By: Dr. Liz Matheis
We are all guilty of sometimes feeling as though we are not mentally present with our children even though we may be physically. Dinner, garbage, homework, laundry, your work responsibilities. The list is truly endless. As a mom of a teenager, budding teenager, and a 6-year-old, I am constantly being pulled in multiple directions. But I am a mom first and I am making a vow to be more present. Make the vow with me.
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By: Dr. Liz Matheis
Once you’ve recovered from going through the process of identifying, evaluating and classifying your child, you can now rest for three years. Even though you will review your child’s Individualized Education Plan annually, your child will not being formally assessed for eligibility for another three years.
Read the full article to learn more about what re-evalution is and if it is right for you and your child.
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By: Heidi Borst
Before diving head-first into burnout, let’s consider this: the higher our reach, the more likely our failure. In fact, most of us will abandon our resolutions before we’ve undressed the Christmas tree. But don’t despair—it’s possible to set achievable goals.
Read on for ideas to turn fling-like resolutions into long-term commitments.
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By: Dr. Liz Matheis
It's not about the power struggle.
I hear this often from parents who are frustrated with their child’s behaviors and the difficulty of making their child accede to their demands. But is parenting really a phase in your and your child’s life that’s about control—a power struggle?
From birth to age 18 is a time during which you are supporting and growing your child; it's not a tug of war of wills. When it becomes one, I ask parents to think about whose needs are being frustrated—are they yours or your child’s?
Any relationship that becomes a constant struggle is no longer enjoyable, but when it’s with your child, you don’t have the option of ending the relationship. Your relationship with your child shouldn’t be so difficult all the time. If it is, it’s time to take a look at what your relationship with your child is and is not.
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Calling all Fashion Designers!
Students will recreate the Monarch Silhouette. Start with choosing your fabric, designing, and sketching your design. Then learn to cute, pin, & sew your design together.
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By: Dr. Liz Matheis
Your child is bright, creative, and clearly has many areas of skills. In theory, that should make it so that relating to peers is easy, given that he has so many areas of interest to talk and relate about, right? Well, not exactly. Our children with ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are passionate people who love what they love very much, but sharing that information or knowledge with a peer may look like your child is talking at instead of talking with them.
Your child may also become easily frustrated because other children are not as interested in certain topics, games, or other children don’t want to talk about that topic for very long. Possibly, your child may not notice the body language and facial expressions of a peer who has lost interest, and ultimately walks away. When your child feels rejected, but doesn’t know why – they may become very angry, yell or become aggressive towards the children whose behavior or actions aren’t understood. The other children don’t understand your child’s internal experience and begin to label him as angry or weird. To a parent, that’s heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, you can’t go to school with your child and mediate these peer interactions (even though you’ve thought about it!), but you can use a few strategies to help build your child’s social awareness in an effort to make social relationships a little bit easier.
To help your child understand what a disinterested peer looks like, act it out, or be exaggerative in your response to him when he tells you a story at home that is now going on for a long period of time with no end in sight. Your tolerance is higher and your patience may be greater because, after all, this is your baby. However, friends are not that patient.
See if your child asks you what’s wrong or why you’re making that face or slouching in your seat. Use this as a time to tell your child that his story is too long. You may feel like a ‘bad’ parent for saying something like this, but if you don’t, his peers will – and they likely won’t be as nice about it!
You can also role play other signs of disinterest, such as looking around the room, starting a conversation with another person, or walking away. Let your child know that it’s time to end a story or conversation and do something else. For example, she can ask her peer a question to keep the conversation going, “What did you do this weekend? What’s your favorite cartoon?” or “Do you want to play tag with me?”
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Are you looking for a fun activity for your young ones to get involved with? Check out the Shining Stars Sports League in Livingston!
The Shining Stars Sports League is a wonderful developmental opportunity for your special needs individual. League activities focus on gross motor skills, fundamentals of each sport, and socialization.
Participants will enjoy both clinic-style instruction and games in each season. The league uses modified equipment, game play and rules to enhance the learning and play experience.
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By: Kealia Reynolds
Mindfulness helps improve concentration, reduces ruminative thinking that contributes to high levels of stress, helps us understand our emotions in healthy ways, and even bolsters our immune systems. By creating a mindful space in the home, we can keep stress and anxiety levels down and live an overall healthier life. Here are eight tips to help you create a mindful space in the home.
