Questions: My two year old is VERY busy. Everyone assures me that this is normal, but I see other 2yr olds and they can at least sit and listen to a story. He is different when he is out. He has to look at everything and WILL NOT listen most of the time. How do you know if your child is ADD at 2yrs old when everyone tells me this is normal?
Don't rush onto the ADD bandwagon...your friends are probably right! Boys, especially, tend to be active and two is a crazy year.
In my book I go over numerous strategies to get your child to listen - and figure out why he's not. Make sure you are not reinforcing behavior you don't want to see. Does he get away with not listening? Do you sometimes just give up because you are tired of asking eight million times? (Believe me, I understand!) Toddlers need CONSTANT hands-on guidance and nonstop direction and redirection on what you want to see and how you want them to behave. And they absolutely cannot get away with behavior you don't want to see. If you let it slide once, they will try it again because it works. This is tricky, however, as we do not want to focus on the negative part (what we don't want to see). We do this with lectures, yelling, 'stop that', 'no!', 'don't do that!' This type of negative attention only reinforces the behavior and doesn't tell our child what we DO want to see. My book details a ton of strategies to decrease unwanted behavior and how to focus on what we WANT to see.
Also, in ruling out ADD/ADHD, take a look at his diet. (Again, my book goes into this). Processed foods, sugar, fast food...it's all just ICK that we give to our kids. I always advise feeding kids food that is as close to its natural state as possible. Get a book by Dr. Andrew Weil or Dr. Oz - or even just go online to find some free advice on healthy foods. Food allergies and reactions to icky food are, in my humble opinion, a big cause of behavior problems.