Does Your Child with ADHD Need Help with Homework?

Are you looking for ways to help your child or teen handle the daily struggle with homework? The struggle (theirs and yours) is real. It may look like a lack of motivation, or defiance, forgetfulness or even a learning disability but in reality, it is probably their Executive Function skills.

The Homework Help for ADHD covers seven Executive Function skills that have the biggest impact on homework and includes information on what to look for and plenty of strategies to help compensate.

Laine Dougherty - Notebook - Homework Help for ADHD - blue #1

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Due to the current circumstances and requirements for social distancing, our classes and individual services will be conducted via Zoom, Google Meet or Phone.

Finding the Magic

Magic, to me, is that unexpected, out of the ordinary happening that brings forth surprising emotions of joy and delight. Sometimes we can get so caught up with what is happening in the world that we don’t notice the magic that is all around us. This month, the most magical month of the year, we may need to look closer for it, create it on our own and take time to appreciate it more.

The holidays have always had a certain magic to them. You can see it in the eyes of children, feel it in the air and notice it in the kindness of people around you. I’m not talking the “magic” of turning down an unexpected aisle to find a display of toilet paper or paper towels although that does bring a sense of wonder. I’m talking about letting go of the stresses that we have no control over and focusing on what we can control.

There’s magic in the holiday celebrations and traditions that your family keeps. It’s in the decorating, the baking, the games you play and the things you do together. Some things may need to change this year, but you can decide on what and how. Are there new traditions you want to start?  Need to reaffirm some of the old traditions? It is up to you and your family. Do those things that “spark joy” as Marie Kondo would say and do them with enthusiasm and drop the things that don’t.

There’s magic in the family connections. Seeing your kids close up without the hustle and bustle of going here and there may help you “see” them more closely. Maybe you’ve seen how they persevere with school work that is not easy – how dedicated they are to their homework and how resilient they are as they adapt to the changes that keep happening. Or maybe you have watched them struggle and see where they need help. You can secretly help by playing games together that build on those weak skills or by baking or creating things together. Encourage their interests and help them connect with their friends (in a safe way) and focus on the positives (ratio of 5:1 positives to outweigh one negative). Value the relationship above homework.

Magic can be found in the friendships that have prevailed during these days. The connections that have grown and continue to feed your soul even though you may be separated by distance.

Maybe you’re finding magic in remembering what it is like to cook/bake. Making something with your hands be it baking, sewing, building or creating – following your heart to find your passion or a hobby that excites you and appreciating the everyday things you might normally take for granted. It feels good and there is magic in that.

There’s magic in giving. Giving of yourself, your time or your resources. Maybe it’s a toy drive donation, or a pair of gloves for Cradles to Crayons via Amazon, food for the food pantry or picking up groceries for your neighbor that can’t get out. Volunteering or helping those around you whether you get to see the smile on a child’s face or not, you know you “did good.”

As a certified organizer coach, I have to also mention the magic in an organized home. Maybe it is in the taking care of those things you have tolerated for so long but now could be solved with a simple solution like a well-placed hook or container. Move those things you rarely use so that the everyday items are front and center. That feeling that you can actually find what you are looking for, and know that nothing important has slipped through the cracks, can save you time and stress. The magic in decluttering opens up your life for new possibilities when you are not struggling to keep up with the daily “grind” or wasting time searching. Create some habits and routines that will keep the whole family organized and less stressed and relax into that magic.

Lastly, there is magic in the new year. Life is short and unpredictable as 2020 has taught us so let’s do what is important and meaningful. Find the magic in the little things and begin the year filled with hope. Wishing you a healthy, safe new year filled with love, hope and magic. Welcome 2021!

Add Power to Your Day – Set an Intention

sunrise over hilltopDo you start each day with an intention or do you let the day unfold as it will? An intention according to Oxford Dictionaries is, “a thing intended; an aim or plan.” Now that might sound a bit like a goal, but I see the goal as having an endpoint. An intention is more of a feeling, an awareness or a purpose rather than a specific result. With an intention set for the day, you may find that it guides how you go through your day. Remember we are talking feelings and not results.

