A Mother's Journey Blog

PART 1: “Dog Whisper” Given Me Insight On Helping Other Parents With ADD/ADHD Children

I have a Maltese name Fluffy. She’s almost nine years old and about 1 month ago we were seriously considering giving her to one of our relatives. I mean we had her loaded up in the car taking her to her new home before I chicken out and said, “Let’s give her one last chance.” So we came home and I went straight to our Koi pond (a lot of prayer and contemplation goes on there). I ask God to point me in the right direction like he did with Charlie’s ADHD and again I promise that I will do the rest! I know we haven’t been good owners because we spoil Fluffy rotten and we do not discipline her consistently but she is my baby. After years of screaming and yelling at Charlie I wanted a pet that I could just spoil and not have to discipline. She was just soooo cute and loveable! Well from the moment we brought Fluffy home she was a nightmare but her behavior issues have gotten worse over the last 2 years. She tears into the trash even when we are home, She kills birds and squirrels in our yard, she pees in the living room when we are asleep at night, and she goes #1 and #2 right in the middle of our living room floor if we leave the house for more then hour. I tried locking her up in a kennel to punish her but she becomes worst when I eventually let her out. Anyway, last week I was waiting for my husband to get off the phone so we could go out to dinner. His call took a little longer then he expected so I sat down in front of our TV in the living room. There was a football game on so I started flipping through the channels. Normally, I NEVER flip through the channels. We have a TiVo. We record our favorite shows and watch them before bed. Other then that we never watch or have the TV on . Anyway, as fate should have it,  I landed on the National Geographic Channel. For that entire day they had a Dog Whisper Marathon. I caught about 20 mins of one episode. Just listening and watching how Caesar handled these dogs with serious behavior issues was a wake up call for me. So I set my TiVo to record every episode. The next day I turned on my TiVo with my notebook and pen in hand. As I’m taking these notes, I’m realizing how his information doesn’t just apply to these dogs but to many parents I have dealt with in the past who have children with ADD/ADHD. Most of these episodes were Caesar training the owners not the dogs. So I wanted to go over 3 points that really resonated with me. For this blog, I’m only going to cover the first point. I will cover the other two points on my next blog entries.

1. Caesar says you must be the Pack Leader. Be dominate in a gentle but firm way to establish respect.

Wow, how many times have I had parents say to me, “Well, if I can talk her/him into taking these vitamins…..or she/he just flat out refuses to swallow a capsule, or my son thinks he is allergic to water, or she/he doesn’t want to get pricked for a blood test, etc. I can honestly tell you right now when my husband and I decided to go the natural remedy route for ADD/ADHD, Charlie did not have a choice! We told him, “This is the way it is! Cause your gonna take everything we give you….PERIOD!” Because we were firm and this issue wasn’t up for a debate, he knew we meant it. His fighting and whining really only lasted about 2 days. Children are going to protest in the beginning, it’s what they do. They test you and they try to see how far they can get until they have realized that they are not going to get their way. In the beginning we had to supervise Charlie in the morning or he wouldn’t drink all of his vitamins or he would take all morning drinking it. But fast forward to present day, Charlie gets up by himself every morning, makes his own vitamin drink, and takes ALL of his supplements. He even has a travel bag for his liquid and powdered vitamins and he also has a daily supplement dispenser that he takes with him when he goes on church retreats or spends the night with his friends. Parents tell me he’s like a little chemist mixing his vitamins before bed and in the morning. They ask me, “How in the world did you get him to do that??” It’s not easy and you as a parent will have to work at this everyday, “You say what you mean and you stick to what you say.” Making Charlie be accountable for the control over his ADD/ADHD not only has made him become so in tune with his body but he knows that he different if he skips his supplements for the day! My goal isn’t to force Charlie to take supplements while he’s under our roof but to create a habit and also to educate him so that he will continue this when he becomes an adult.

You are the parent! You and your spouse are BOTH the pack leaders, so you must take control of the situation if you want to purse natural remedies for ADD/ADHD with life lasting results. It’s strange that Chuck and I did this with Charlie and failed to do it with our dog Fluffy. We let her be the pack leader and we have been paying for that dearly! Children and pets are not meant to run your household!

Enthusiastically yours,

Shirley Highers


When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they are taking better care of it.


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