They Are Not Being Difficult On Purpose

Executive Functions

How do all of the pieces work together

I have been trained to stop behaviors using rewards and consequences. It took a long time for me to understand that parenting from a misbehavior perspective is not getting anyone to change their behavior. Let’s take a look to see if the source of the challenge is their Executive Functions.

When Their Behavior Is Not Working

When a person isn’t changing or adjusting to the situation, this is described as having a maladaptive behavior. When parenting a child with Executive Functions challenges, shifting our thinking to a maladaptive view will give us a better understanding of their challenges. From there, set realistic goals and get true outcomes.

Let me clarify from the get go that using rewards and consequences do work with some people. If it works for you – don’t change it (“if is not broken why fix it”).

Children and adolescents with behavioral challenges know what we want from them. They know we want them to act in a manner where they are accepted by others. As a parent, I want them to not get in trouble. However, they lack important “thinking skills”.

What Are Executive Functions

Dr. Ross Greene of Lives in the Balance tells us that “Thinking Skills” are:

  • regulating one’s emotions
  • considering the outcomes of one’s actions before one acts
  • understanding how one’s behaviors affect others
  • communicating to others what’s the matter
  • being flexible

When your techniques are working with your kids, no need to change. However, when what you or the school is doing is not working, it is time to do something different. Children and adolescents need the “thinking skills” to handle life challenges. To learn how to problem-solve.

Individuals with ADHD have challenges with Executive Functions.

Executive Functions is the name given to a set of “thinking skills” that facilitate critical thinking and self-regulation. Executive Functions are controlled by an area of the brain called the frontal lobe.

Executive Functions Challenges

Children and adolescents with “thinking skills” challenges include:

  • Organizing themselves
  • Prioritizing
  • Maintaining attention and shift attention when needed
  • Sustaining and regulating their effort
  • Processing Speed
  • Modulating their emotions (frustration, excitement, anger)
  • Recalling information – memory challenges
  • Monitoring and self-regulating their actions

What do we do? We learn how to identify the (lagging skills). Use this tool when you are calm, have time and energy. Use this tool with your professional provider however; as a parent you can start noticing the challenging areas and have a discussion with your provider.

After you identify the lagging skills, then you can define the problem to be solved.

An example of questions to help identify “difficulty managing emotional response to frustration”:

What am I trying to solve? The time my kid goes to bed.

When does this problem happens? When my child is playing video games.

Where is this a problem? At home, every single night.

Who is involved? My child, myself, my partner

How would you like the situation resolve? I want my child to be in bed by 9:00pm.

Consider Collaborative Parenting Skills

You have an incredible opportunity to improve your child or teenager’s ability to manage their own ADHD, behavioral challenges and learn how to parent differently.

 

Lists Are Your Friend

Let The Holidays Sparkle

Happy Holidays from Avant-Garde Center

 

By Guest Blogger Alyssa Lee, MRC, CRC, LPC Intern

Supervised by Dulce Torres, LPC-S

Minimize Stress and Maximize Enjoyment

The holidays are full of fun, excitement, and (unfortunately) a litany of things to do. For a person with ADHD, preparing for the holidays can be stressful and overwhelming. There are a number of things one can do to prepare for the holidays in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes enjoyment.

Make Lists

Organization is key to keeping afloat during this busy time of year. In order to do that, it is helpful to make lists and prioritize the most important things to get done.

If your list becomes too long, pick 3-4 items a day that you know you must finish in order to stay on track.

  • For example, 5 days before Christmas choose to focus on:
    • wrapping all the presents
    • picking out the menu for Christmas dinner
    • cleaning/stocking the guest bathroom
  • Then, 4  days before Christmas focus on:
    • buying all of the ingredients for Christmas dinner
    • vacuuming the house
    • washing all the holiday dishes

By breaking things up, it becomes less stressful and more manageable.

Only One Thing At A Time

Another way to stay on track would be to focus on one task at a time. For instance, if you know you have three tasks to complete in one day, put all your energy into only one thing.

Try not to think about the other tasks or else you might get distracted. That way, you can feel a sense of accomplishment after completing each individual task.

Have Fun

Lastly, it is important to remember to have fun!

  • Take breaks
  • Enjoy some Christmas music
  • Drink hot cocoa with your family

Sometimes it is helpful to set a timer or phone alarm to keep track of your breaks. That way, you won’t lose track of your day and you can still have time to do other things without feeling like you have wasted time.

