to do but it’s just making things worse!

And it continued to get worse, until we hunted down a mental health professional. By that I mean a counselor. One who specialized not only in “problem” aneurotypical children but the only one in our state who was trained and actively using CPP (Child Parent Psychotherapy). I found her on my own; not through a referral, not through my child’s pediatrician office, BY. MY. SELF. I did the leg work. And I found that incredibly frustrating and…well just wrong!

Why hadn’t my son’s doctor sent us to therapy from the get go when we came to him with problems? To his credit he sent a developmental pediatrician referral but we wouldn’t get in there until over a year later for our first appointment! We needed help now before my child seriously hurt someone, which he very nearly did when he kicked a child in the head at school! Yes that really happened. I know, I couldn’t believe it either.

Also why had NONE of the day cares given us a name, ANY name of someone who could help us deal with our child’s issues? Are they not in the position to write down a name and number and say “I think this person might be able to help”. They are in the field of child development so what the hell? Even the school counselor in kindergarten had questionable methods. “Throw them in the trash can” referring to my son’s emotional upset in an attempt to teach him to let things go….I still roll my eyes thinking about her saying that. I felt so alone trying to find help for my son, and for myself.

What I learned, the hard way, was this:

  • I will always need to be the advocate for my child, it’s my responsibility to push the bolder (sometimes up-hill) towards the goal
  • I don’t have to push that boulder alone, nor should I!

Finding my son a specialized counselor was literally LIFE SAVING. She gave me my sanity back and tools of how to deal with my child when he was being defiant. She was the one who figured out he not only had ADHD but ODD and a sprinkle of anxiety to top it all off. She helped me to understand where my son was at mentally when he was in the midst’s of a large fit….he was hurting, he was lost, and he was scared. He didn’t understand what was happening to him and he didn’t know how to handle those really big emotions rolling around inside of him, let alone actually being in a state to talk about those emotions. I learned how to help him through those scenarios in the way that HE needed me to, not how I thought he needed me to.

Our counselor also helped me to recognize and deal with my own past traumas, such as my son’s biological father being abusive and the sort of coping mechanisms I was auto-piloting to when handling my son. I came to realize that his behavior was essentially triggering me because it was so similar to my ex’s behavior. Yaaa…that’s about as fun as it sounds..

So what tools did we gain and how did we apply them in real life?

  • We (husband and myself) actively ignored the negative nonsense
  • We swapped our sticker chart for tickets and made a reward system using those tickets
  • We saved time-outs for those severe outbursts and created a calm down corner with special toys
  • We used deep breathing A LOT, and everyone participates-even the baby!
  • We had the school join in with the tickets for a seamless continuation of the reward system

Over the next few weeks I will be going in depth into each of the tools listed above, explaining how we practice them in our home and what changes we’ve seen after implementing them.

I can say though, if you told me 2 years ago that my son would now be making friends, not hurting others at school, and keeping his temper controlled at home…I would have laughed you straight in the face. I didn’t think that we would be where we are now. I certainly didn’t believe we could have gotten here so soon! But with proper guidance and some serious will power, we achieved a level of functionality that I hope my son will be able to keep going for his whole life.

Stay tuned for the next episode in the series “Parenting A Person”.

DIY Upcycled Key Catch Tutorial!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

I’m gonna step out on a (real thin) limb here and say I hate purses. I hate having to stuff all my stuff into a petite bag and huck it around on my shoulder every which where I go for the day, screwing up my posture all the while. But I also don’t like spreading all my things across the table or countertops; where I misplace them or my kid will grab and take off with them.

I need somewhere to hold my few items that I actually NEED; something that’s not going to become a Mary Poppins bag of wonders in a week! So I decided to turn an old bread pan into a catch all! It’s the perfect size for all my junk: sunglasses, wallet, keys. It even holds my sunscreen in case I forgot to apply some earlier! Check out how I made it below!

Also here’s the list of supplies to make your own!

My husband drilled two holes in one of the long sides of the bread pan about halfway between the top edge and bottom; large enough for a screw to fit through and hold snuggly to the wall.
You can admire his fine craftsman ship from the drill and my *ehem* very fine paint job
This was after a few coats to give a good solid base. Ugh I’m so sloppy when I paint, but I wasn’t worried about perfection since I knew I was adding more layers with texture.
This thing was pretty beat up before but that’s what makes it the perfect upcycle project!
Here I used a sponge brush to add some darker hued blue and texture, blending it near the center to soften the lines.
I took some metallic bronze paint and thin brush to create that sort of marble cracked look. *Bonus-kitty photo bomb!
Another angle so you can see the shine (and my cluttered craft desk, yikes!)
Pictured here but done before the flowers, I splattered some metallic paint around to give a speckled appearance. These are the 2 types of brushes I used to paint the white flowers you now see on the pan. I pressed gently and overlapped a lot to create the petals, blending a bit here and there. Notice how I hid that little metal spot *proud grins*
Here’s the full front after all the flowers were painted on. I only did flowers on the front since that was the main part exposed and well…I’m lazy
Ta-da! Finished product! I experimented with a few pink colors on a paper plate until I got the hue I was after then blended it delicately at the center of the flowers with the thin brush I used to do the metallic lines.
After the pink dried, I used the same brush to do the dark yellow centers, lines, and dots. Then accented with small lines of black near or on the yellow stem lines.
Finally once everything was dry and set, I did 2 layers of mod podge to seal and protect it. You can see it’s not perfect in some spots but I’m not selling or gifting it so I could really care less. It’s pretty and does a great job catching all my stuff right at the door!

And there you go! Super easy to do, and you have total creative freedom for what you paint! Share yours in the comments!

My Child Has ADHD

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

I feel like there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding ADHD and it’s symptoms. I was guilty of it myself. I thought it just meant the person was full of energy and had a hard time sitting still. Boy was I wrong. ADHD can present itself in a number of ways, only one of which is the hyperactivity it is so commonly associated with. There’s also time management, distractibility, defiance, difficulty controlling emotions, difficulty in school, difficulty in making and keeping friends, low or zero impulse control, and so many more. Just like each person with ADHD is unique, so is the ADHD itself.

I also feel like there is a lot of stigma against those with ADHD. You get pegged as difficult to work with, hard to be around, and troublesome. None of this is inherently true. Those with ADHD want to do well and be accepted. They are great people, who do not always have control over something they did not choose for themselves. As the parent of a child with this condition, I find that sometimes other parents aren’t so keen to view my child with understanding eyes.

On a typical day, with medication, you wouldn’t know my son has ADHD and ODD (his teacher literally just told me this earlier this week). He listens, plays pretty well with others, is intellectually engaged, and overall well behaved. If you are a new adult to him, he will listen to you and show you respect. However, without medication or if he’s having an off day, the tables are completely turned. He’s defiant and mouthy, he throws fits at literally every possible moment, he struggles to be kind to others, and he tries to manipulate the situation, so you can forget about even trying to do anything that’s out of the normal routine for the day.

I have to remind myself in those times that it’s not him, it’s his condition. It really can be easy to forget that he doesn’t truly hate me when he’s yelling it as loud as his vocal cords will let him. However I also know that he makes choices, and the only way to guide him into making better choices on a consistent basis is to have appropriate consequences-both negative and positive-for his choices. So no, I can’t let him get away with anything-like EVER. It’s a fine line between “pick your battles” and “don’t let him forget who’s in charge”. A VERY fine line.

