Need Opinions Please - 7yo w/ADHD firearms training

Need Opinions Please - 7yo w/ADHD firearms training

This is a discussion on Need Opinions Please - 7yo w/ADHD firearms training within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a situation that I need some opinions on. My daughter, who is seven has been diagnosed with ADHD. I realize that there are ...

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Thread: Need Opinions Please - 7yo w/ADHD firearms training

  1. #1
    Member Array steve63's Avatar
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    Need Opinions Please - 7yo w/ADHD firearms training

    I have a situation that I need some opinions on. My daughter, who is seven has been diagnosed with ADHD. I realize that there are some that do not believe this exists, but in my experience in the last few years, it does. She is on medication which helps her to concentrate and she is doing great is school, which is rare for some peope with ADHD. She also knows I carry and we have not had any problems in that area. My question is: Do you think it wise to get her involved with shooting? She already knows about gun safety and what to do if she finds one. My soon to be ex is afraid that with her being unpredictable, that it could pose a problem. I would like to be able to take her to the range with maybe a .22 and let her shoot. Just something she could do with her old man. What do you think? I welcome any comments or advise.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I say keep some real close supervision and you should be OK. You never more than a step away. Also don't give her one of her own and keep everything locked up that isn't in you holster on your belt. Good luck.
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  3. #3
    Member Array franktait's Avatar
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    I have 2 ADHD kids

    They way to success with them is to treat them as regular kids. Teach them firearm safety just like you would any other kid. My youngest shoots IDPA with me. He started when he was 13.

    ADHD is about the ability to focus. Shooting sports help teach kids how to focus.

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  5. #4
    Member Array K4Kimber's Avatar
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    +1 for Frank's comment.

    Any quality time you spend with your child will be very valuable to each of you. If you have the patience to teach her the proper safety and techniques she needs for success the process could also be a great development experience for her.

    The important thing is that you will be together doing something you both enjoy.


  6. #5
    Member Array 1911packer's Avatar
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    ADHD/ADD is not a mental disorder, it is only a neurological condition. While medication can sometimes help, behavioral modification is the long range solution.

    In my experiences with ADD family members (Both adult and youth), they tend to hyper focus when dealing with firearms. Just watch for her mind to start to wander while you are teaching her and guide her back on task.

    PM me if you would like hear my experiences.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array mocarryguy's Avatar
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    First, sorry about the diagnosis. There are natural means out there that work very well, supplements and such. Look over the Blaylock Reports, or PM me and I will see if I can round something up that was written.
    Second as far as guns, close supervision is key, but the concentration is great for her as well when shooting. No different than you and I. Luck.
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  8. #7
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    I second most of the above comments regarding the shooting sports, and make sure you stay focused when she is shooting with you. Only one on one, preferable in a quiet area with as few distractions as possible (e.g. as few lanes in use as possible) Watch her really closely, keep the sessions short until your confidence in her ability to remain highly focused increases. Stay close. You have a PM too.
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  9. #8
    Member Array ExSniper's Avatar
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    All seven year olds have short attention spans and are easily distracted. What everyone has said about one-on-one sessions and close supervision is correct even without ADD/ADHD. Shooting sports can help anyone to learn to focus better so I would encourage you to work on this with her and enjoy some great time and an effective tool for helping her deal with this problem.

  10. #9
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    +1 for the above comments.

    ADHD is not a mental disorder. Children who are diagnosed are not "crazy," and do not have strange dementia or schizo-like thoughts. They are not necessarily unpredictable, nor un-trustworthy.

    In fact, a lot of research is pointed towards ADHD is a "learned behavior." Want an example, turn on CNN. At any point you've got an interview going on, footage of the scene, a stock ticker, AND a news flash ticker. You're being trained to do 4 things at once!

    I think shooting would be great, in an attempt to un-learn any learned component to the disorder. Focus on one thing, one thing only, while enjoying some quality time. I'd say go for it!

  11. #10
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    I don't want to get into the discussion about whether ADHD is a chemical problem, learned behavior, or anything else. I do want to address letting someone that has been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD shoot.

    Simply put, a few years ago these children were not medicated. They were considered trouble makers and things were handled from there. Most of the children that would be medicated today had to find a non-chemical way through life. Many of them found that by having something that required intense focus and concentration they could better cope with their "problem." Shooting sports, running, golf, and other things that are basically you against yourself can be a great way to work through the issues.

    Only you know if shooting is the right answer for your child. But, I would look to get them involved in some sort of individual sporting/athletic event. Just my three cents, take it for what it is worth.
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  12. #11
    Member Array Biloxi Bersa's Avatar
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    Don't you think you should be asking your physician about this?

  13. #12
    Member Array Dumos's Avatar
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    No Need To Worry

    My son has ADHD. He was doing extremely poor in school. I did not believe in ADHD until I became his step-father and for a year I didn't believe in medication until a doctor recommended it. Two years after being on medication, a small dose, he is doing extremely well and doesn't like to go without his medicine because it helps him focus; this coming from a ten year old.
    Getting back to the story. I taught him how to use my Glock 23 despite warnings from my wife. Obviously a little too much for him but we started shooting with one bullet at a time loaded by me and worked our way up. You just need to make sure you are right there with her to make sure she doesn't swing around with the loaded weapon just like you would with any new shooter.
    Remember, kids with ADHD might have issues concentrating but if it is a school subject or hobby they become interested in they usually pay attention to instruction far better then the average person. When I get back home from being deployed I promised him he and I will get rifles to go hunting with my twin brother. This has motivated him to do better around home and school and has surprised my wife and I. This is just my experience.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    I have a daughter with ADD and I treat her just like my other 3 kids at the range. Just keep an eye on 'em. I would absolutely NOT talk to your physician about it - you might get more than you bargain for.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array luvmy40's Avatar
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    All good advice so far.
    My son was diagnosed with ADHD and has used a few meds over the years. All seemed to work for a while and then lose their effectiveness. He is no longer on any medication. He wants to try to get along with out them as he is older now(13) and he is doing great. The one thing that has remained constant is desire to be treated as "normal" and participate in family activities. Target shooting is "The Perfect Family Sport". It teaches respect, both for the instructor and for the fire arms. It demands concentration and discipline, both are key to helping ADHD children maintain their equilibrium in life.
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array Scot Van's Avatar
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    Up the hill..

    As somebody who was diagnosed with the 'disease' in the mid seventies (although then, it was called "severe behavior disorder"), I might have a good idea what you're up against. Medication helped me when I was younger. I may not have gotten through high school without it. As I grew, I needed less and less medication. I learned how to focus.

    And thank heavens for the activities Mom and Dad enrolled me in...Jui Jitsu, piano lessons, theater, horseback riding and, of course, shooting sports. I think they exposed me to as many varied sources of stimuli as possible until SOMETHING caught my attention and kept it (thank you, martial arts, guns and motorcycles!!). Funny to mention it, but piano lessons were what started things rolling. Music and the 'creative math' that it involves were key to developing the ability to concentrate.

    I think there are probably some safetly concerns, like practicing the rules of good gun handing ad nauseum until they become reflexive. Just like anyone else, safety is a learned trait. It just takes a bit longer to get that 'muscle' to remember.

    Good luck! She's lucky to have her Dad thinking about this stuff. You're obviously a great father.
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