Have fun this holiday season and remember these tips!

What Needs To Be Done Today

 

Click here and print this out and use it to help keep your holidays under control

Parents: Goal Setting With Your ADHD Teen

Go for your goals

Reach For Your Goals

By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Carr, LPC, NCC from ResourcED Student Support Services

 

This post speaks to my parents of teenagers with ADHD, who often initiate counseling because they’re at the end of their metaphorical rope trying to help their kiddo get back on track, stay on track, follow the rules etc. With or without an ADHD diagnosis, teenagers can test every nerve in your body that you never knew you had! Goal setting is often where I start with my clients to help us hash out where their strengths and struggles lie. While the concepts for goal building are pretty general, the examples given are taken from past clients with ADHD. The list can ultimately be used to create goals for anyone. Let’s collectively take a deep breath and keep the following in mind:

1. Set and maintain realistic, achievable goals.

To start, putting goals in order of urgency. For example, it may be more important that your teenager improves his/her failing grade in math vs. making his/her bed. As to not overwhelm, work on one or two goals at a time. Create a list of goals with a few thoughts in mind;

  • Is the goal specific enough? For example: Attend weekly math tutoring session after school vs. raise math class grade.
  • Is the goal within your teen’s abilities? Start small and build toward a goal to test this out. For example a starting goal can be: After school each Thursday, throw away all items (papers, gum wrappers, broken pens etc) from your backpack. Building into a goal like: Throw away all unneeded items from backpack, re-organize left over items into correct folders, pencil holders, desk drawers etc.

2. Allow room for mistakes  

It takes about 21 days to form a habit. There are going to be slip ups, and that’s ok. Notice where things fell off track and help them problem solve.

3. Listen to their input and allow them to have a say 

During sessions, I usually let my teens write their own goals…with guidance. I have found that they are more likely to take them seriously if they had a hand in their creation.

4. Outsource the reminders

It has been my experience that the more I, as their counselor, and you, as their parent, can empower your teenager to be independent, the more willing they are to work towards achieving set goals. If your teen requires reminders to stay on top of their goals, or to complete certain tasks, don’t take this on yourself…outsource it. Use Google alerts, iPhone reminders, sticky notes on the mirror, whatever it takes.

5. Check in on progress/struggle often

How’s it going? I know, I know, they’ll probably be annoyed with you “budding in” and asking questions. Usually I allow my clients who are insistent that they can achieve the set goals on their own without input from others to test it out. Again, it takes about 21 days to make a behavior a habit, and even longer if you are trying to replace an already established habit. So if there is still struggle or resistance with a set goal, revisit it, does it need to be broken down into a smaller task? Would an automatic reminder (through their cell phone or calendar) help?

Progress can sometimes be hard to spot, but keep in mind how great it feels to hear encouragement. Even a small positive push, Hey, I’ve noticed that you’ve been working hard to…., can go a long way.

Click here to Listen to Elizabeth’s Podcast on this same subject 

Elizabeth is CEO of ResourcED Student Support Services, Empowering Detroit’s Future Leaders. For more about her, to see the original post or checkout Elizabeth’s bi-weekly blog, we encourage you to click on this link  

Good News Diagnosis Sometimes Means Bad News for the Relationship

Your relationship answers are unique

Find your answers

By Guest Author Gina Pera

Years ago, when my husband first agreed to be evaluated for ADHD, he did it on one condition: that I be evaluated for it, too.  Whether he simply disliked being singled out or truly thought me ADHD’ish remains lost in the mists of time and perhaps distorted perception.

My guess: He simply wasn’t connecting the dots between his actions and my reactions, which from his perspective seemed to come irrationally flying out of nowhere. From my perspective, of course, my reactions were entirely justified. But could I be sure? No.  Beside, something had to be up with me if I continued to “ride the rollercoaster” of miscommunications, conflict, agreements gone kerflooie, and so on.  So, I happily agreed to join him in a professional workup.

Two lengthy evaluations later, my husband was diagnosed with ADHD and I was not. Instead, the psychiatrist pronounced me “complex” and said, “We usually recommend that our patients with ADHD have partners who are organized and can take care of practical matters.”  It took me a minute to comprehend: Wait, you’re prescribing ME for my husband? (What might they prescribe if my husband didn’t already happen to be married to an organized  person. Divorce? A professional organizer love-match-making service? I didn’t think to ask.)

