What! School Starts Next Week!

If you are like me, then the start of school always seems to come sooner than expected.  Projects that need to be finished are half way done, trips to the beach were less than planned, vacation time flew by, and friends coming over happened too infrequently.  But here we are again with school starting regardless of how little was accomplished.

Getting you ready for the new school year is one thing, but getting your child ready is a whole different task that is often met with resistance.  So here is a list of several things both of you can do this week to get ready for the start of the new school year.

  1. Make the morning drive or walk to the bus stop now to know how long it takes to get there.
  2. Repeat the same drive at the return time following the pick-up lines.
  3. Begin this week by getting up at the time you will need to wake up for school.
  4. Do your entire morning routine including making breakfast and lunch as practice.
  5. Clean out the old backpack or lunch boxes.
  6. Sort through old school supplies and make a list of new purchases.
  7. Check your school’s website for school supply lists.
  8. Go through clothes getting rid of clothes too small and making another list of needed clothing.
  9. Organize your closet space so shoes and socks are easy to find.
  10. Check clothing for any missing buttons or hems that need to be taken down.
  11. Go to the store and purchase needed items now before school begins for the best discounts.
  12. Organize your desk or homework space to prepare for upcoming homework.
  13. Run a virus scan on your computer and clean it up in preparation for new assignments.
  14. Make sure your printer has an extra print cartridge.
  15. Review summer reading lists and assignments making sure all papers are completed.
  16. Go on your school’s website and look at after school practice schedules to update your calendar.
  17. Arrange for car pools before school begins.
  18. Print off the master school calendar for the year noting all holidays and half days in advance.
  19. Spend an hour a day on the computer brushing up on a skill such as typing or math.
  20. Do one special thing like seeing a movie, going to the beach or hanging with friends.

If the summer slipped by too fast, there really is no point in dragging out the beginning of the school year in hopes of postponing the inevitable.  Rather now is the time to be thankful for what you did, be thankful for who you did it with and be thankful for another year.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

What is Behind High School or College Senioritis?

Do you have a senior from high school or college who seems to have shut down and is no longer productive?  Maybe they were productive in the past but now they are procrastinating, their grades are sliding, they don’t care about the things that mattered to them in the past and their tempers seem to be higher than normal.  Or perhaps they seem to negatively obsess over a class, another student, or a family member.  In short, your senior is different and not for the better.

Change is difficult for most people and transitioning from a high school student to a college student or from a college student into the workforce can be more change then they are prepared to handle.  Stress levels are high whenever someone moves but add to that a change in status, change in environments, change in friendships, and change in expectations.  Now you have a recipe for one stressed out senior.  So how can you help?  By paying attention to their behavior and acting accordingly you can alleviate some of the pressure.

Shutting down.  One reason a senior shuts down is because they are overwhelmed with anticipation over what is expected from them in the future.  Perhaps they have a scholarship to a college or job offers lined up and are anxious about living up to these new standards.  So instead of finishing strong, they retreat to a protective shell of sorts and stop performing altogether.  Begin by helping them admit that they are anxious and then try talking about a back-up plan if Plan A does not work to alleviate some of the anticipated pressure.  Finally, inspect your own expectations to ensure they are realistic and not unrealistic.

Procrastinating.  While one senior stops working altogether another one slows down their productivity to a crawl and frequently missed deadlines they would normally meet.  This procrastinating may be a sign that they are nervous about the upcoming change and they are trying to delay the change by moving slower.  At the subconscious level they are dragging everything out to make it last longer.  Unfortunately time moves on regardless of our actions.  Begin by helping them admit to the sadness they are feeling and allow them to reflect on the things they will miss going forward.  Give them the opportunity to spend extra time with their friends so they can begin the process of saying good-bye.

Negative obsessing.  Some seniors finish strong but seem to put all of their passions and negative energy attacking a class, teacher, fellow student or family member.  They obsess over things that never bothered them before and act in a manner inconsistent with their personality.  These students hyper focus their energy on one or two things to distract them from the negative feelings associated with their change.  Begin by identifying their target of negative energy and remind them of how they managed effectively in the past with their obsession.  Then discuss the other emotions such as sadness or anxiety they may be feeling and help them work through it.

Senior year can be an exciting time for students and the hope is that they will look back on their senior year with great memories.  By working with your senior and helping them to identify the stressful feelings they may be experiencing you will help to ensure a good memory instead of a negative one.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

ADD/ADHD Students – Successful School Strategies

The school year is starting again with another opportunity to grow academically and personally.  For most ADD/ADHD students however the new school year can be intimidating with different teachers and a new schedule.  Here are a couple of tips for making the most of the new school year.

  1. Set your alarm for 30 minutes before you think you need to wake up.  This gives you time to find all of the things you need for the day.
  2. Have a list in plain view of what special item is needed daily.  For instance, band is on Tuesdays so you need your instrument; gym is on Mondays so you need a change of clothing.
  3. Start your day off right with a good breakfast high in protein and low in sugar.
  4. Get a planner that has enough space to write down assignments yet is small enough to carry around.
  5. Mark the days off and half days in your planner for the entire year.
  6. Take the syllabus from the class and mark any due dates in your planner now.
  7. Keep the syllabus from each class at the beginning of your binder so you can remember what is expected during the year.
  8. If on a block schedule (classes are every other day), mark the days for the entire year in the planner.  Keep another schedule and post inside your locker door.
  9. If on a block schedule, have two 3-ring binders: one for one day, the other for the other day.
  10. If classes are every day, keep two 3-ring binders: one for the morning, one for the afternoon.
  11. Have blank paper in your binder to doodle or draw during class, this will help to keep your focus.
  12. Taking notes during class will also minimize the distractions and help you to focus (these are not notes that you pass to your friends!).
  13. Keep a paper clip in your pocket to play with when you get fidgety.
  14. Minimize bathroom breaks as it takes even longer to regain your focus.
  15. Most teachers will work with you if they understand your struggle, so be honest with them.
  16. Bring homework with you to your classes in case you have some free time.  School time is the best time to complete homework because your focus is the best.
  17. Do a physical activity immediately after school, no video games or homework.  Save that for later.
  18. Do homework after a meal and after some physical activity, but before playing.
  19. Make sure you have a fun activity at the end of the day; this is your down time.
  20. Go to sleep at regular times whether you are tired or not, routine and proper sleep increases your ability to focus.

While these steps will not guarantee good grades, they can help to improve your performance.  More importantly, as you learn to minimize the challenges of ADD/ADHD, your confidence will improve and this may be your best year yet.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.