1. Set an intention
Before creating a mindful space, one of the first things you should do is set an intention. If you make mindfulness a goal instead of an intention, you create a rift between what you’re experiencing in the current moment and what you would like to happen. With an intention, there’s no required result and no pressure to achieve a goal. Intending to practice awareness or focusing on your breathing are two intentions that you can set for yourself.
2. Go big (or small) with your space
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room to mindfulness—maybe you choose a sunny corner in your living room or a small table in your kitchen. “You could devote an entire room to meditation or just a corner of a room,” says Joy Rains, author of Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind. Rains offers the following examples as ways to achieve mindfulness in your existing space:
3. Declutter and organize
According to researchers at UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CLEF), cluttered environments are tied to higher levels of stress. Annie Draddy, co-founder of Henry & Higby, a professional organization company, has seen first-hand the positive impact that the process of decluttering and organizing spaces has had on her clients. “Finding ‘homes’ for things so that they are no longer cluttering up surfaces helps to create a clean and clear space which in turn makes the home more tranquil.”
Declutter your space by organizing your stuff into three piles: one for keeping, one for donating, and one for throwing away. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year and store small items like notepads and pencils in bins or boxes to reduce the look of clutter.
4. Eliminate distractions
If you live in a noisy area, add a white noise machine to your space to block out unwanted sounds or consider soundproofing your apartment with a plush rug or draft blocker. “While we should all be able to meditate with ambient noise, for newbies, the less noise the better,” says Sage. Pare down on technology, especially items like laptops, tablets, and cell phones that can ruin energy flow and bring work and stress into your space. According to Kita Williams, CEO and lead designer at KMW Interiors, a California-based home staging and interior design company, TV should be limited to one place in the home, like the family or living room.
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By: Kyra Heenan
Cell phones are more ubiquitous than ever. You’d be hard-pressed to find an American adult who leaves their home without their cell phone in their pocket or purse, even if just for a quick errand. With the rise of smartphones, we have access to anything we want—communication, games, information, navigation—with a few taps of a finger.
On top of that, with the influx of social media use, seemingly everyone is connected at all hours of the day, and most of us rarely choose to turn off our phones and disconnect from it all for a bit.
Naturally, while this connectedness allows for a more globalized world, it also comes with its downsides, especially when it comes to mental health.
The Studies on Cell Phone Use and Mental Health
As cell phones have become more commonplace, researchers have increasingly studied their effects on our mental wellbeing.
In a review of 23 peer-reviewed articles on the topic, researchers found ample evidence that exhibits a link between smartphone use and anxiety, as well as depression and increased stress levels. With higher levels of smartphone use came reported higher levels of these disorders.
One study found that participants who had high levels of regular cell phone use experienced separation anxiety from being apart from their phones. On the other hand, participants who had lower levels of cell phone use did not experience those high levels of anxiety when separated from their phones.
Another study even found that some highly cell phone dependent participants experienced the same symptoms of addicts experiencing withdrawal. When we get a notification, we experience a hit of dopamine—and it can become addictive.
How You Can Mitigate the Negative Effects of Cell Phone Use on Your Mental Health
Our phones have practically become an extension of ourselves. For many of us, when we take a hard look at our phone habits, we realize just how attached we have become to our devices.
Since we have concrete evidence on the link between cell phones and anxiety, it is smart to break down bad cell phone habits. These are a few practices you can implement to keep yourself from mindlessly staring at your screen and scrolling through social media apps.
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By: Heidi Borst
Earlier this week, I admitted to a friend how utterly exhausted I was, not physically, but mentally. I felt overextended, at the end of my rope. I confessed that some days I fantasized about sitting alone in pure silence. I needed some space. I’m an introvert; I desperately need time alone to recharge my batteries. When I don’t get it, I feel drained. Lately, at the end of the day, I couldn’t summon the energy to listen and engage with my son as much as I knew I should… Instead, I’d tune out the noise and imagine myself in a quiet room, no one asking me questions or needing my help, until another “Mom!” would abruptly break me out of my spell.
Sound awful? It did to me, and mom-guilt was ever present, weighing heavily on my heart. I felt contrary to everything I believed I, as a mother, was supposed to be. I should want to listen attentively to every sweet word that came from my child’s mouth, yet instead, I was selfishly letting him down.