For the next few years, we endured some head-spinning confusion as we struggled to understand and smooth out the dynamics between the two of us, between our respective neurons, and various permutations thereof. During that tumultuous time, an outside observer might have been tempted to diagnose us with a smorgasbord of conditions. And, at some points, we certainly would have agreed.

Fast forward several years. My husband still has ADHD, though most of the time it’s now just a difference and not a big deal. I still don’t have ADHD, as my husband will confirm. I’m not perfect (who is?), but I’m much less confused, anxious, depressed, and reactionary than I used to be while the ADHD Roller Coaster ran full tilt and neither of us knew why. We’ve both made big changes.

Our story will resonate for many couples affected by unrecognized ADHD. That is, once the ADHD was diagnosed and addressed in a cooperative way, the rest of their challenges were more easily targeted and resolved. It was truly a “good news” diagnosis. For other couples, though, reaching the ADHD diagnosis creates more questions about the relationship’s dysfunction than it answers.  Which brings us to Part II of why the good-news diagnosis of ADHD sometimes means bad news for the relationship.

Previous Blog Recap: Good News/Bad News

To recap the previous blog post (click here to read the entire post):

       Newly diagnosed adults with ADHD begin treatment, often including medication, and soon the “fog” of distractibility, impulsivity, and inattention begins dissipating.  With newfound clarity, many of these adults start re-examining their choices – job and career, friendships, health habits, and sometimes even their mates.

      Frequently for the first time in their lives, adults feel solidly optimistic about their ability to evoke permanent changes; after all, they finally have the right answers and right tools. As they excitedly embrace new competencies and confidence, though, inevitably the “balance of power” in their relationship starts shifting.

Jack provided our case study in the previous blog post. Newly on board with ADHD treatment, he expressed bitter resentment over what he felt was his wife’s abject lack of appreciation for his stellar progress. He concluded she had unacknowledged problems of her own, including a drinking habit that had grown increasingly problematic over the years. Last I heard from him, they were headed to divorce.

Post-ADHD-Diagnosis and Reality

Last month, I offered a few reasons why Jack might not be seeing his wife’s side of things and might even be misperceiving his level of progress. The post-ADHD-diagnosis phenomenon is a big and complex topic, full of surprising twists and turns.

For example, sometimes the partners of adults with ADHD go a bit ballistic when the diagnosis finally is made. This typically occurs when they’ve long struggled to “explain the inexplicable” and “manage the unmanageable” around a partner’s unrecognized ADHD symptoms.

When they finally learn that not only did their partner’s problematic behavior have a name it also had a solution, their reaction might be akin to a psychological pressure-cooker blowing its lid. They think back to all the years of frustrating therapy sessions, of futile accommodations, of being blamed by their partner for being “too controlling” or  “fill in the blank.”  They might finally understand how they developed a drinking habit to compensate. The resentment might ratchet up by an order of magnitude if they are also suddenly expected to be their ADHD partners’ support system while receiving no acknowledgement of past hurts or any focused therapy to address their own trauma. All of these are common scenarios.

Another equally possible scenario for Jack is that his wife’s dysfunctional behaviors had long flown under the radar screen and had in fact been lifetime problems for her; he simply had been too “disconnected” to notice before marriage or after.  With treatment, though, he was noticing and dynamics were shifting.

I received a comment from Katy, who writes about Adult ADHD. She explained how her ADHD diagnosis had a similar bad-news effect on the relationship but a good-news effect in the end:

Katy: Another Real Life Story

Bad news: It was one catalyst for the end of the relationship I was in when I was diagnosed…but that relationship wasn’t a good fit for me or him anyway. He was a nice guy with a little toxic care taking streak that even pre-diagnosis I didn’t need imposed upon me. And frankly, some of my ADHD quirks were a little stressful for him to live with…duh 🙂 He was far too rigid in his routines for me to be able to accommodate.

        My diagnosis process made him appreciate me as someone who was working hard to take responsibility for their whole selves…but that didn’t change the fact that my whole self wasn’t a good fit for his whole self. Plus, he was using my eccentricities to hide behind, so he didn’t have to deal with his own…!

       I think we’re both better off having split up. I got tired of being “the person with the problem” and he got tired of stepping over the garbage can to get to the front door (hey, what can I say, I need visual cues).



Good news: I met the love of my life (sappy, sappy, sappy…but TRUE!) after breaking up with the other dude. He has ADHD too. We absolutely adore each other, and aren’t one bit annoyed with each others’ ADHD quirks. Half the time we don’t even notice each other’s ADHD quirks, the other half of the time we’re delighted with them.