For example, maybe you want to make a point of daily self-care, or intend to be more deliberate about taking in the experiences that only summer in New England can offer.  Or, maybe you want to be more present with your kids or, simply decide to find joy throughout your day. Whatever it is, it needs to be meaningful to you.

If that seems overwhelming (after all, the choices are unlimited) then take a tip from Joshua Becker – whose book, The Minimalist Home, I am currently reading. He uses one sentence each day:

“Today, I commit myself to ____________________.”

His blog goes on to give examples such as,

      • “Today, I commit myself to being the best mother I can be.
      • Today, I commit myself to healthy eating.
      • Today, I commit myself to this work goal.”

Of course, you can have intentions for more specific things too, like getting through the meeting, showing understanding with your kids, putting things away as you use them. It can be anything that speaks to you and your life. It is not a “to do”, it is more like an “approach” to your day. Sometimes we get so caught up in the to do’s that we lose our sense of who we want to be. Keeping an intention in mind, can keep you focused on the important aspect of your life (hint: it is not about doing more)

Now, you may find that by repeating the same intention for a week or a month, that certain things change. Simply focusing on an area, increases its presence. You’ve heard the statement that “energy flows where intention goes.” You may find that it may lead you to a deeper understanding of yourself or a change in behavior that will enhance your life.

My Intention: Today I set clear boundaries around my work and play time and respect what I accomplish. What’s your intention for today?

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“Don’t just drift through life. Live with intention and purpose.” Joshua Becker

Change 2.0

change buttonThere are only a few weeks left until the new school year starts and we all transition into the start of fall. If you had the power to change one thing about this time of year…..what would it be? Think about that for a few minutes and maybe write down a few things. Now pick the one that would make the biggest impact on your life. Stop dreaming about things like losing 20 pounds, getting organized once and for all, finding a new job, being less stressed or anything else that is on your mind and start changing your life TODAY!

I know from experience that sometimes, no usually, change is hard and often we don’t try until we reach a breaking point. That’s what happened to me almost 32.5 years ago when I “got organized.” What I have learned in the years since then has made a bigger impact on my life than getting organized did.

  • No one succeeds instantly
  • Change takes time
  • Relapses are normal
  • You CAN succeed!
  • You have to be flexible
  • It is worth the effort – no matter how many times you have failed before
  • The end result is better than you could ever imagine!

Often times we get so caught up in the moment that we don’t take the time to think through and problem solve what it is we are struggling with. I see this all the time with my clients, they “don’t know why x happens”, and they just accept it as if it is out of their control. But they ARE the one in control – with every decision or lack of decision. If you are ready to make a change, these steps can help:

  1. Analyze what it is you want to change? How is this impacting your life? What would your life be like if this wasn’t bothering you? Dream big!
  2. What would this change look like? Start with the end result and work your way backwards to the smallest step you can take today.
  3. Make space in your life for this change. How long do you need to work on this new “habit” in order to see a change? Where in your day can you find the 10 or 15 minutes you need to build this new habit? Link this time slot to a habit you already have like brushing your teeth, etc.
  4. Set reminders on your phone, put up sticky notes, find an accountability partner, or whatever else will help you remember this new time slot.
  5. Keep track of your success by using a chart, app or tick marks on a whiteboard, whatever will show you how you are doing. Reward yourself after “X” number of positive successes. Don’t expect perfection. New habits can take up to 300 practices before you “own” them.

Lastly, don’t forget that new habits, systems and routines need maintenance. Life interrupts but it doesn’t have to derail. Forgive yourself and get back to it. If you find you are starting over frequently, go back and take a look at steps 1-5. If it is important to you…..it’s worth fighting for, don’t you think?

Good luck with whatever it is that you want to change. I am working on getting to bed at a consistent time each night something I am constantly struggling with. Please share your struggles and successes in the comments below.