Graciously, rather than responding from a place of judgement, my friend kindly smiled and nodded, gently observing that my son was a LOT of work; more work, in fact, than her two children combined- how did I do it? Surprised by my friend’s reaction, I relaxed, fully appreciative of her understanding and support. With a few kind words, she had reassured me, validated me, and my self-doubt melted away.
It is true, my son is a lot; non-stop activity is all I have ever known (trust me, I’m beyond grateful he’s healthy and active)., and most days, I can keep up. But when I don’t have even a minute to decompress, especially over the course of several days, the weariness catches up with me.
You see, unlike me, my son is an extrovert; he feeds off of human interaction as much as I need a break from it. He needs to talk and engage as much as I need silence & “me” time. We do our best to meet in the middle, but it’s a delicate dance, a balancing act on a tightrope. But when I became a mother, isn’t this is what I promised to do, even welcomed with open arms? To be there for my child, to support and nurture him, and to do everything possible to keep him healthy, safe, unjudged, and loved.
Like most mamas, I try my hardest to put my own needs in the background until they simmer up to the surface, demanding my attention. Every day, I try to focus instead on the amazing human my son is becoming. His sweet smile can turn the worst day around; his profound wisdom can catch me off-guard (how is it possible for a 6-year old to know SO much?). His enormous heart is pure gold. The world needs more people like him, and I’m privileged to witness his growth.
And yet. Some days I am humbled by the demands on my time and attention. Those days, I’m on autopilot. I feel like I’m failing, letting myself and my child down. But I just keep going, because what other choice is there? I signed up for this! And somehow, every single time, some saving grace comes along to float me toward shore, getting me through.
Every day, I try to remember to reflect with appreciation and gratitude on what a blessing it is to be his mommy. Despite the challenges and the endless tests to my patience (not a virtue of mine), I would not change one single thing. I’ve been granted the responsibility, no, the privilege, of helping guide this beautiful person through life. He is a gift, a bright star, a caring, thoughtful, sensitive soul. I GET to be his safe place in this crazy world, a soft cushion for him to land on. That’s my job.
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Thankful for the opportunity to present with Dr Harold Tariff on the topic of Navigating Special Education! We discussed what to expect when you make a referral to the Child Study Team, the different programs available, accommodations and how to prepare for the different types of meetings with your CST.
Thank you for voting for us and making us your favorite kid doc from 2014-2019!
By: Dr. Liz Matheis
The beginning-of-the-school-year-honeymoon-period is now over, and your child is settling into the school year. Perhaps you’re noticing that your child is struggling with word problems, identifying letters, remembering the sounds letters make, or writing. Perhaps your child’s teacher is pointing out to you that he is struggling to sit in his seat, finish work in class, interact with his peers. So now what? What do you do with this information?
If you’re making these realizations now, you may want more information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and possibly gain a support plan in school. In essence, you may be ready to seek an evaluation. The next question is what kind? Who can provide an evaluation for my child? What information do I want to gain from this evaluation? So, where do you begin?
Seeking a Psychological Evaluation for Your Child:
Step One: Speak to your child’s teacher and gain feedback regarding your child’s performance academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally? What are academic strengths and weaknesses?
Step Two: Decide if you would like for your school’s Child Study Team to perform the psychological evaluation vs. seeking an independent evaluation.
Before you make that decision, you need to answer the question: what’s the difference between the evaluation and report you would gain from your Child Study Team vs. one gained from an outside professional? Well, there are several and here is a summary to help you when you make this decision.
The Psychological Evaluation through your Child Study TeamThe Psychological evaluation completed by your school should consist of a standardized test, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, an observation, and a student interview.
In the end, you will gain a report that provides an IQ of your child’s cognitive/intellectual performance, a summary of a classroom observation, and information about your child’s interests, preferences, and reported academic strengths and weaknesses. Please note that the School Psychologist is not permitted to provide any diagnoses, if relevant, within this report.
This information will be used to compare to the results of the Educational Evaluation that is completed by the Child Study Team Learning Specialist in order to determine if there is a learning disability that is negatively impacting your child’s ability to perform academically.
The School Based via the Private/Independent Psychological Evaluation:
If you are seeking an independent psychological evaluation, that means that you are working with a Clinical Psychologist, privately, to provide you with an evaluation and report. The Clinical Psychologist has the ability to administer additional tests in order to answer questions you may have as a parent, or to gain more specific information about your child’s intellectual and academic skills.