What makes it all the harder is that he has ODD on top of the ADHD. This was a diagnosis that…..scared me…half to death, if I’m being honest. I still have the unsettling fear that my son will follow in his biological fathers footsteps*(this is an article I’m not ready to write yet), but I am working daily to let that fear go because it’s not mine to own. You can read more about ODD here but to simplify, it makes him push back against authority. AKA me. I am the main caregiver, parent, nurse, chauffer, chef, PE teacher, counselor, and maid to both my boys (and also my husband, shhh ). Meaning that my son and I are together whenever he is not at school or asleep.

This makes it harder, I find, for him to continue respecting me and my authority *said in a Cartman voice*. He pushes more against me than he does his dad (step-dad for those of you keeping track). He seeks time away from me frequently but as soon as I leave the house to do something solo, he misses me. I’ve come to realize that’s because I am his security. He pushes against me so willfully because he can count on me pushing back, reminding him just where those boundary lines are. And for someone with ADHD, ODD, and anxiety (because why not genetic lottery!) they need that reminder and consistency to feel safe; it helps him know his place in the world.

I have a long way ahead of me, being a parent of someone with ADHD, and a lot more to learn as the chapters in both our lives unfold. But I hope to those parents out there who like me, have a little something extra on their plate, you will discover that the struggle isn’t always a bad thing; and in fact can be what keeps you close with your child. Read more about the struggles here.

DIY Themed Kids Room: Ocean Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

So after tackling my older son’s bedroom(this will eventually be linked to that post), I decided to go with the ocean theme for our little’s nursery. It was sentimental to both my husband and I and I had a lot of creative juices flowing over from my previous exposé. I went with a lot more simple ideas because well…I was growing a human inside my body and had no business being on a ladder. So instead, we purchased some cute but realistic wall stickers that my son helped me place. And we framed some pretty prints that we bought, I can no longer find the exact prints but here’s some really cute ones and here’s some frames similar to the ones we used. We also got some 3-D wall art, a sail boat for the shelf, and a beach themed wall hanger to add some texture to the room. My personal favorite was this mermaid and merbaby picture. It hangs over his changing table. It’ll be a keepsake when I’m old and gray.

My mom also found at a thrift store, two really cute framed prints that sort of had a “Rainbow Fish” vibe to them. But the room still felt incomplete. I had seen some DIY light up jelly fish lamps that could hang over the crib but I worried that as he grew he would likely climb up to reach them and could get hurt (I was right he was a climber!). Plus I wasn’t sure about having the lights on all the time in his room (an issue I faced with battery operated lights in my older son’s cloud lamp). So instead I opted to make a jellyfish of my own design, one that had no light source but sticks on the wall completely, with the tentacles secured up and out of the way. I happened to also have some seashell fabric that I was DYING to use and this was a perfect project for the texture it created.

I ultimately did this project after I had given birth, I do NOT recommend doing it while pregnant because you will need a ladder to get it up high enough.

So I gathered my materials and set to work.

I included links to materials I thought would work well. However, all of my materials I found at the thrift store. If you’re interested, go in the linens section because you can find great fabric for cheap! Brand new fabric off the bolt is extremely overpriced in my opinion; plus what better way to find other uses for all those textiles that humans have been wearing and tossing for decades. Why not repurpose some things into decor you love!

I’d say ribbon would work best for the highly textured tentacles and seriously, drapes at a thrift store are like one of the best purchases you can make. I’ll post some more drape projects later . Go for the white or pale colored semi sheer as you want the sort of translucent effect jelly’s have naturally. The solid material will be under the sheer fabric on the body. You could even skip this step but I found the top fabric didn’t drape quite right unless it had some additional substance beneath it. Plus you can adjust your color scheme with the solid fabric. I did blue hues: the tentacles were white/light blue and cream, and the body was vibrant dark blue with cream overlay. I recommend you play around with the layering a lot to get a feel for how your end product will look.

Once you’ve decided on colors and layering, start cutting. You’ll need roughly a 18×8 rectangle of solid fabric and 20×20 square of sheer fabric for the body. Don’t worry about the measurements or the cut being perfect, you won’t see the edges when you’re done. Staple the solid fabric loosely in a sort of oblong rounded shape (think how a jellyfish body looks). Don’t pull the fabric tight, you want slack so you can play around with the draping. Next, take the top of your sheer square and fold it under about 1/4 inch so the edge is rounded. Staple the fabric to the wall so that it surrounds the solid fabric in an overlay sort of fashion. Keep rolling the edge of the sheer fabric under as you work your way around the jellyfish body. Remember: dome like shape with soft, rounded edges. NOTE: Either leave the bottom open or leave larger spaces to get your hands through for adjusting the fabrics and for placing the tentacles! Once you have your outline done, begin draping and stapling the center of the body fabric to your liking. You’re going for a flowy under water look, so focus on creating soft rounded texture.

Next, cut your tentacles from your 2 (or more) fabrics/ribbons. I did roughly 18-24 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. I had a total of 9 tentacles. You want them longer because you will be folding and stapling sections to add movement and texture, therefore shortening your fabric. Please note how high your lowest tentacle is! You do not want your child to be able to reach the lowest tentacle, keep it at least 4-6 inches away from their grasp. Should they get ahold of it, they could pull the fabric and the staples would come out potentially causing a hazard to your child. Be cautious and aware!

Once you have your pieces, take them one at a time and tuck one end under the bottom of your jellyfish body, stapling it in place. Remember to fold the fabric of the jellyfish body so it keeps the rounded edge. I did my bottom of the jelly sort of wavy too to help blend and create a more natural look. Then work your way down the tentacle draping, curving, and shaping as you please to create movement. I also did mine with a slight angle so it appears that the jelly is moving. Continue this method until all the tentacles are in place and you are pleased with your end result!

Show me your jelly pictures!

Next DIY will be…


Helping Your ADHD Child Succeed

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

I think most parents would agree they want their children to be successful, whatever that may look like to each of us. However raising a person with ADHD comes with it’s own set of challenges on top of those that are already standard struggles for parents. There’s the disorganization, difficulty with time management, distractibility, defiance, and of course emotions getting “too big” and causing a meltdown.

These are some key points we utilize in our household to help manage some of those symptoms.

Make charts for daily tasks

This is probably my most favorite go to. This is what got me off my son’s back and gave us both some room for peace. He likes that I’m not reminding him to get his clothes on because it’s been 15 minutes and he’s still just dinking around on the floor with his jammies half off; I like that all I have to say is “Go do your list” and he does! Quite successfully and quickly no less. We keep on him about time management and got him a watch and regularly use kitchen timers as needed to help him understand what 5 minutes actually feels like. He also knows that he doesn’t get to move onto anything else more fun until his list is done and he will be redirected back to the list as many times as it takes. Me being able to say 4 words helps with not engaging him too much because that just becomes fuel for his defiance. Lists have done a lot for my household. He actually has 3 lists; one for morning, one after school, and one evening. They each have there own set of things and I made them in order to help him learn how to manage that later in life (you don’t get your shoes and jacket on until you’ve gotten dressed sorta thing) as I see him struggle with it currently. You can check out what all are on those lists here!

Plan ahead and do ahead

This ties into the list . Mornings are rough for everybody not just our family, but if he/we don’t do stuff the night before we will NOT make it out of the house on time. Part of my son’s list entails him to get stuff done ahead of time for the next day; i.e. laying his clothes out, making his lunch, prepping his backpack, planning for anything he needs to bring to school, ect. This also sets the tone for the evening and helps wind him down prior to bedtime. We’ve essentially created a very productive routine that tells his body “Hey it’s time to chill, bedtime is soon”.

