Saturday, October 10, 2015

ADHD and Lying

     All of us have lied at some point in our lives, but for children with ADHD, lying can become a huge behavioral problem. However, it's a misconception that lying is a character flaw because it's really just a coping mechanism. Children with ADHD often feel out of control of their behavior and struggle with low self-esteem, making them more prone to poor choices. When they realize what they have done, they often feel ashamed and guilty, so try to find ways to cover up. They almost always end up getting caught, but oddly keep repeating this behavior, furthering their feelings of guilt and low self-worth.

     We want children with ADHD to feel responsible and empowered, so it is important to learn how to work with them to understand the importance of being honest. Our reactions as adults make a huge impact on their feelings of self-worth and how they handle similar situations in the future. Here are some super helpful tips from an article on Strategies to Help Your ADHD Child Fib Less that will give you a good start in better understanding your child in these situations and how to respond in a more positive manner. Before you judge your child for lying, think about why they are doing it and work with them in a way that will encourage honesty in the future.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Finding a balanced routine

Now that students are settled into school, they should have a good idea of time expectations, both in academics and extracurricular activities. However, many students are still flying by the seat of their pants, not knowing which direction they are going. Now is the perfect time to sit down with your student and write out a schedule in order to make a daily routine.

Most students are super busy, but there needs to be a balance in how they spend their time. Scheduling in friends, family and alone time are important in keeping kids happy. By creating a schedule, they may realize they have more time than they previously thought and that they just aren't using their time effectively. Try highlighting their free time so they can visually see how much time they have during the week for homework, sports, friends, family, and downtime. If they have more time on one night versus another, encourage them to work ahead on those nights to make the rest of the week easier. Budgeting time isn't something that comes easily to most students, so continually working on refining their routine can improve their time-management.

Lastly, creating routine can help your student be more confident, less-anxious and avoid any last minute blunders. That being said, schedules change and need to be somewhat flexible. However, sticking to a routine within changing schedules is imperative in creating a happy student. Let the planning begin!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Time Flies, But Are You Having Fun?

Back to school ads tell it all. Really? Back to school? Already? Technically we have four to five weeks until school starts, but that time is going to fly by and before you know it, the excitement and anxiety of a new school year will be upon us.

As I look back at the last six weeks, it seems like I haven't done many "summery" things or spent enough time with my friends. My motto of "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail" was proven true this lazy summer. As a result, I kind of fizzled in the fun zone so far. So, take this as a nudge to get out there and take advantage of your final month of summer. Schedule away in your planner or calendar. In four weeks you will be glad you did!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Starbucks "Studying" Gone Awry

     The dreaded finals week is upon us. Many of my angelic students have been preparing for the last few weeks. On the other hand, naturally, most teenagers just cram the weekend before. Last week my brother was visiting during "cram weekend" and before he left, we stopped into my neighborhood Starbucks. I strolled into a sea of studying teenagers and my heart instantly warmed. I excitedly said to my brother, "Oh, look at all the kids studying. How cute!" 

     Well, five minutes after ordering our much needed coffees, the truth was revealed. Very little studying was actually being accomplished. In between snapchat checks, selfies, texts, convos with friends, sips of frappuccinos and instagramming those cute pics with the hashtag "studying", a wee little bit of algebraic formulas, chemical equations, and essay outlines were being studied and prepared. This scene was horrifying to my brother, while I replied, "Welcome to my world," because none of this surprised me. See, my brother was valedictorian of our high school, graduated from Stanford with a bachelors and masters in computer science, and later completed his MBA at the prestigious University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Like many of my students, my brother, although wildly successful, struggles with time management and organization. He often says if he had a cell phone in high school he wouldn't have been as successful of a student. In fact, as a teenager, my mom used to ground him from the phone (land line) for talking on it too much! A smart phone or computer would have been a disaster! Business school in his early 30s was a completely different experience than his earlier college years. Focusing and getting work done became much more difficult with a smart phone and laptop, which resulted in a much more stressful experience.

     So, it doesn't matter how smart or talented someone is when it comes to technology distractions. When presented with this conundrum, I'm not sure what the answer is. It's obvious our brains are being rewired as technology advances, but our ways of teaching and learning have not caught up with these cultural shifts. How can the next generation be successful if they can't focus for more than 2 minutes at a time? I am a firm believer that rules need to be set around technology use. Students studying with their phones is never a good idea. The constant buzzing, chirping, and dinging are not conducive to focused production. Let this coffee excursion be a lesson to parents that all isn't what it appears to be. Your student may say they were studying for the four hours they were away or in their rooms, but the likelihood is that probably a half hour of work was accomplished. So, set ground rules, be consistent, ask good questions, and ask for proof of completed work. 

     Good luck to all my kiddos! I am so proud of you.