Being a School and Clinical Psychologist, when I perform a private psychological evaluation, I also administer an achievement test and executive functioning testing, as well as look at anxiety, attention, learning, and memory. All of this information creates a learning profile that indicates your child’s learning style, strengths and weaknesses.
This report is comprehensive and offers information about learning style that the School Psychologist’s report does not contain. That is, is your child a visual spatial learner; an auditory learner? A hands on learner? With this information in mind, the recommendations in the report can then be geared towards the best way to teach new information to the student that is in line with the way he naturally takes it in.
Pros & Cons
So, what are some of the major pros and cons of a Child Study Team (CST) generated psychological evaluation vs. a private/independent one?
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By: Eva Benoit
While society may emphasize the importance of socialization and being productive every minute of every day, these are actions that help extroverts thrive. Introverts, on the other hand, are easily depleted by social gatherings and working with others. If you’re an introvert and feel like you live in an extrovert’s world, don’t let that discourage you from practicing self-care on a regular basis. Here are some simple ideas for working self-care into your daily routine:
Schedule appointments with yourself.
Chances are you’re a busy person, and time to yourself isn’t going to just happen. That’s why you have to make time for yourself like you would any other important activity in your life.
With that in mind, The Cut suggests scheduling time to spend in solitude each day. Once in the morning and once at night is ideal, even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a crack. However, once a day is better than nothing. This time can be used for anything that helps you to de-stress and recharge, whether that’s journaling, meditating, reading, or anything else.
Regular physical activity is one of the most beneficial things anyone can do for their overall health and well-being. But if you prefer to exercise alone, it’s important to ensure that you are safe. If you are injured while running, cycling, swimming, or even brisk walking, it can help to have a smartwatch.
For instance, some models like the Apple Watch Series 4 come with features to help keep you safe, like emergency SOS and fall detection. These features can help you get in touch with someone in the event of an accident. Also, they can track your health and help you to accomplish your fitness goals. If you’re looking for a more affordable model, the Fitbit Charge 3 has heart monitoring, long battery life, and sleep tracking.
These days, we are subject to non-stop stimulation in everyday life, from loud public places to rush hour traffic to social media. Taking a break from all the stimulation can do wonders for your mind and soul. Obviously, you can’t avoid every source of stimulation, but Huffington Post suggests unplugging from social media, television, and other kinds of digital media for a few days every now and then.
Being among nature is one of the most calming things a person can do, not to mention all the health benefits that come with exposure to sunlight. And it doesn’t cost any money to spend time outside. Do something active (running, hiking, yoga, etc.), or simply relax by reading a book or lying on a blanket in the park. Don’t overthink it, just enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and greenery around you.
Learn to say no.
Finally, don’t feel bad about saying no to people. It may not be pleasant to disappoint someone, but overcommitting will only leave you stressed out and underperforming. For example, if you need to recharge, opt to stay in for the weekend instead of going out with friends or working overtime. Making fewer commitments in your everyday life will leave you with more time to rest and more energy to do the things you do well.
Self-care is paramount for living a healthy, happy life—especially if you’re an introvert. Remember to make time for yourself, and add exercise to your routine. Take a break from social media, TV, and other sources of stimulation. Lastly, spend some time outdoors, and learn how to say no without feeling guilty. You’ll be happier and healthier as a result.
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By: Andrew Wan
Study abroad programs have a lot to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new friends, make new connections and broaden your horizons by immersing yourself in a completely different culture.
If you have a physical disability, you shouldn’t let that stand in the way of all the great things a study abroad program has to offer. With the right precautions and preparation, you’ll be able to make the most of your experience.
Here is our guide on how you can set yourself up for success if you have a physical disability and are considering a study abroad program:
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Different countries vary in the resources and accommodations available to those traveling with a disability. While the US has regulations like the Americans with Disabilities Act that require businesses to provide certain accommodations such as wheelchair ramps and elevators, other countries may not have as robust of a system in place.
To minimize the chances of complications, choose a study abroad program in a country that’s particularly known for accessibility, like these 9 very wheelchair accessible locations overseas:
You can also consult with your university’s study abroad program office to get an idea of how wheelchair-friendly a country will be. They can fill you in on what to expect and what you’ll need to keep in mind to be fully prepared.
