I read a lot. It’s how I unwind and let my brain wander into another world. It’s my favorite way to unplug and relax. In fact, I often declare digital detox weekends (or afternoons) and head off to the woods, secret cabin or back porch with a pile of books and magazines, looking forward to hours in my hammock. I also love libraries and would be broke without them. Amidst this holiday season when the activities are endless, the weather is cooler and the stimulation is abundant there is no better time to take time and give yourself a mental break than by squeezing in some reading.
One of the keynote speakers at the conference I attended recently was Eduardo Briceño, who founded Mindset Works together with Carol Dweck, PhD. One anecdote I found fascinating related to his experience with Cirque du Soleil. As you know, Cirque du Soleil dazzles audiences around the world with flawless performances.
Last week, I attended a morning parent meeting at my child’s school. The topic was student clubs. There were a few students present, representing their clubs. It was all very nice and the kids did a fine job. But then the meeting got weird. A few parents started to offer help to the students for their clubs. “We have skills that you could use.” “We could make presentations and give advice.” “We can donate money.” “Why don’t you just have bake sales every week. We can bake the goods for you.” I kid you not.
Perhaps you feel a sense of overwhelm and perpetual stress. Perhaps your self esteem is low because people have accused you of “not trying” or “not caring”. Perhaps you know what you have to do, but you just can’t seem to do it. Perhaps you start many projects but can never seem to finish any. Perhaps you have embarrassed yourself by blurting inappropriate remarks.
I couldn’t swallow the fact that my son kept causing trouble in school because he could not sit still or keep his mouth shut. I went on a mission to help him and our family understand his ADHD diagnosis, and in the process decided to help other students in similar situations. Lo and behold, I became a CACP-certified ADHD Coach, and have been fortunate to see my student clients experience success and gain confidence.
Our brains tend to find distractions that boost our dopamine levels. What is something that can make us feel good and require little to no effort? Hulu! Snapchat! And if we can find something that rewards us with zero effort, well that’s even better. Hello, video games!
It’s genetic. Once you know the behavior and symptoms associated with ADHD, you will be able to identify other family members. First it was my son, then my husband, then my sister...ADHD is a relatively new diagnosis, so many adults were never identified as being Turbo Thinkers.
First of all, students should not base their self worth on their academic performance. Report cards have no importance if a student is always doing his or her best at all times. An ideal student takes ownership of his or her own learning, fully engaging in the education process. We want all students to explore and take advantage of the opportunities offered in school, sucking the marrow out of their education.
I think that they are all related. Some people have a natural aptitude for these, while others need help to develop them. Some people have developed a few while not others. If I were pressed to choose just one, I would say that the most important is the ability to sustain attention when the task at hand is not interesting. Unfortunately, life is not interesting 100% of the time. If you can find a way to make it interesting for your brain so that you can focus, you can accomplish quite a bit.
Lao-Tzu, the father of Taoism, said something along the lines of: “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
Long term goals are necessary to make sense of the everyday grind. Why are you doing these daily sometimes difficult tasks? We need a vision (and the feeling that accompanies that vision) for a life long plan. Short term goals are stepping stones to get there.
What are a few obstacles that could’ve set you back, yet you persevered? Breast cancer was a bitch. It was like I was forced to take on another job in addition to everything else I was doing. I had never felt healthier in my life and suddenly I was told that I had cancer! It was just so time consuming, researching treatment options, shopping around for doctors and getting second opinions, endless hours in waiting rooms. Then days after my bilateral mastectomy I was told I needed radiation therapy! I wanted to punch someone, only I couldn’t lift my arms.
We often feel that the rejection of an idea we have or a role we’d like to fulfill is a rejection of us as a person. Another person’s opinion or oversight can make us feel unworthy or unloved. Our creative minds wander to extrapolate from the simple rejection to the worst possible scenario. It is human to sometimes think “I am not good enough” or “I am not worthy” but not healthy to stay in that mindset.
The article is engaging and encouraging in the sense that more advancements are being made in ADHD research. Yet I don’t see ADHD as a “disorder” at all - if anything, it’s a transorder or a paraorder. The ADHD brain can think beyond what a neurotypical brain thinks in the same amount of time. It can also think beside neurotypical thoughts, outside of the regular realm of ideas.