      I find it highly amusing to watch him wandering around doing some of the exact same funny things that I do to myself all the time, it’s so funny to see it from the outside! Ex: today he tore the house apart from top to bottom, looking for his W-2. He says “I just know that I put it somewhere allegedly safe, and I have no idea where that might be!”. Every year I lose my W-2’s, tear apart the house, and say exactly the same thing. We really need to stop putting things in safe places! I just gave him big hug 🙂

As Katy’s story illustrates, one person’s ADHD diagnosis and treatment can “level the playing field” in the relationship.

In other words,it allows the couple to more clearly assess compatibility beyond the obvious level of, for example,  “I’m disorganized and he’s very disorganized.” Moreover, it ups the ante on the other partner “copping” to any dysfunctional behavior of his or her own instead of, as Katy points out, hiding behind a partner’s dysfunction.

When The “Partner Of” Does Have ADHD, Too

Using the term non-ADHD partners to describe the partners of adults with ADHD  never made sense to me.  For starters, what if they have ADHD, too?  Happens all the time.

But what if they don’t yet know they have ADHD? Given the millions of adults with undiagnosed ADHD, of course it’s possible. Moreover, it figures that the partner with the most obvious or extreme ADHD symptoms will be diagnosed first while the other might come to it only years later. Or never.

Over the years of moderating support groups for partners of adults with ADHD, I’ve often wondered about certain members who over long periods of time continue to report no progress on the home front. They also tend to be the ones who keep repeating the same problems and asking me the same questions, never seeming to internalize the information and take action. Could they possibly have ADHD, along with their partners? (Side note: I also see this phenomenon among some parents of children with ADHD who don’t seem to notice they might have ADHD, too.)

Some eventually do figure it out. But, from what I’ve observed, it typically happens months or even years after a partner’s treatment starts to stabilize. When the dust finally begins to settle—when they’re not constantly being drawn into a partner’s ADHD-related crises and dramas—they (or their therapists) can more clearly perceive their own contributions to the problems in the relationship. Finally, they can start separating years of poor coping mechanisms (in reacting to a partner’s unrecognized ADHD symptoms) from their own lifelong challenges.

I receive many letters from readers of my book, Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?  As you would expect, many are written by the partners of adults with ADHD. Surprisingly, though, most letters come from adults with ADHD.

What The Research Tells Us

The anecdotes from Katy are just that: anecdotes. They are not statistical probabilities; they are simply possibilities. And when it comes to the mental health of partners of adults with ADHD—newly partnered or in longstanding relationships—anything is possible. That hasn’t stopped the pundits, however, from issuing often-repeated stereotypes about the partners’ psychological makeup or personality, including

  • They have ADHD, too
  • They have low self-esteem
  • They are “sadistic and controlling”
  • They are boring “muggles “

Trouble is, such certainties are based purely on bias and conjecture even when issued by alleged experts, as they regrettably often are.

First, consider this: ADHD affects an estimated 10 to 30  million adults in the U.S., it is a syndrome with highly variable traits, and there’s much more to a person than ADHD symptoms.   In short, we cannot make any one-size-fits-all pronouncements about adults with ADHD. How then can we possibly do that for their partners, past or current?

Second:  We cannot assess the partners’ psychological characteristics without also considering the end result of living with a mate’s undiagnosed or untreated ADHD symptoms—sometimes for decades and sometimes while also raising children with ADHD. Sure, we can make anecdotal observations how the partners typically seem now, a few months or a few decades into these often high-stress relationships (and this, it seems, is what the alleged experts do).  But what were they like before a few spins around the ADHD Roller Coaster? And what about the partners we don’t see in support groups?

Research is extremely limited on this topic, yet there are two small but important published studies from well-known researchers that shed some light. And there is the ADHD Partner Survey, which examined this topic from several angles.  First the published research:

  1. The psychosocial functioning of children and spouses of adults with ADHD found that “overall, spouses of ADHD adults show no more lifetime and current psychiatric disorders than spouses of comparison adults, challenging the concept of selective mating. They do, however, report more psychological distress on the SCL-90-R and less marital satisfaction. “
  2. The marital and family functioning of adults with ADHD and their spouses – found that the spouses of adults with ADHD did not differ from the control group in terms of psychiatric health.