Always allow an extra 15 minutes, better early everyday than late

I’m a type-A personality so not only do I live for organization, I feel my body tearing itself apart if I am late anywhere. Now because my darling child will occasionally have meltdowns in the morning while all the goings on are happening, I have opted to get him up a wee bit earlier so that it is now on him and less on me. By that I mean if we have extra time (because he didn’t loose his $#*!) then he can spend a little bit of time watching TV or playing with LEGOS or pillow fighting his younger brother. This helps ease my mind and helps take the stress off both of us and it’s literally only 15 minutes! This can also be applied to other functions. Kid hates going to the doctor? Just give yourself that 15 minute grace period. So what if you have to wait in the car or sit on the bench outside calmly while they scream. Let ’em. It doesn’t bother you until you allow it to.

Find a compromise for a task that is a struggle

My son hates making his bed. Like cries and tells me “You’re the worst mom ever” when I ask him to do this. And hey, I get it! He doesn’t like to struggle or feel unaccomplished and fitted sheets are the perfect storm for that, even as an adult (I haven’t told him yet that they don’t go away ). So we compromise. I help him with his bed and he helps me with my bed, or some other chore I’d like his assistance on. It has us working together as a team to achieve a goal, he gets the practice and gains some confidence and then he gets introduced to another chore and the theory “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine”. You meet him in the middle and he will kinda be forced to do the same if he wants the help. But skills still have to be used! No whining or being rude or I walk out and remind him when he’s ready he can come get me. And I wait until he is actually ready-not that half sneaky smile pouty face ready. Good ole’ manipulation attempts *sigh*.

Schedule down time and self reflection time

This one is something we still are working on. He finally seems eager to do this and gets excited about it on his list. I got him a gratitude journal awhile back and so far he really enjoys it. This one is geared for younger kiddos but they certainly have lots to choose from for all ages. I liked this one because it was simple, straightforward, and still had room for drawing about your day. Meditation is slooooowly coming along. I really love meditation myself but he doesn’t like to be still for so long (hmmm 6 year old with ADHD, can’t imagine why). However he DOES enjoy progressive relaxation in book form at bedtime. This is the book we use here. He feels like he’s just getting a story read to him and he gets to move his muscles a bit but it’s actually helping him to gain self awareness and control over his body. Plus its extremely calming. If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend doing so. It’s beneficial for all ages.

Daily outside time, regardless of weather

This is huge for people with mental health conditions and frankly for ALL people. We need nature. I notice a night and day difference in my kid if he hasn’t been able to play outside. It’s centering for him, as it is for me. Even if he’s not “doing” anything in particular, just being in the fresh air and hearing the birds and feeling the wind helps his brain have multiple things to do with itself and thus calms him. I also feel it’s important to get your kids used to all types of weather. I believe it helps them become more resilient, because some days are crumby and some days are shiny but all days exist and you can make them into better days if you choose to.

“One task at a time”

This one comes straight out of his therapists mouth. And it seems so simple but sometimes I think we all need that reminder. When he’s trying to eat a snack and play on his tablet and talk to grandma on the phone or watch his favorite show, I remind him “One thing at a time, you need to pick one”. This also helps him learn prioritizing, which is the most important or what do I actually want to do right now. It helps him slow down and think in a world that gets so caught up with do, do, do!

Weekly clean outs for room, locker, backpack

I am ashamed to say I let this one drop recently. I put it on his list and thought he was doing it completely! Until I happened to put something in his backpack for his teacher and found pencil shavings, pencils, an opened sharpener, and his empty pencil box in there….So I helped him clean it out, no biggy. Until I tried to put the pencil box in the front pocket and found….FOOD! Old food from at least 2 weeks prior . There was a SB&J (S is for sunbutter) with the butter smeared around the inside of the pocket, and carrots that luckily weren’t growing a biology experiment, and stale pretzels. Thank goodness there wasn’t a funky smell yet! I had him clean out that particular pocket solo. Now I check on a daily that this task gets done so there’s no surprises. We also go through his room with him roughly once a week. I don’t usually put my foot down in his room as long as stuff is where it belongs but he likes to stash stuff under his bed. Including trash…and food. We’re working on it…

Responsibility in the household living duties

I may refer to chores as such on here since that’s what most people know them as but at home I prefer to use the term “living duties”. Why? Well because everyone who lives has duties unto themselves and the other members of their household. You like to eat? You learn how to cook and wash dishes. You like to be clean? You learn how to wash yourself properly and do laundry. Plus members of the family might throw a fuss if your personal fragrance is emanating from you at 3 feet away. I am a firm believer and supporter that my kids will one day leave the house and not come home for mama to wash their clothes. And I’ll be damned if my boys think it will become their partners responsibility. No. It’s on them, they need to know how to take care of themselves. And myself and my husband will be the ones to teach them. Make no mistake these baby birds don’t have instinct, they need skills before they can fly. That’s what I’m here for. I intend for my kids to know how to cook, clean, launder, sew, iron, fix, repair, wash, dry, screw, and unscrew just about everything for themselves by the time they are ready to leave my nest. It’s my responsibility as their parent to provide them the tools and skills they need to succeed and the knowledge of where to find the information if they don’t know it.

What are some things that work for your child to be successful?

This Is Me!

Hi! My name’s Mariah and I’d like to welcome you to my blog! There’s a little bit (or a lot a bit) of something here for everybody. While I started this blog as a way to reach out to other parents who have “difficult to parent kids”, I also really love being able to share some of my passions on here as well! So you’ll find some DIY, crafting, sewing, gardening, beauty/hair care, and travel on this site too.

I’ve included the links below for each category. You can also find these links on the home page. Go check ’em out!

Keep reading if you’d like to learn a little bit more about me.

So you may be surprised to hear I am actually a nurse by trade, not a blogger (is blogging even a trade??). I took a leave from my career during my last pregnancy just in time for the pandemic to hit when I was planning to go back to work…yay. With everything rather chaotic I found myself questioning the field I had chosen and the safety of being a healthcare worker. On top of that, childcare was not even an option at the time. So I became an official stay at home mom (I’d been in denial about this for awhile, not gonna lie). I started doing homeschool, which was really cool but just not what my kid needed. So when he started at a Waldorf charter I had a little more free time on my hands and wanted to start something new. Enter: this blog!

I have to say I’m surprised with how much of a creative outlet it is, not to mention it feels like I’m having an adult conversation even though it’s really just my inner monolog being poured out to the internet…eek! I’m really excited to see where this will go and what will change in a year from now!

Please feel free to reach out through comment or join the email list. I don’t spam and I probably won’t send emails more than a few times a month. Cheers!

The 6 Sustainable Items I Use Everyday

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

Photo by PNW Production on

Becoming eco friendly isn’t something that just happens overnight. You can’t expect success in these life long changes if you try to do a full-house overhaul in a day. It pays off to plan and start small with everyday items; those can make a huge impact for the environment.

It’s also worth noting that these changes should be viewed as investments; not only within yourself and your health, but also with our Earth and the environment.

I’ve compiled a list of 6 items that I use on the daily to make a greener impact. I hope you’ll check these out and that it may inspire you to make other changes in your daily life to help our planet.

Metal Water Bottle

There’s a ton of metal water bottles out in the market today but I tend to be pretty picky when it comes to something so important. I like my water cool and clean, so metal was a no brainer for me. I don’t want plastic leaching into something so vital as my H2O! I also knew I needed an extra large sized bottle; that’s just the only way I’ll drink all my water for the day. I stumbled on to Iron Flask and simply fell in love . The bright variety of colors, the various handles to switch out and the 2 straws in case one gets trashed, so so many sizes and styles-what’s not to love! I personally use this one with the goal to fill it up twice and finish it off by bedtime. They do have a gallon sized one for those of us who have a hard time remembering to fill our bottles too.

