Parent Blog


Probably the most important skill your child can learn to succeed in the 21st century is to be in-distractible. That’s a tall order in today’s digital age when technology seduces many of us into diverting from what we should be doing.

According to a Stanford University psychologist, there are two kinds of people in the world; “Those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves in-distractible. Most kids use technology between 5-10 hours a day. At school, if in middle to high school, kids are probably using computers at least 3 to 4 hours a day and then for many, there is all those hours to play with technology after school. The hours on some type of screen just seem to fly by and time becomes irrelevant for many. Let’s face it, kids love video games and if left alone, they would have no problem at all spending an entire day gaming with a program like Minecraft. Therefore, when many parents ask their kids to get off their phones, X-Box or computers because they’ve been using them for an inordinate amount of time, there are many disputes. Even Bill Gates limits his children’s screen time.Read more


Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave

If you’re like me, you have to keep reminding yourself that the wolf is NOT at the door. With all the horrific stories in the media and the stresses in our world today, it’s no wonder we are having moments of not functioning well. If you’re like me, you might go to bed, reliving the stressful incidents of the day and perhaps the economic, political or environmental issues that affect us either directly or tangentially. Some of us can create incredibly dark scenarios in our minds because we live in a complex world where all our buttons can be easily pushed.

Children certainly push our buttons and we often don’t know how to shake off the negative emotions we are left with. It’s a rich territory when we look at the landscape of our thoughts and this applies to situations which cause anxiety between parent and child or even with our partners. In order to have more harmony on a consistent basis one needs to do it gently and gradually. ‘Ask and It Is Given’ is a New York Times bestselling book written by Esther & Jerry Hicks. It is a book I highly recommend and is about us “asking” and being answered by All-That-Is. That may sound like a riddle but the book is primarily about how whatever we’re asking for, ie: harmony in family relationships, is being given to us and there are ways to ask and then receive. As most of us will admit, we do create our own reality and no one else does! We create our own reality in any given situation even if you don’t understand how we do it. For that reason, we often create by default. As Esther and Jerry Hicks tell us, “When you are consciously aware of your own thoughts and you are deliberately offering them, then you are the deliberate creator of your own reality.“

You ask through your attention and through your desire. You don’t have to use words. You just have to feel it in your being. By paying attention to your emotions, you can understand every experience you are having whether good or bad. Read more


Conscious Parenting- Dealing with Defiant Children

Having recently experienced a student who was oppositionally defiant in one of my classes, I was reminded of the mental health professional description of the behaviors of someone with that type of behavioral issue.
Below is the checklist of a young teen whose disorder should be tracked according to intensity and repetition. In my case, the student exhibited all but one of the descriptors seen below.  Not knowing the background of this student because he was relatively new to my class, and didn’t have an IEP there was no way I could tell if there was some type of trauma in his life that triggered the actions. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and reacted according to how I’ve been trained. Certainly, aggressive behavior such as he exhibited could be excused due to trauma. Otherwise, there are ways to deal with it. Here is the list which seems to characterize an ODD child/teen.

  • Oftenloses temper
  • Argues with adults and authority figures
  • Refuses to comply with adult requests
  • Blames others for his mistakes
  • Deliberately annoys people
  • Is easily annoyed by others
  • Is angry/resentful and spiteful/vindictive.

Sound like someone you may know?
Please see information below as I found it most helpful and I think you will too.
If a person exhibits four or more of these behaviors for six months or longer, he/she would likely be diagnosed with ODD, unless there was an alternative explanation.  For example, if the individual has experienced. trauma such as the death or ill health of a caretaker, or if there’s another disorder or condition at play. The most important factor to consider is frequency and intensity. All kids exhibit some of these behaviors at some time, but not to the extent of an ODD child. ODD may develop at any time, over time, and may be secondary to another diagnosis.
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