A few additional considerations they may speak with you about:
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Blog provided by: The Recovery Village Palm Beach
Though addiction can occur at any age, many adults with a substance use disorder began using drugs or alcohol before the age of 18. Because substance use and experimentation are prevalent among American teens, it’s important to understand the risks of drugs and alcohol at an early age. Though the use of certain substances is decreasing, a 2018 survey of high school students shows that many still misuse drugs and alcohol. For example, 30.2% of 12th-graders reported using alcohol within the previous month, and 5.8% reported using marijuana daily.
Regardless of which substances teens use, it begs the question of why they seek drugs in the first place. In today’s world, the answer lies in a mixture of teenage brain behavior, genetics and external factors like peer pressure, social media and stress arising from current social and cultural events.
The Influence of the Teenage Brain
Perhaps the most significant factor in teen drug use is the teenager’s brain itself, which is still developing throughout adolescence. The prefrontal cortex, which controls decision-making, emotions and impulses, isn’t fully developed until a person reaches their mid-20s. However, the reward centers that can lead to drug addiction are among the first parts of the brain to complete development. When you take a brain that has inherently higher risk-taking behaviors and combine it with the pleasurable effects of substances, it can easily lead to drug misuse and addiction.
Other brain-related factors include a teen’s genetics and the presence of mental health issues. A parent can pass down traits such as risk-taking behaviors and poor impulse control to their child. Children can also inherit a parent’s mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. Mental health disorders play a large role in addiction: In 2014, there were 20.2 million U.S. adults with a substance use disorder, and 7.9 million adults also had a co-occurring mental health disorder.
External Factors That Cause Teen Substance Use
In addition to these internal factors, external forces can make teens more likely to use drugs or alcohol. Teens can be influenced by what they see at home, such as a family member who uses substances. Peer pressure is prevalent in schools, and teens may feel obligated to experiment with substances in order to fit in with certain groups of peers. Teens are also discovering their own self-identity, and many struggle with low self-esteem. This is worsened by the prevalence of social media, which is linked to lower self-esteem and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
On top of the self-discovery aspect of a teen’s identity, many young people struggle to cope with recent and recurring events in American society. Teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 21 are experiencing higher levels of stress. In fact, 91% have experienced negative physical or emotional symptoms due to stress, and 27% report having fair or poor mental health. Many respondents attributed these effects to the nation’s political climate and the constant barrage of news reports on mass shootings, immigrant deportation and sexual assaults.
How to Help
Teens today are dealing with a perfect storm of factors that predispose them to drug use and addiction. As mental health issues contribute greatly to the likelihood of substance use, it’s important that recovery and prevention programs address both substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.
The Recovery Village approaches healing from addiction from all angles, helping clients find a lifelong path to sobriety as well as diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. If you or your teen is living with a substance use disorder or co-occurring problem, contact The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment programs that can help provide tools and resources for lasting recovery.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-
Based Guide.” January 2018. Accessed September 16, 2019.
Pantic, Igor. “Online Social Networking and Mental Health.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior
and Social Networking, October 1, 2014. Accessed September 16, 2019.
Bethune, Sophie. “Gen Z more likely to report mental health concerns.” American
Psychological Association, January 2019. Accessed September 16, 2019.
National Institute of Mental Health. “Substance Use and Mental Health.” May 2016.
Accessed September 16, 2019.
Get Smart About Drugs. “Risk Factors.” June 26, 2019. Accessed September 16, 2019.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Monitoring the Future Survey: High School and Youth
Trends.” December 2018. Accessed September 16, 2019.
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By: Kyra Heenan
Social media plays a powerful role in creating a more globalized society. We have the ability to communicate with people on the opposite side of the globe, and we can connect with others in seconds. While maintaining friendships with people who don’t live in close proximity was a challenge before, it has become much easier to stay in each other’s lives thanks to Facebook, Instagram, and the likes.
With social media, the world seems smaller and more connected—but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t significant downsides to be noted. Social media does deserve a lot of praise, but—depending on how we engage with it—it also plays a huge role in elevating our stress levels.
The Addictive Potential of Social Media
With constant access to social media through smartphones and other portable devices, it is easy to become addicted to scrolling through social media.
In a review of 444 participants’ Facebook habits, researchers found that people had an increased likelihood to become addicted to technology.