Reusable Razor

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a lil’ bit extra. So when I spotted this gorgeous razor I had to snag it. (Plus I’m a sucker for anything that’s rose gold #heretakemymoney). The reviews on these Viking razors really sold me too, so I gave it go myself. Man….you know those moments where you question what you’ve been doing your whole life? Using this razor was one of those. The shave is so smooth and there’s no razor burn and the blades are recyclable , and it’s pretty to boot! They have a whole line with different handle styles and colors but really any one you get is gonna be worth it!

Mesh Produce Bags

Shopping in bulk can be one of the biggest impacts on creating less packaging. However if you’re using the plastic bags in the store and throwing them away once you’re home, it sort of defeats the whole purpose. Enter MESH BAGS! These are great for holding produce and even things from the bulk section like pasta or snacks. (Don’t try putting flour or sugar in them though….the netting isn’t that tight). I tried making my own but they aren’t worth all the hassle honestly. They’re cheap to purchase and way sturdier than the ones I made.

Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

These are probably one of the toughest things out there to find a good replacement that is still eco friendly. And that is for a few reasons. Going green isn’t just about plastics, it’s also about ethics and knowing where these companies are sourcing their materials. This gets into fair wage, fair trade, ethical and sustainable practices, ect. That’s why I like this set from Ethique, you get a variety of samples to find which ones work best for you and they have a strong ethical practice you can trust.

Glass and Bamboo Tupperware

This was a newer purchase for me. We’ve been using the glass and plastic ones but the lids melted or tiny pieces went missing and we ended up throwing the lids out and just using beeswax wraps, foil, or plastic wrap to cover. Then I found these from Greener Chef. I love the product but also the mission behind the company. It’s a smaller scale family run company wanting to make a greener impact!

Bamboo Toothbrush

When I started making the switch this was one of the very first things I swapped. There’s so much plastic in traditional toothbrushes, from the packaging right down to the bristles. The entire thing is plastic! So I recommend these as a greener and fun alternative. The bright colors are a good way to differentiate whos brush is whose if you share a bathroom. They are completely biodegradable so I feel confident using them, knowing I’m making an impact for the better.

These are just a few of the things you can swap out in your daily life to make a huge environmental impact! I hope this inspired you to see where you can make some positive changes in your life!

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 6

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This will be the final post in this series. If you have not already, please read the previous chapters to get an in-depth view of each category. Also feel free to go back and look over the skills, it takes time and practice to hone them.

This post is gonna be short and sweet! The links for the previous articles are above and you can reach out to me or your therapist with questions.

I started this series with the intent to spread some love, understanding, and skills to parents like myself out there who are trying their best. Even though this series is geared towards being a parent of a defiant child, these skills can be applied to many aspects of life and to other kids who you have close connections to.

There are lots of helpful books out there, but I’d like to share the one’s we found to be most useful to us.

  • Mindful Mantras: This is a group of 8 books total (they may have added more since then) and we love them! My son loves to read them out loud himself too. They are simple, encouraging, and have a different defined message clearly implied from the title.
  • Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda: This is one I found to even be helpful for me. It keeps mindfulness simple and explains it in a way everyone can understand.
  • Angry Octopus: This one is extremely helpful to teach kids that they are in control of their bodies and it shows them how to do that through progressive relaxation that is both engaging and relaxing. It also has a fun journaling/coloring book with prompts geared towards getting feelings out and relaxation.

I hope that you gained some insightful tips on this journey with me! Until next time, be well!

Backyard & Garden Make-Over Series: Part 1

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

We’ve lived in our house for coming up on 5 years and for whatever reason I’m just now getting around to re-doing the landscape and putting in some structures for our backyard. I guess I’m the kind of person who has to sit on an idea for a bit before I pursue such a large project. Because once this stuff is in I don’t wanna take it out! I don’t like wasting hours and effort (mine or my husbands) when doing projects, I like being productive and not have to undo something 5 times because I didn’t plan it well enough in the first place.

There was originally black lava rock over this dirt with some very shabby weed barrier beneath it. This is after we cleared those things out.

Anywho, here we are half a decade later with actual plans for a total make-over of our yard! We’ve planted veggies and flowers in the past but mainly just scattered the seeds about and hoped for the best. We got pumpkins, like 5 green beans, a few lettuce leaves….aaaand that was about it! Our blueberries never produced, my herbs just didn’t take off (except for mint, that stuff spreads like wildfire), and the cantalope never got past pollination. Sunflowers and borage did well along the back fence line where it gets full sun, but we have a lot of shade in our back yard, mainly where it’s scaped for an actual garden to be planted. The photo above and below you can see the rich soil and curbing, but all this is totally in shade all day!

You can see these areas were all covered in lava rock originally, which is great for reducing water usage but I was sick of them landing in our grass and wanted something more enjoyable to look at.

We had used some lava rock to make a border around the fence line (because frankly the fence was falling down but our landlord was waiting for the weather to perk up) but that just interfered with mowing. The large wood planks were up against the house in an attempt to keep the dirt and water away from the vents… didn’t work as well as the inventor had planned. They were quite rotted in places which you never want near your home.

In my next edition to this series I’ll show the progress we made and the ideas I had for our yard!

This was the first of many steps in our gardening journey. Follow for more!

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 5-It Takes a Village

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

The saying “It takes a village to raise a child” means so many things to me. But for the purpose of this article we’ll focus on the direct hands involved in your child’s life. These could be parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, babysitters, grandparents, counselors, teachers, sports leaders, religious leaders, and so so many more. The people who are directly partaking in the development and growth of your child.

In this chapter I’ll be discussing how to include other adults in the changes that you are making for your child’s life structure. If you are new here and haven’t read up on the previous chapters in this series, please do so! The links are provided below for each.

Photo by Robert Stokoe on

Integrating other adults in your child’s new plan can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You are the parent and you hold a majority of the power when it comes to decisions about your child’s needs.

When we implemented the ticket system we didn’t include the school in it right away. We mastered it at home first, made it a consistent daily part of our lives and then, when it became apparent an additional tool was needed at school to help modify negative behaviors, we brought in tickets to be given to our son after successful parts of the day.

Photo by Arthur Krijgsman on

We broke up the day into 3 separate categories: beginning, at recess, and after recess. He could earn a ticket during each portion as long as he kept safe hands and feet, kept his saliva to himself, and had listening ears. It was hugely successful.

This strategy can be easily started at a daycare or grandparents house or any other facility that you may use for your child care. The tickets must retain their currency though, so don’t allow anyone to get too ticket happy. The child must do the work to earn the reward.

Sometimes you will come across an adult who does not use the system when they are around your child, whether it be difference of opinion or down-right sabotage of the situation, my point is it does happen. You need to be prepared for those times.

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Remember boundaries from the previous chapters? This is one of those times you set your boundaries and you stick to them with this other adult, regardless of who they may be in your life. You are allowed boundaries and deserve respect as a parent (and a person) to decide what works best for you and your child.

If you are working with a professional and making safe, effective changes and someone else comes in with their own idea of what should be going on, don’t hesitate to yeet them out the door (politely but assertively, of course).

This is not only important for yourself, but also for your child to see that when you set a boundary you expect it to be followed and that you produce real consequences when it is not.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

It’s important to remember that if you do come across an adult who doesn’t agree with your parenting technique: be kind, be assertive, and move on. You don’t need to waste energy and focus on this. Most of the adults in your child’s life will likely see the benefit of making certain changes and be totally on board with all that’s required to keep it going.

