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Video 1 – Is It Social Anxiety?

Learn where social anxiety comes from and what it looks like. Use the Social Anxiety Symptom Checklist to discover if you or your kids have Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).

 

SAD & ADHD   Right Click to Download

Social Anxiety Symptom Checklist Right Click to Download

I INVITE YOU TO SHARE YOUR KEY TAKE AWAYS BELOW IN THE LEAVE A REPLY BOX Read More

As I send my two oldest daughters off to college my fear of them sitting alone at lunch or hiding by the gym lockers have moved to fear of them locking themselves up in their dorm rooms isolated and lonely.

I think my own social anxiety is triggering these fears. In my heart, I know my girls will push through the “uncomfortable” that always accompanies new experiences. I’m also a realist and know anxiety is a heavy load to carry.

For some students, be it 6th graders, high schoolers or college students, another year of school is another year of anxiety filled moments. Academic stress, athletic competition, social pressures and personal insecurity makes the start of school overwhelming and intimidating.

So much focus is put on academics and we forget the highest anxiety moments are the social ones. Since when is lunch the highest stress point of a student’s day? Sadly, it is the reality for more students than you’d think.

For students who live with ADHD, anxiety and depression, the “back-to-school” period is especially troubling. For many the fear of the unknown – like a new teacher, new school, or new schedule – can cause or exacerbate feelings of social anxiety. For students with ADHD these fears are magnified as their over-active minds play out one potential social catastrophe after another.

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College drop-off day is around the corner – Again!

Two years ago I hugged my oldest of 3 daughters goodbye at college and watched her walk into the next chapter of her life.

It was hard.

Really hard.
It was one of the hardest, most dreaded days of parenthood I’d ever experienced.

Sounds dramatic. I know I was sending her off to college, not war.

And still, the memory of that day is seared into my brain, along with some unexpected painful moments that snuck up on me in the weeks and months that followed.

And now only two years later I have another child packing up her room to head to college.

Recently, I’ve been rehashing what I learned the first time around. What I know for sure is that looking back and feeling sad robs me of being present for the moment I’m in now.

This time I give myself permission to feel sad, to miss them and then to get on with finding my new normal.

From drop-off day to the months that followed, this is how finding my new normal went down the first time.

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Wouldn’t you just love to see your teen beaming with confidence, accepting herself for who she is, not for what others want her to be, and feeling strong on the inside?

It’s so important that your teen cultivate self-confidence now.Following are  5 powerful strategies that can help build up your teens confidence from the inside out.
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The shocking answer…anyone who is in your teen’s contact list or in their social media feeds. That’s a lot of people your teen is curling up with every night.

Statistics bore me. But these stats hit a chord with me.

  • 95% of 18-29 year olds sleep with their phone right next to their bed.
  • 25% of people don’t silence their phone before going to bed.
  • 10 % of people are woken by notifications of texts, tweets, snapchats and emails.
  • 50% of people will check their phone if they wake in the night.

And our teens are always “on” because of FOMO (aka Fear Of Missing Out) Read More

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just flick a switch and make your kids shyness go “POOF’”?

Your child wouldn’t worry anymore about what others think, no more embarrassment in front of other people. Your kid could just relax and feel comfortable and confident.

You could feel some relief from worrying about if your shy kid is going to get taken advantage of later in life.

It’s typical for our kids to not want help from us in their social lives. But, you CAN help. And here’s how.

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Who is this older gentleman feverishly taking notes, wearing a business suit at the CHADD Conference? I assumed him a physician or school administrator. WRONG! He raises his hand and asks, “How can I be there for my granddaughter to support all her interests. She has so many. I want her to know I care but it’s hard when her interests change daily.” Wow. What a lucky girl his granddaughter is to call this gentleman Grandpa.

In another session, for women with ADHD, many women stood up and shared their struggles with ADHD and what they’ve learned to do to live with more ease. Their honesty, vulnerability, and sense of humor moved me beyond words. Talking about it with each other gives us community, support and understanding. Ladies, we are all stronger when we lean on each other. I urge you to find support in your community or start your own group!

For some at the conference, they would come out of a session and say, “I thought the speaker was talking about me! He described me, my habits, my fears, my goofs, my oops, my need for speed. He even knew of my desires to do more, to do it better, to do it without reminders, to not let others down, to not let myself down. I came here for someone else I care about with ADHD and discovered my own ADHD.”

That first self-diagnosis can leave many unsettled. Not knowing how to tell others. Not wanting judgment. Not knowing what to do next.

I’m  grateful for the ADHD community of professionals who work tirelessly to reach others who could really start rocking and rolling in their lives with just a little support.

Mostly, I’m grateful for those who are already stepping up and supporting someone they love living with ADHD.

What can you do when someone shares they suspect or know they’re living with ADHD?

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Parents speak out on “what things are keeping them up at night about ADHD for their family.

  • “Will my daughter find people who can support her while she works on her social skills? Friends that can understand she can be inappropriate or come off as thoughtless. She just doesn’t have that awareness yet.
  • “Can my son learn skills he needs to take care of himself?
  • “I worry about my daughter socially more than ever. She gets bored with things…..and people very quickly.”
  • “The biggest concern I now have with my son is how to help him deal with anxiety.”
  • “I worry a lot about how my son would fit in, in the real world as an adult.”
  • “Will my daughter be able to manage on her own, get a job, hold a job, get bills paid?

Can you relate?
Worrying about how our kids will manage as adults is natural. We spend so much time worrying about algebra test scores we miss what is “missing”. Do we know our kids social intelligence score? Our kids need social muscle to achieve independence.

Those with ADHD frequently struggle with friendships. They’re often isolated and withdrawn. Some choose not to socialize. If they do, they may be rejected.

Worse, isolation and rejection may lead to other problems like depression and anxiety.

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 The most overlooked distraction is our thoughts. For those with ADHD it is often the biggest barrier to paying attention.

Efforts we make to lessen external distractions don’t work for tuning-out our own thoughts.

Music, TV, bright neon lights are distracting to most. For others, those are crucial to keeping focused. What works for the neurotypical brain does not work for the complex ADHD brain.

When you notice your kids distracted by irrelevant sights and sounds, quickly bouncing from one activity to another, or becoming bored quickly, what do you offer?

If you tell your kids, “Go study in your room where it is quiet,” you are not alone.
I did it.
I didn’t know better.

Other well-meaning parents and experts share this as an effective focusing strategy. It may be for some, but not others.

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Managing emotions is tough. For those with ADHD, self-regulation is a tremendous challenge.

Emotions, yours and your child’s, are the biggest obstacles to getting homework done.

When your kid is fired-up crying, screaming, throwing and crumpling homework, how do you react? Do you yell and threaten punishment?

Is your kid being rude, angry, hostile and disrespectful on purpose?

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You vowed this school year would be different.

You got blind-sided again when your kid became a hot mess doing homework.

You tried to help. Things got heated. You yelled. You wish you could take back the angry hurtful words.

Your kid feels like a failure at school.

You feel like a failure at parenting.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

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Are you missing something? Something important? Maybe and maybe not.

Seems our kids come home from school and either say nothing about their day or they chatter you up and down until bedtime.

It keeps parents on their toes when you got both and maybe something in between. You feel like you’re firing round after round of questions at one kid and shushing the other.

In all the after school chaos of homework, practices, carpools, dinner and if you’re really on top of things, a decent bedtime, us parents are plain ol’ worn out.

We have great intentions. We want to know what’s going on with our kiddo’s at school. We want to know if they need help.

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