Vacation Suggestions with ADHD Kid - ADHD Parents Toge...

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Vacation Suggestions with ADHD Kid

Reeeba1
Reeeba1
16 Replies

My son is eight and has had his diagnosis for a few years now. We’re working through different medications and I have moderate to good support in school. My question is actually related to vacations. I really want to go on a vacation where I can relax. But if we go somewhere like a cabin in the mountains, my son will be stir crazy after about five minutes. Conversely I don’t think I can take another frenetic trip to a theme park or similar. We (hubby and I) need down time. Does anybody have any suggestions? The only thing I can think of is a cruise with a good kids program but even then it’s a 50-50 shot that he will reject it. Oh and money is a finite resource. Thanks!

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MaudQ

What about a resort/hotel that has activities for kids? We went skiing for the first time last winter and the kids could take lessons while we sat around inside :-)

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Reeeba1
Reeeba1
in reply to MaudQ

Thank you! The challenge we have is that he has some emotional issues as well and is very particular and we never know if he will actually participate in things like that (kids clubs, organized activities, etc.) or not. If he decides it’s not something he wants to do, that he’d rather spend time with us, then we’re stuck trying to find ways to keep his needs met. That’s why I am really struggling. I don’t know if being stubborn is an ADHD characteristic but he is about the most stubborn person I’ve ever met. Once he has decided something is not for him there is absolutely no convincing, bribing or cajoling him. Oh and I actually suggested skiing to him because were thinking about going and staying near Gatlinburg. As soon as I explained what it was he decided no. He doesn’t have a very good sense of balance, not interested in biking and other things like that. Makes it hard again to find outlets. He does do taekwondo but even that’s a struggle

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MaudQ
MaudQ
in reply to Reeeba1

I think stubbornness is a symptom - it’s definitely a symptom of anxiety and if your kiddo is anxious about sports/activities/being away from you/other kids/being away from home or what have you, he might shut down as a way to gain back some control. What if you picked a few options and then let him choose? You could also do some kind of bargain - he gets something special in exchange for something you want? Also, the sad truth is that a vacation for a kid (especially one with an issue like ADHD) isn’t always a vacation for the parents. So if you really want a vacation, it’s ok to go by yourself :-) And then you could do whatever trip/activity made your kid happy as a separate thing. Or - I don’t know if this is an option for you - you could vacation with friends or family. We have some good friends who are fine with our crazy family and the best vacations we’ve had have been with them. They “get” that we have issues with all sorts of things and they help us keep everything low key and manageable. And even if you’re just sitting by the kiddie pool or watching TV, at least you’re doing it with another adult :-)

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Pennywink
Pennywink
in reply to MaudQ

I think MaudQ pretty much listed my suggestions.

Traveling with family can give my husband & I a little rest time and balance the load of handling the kids. And my husband and I take a small annual kid-free trip to a state park.

And I agree to let him have some say. Kids with ADHD can be much more amenable if they have a buy in to the process.

Also - what are his interests? There may be vacation options geared towards that.

And finally, any vacation that can keep my son physically active for hours can really help (swimming, hiking, biking, etc,) as it wears him out. But it has to be a LOT of activity, as he’ll lose self control before we even begin to tap his energy. We also need to maintain his sleep schedule & diet as best as we can to keep the peace.

Best of luck!!

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MomofOne13

Maybe something like a Great Wolf Lodge? I haven't been to our nearest one yet, but I know my 8 year old would love the indoor water park and I'm assuming there are non-structured activities. He's not a fan of being left without my husband or I as well, even on a play-date at a friends house he protests being left there for an hour without us. You and hubby may need to take your down-time in shifts.

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Reeeba1
Reeeba1
in reply to MomofOne13

Thanks! We actually looked at Great Wolf. I need to learn more. We live in Florida with a pool so swimming isn’t a huge sell but I am sure they have more. And the rooms look cool, too.

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Pennywink
Pennywink
in reply to Reeeba1

I was thinking someplace like Great Wolf as well. Though most other activities besides the water park cost extra. It’s nit cheap - and they add a big resort fee to their prices, and restaurants can be pricey.

On the plus side, there are many activity options (game room, mini golf, some adventure quest game), and you have a private room on hand if you need a calm down time.

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Janice_H

If you are able to find a family member to be with your child while you and your husband have a getaway you will enjoy the vacation more. I recommend a cruise that has structured activities for children. Some of the cruise lines have sleep overs for the children to allow the parents quality time alone. Good luck.

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Reeeba1
Reeeba1
in reply to Janice_H

Thanks! We are considering a cruise. We did one when he was 4 but once he decided the kids club wasn’t for him it was hard for us to do anything at all. Maybe now at 8 that would be better. It’s just so unpredictable. We don’t have family other than my parents who are getting senior and not terribly useful for longer term care (love them but it’s true).

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Janice_H
Janice_H
in reply to Reeeba1

I understand what you mean. Not having the much needed break for you to connect with your spouse can be so nerve-wrecking. I'd go with the cruise and hope he is old enough to have less anxiety.

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Rebryan

I think vacationing and relaxing are two different things unfortunately. Especially if you have only one, which we do. The only thing that has come close to this for us was to go on a trip with my sister and her kids. We stayed in different houses within the same complex in the outer banks. The kids were able to go back and forth to the different houses which ended up giving us a break every once in a while. Other than that our “vacations” are a lot of work to wear him out so we get some down time in the evening. Most of the time we plan trips to different cities where we know people with kids who can spend a day or two meeting us places or having us over.

That said my son is now 11 and it is getting better/easier!

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Reeeba1
Reeeba1
in reply to Rebryan

Thanks. This is a valid perspective. Maybe I need to just give up on the idea of the vacation being relaxing... at least for now.

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Rebryan
Rebryan
in reply to Reeeba1

Sorry! Sounds like we’re kind of in the same boat. My parents are of very little help. I find going to their house in FL a lot of work! They aren’t very helpful and there are no other kids around most of the time. I swear it gets easier! I’ve had to let go some of my control issues with the nook/iPad during these trips too and just let him play the games or watch the videos so we can all relax.

You’re not alone!!

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Reeeba1
Reeeba1
in reply to Rebryan

It is so hard! I just feel so guilty letting him sit there and play games like a zombie but sometimes I do that just so I can get things done. But there’s a fine line because if you get too into it then it can be hard for him to go back to a normal schedule. Thanks.

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anirush

I guess since you ae so close to the coast going to the beach is not a big deal? My grandkids run in and out of the surf, build sand castles, dig for crabs. We take a cooler, food, have a beach shelter tent.

In the evening we rent a surrey we peddle around or go for ice cream. Also take flashlights and go down to the beach looking for sand crabs that come out at night.

We still have some meltdowns but it tires them out and they sleep well.

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StressedmomwADHDboy

Going on vacation with ADHD kids is going to be challenging. I don't know about others but it is definitely true for us. A friend of mine once said that I should decid whether the vacation is more for kids (activity heavy) or for the adults (relaxing) as it's hard to achieve both. I am not saying it's not possible to find something the whole family can enjoy but you have to keep the priority clear.

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