The ADHD Partner Survey asked respondents about the state of their mental health both before and during the relationship. The goal for this part of the survey was to differentiate between baseline mental health-conditions (prior to relationship) and the psychological impact of living with a partner’s unrecognized ADHD symptoms.  The picture that emerges is of a diverse group who bring to these relationships very different backgrounds and mental states. No surprise there.

It seems the only accurate description we have for the partners of adults with ADHD is this: They live with (or used to live with) a partner who has ADHD. After that, anything is possible and no one-size-fits-all characterizations are useful.

Gina Pera is an internationally renowned author dedicated to exploring ADHD especially its impact on relationships. Follow her on Twitter at @GinaPera or on her website www.ginapera.com.

New Challenges Even As Old Ones Are Resolved

New Challenges Even As Old Ones Are Resolved

Look at long-running dysfunction in relationships

Different Perspectives

When a “Good News” Diagnosis Means “Bad News” for the Relationship

By Guest Author: Gina Pera

We call ADHD a “good news” diagnosis. That’s because it offers not only a long-elusive rational explanation for vexing behavior but also effective treatment strategies.  So, why does diagnosis (and sometimes even treatment) mean “bad news” for some relationships?

The reasons run the gamut, as complex as the individuals involved and their history together. To explore this topic a bit here, let’s begin with a letter (below) sent to me by a reader.  This is only one example of how the ADHD diagnosis and treatment might create new challenges even as it resolves old ones.

Jack Celebrates His Success: Why Can’t His Wife? 

Consider Jack, 42, married 12 years and diagnosed nine months ago:

“It took about six months for me to get on board with medication, and the doc and I haven’t worked out all the kinks yet in that regard. But let’s put it this way: Before I started taking medication, I was often criticized for being hyper, loud, disorganized and easily distracted. Since the medication, I hear myself as I sound to others and so have much more sensitivity to my own volume. I am also now more aware of my tendency to rant. A good argument used to be like food to me.  Now, I don’t have to be in the ring with every discussion, and I can focus normally on a discussion that I am engaged in.

“So, between medication and therapy, I feel my approach to life has changed dramatically.  I’m also better organized, more focused, and doing better at work.  But has all this helped my marriage?  That’s the big surprise. The situation at home has actually gotten worse in many respects.

“In fact, now that my ‘ADHD Fog’ has cleared, I’m seeing the long-running dysfunction in our relationship and wondering if my wife, Judy, could use a diagnosis. Maybe she has ADHD, too, or she’s codependent. Whatever it is, it seems that she can’t stand my being higher functioning; I think it’s because it means she’s losing control. You’d think she’d be happy for me, but she’s not.
“My psychiatrist and therapist agree that my therapy is not only working, it’s a success story! With my therapist’s support, I’m standing up for myself more – demanding more control over our finances, for example — and Judy doesn’t like that.  She seems lots angrier in general these days, or maybe I just notice it more because the medication means I can’t tune her out as well as I used to.”

New Challenges

Jack’s is one variation on a common theme: Newly diagnosed adults with ADHD begin treatment, often including medication, and soon the “fog” of distractibility, impulsivity, and inattention begins dissipating.

With newfound clarity, many of these adults start re-examining their choices – job and career, friendships, health habits, and sometimes even their mates.

Frequently for the first time in their lives, adults feel solidly optimistic about their ability to evoke permanent changes; after all, they finally have the right answers and right tools. As they excitedly embrace new competencies and confidence, though, inevitably the “balance of power” in their relationship starts shifting.
Therefore, it’s understandable that adults, such as Jack, might feel deflated or even resentful when their partners don’t share their optimism and, in fact, rain on their parade, constantly demoralizing them by dragging them back to past misdeeds.

Understandably, they chafe at a partner who, as if on auto-pilot, constantly issues reminders, directives and second-guesses. It must be devastating, or at least highly irritating, to hear a partner chide, “Well, I give your latest self-help kick six weeks.”
No doubt about it. Change can be threatening, especially when a couple isn’t unified in learning about ADHD and collaborating on new strategies. “Denial” about ADHD can be a problem on both sides. In other words, it might be true that Jack’s wife is unwilling to accept that he can possibly change old habits. Moreover, she might be blind to her own little peccadilloes or even pathology.

But Is Jack Understanding His Wife’s Reactions? 