It’s also worth noting that having these other adults involved with your child is very important for your kiddo. If you are the only one laying down new laws, it can start to feel like a dictatorship to some kids (especially defiant ones). But when there are other grown-ups saying and doing the same things as you, your child starts to see this is just how the world is and they adapt to it.

It can really make all the difference having a supportive team on your side while rearing your kid. And kids benefit from having all that much more love in their lives!

The next chapter will be the last in this series! Stay tuned

DIY Themed Kids Bedroom: Woodland Series-Mountain Wall Painting

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

I love themed rooms, especially when it comes to rooms where kids roam. Bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms, doctor rooms, dentist rooms, all of it! In fact one of my favorite themed rooms as a child was my dentists’ waiting room. They had raised, touchable creatures on the walls along with elaborate paintings of all imaginable sea creatures and the sky above. It was mesmerizing. So I always knew I wanted to explore themed rooms when I had a home of my own.

Little did I know that I wouldn’t get to explore this idea until my first child was nearly in grade school. Nor did I think my first project would be painting a mountain scenery. But it’s SOOOO much easier than it looks. You’d be surprised what a few coordinating paint colors and a pencil can do. But that wasn’t the only overhaul I wanted to do in the room. Check out all of the projects I created in this mountain themed room here! (Link will be added soon)

This is a progress shot. I still added one more mountain range and the sky color after this was taken.


  • pencil
  • coordinating paint colors, 3 or more
  • paint brush for lines
  • paint brush for filling in large spaces (or roller)
  • painters tape
  • plastic or paper floor covering
  • latter or step stool


Depending on how many colors you use and the size of your wall, you likely won’t need a gallon of each color. I was able to get away with paint sample bottles from Home Depot. I had 6 colors including the hue I chose for the sky. I suggest using at least 3 mountain colors and 1 sky color. I also got 2 bottles each of the sky color and the lowest/closest mountain color since they had more area to cover.

Pick colors from dark to light. You want that fading feeling so it looks more authentic, like you’re really looking at some true mountains.

Draw out all your scenery first, all your levels of mountains. And don’t get too hung up on perfection, especially if you have textured walls. It actually makes for a rocky short of appearance, more authentic in my opinion!

Pull your tape off when wall is totally dry, preferably overnight. My started to peel the paint since it was a little gummy still. Oops

Primer is your friend, it prevents chipping especially in kids rooms. And get some paint that is washable and prevents chipping.


  • First prep your area to be painted. Line the floor with plastic or paper and tape in place. Use painters tape for the borders and edges and remove wall outlet covers or tape and cover them, whichever you prefer.
  • Next start priming your wall and planning how you want your mountains to look. Pinterest the heck out of it! I didn’t like the unrealistic look of straight triangle mountains so I decided on more bumpy gradual mountains. Plus, that worked easier with my walls texture!
  • After your primer has completely dried and is set, draw your mountains on the wall in pencil. You may need a ruler depending on what style you are doing. You can erase and reapply as much as you need! Focus on doing multi level ranges that hide behind one another and disappear in some parts.
  • Start with your line brush and the darkest color you chose. Follow your lowest pencil lines keeping the paint below them. Trace your lines all the way across being careful not to mix up your next set of mountain ranges.
  • Once the line is done, start filling in the space below with the same color. Do your edging and borders at the corners and baseboards.
  • When done rinse your brushes or use a separate set.
  • Then move onto the next, slightly lighter, color. You’ll do the top lines first, then come back and do the bottom line where the 2 colors meet. After that you’ll fill in the space. Watch out for dripping!
This is the completed scene! I don’t think this picture does it justice, it looks way cooler in person.

Give it a go, show me your skills and talents! Stay tuned for the other crafts in this mountain themed room!

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 4-Deep Breathing and Other Tools

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

Holy heck it’s been awhile since my last post! Needless to say, life got rather crazy there for a little bit but that’s a story for another time . Without further ado, let’s get into it and back on track!

If you haven’t read the first parts in this series here are the links:

This post is going to focus on tools/skills to be used in the heat of the moment. These are helpful for adults to learn themselves and teach to kids. These also work best when you the adult are doing these with your own emotions and stressful moments.

Photo by Monstera on

By far one of the most helpful skills we utilize (with ourselves and our sons) is deep breathing. We use it when the energy is too high and the kids are bouncing off the walls; when any of us are getting upset and starting to loose our patience; and we use it in both the calm down corner and time-out.

I have to say it’s extremely gratifying to hear your kiddo using their deep breathing exercises (that they used to fight you on) all on their own while they are seated in the calm down corner or on time-out. We had that success roughly a year into working with our counselor and implementing these tactics, which seems like a long time when you’re in the thick of it but looking back, that year flew by quickly.

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There’s a ton of variations on how to do deep breathing and make it fun for kids (your counselor may have some books that make it fun too! See Chapter 6 for some we used) but our kiddo likes the “snake breathing” the best. You take a slow deep belly breath in through the nose then you breath out making a “SSSSSS” sound while keeping your breath controlled and steady. Do this at least 3 times, I find 5+ is best, and see who can make the sound the longest!

We often do this right before bedtime, and it helps set the mood and mind for the next steps (usually lullabies) of the nightly routine.

Photo by Linda Eller-Shein on

The other tool we used was the S.T.O.P skill. It’s ultimately an acronym for: S-Stop what you’re doing, stop engaging, stop moving, just STOP. T-Take a step back, both mentally and physically, to pull yourself out of the situation and get out of your emotional state. O-Observe, how you are feeling, how others are feeling around you, put yourself in their shoes and try to see how they are experiencing this interaction. P-Plan what your next step is now that you have removed yourself from the heat of the moment, gotten some perspective, and seen the situation from all sides.

For our son this was some pretty advanced stuff and he worked with it like a champ. The reality is, we just introduced this skill to him to start the process of learning and practicing it. Because that’s what this is all about! We all have heard “practice makes perfect” but there is no such thing as perfection, it’s an illusion. I prefer “practice makes permanent”. The more you do something the better you know it and how to do it and are more likely to do it in the future.

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Sometimes there are outbursts that my son has where I just kinda have to to let him come down on his own. His therapist described it as “letting the train get through the tunnel” and once he’s able to see the light on the other side and rejoin the rest of us, I’m then able to use the skills above or talk about how he got to that high level of anger or whatever other feeling he was having. We usually end this discussion with a hug it out session .

Sometimes the best thing you can do for your kid….is nothing. And it’s not doing nothing and acting like you don’t care. You’re doing nothing while still being available; you’re giving them space (and respecting their individual needs) while keeping the boundaries in place and showing that you are consistent and can be counted on to be there once they chill out and need a hug or snugs.

What’s your go to skill for calming yourself or your little one down? Tell me about it in the comments.

Next time: Parenting a Person With ADHD: It Takes a Village

Dealing With Those Hard Days

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

I’m gonna start this post off with a trigger warning. It’s not regarding violence or addiction but this subject I’m about to broach can be a really sensitive one for some. I strongly feel this is a conversation we need to be having more often and normalizing, both within ourselves and with our peers. It needs to be a conversation without judgement and with lots of room for grace and understanding. I ask that we practice kindness to yourselves and others.

There are some days when I don’t like my son. This is a hard feeling to have as a parent, and it’s even harder to talk about. I love my child, I jump through hoops frequently to give him what he needs…but it doesn’t change that some days he acts like an asshat and is hard to be around. This topic usually sends most people running for the hills when brought up in casual conversation. Whether it be they are scared to discuss it with others, or scared to admit that they’ve had these feelings themselves; we as parents still need to address this turmoil inside that some of us face.

