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Leman: Physical activity can bring families together

Question: I admit that I just recently read your column for the first time. Now I will be sure to read it in the future. I thank you for the advice you gave the family with the 6-year-old boy diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

I, too, have a 6-year-old son. For the past three years, many individuals without proper qualifications have told me he has ADD. Our pediatrician and my husband and I disagree with them. What the boy has is a lack of desire to concentrate on most anything that does not entertain him. Go figure!

Children are wired to be children. You cannot expect them to act like adults when they do not have the skill set to do so.

Our son only eats all-natural or organic foods and walks three miles or so three to four times a week with his sister and their new puppies before bedtime. We started the diet after the fifth person told us he had ADD. The diet alone works very well and the walks are the icing on the cake.

What do you think about this approach?

Answer: Thanks for the letter. As a sidebar to the original column, it’s important to point out that we’ve done away with physical education for kids, and I think it’s unfortunate. Kids need to get out and run around, especially ones filled with energy.

I think it’s not only the physical exercise – and I’ve given that assignment to adults who are suffering from anxiety – but what a wonderful way to spend time with your kids, walking for exercise. Think of how few things parents do with kids today, where they are really side by side. There’s very little.

If you are on the way home from your strenuous walk with your child, it might be then that your child, as you are cooling down, says something that you may never have heard if you were not out on that walk.

Taking advantage of those times to help you through behavioral issues you are dealing with can only help the situation.

This is good advice for us all, especially during these down economic times. You tell me, what’s most important – is it things or is it people?

Even though some of us will be giving up some of our comforts, the fact is that we have each other, we love each other, we support each other and together we are going to get through it.

I applaud your efforts as a family, to find a way through the behavior issues you are facing with your child.

Dr. Kevin Leman is a Tucson psychologist and author of more than 30 best-selling books, including “Have a New Kid by Friday.” E-mail questions to him at whatsupdoc@tucsoncitizen.com. Photo by Tom Spitz Photography.



Kevin Leman will offer strategies on parenting and relationships at a seminar from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday

Cost of the event, at Sahuaro High School, 545 N. Camino Seco, is $10 per person. Call 885-3192 for tickets.

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