For edification’s sake, though, let’s ponder what Jack might be missing in this equation. Perhaps Judy has valid reasons for her reactions, reasons that might totally elude Jack, who self-admittedly spent many years in an “ADHD Fog.”  Judy might, in fact, be asking herself these questions:

  • How long will Jack’s “new and improved” behavior last this time?

If Jack is typical, he no doubt has a pre-diagnosis history of “doing better” for weeks or even months at a time – improved focus at home, regular exercise, more patience with the kids, following through on agreements, and the like. Gradually, though, his attention faded or moved on to more stimulating activities. Lather, rinse, repeat. Many times over the years.
His acknowledgement of this pattern? Perhaps rather fleeting and vague, in part because it depresses him to talk about past failures; he’s trying to remain positive about the future. But Judy’s more worried about the past as prologue.

  • How can I trust Jack when he won’t accurately acknowledge past problems as well as show empathy for my experience over the years?

Caught up in the excitement of embracing new possibilities and seeing the past in a rather distorted rear-view mirror, Jack might not clearly remember past  patterns, much less their relevance to today. After all, he (and his therapist) consider him a success story.

Judy’s Perspective On All This

Then again, has this therapist solicited Judy’s perspective on all this? Some people with ADHD can talk a real good game during that stimulating hour of therapy (not really lying but perhaps being a bit unrealistic); therefore, how it plays out in real life is only the therapist’s guess. Hence the recommendation for couples working as a team on ADHD education and treatment strategies.

For her part, Judy long ago learned to protect herself from Jack’s “other shoe” inevitably dropping. She’s sworn to never again prematurely celebrate any positive changes he makes; it’s simply too devastating when the positive changes stop suddenly, with no explanation or even acknowledgement from Jack.
As far as him demanding more financial control, how can she possibly acquiesce when he fails to even acknowledge his old spendthrift ways and the devastating impact it had on their family, not to mention how he plans on avoiding the same predicament? It took years for her to dig them out of debt. And just the idea of his demanding financial freedom — as if she never wanted to work together on decisions — makes her neck veins pop. Angry? Darn straight she’s angry.

Story Continues With The Next Blog Post

Jack and Judy’s story, along with a new story from Katy, continues in our next blog post titled “Good News Diagnosis Sometimes Means Bad News For The Relationship”.

Subscribe to our blog and you’ll receive an email with the conclusion. The information shared by Gina Pera provides perspective, insights and challenges individuals to look at the whole picture.

Gina Pera is an internationally renowned author dedicated to exploring ADHD especially its impact on relationships. Follow her on Twitter at @GinaPera or on her website www.ginapera.com.

Is Everything Related to ADD/ADHD, Anxiety or Depression

stained-glass-love-hands

Maybe.

This might not be the answer you want to hear. ADD/ADHD, Anxiety or Depression manifest in different ways. There’s no definite and absolute answer when working with children and adolescents. However, what I will say that is absolute, is the love you have for your child and their love for you.

Help Our Children Manage Their Emotions

A child, like us, have good days and bad days. It is your job as the parent to remain calm when they are out of control. I know this is easier said than done.

However, as the adult we are the ones responsible to help them understand and learn to manage their emotions. We create a safe place for them to do that.

As an adult, it’s easier to tell when we’re stressed, worried or sad.  We can use our words.  We have options to help ourselves.  We go for a walk.  We talk with a friend.  We even take some time out.

Children are not this self-aware. They don’t understand what, why or how about their emotions. Much less how to react. A child knows how to scream, cry or call out for you when something doesn’t feel right.

Be Aware Of How ADD/ADHD, Anxiety or Depression Manifests

But when they’re hurting emotionally, the pain inside is inexplicable to them. They only know how awful it feels so they act out on that pain. This can manifest itself in so many ways.

  • Tears
  • Throwing things
  • Not eating
  • Loss of sleep
  • Isolate
  • Become clingy
  • Problems come up at school
  • Lack of energy
  • Increased worry
  • Loss of interest in their hobbies
  • Overly engaged

Noticing your child’s behavior is very important.

It is up to you to identify if the behavior is part of their developmental growth, ADD/ADHD or another physical reason.  Look at how often this behavior comes up. The intensity of the behavior.  These are cues.

Create a Safe Place

When you’re talking with your child, it is critical you create a safe place. Do you stay with them? Or sometimes an adolescent may be left alone to calm down.

Are you talking to them at their level? If not, drop down to your knees and hold direct eye contact.

You want to create a connection with love and respect. This creates safety and trust.