If I tell you that while growing up there were days I didn’t like my mom, you wouldn’t blink an eye; most people struggled with parental relationships as a youth. Some of us still do as adults.

So why is it such taboo if it’s the other way around?

Why are we, as parents, left to feel guilty when we don’t want to hang out with the screaming jerk-face that just happens to be our off-spring? If it was any other jerk-face behaving that way people would be telling us to get the heck away from them!

But for some inexplicable reason the tables turn when the culprit is someone you’ve had a hand in creating and/or raising. The funny thing is though-WE DON’T CHOOSE OUR KIDS! We don’t choose who they are from birth and we don’t get to choose who they become. Certainly, we have the job of guiding them down better paths but we are not the one’s in the drivers seat, much as we may want to be sometimes.

Yet somehow we allow others to convince us that if only we did this thing instead of that, then everything would have ended up perfect for our child. We tell ourselves “I should have done this better, I should have handled that differently” and while yes there is always room to improve, we are forgetting the reality every parent faces: that children don’t come with an instruction manual, and even if they did each child would require their own version. They are all different people. They are all unique and individual.

What works for calming my eldest right now, will likely not work for my littlest when he gets to crossing that same bridge. And how my littlest knows I love him is different than how my eldest receives my love. Both wants snuggles when they are sick; both are busy and active on a constant basis. But each has a very different relationship with me. I love them equally, and that is with my whole heart; however what they need from me as a parent is varied and different. It is unique and individual, just like them.

So although we cannot choose who are children are or will become, we CAN choose to love and accept them as they are. I make that choice, everyday. Because love is a choice, it is work and commitment. Regardless of the attitude or behaviors being thrown my way, I do my best to remind each of my boys that they are loved and wanted and they are special, to the world and to me. Even on days when I don’t like being around them, I still love them with my whole heart. And I let them know it.

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 3-The Calm Down Corner *Plus Bonus Craft!*

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This is chapter 3 of the series Parenting a Person With ADHD. If you haven’t already, please read the prologue, chapter 1, and chapter 2 so you are up to speed on the information.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Creating a calm down corner was one of my favorite things about the changes we made. We specifically made the calm down toys ourselves so it became a craft, rather than a chore or forced activity. It put a positive spin on a calming place and set the tone for how we wanted the area to function. It was also a good bonding activity for myself and my son to do together.

Calm Down Corner Craft

Photo by Anni Roenkae on

We did 2 different themed bottles: one with water and oil and glitter; the other with water, water absorbing polymer beads, and glitter. For both, the water was colored with food dye. My son picked the colors of glitter and water because it’s important to include your child throughout the process of making changes in the household. That way they feel like their voice is still being heard and they are able to exert some control. Allowing him choices in a controlled setting shows him he does have power over his choices, which is a skill in and of itself!

Directions: add your water to the bottles then color it, shake with lid on to mix. Fill the bottles with water about half way for the oil one and 3/4 for the other. Add your glitter to each bottle. We did about 2 Tbsp in each, but add as much or as little as you like. Then add your oil to the one bottle and your polymer beads to the other. For the oil bottle leave a little bit of space for air. For the polymer beads add 5 at a time and allow to fully absorb the water. We ultimately added like 20 beads and topped off the water once we were done. Then use the super glue on the inside screw threads of each lid, tighten the lids on and allow to dry per manufacturer instructions before you play with them.

We keep these bottles in the calm down corner and they are only allowed to be played with if you are there. It helps to keep them feeling “special” while you’re in the calm down corner.

Photo by Vie Studio on

We also hung up some pages from his therapist, like a thermometer of how high your emotion was that landed you in the calm down corner and of the S.T.O.P. skill (I’ll do a post about that soon). Here’s a different emotion chart that helps kids learn what emotion they are feeling.

The other big factor about the calm down corner is that it’s chosen by the child. We offer our son the option to go to the calm down corner when we see him beginning to get upset. He chooses to go of his own free will or not. If he doesn’t go, he usually gets more upset and makes choices that land him in time-out….which is by our appointing, not his.

This little action of letting kids pick their own consequence goes a long way. Plus it teaches children how to start self regulating their own emotions (which is a challenge for most kids, let alone one’s with behavioral struggles). When they are in the calm down corner, they decide when they are ready to come back to the activity at hand.

Occasionally (and when starting out) you’ll have to send them back because they weren’t actually ready to return to the activity at hand; they’re still too wound up but that’s just part of the process-it becomes sort of a natural consequence.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Also, time-outs are used as a last resort and a no tolerance tool. Meaning that if my child does something that is absolutely unacceptable-like hitting, spitting, back-talking, breaking or throwing things, ect-he gets put directly to time-out and I decide for how long. We keep the rule of 1 minute per year of age starting at 2 years and that seems to work fine for us.

For most kids, you can explain briefly why they are there and that you will get them when their time is done. For my child I have to say nothing, any talking with him becomes a form of engagement in his eyes. I don’t want to reinforce that he gets my attention while in time-out so he gets the silent treatment or the one phrase treatment. “Go to time-out”, I say it once. If he squawks, I go put him to the garage which is right next to our time-out area.

This works like a sort of reset button for him, similar to the calm down corner. He decides when he’s ready to come back in and finish his time-out but if he keeps making poor choices he’ll keep being sent to the garage. It then gets put on him to manage his emotions to get out of time-out. Same thing for when he used to try to leave time-out; I physically and silently go get him and put him back. For as many times as it takes…..I’m glad he doesn’t do that anymore. The garage upgrade seemed to fix that.

Photo by Elly Fairytale on

Retraining kids on what is expected and tolerated is tough work. But the right tools and planning can make it a lot smoother. Giving them the opportunity to try again with a calming environment they can go to helps them to seek out space when they need it and redirect their our emotions in a positive way.

Next time on Parenting a Person With ADHD: Deep Breathing and Other Tools

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 2-Reward System

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This is the 2nd chapter in the series “Parenting a Person With ADHD”. If you have not already, please read the prologue here and chapter 1 here.

Now onto the reward system and the correct way to do positive reinforcement. Because yes there is a wrong way…in fact I’d say there’s lots of wrong ways.

Photo by Anthony on

When we first tried positive reinforcement we did the typical sticker chart but we really didn’t have a true set system, let alone a successful one. Some thing we did implement (that was terribly wrong, at least for our kid) was taking the stickers back if he earned a negative consequence from poor choices. This was confusing for him because the positive choices he made weren’t getting fully rewarded and instead were getting wiped out by negative choices. So the focus still ended up on the negative, not the positive. On top of this, the rewards weren’t the most tangible or as instant as he needed at the time. He needed to be able to have literally instant results. A lot of kids who struggle with defiance need this approach as well.

When we started seeing the counselor, she had us use tickets (you could also use marbles, hence the photo ) that he gets to put into a jar and he can use them to earn prizes. The important part here is that the tickets need to have currency for the kid! They have to feel valuable to the kid in order to be effective. That value comes from the prizes or rewards they can get using the tickets or marbles!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

The prizes we did initially were coupons (homemade or bought, either are great, one is simpler ) with things like “Have a pajama day” or ” You pick dinner” or “Get out of one chore”. At one point, we opted to make an actual prize box that our kiddo picked items from, but it didn’t seem as motivating for him. Currently he uses his tickets for screen time and other special to him things: watch his favorite show, use his tablet, go to the park, choose a family activity or game night. He still enjoys the coupons for special occasions or once in a blue moon.