Researchers found that participants would switch between different activities on the platform (such as scrolling through the news feed, posting updates, or chatting with friends) as each activity became stressful.
This habit could lead to technology addiction, as users would switch to different stress-inducing activities within the platform as a way to cope with stress—rather than log off and turn to something else. This means more time on the platforms that are causing stress in the first place.
The Comparison Effect
Since the emergence of social media, we have been hyper-connected to the people both physically near us and far away. We are constantly aware of the lives of others (or, at least, the curated lives they present), and are prone to entering a cycle of unfair comparisons and jealousy. This can lead to stress, particularly when we feel the social pressure to present a life online that is deemed as exciting or interesting as the lives of others on social media platforms.
A 2017 review found that passive use of social media can lead to this stress. When we mindlessly scroll through feeds, we can harbor feelings of jealousy and stress.
In these instances, we aren’t using social media as a tool to build connections. We are simply passively absorbing whatever shows up on our screen, isolating ourselves from others. On the other hand, when we actively use social media to engage with others, we can feel less lonely and more connected to others.
However, interestingly enough, researchers have argued that more time spent on social media engaging in these detrimental behaviors isn’t actually the major factor when it comes to social media and stress levels.
According to researchers at Pew Research Center, social media most dramatically affects stress when it comes to shared negative information.
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By: Michelle Krowiak, LCSW
I wanted to share two ways I promote being thankful as the focus of Thanksgiving!
In my family we have the thankful turkey which gets personalized messages from each family member. It serves as a great reminder and our family dinner centerpiece!
You can purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond if you want to add to your family traditions.
We also start a month long tradition of writing a thankful message for each day of the month and put on our Give Thanks tree.
This is a great family activity that you can discuss on a daily basis and add to the tree. It also kicks off a feeling of gratitude before the chaos of December’s holidays!
Whatever tradition you do with your family, we hope you find those special moments to be thankful as we are. We at PEC are thankful for all of you and wish you Happy Thanksgiving!
By: Dr. Liz Matheis
In the mad morning rush before school, you’re applying Post-Its to his folders and lunchbox so he won’t forget to turn in those overdue library books or hand in his completed homework. At baseball practice, you’re dashing into the dugout with a forgotten glove or quick snack. During homework time, you’re the bad cop — fueling him with food, setting the timer, and keeping him on task when he’d rather be doing just about anything.
At the end of a typical day with your child, you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. And yet you still haven’t handled all of your to-do-list items for the rest of the family, your house, or your job. And you certainly haven’t taken even a moment to focus on yourself. That is not good.
If you are an adult with ADHD, you work hard to get through your day while being distracted by children, co-workers, your spouse, and your own thoughts. On top of trying to manage yourself, you are also trying to create a structured home environment to help your child function at his best. You understand better than most people what a day in your child’s world feels like, but you may be having a hard time getting through the same kinds of tasks and responsibilities yourself.
If you don’t have ADHD, your child’s world may feel foreign, frustrating, and constantly moving. You may be having a hard time understanding why your child cannot walk in a straight line, put on his shoes without picking up a random toy on the way, or brush his teeth without 12 reminders. His actions feel random, and they drain your time and energy.
Here are a few strategies to help you, as the parent of a child with ADHD, prevent burn out while caring for, coaching, and managing your child:
1. It’s okay to ask for help.
This help can be a hired tutor or nanny, a family member, or a switch off between parents. If you are going to hire someone to help you, make sure that person is older than your child, and train him or her. Provide clear-cut information about your expectations regarding activities and accomplishments – i.e., finish math homework, take a bike ride, give a bath. Share the strategies that you’ve found help your child to complete tasks (e.g., take a five-minute break after working on homework for 10 minutes, break down homework or tasks into individual steps, etc.).
If another family member is willing to help, offer similar training so that person is using the same terminology, following the same routine, follows whatever structure you have created. Continuity and consistency across caregivers is critical.
If you can, break up ‘shifts’ with your spouse. For example, you might take the morning routine if your husband takes the bedtime routine. This offers each of you a break during one of the high-stress times of the day. You may also want to rotate so there is no burnout within that shift.
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Dr. Liz Matheis
Dr Liz Matheis and her team specialize in assisting children and their families with Anxiety, Autism, AD/HD, Learning Disabilities and Behavioral Struggles