Summer is a time for relaxation, travel, family, friends and so much more. But, when it gets close enough to the new school year it can bring a lot of woes.
Why is it overwhelming? I think the massive amounts of information that students receive from the beginning of the year are extremely overwhelming. If you look at academic information alone, you’re talking about where to find assignments, notes and class materials, when and how to turn in homework, projects, tests and papers- some of it is in digital format in varieties of platforms while other is in classic books, handouts or printed materials.
Executive Function: aset of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.
Do you have a relative or friend who just doesn’t want to “believe” in ADHD? Do you know someone who just doesn’t get it? You just want them to understand so that they can empathize with the gargantuan effort of trying to fit in, and can show a bit of compassion to the turbo thinker. Here’s a quick slide show that outlines how the ADHD brain affects everyday life.
"Slow Down to Get Ahead," by Mindful.org, is great reading on staying true to your purpose: are you living mindfully? Consciously taking steps in alignment with your purpose? If the answer is no, and you'd like to work on developing your purpose and your daily choices, get in touch with Mind Coach NOLA!
I got a kick out of this article from ADDitude Magazine, "Your Kids Don’t Need “Perfect.” They Need “Persistent” and “Patient," and I hope other parents of ADHD kids will too. My fave is the "ADHD Mom virtue" slide highlighting “creativity." ADHD moms and dads of ADHD-diagnosed kids are indeed geniuses at turning everything into a game and making it all fun!
Final exams have been aced, graduation ceremonies are over, and summer is here! But don't waste it on your devices. Enjoy the weekend, and get in your green time! Here's more scientific proof that the greater the exposure to nature, the greater the attentiveness. So if you want to improve your ability to focus, get out in nature.
I have a question for you: Which social media network or social media accounts have their grip on you? Which accounts draw you in? And how do you manage your time when you feel the siren song of these entities, luring your attention away from your work, your family and friends, or your downtime? (Or is browsing social media what you do in your downtime?)
"The Power of a Well-Crafted To-Do List" offers a basic structure for planning: from the overwhelming to-do list, to an actual plan that is realistic and flexible. It’s a way you can create your own success and celebrate your accomplishments daily.
It's time for another guest blog post from Mind Coach NOLA at NOLA Family Mag! This one is titled "Cheetah." Why, you ask? You'll have to read it to find out!
“My third grader had to take a timed multiplication quiz. He had to complete 100 problems, from 0-12 times tables, in under three minutes. People, I didn’t know if I could do this either. So when I heard that my son had to do it, I panicked. My son has ADHD. In case you don’t realize what this means, let me fill you in…”
Continuing on this week's theme of time and procrastination, the article "Are You Time Blind? 12 Ways To Use Every Hour Effectively," at ADDitude Magazine, is probably the best and simplest explanation on time blindness with easy techniques to try out. Rather than trying them all at one, enlist the help of a coach to help figure out what strategies will work best for you, so that you can stick with them and create life long habits.
”I often get called by parents who at their wit’s end with their ADHD kid. I listen to their litany of complaints and the sob stories of IEPs, social anxieties, gaming addictions, evil teachers and slipping grades with empathy and compassion. “I am so sorry that he is struggling in school.” “I am so sorry that you have been dealing with this frustration.” “Apparently you care greatly for him and you are doing the right thing.” “By the way, Congratulations! Your kid has ADHD!” Silence on the other end.
Has anyone ever told you that? No? No one ever acknowledged that you hit the jackpot with this one? That you gave birth to a child with super powers that neurotypical people can only dream of possessing? Wouldn’t it be cool if instead of “It’s a boy!” Or “It’s a girl!” The midwife would say, “It’s a turbo thinker!” Because that is what your child is: a superhero with an innovator brain…”
Here are some handy tips for parents and teachers on helping kids set realistic goals, and how to encourage and praise effort and progress, with the end goal of ultimately achievement. My favorite is: Set a family goal that everyone can contribute to.
I love holding family meetings! Having everyone involved in the process ensures that each person is on board, responsible and accountable. And together you can decide on the reward, be it intrinsic or extrinsic. Love it!