For older kids they can use their tickets for trips or treats such as a trip to the ice cream parlor or the beach or for a slumber party (if you do those) or whatever else they enjoy and is feasible for you to give/do consistently. Alone time with you can also be a reward they earn; they pick the activity for you both to enjoy and use however many tickets to do said activity.

Be cautious with how large you make the goals. They need to be attainable in a small amount of time when starting out (like 5 or 10 tickets for a prize) and you can slowly increase the number of tickets needed as time goes on and your child’s skills improve. You want them working for those rewards, not having them handed out like candy on Halloween.

It’s also important to really give tickets for EVERY positive thing you see your child doing in the beginning. “I noticed you stayed calm when it was time to go, here’s a ticket” or if you’re not there yet “You did a great job keeping your hands and feet to yourself when you were upset” or, my personal favorite “Thank you for not peeing your pants while on time-out, you made a good choice. Here’s your ticket”.

Photo by Hannah Nelson on

Yes I’ve said every single one of these and more. So. Many. More. Eventually you will get to the point where you work on specific things you want your child to do differently. Like brushing teeth without yelling, or listening the first time (I still have my hopes up for this one), or not talking back. As time goes by they will have to work harder to earn the tickets to get the prizes. Just start small and find the positive, no matter how little it may be.

Next time on Parenting a Person With ADHD: The Calm Down Corner

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 1-Ignoring The Negative

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This is the 2nd part in my new series “Parenting a Person With ADHD”.

In the prologue, I went over how we as a family got to where we are today and briefly discussed some of the tools we used. In this chapter I will be going over in detail the first tool: ignoring the negative nonsense.

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To actively ignore someone takes skill, patience, and practice. To actively ignore your own offspring while they are attempting, very hard, to REGAIN your attention….well that takes the above things and some direct, frequent support. Either from someone who’s been through it or a professional skilled in managing cases like this. Someone whom can give you reassurance. Because this one skill is probably one of the most important and effective.

We started living by the rule: if it wasn’t hurting someone or something, and wouldn’t lead to undesired behaviors later, it could be ignored.

To achieve this can sometimes be tricky. There’s a lot of behaviors/actions that fall into a grey area. I’ve found the easiest way to sort out some of those in between things was to ask ourselves “Is this an actual problem or do I just have a problem with him doing this?”. For example, he used to love being upside down on the couch. I had to readjust myself and learn to be ok with him having his legs up in the air. My only rule was his legs had to be still-no kicking or squirming as that becomes dangerous to others. Now, he doesn’t sit like that anymore. I let it go, and so did he.

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You may be familiar with the saying you get more of what you pay attention to and that is quite true. Especially for a child with ADHD who is defiant and/or has ODD. They like to know they can get a rise out of you, it gives them a sense of control in a world where they have very little control. They like being in control (I don’t blame them, so do most of us) and have a hard time when they are not. Ensue melt down.

The way to break this cycle is to take your own control back…by not giving into the cycle in the first place. When you actively ignore your child’s negative behavior they will (eventually) see they no longer effect your mood/actions with how they choose to act. So they will stop, because the norm has changed. Then they will learn to re-set their brain into active choice making rather than instant response.

Now, keep in mind this will take time. Sometimes a long time. And you cannot, I repeat CAN NOT, give up anywhere in the middle of this transition period. Otherwise you will have just reinforced all over again that they can get a rise out of you, and it will be that much harder to get them, and yourself, to make lasting and meaningful change. This is really a time when consistency counts.

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This is usually the most exhausting part of parenting a defiant child for many. You don’t have room for many mistakes and you don’t have the luxury to throw in the towel. For our son we still have to do this every so often! He’ll be turning 7 this year and we started this when he was 5, just to give you an idea of the road ahead. But he rarely ever needs this now, and he never throws fits like he used to. But the reality of raising a person with ODD or defiant ADHD is that these issues will never fully go away; these skills will always be needed.

Stay tuned for the next chapter: Reward System

Staycation: Vacation On A Budget

You may not have heard of the term “staycation” before. Until a few years ago, certainly I hadn’t. One of my co-workers at the time told me how she was taking her grandkids for the weekend and they were doing a staycation at a local hotel. I instantly thought this was genius! You get all the fun of going someplace new, usually with a pool and free breakfast, without the 2+ hour drive to get anywhere out of town. Because no one wants to hear “Are we there yet” for the entire car ride anywhere.

I’ve compiled some fun places that you can look for in your local area. Plus if you’re in the Treasure Valley you’re in luck, because I’ve gathered some specific sites to check out on your next at home adventure!

Bed and Breakfasts

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This is first on the list because I prefer to support local business as much and as often as possible. Plus you get a very unique and non-cookie cutter experience. Usually each room has it’s own variation of theme, it’s own personality so to speak. Plus I’ve seen some AMAZING bath tubs in these places that are worthy of royalty. Check out the local B&B’s in your area and meet the wonderful people who own it during your stay!

For my Treasure Valley peep’s, here’s a list of some of the top rated B&B’s

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For those unfamiliar, this is where you stay in a home or room that someone rents out for short term use. Some people have their entire house available; others have just the upstairs for use or have separate rooms with people staying in each. I’ve included a link to AirBnB’s website since what’s available depends on when and where you plan to stay. You can have very unique experiences in some really amazing homes. I find this option works best if you have multiple people pitching in together and you all rent out a nice house for the weekend or how ever long. Book these well in advance since they tend to fill up fast!

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As long as the weather permits (unless your into snow camping, go you!), camping is a great cost effective option! There’s nothing quite like getting out in nature and sleeping under the stars. Many of us have fond memories of sitting by the campfire with our friends and family, telling stories or singing songs, and munching on s’mores. This is also a wonderful way to get and stay “unplugged” during your staycation. If you’re looking for a digital detox-this is your top option.

Reserve America is the main choice for booking campsite online. They tend to fill up fast (especially in Idaho) so plan on booking this 6 months in advance. They also have links to hunting/fishing, RVing, and hiking. It’s honestly a great resource to keep in your back pocket for future use. Other online booking links are, Hipcamp, and Go Camping America.

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RV Rental

For those who prefer a mattress over a cot and sleeping bag, there’s always renting an RV! The great thing about this is there are SO many RV parks that you can staycation at. Most of them have additional amenities and/or beautiful scenery. Plus you can book your stay using the links from the camping section above! RVing and camping kinda go hand in hand.

You might be asking yourself, “How do I rent and RV?”. You can literally google search it; people rent out their RV’s via AirBnB, Facebook Market Place, Craigslist, and most other forums. Or you can get one from a specialized RV renting facility.

If you’re in the Boise Area here’s the top rated facilities

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Chain Motels

These may be common but it doesn’t mean they are always run of the mill. You can usually count on consistency with larger chain hotels/motels. Plus they typically have all the amenities you come to expect with staying at a location. They also tend to be more cost effective than some of the higher end luxury options, while still keeping comfort as a priority.

For the locals, here’s some centrally located chains

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Chain Suites

This kind of mixes in with the chain hotel/motel category, but these usually have only suites available and therefore a higher price point. These also are going to be more luxurious and have nicer amenities such as fine dining on sight, spa/salon on sight, extravagant pool, etc. Look for “suites” in the name of where you’d like to stay to help filter out other options. This tends to be a better pick if you’ve got older kids who can appreciate the finer atmosphere or just going as a couple for some alone time.

Here’s some of the best suites in the Treasure Valley

I hope this list has inspired you to get out there without feeling like you need a large budget to do something fun for the weekend! Let me know where you’ve stayed in the comments!

Luxury Beauty On A Budget: 6 Must-Haves

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

Luxury Beauty items can be so productive for your esthetic goals but so cringy to your bank account. You can have luxury without that luxurious price tag, I promise you it can be done! I’ve complied a list of 10 items that can change your self care routine and not have you scrapping the bottom of the barrel until pay day.

Sleep Mask

This is the eye mask both my husband and I wear. It’s soft, flexible, gentle on our skin, and above all doesn’t press on our eyes. It also blocks out ALL the light, I can sleep with the lights on as long as I have this-no joke! These are a good option if you’re looking for budget friendly and still high quality. If you have lash extensions however I would recommend this one. A little larger price tag, but not by much, and it gives you the room to avoid having those lashes catch on anything. Sleep masks in general help you sleep sounder and longer. If you find yourself waking in the night-try one of these out. They are life changing.

Silk Pillowcase

I’ve discussed before how amazing these mulberry silk pillowcases are, so I won’t ramble. But these are a great investment item for beauty care. They benefit your skin and hair by decreasing friction-therefore avoiding wrinkles on your flesh and breakage on your mane. If you do have the budget and want to do some serious splurging you can TREAT YOURSELF to an entire silk sheet set. That’s some #lifegoals for me though.

Face Oil

If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon that is face oils, now’s the time! Our skin craves oils that are good for it and there are so many benefits to be had from the right oil for your skin type. Pacifica’s Super Flower Rapid Response Oil is a good all around place to start if you’re new to the oils crew, as well as a personal favorite of mine. This is one of the only products I’ve used that IMMEDIATELY got rid of my redness from a reaction. It’s soothing, smells amazing, and has so much goodness pack in. If you’re looking for an upgrade though try one of these from Herbivore: Lapis, Emerald, or Phoenix. They’re spendy but by golly Miss Molly are they worth it! My favs are Lapis and Emerald-it’s a tie. Plus you can use these or any face oil with the next item on our list.

UPDATE: Use this link to get 15% off your herbivore botanicals order. They just got their jewel box back in stock and you can try Lapis, Emerald, and Phoenix oils plus 2 of their best selling resurfacing serums all for under $60. That’s not including the coupon, so it’s even lower.

Gua Sha Face Sculptor

This is one heck of a tool set I’ll tell you what! And you can see instant results when you do the technique correctly. I recommend you look up YouTube videos and seek out the professionals, there’s some great tutorials. I like this set because it comes with all the various styles for full body sculpting. If you prefer rose quartz then this is the one for you. I feel like I should mention-don’t waste your time with the rollers. There I said it! I’m sure I’ll get haters but seriously they don’t do much especially when compared to gua sha.

Micro Needling Tool

Micro needling can be a great way to get your skin preforming at its best. Basically you cause little tiny injuries that then trigger your skin to produce collagen and repair itself, also improving texture and tone. This is the one I use, I got it specifically because it has multiple heads that you can change out without having to buy a whole new wand each time. If you have a lot of scarring though you may want to look into a higher end model. People have some very successful results. Always consult with your dermatologist first.

*Warning*make sure you are practicing aseptic techniques, and change heads/cartridges’ regularly per manufacturer instructions to avoid infection.


We all love a good sunscreen that does it’s job well without a crazy price tag or extra additives. Well Raw Elements gives you just that! They have an entire line of really great products that are both better for you and the environment we all share. Reef safe, non-nano zinc oxide, 95% organic, various options for application (stick, bottle, metal tin), and even a tinted version!

These are all great things to add to your repertoire of beauty care, without breaking the bank. Plus we got to check out some of the higher end things that compare!

6 Items for Those Sunny Days

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. I am not a medical skin care/esthetic professional. All of the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked or not worked for me. None of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any products in your own home. Use these at your own risk. Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by products or methods listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries or damages. Please seek medical or professional advice for personal issues should you or a loved one need it.

We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. But this can be extremely tricky when you have sensitive/eczema prone skin, which I and my kiddos all do. So I’ve gathered together some of my top skin protection recommendations.


Of course this is number one! It’s one of the most important things you can actively do to prevent premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. I’ve struggled to find a good all around sunscreen that hits all the marks AND doesn’t make my skin react. I recently fell in love with Raw Elements SPF 30. It’s a non-nano zinc oxide-so it’s reef safe and without endocrine disruptors-it’s in a reusable metal tin, and it didn’t set mine or my kids skin on fire when we used it! (I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened with sunscreen, so I was seriously elated). They’ve also got a stick version, tinted version, and bottle version. Here’s the link so you can take a look. I really love this brand in general and they are EWG certified, so I feel confident buying and using this product.

Driving Gloves

This is one that I think skips most people’s minds. Even though some of us may apply sunscreen to our hands, it washes off as soon as you wash your hands. When I started to notice age spots on my hands I sort of freaked out, realizing my hands get way more sun exposure than anywhere else on my body. All those driving trips to destinations for hiking? Ya, my face was in the shade of the car but not so for my hands. Here’s some from Coolibar that are unisex with multiple sizes and have a 50 UPF rating and end at the wrist. Here’s the longer version to cover the forearms, still with that 50 UPF. Don’t be fooled by the cheaper alternatives, they are made from a cotton blend which only has UPF of 5-25. You’re not getting the protection your hands need from all that sun exposure.

Oversized Hat

Ok confession time: I love hats. ESPECIALLY stylish, over the top ones. The fact that they protect your face, neck, shoulders, and hair from sun damage is just a big bonus as far as I’m concerned. I’m a little obsessed with these from the San Diego Hat Company, the white is my fav. The extra wide brim gives you extra protection and extra pizzazz. It’s just all around extra! There’s also these from the SK Hat Shop if you’re looking for some additional styles in more colors. As an added bonus, these are the hats my boys use! And of course, I got them in matching prints because #twinning!

Light Jacket

It can be hard to find a cover up that gives sun protection without over heating. I know I’ve struggle with it in the past. I really love this one in white, and here’s a plus: white reflects light so it helps to push some of the heat away, keeping you cooler! There’s a lot of variety out there so whatever style you’re looking for, it’s likely that you can find it in a protective UPF fabric.


It’s not just your skin that needs to avoid too much sun exposure, your peepers need it as well. Fact check: polarized lenses refers to glares being blocked (like from shiny things on the boat across the lake, or the lake itself), you still need to make sure they say UVA and UVB protection to reap the benefits of tinted eyewear. Also look for 100% UV protection to be sure all the light is being filtered. There’s literally thousands of styles for sunglasses that meet these criteria, so have at it my friends! Every bodies face is different so I’m not recommending anything specific on this one. Oh and don’t forget the babies too!


This might be my favorite thing on this list. It’s got sentimental value to me since I still have the paper parasol from when I was 5. (I’ll share how I repaired a few rips in it another time) And it’s such a pretty accessory that really stands out in a crowd. Plus you can use it’s shade to cover a lot on your body or to help cover someone next to you! I’m warning you now though, you might get sucked down the rabbit whole that is handmade paper parasols. They are all exquisite and unique and UGH…I just love them. There’s fabric ones too and I can’t look at those or my husband will start questioning where all our money is going. Don’t be like me, do better lol.

And there you have it! Some really great products to keep you safe this season and for many seasons to come. One thing I’ve come to know: skincare and wellness are an investment. Not only in the items that help you achieve your goals but also and investment in yourself. You are valuable and should invest in yourself

Any sun protection tips you’d like to share?