Parenting

RESET and get Strength from Structure

reset

It’s September, and some parents refer to this month as the “true new year.” For busy parents of school aged children, it feels like that anyway. Now that everyone is back in school, we parents have a wonderful opportunity to hit RESET on all those routines that may have gone by the wayside during the last couple of months.

  • RESET your wake-up time. Make a habit of waking up at the same time every weekday. Provide your child with an alarm clock (not their cell phone). If they have trouble hearing it, place it across the room. TIP: For those kiddos who want their cell phone in their rooms at night because they like to listen to music – consider the Amazon Dot. It connects to Spotify and other music services but it won’t let your kid Snapchat all night.
  • RESET your morning routine.
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Parents Need a Break During Summer Vacation Too!

summer vacation

For kids, summer vacation is amazing – long days, no school, no homework, few if any responsibilities, playing all day, sleeping in until noon and hanging out until late at night. For parents on the other hand, summer can be far from easy.

Summer vacation means more “work” for parents than the rest of the year. Although you probably booked summer camps in February, there is still a lot to be done. Your schedule can be changing week to week, which may increase everyone’s anxiety levels. If your kids are in day camps, then you might be coordinating rides or chauffeuring

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An ADHD Story: My Son Might be a Mad Scientist

Doc Brown Back to the Future
Remember Doc, the white haired, mad eyed inventor from Back to the Future? Do you remember the scene where Marty goes to visit Doc in his workshop and walks through a cluttered kitchen where a complex Rube Goldberg machine is set up to feed the dog?  My twelve-year-old son with ADHD is a modern-day younger Doc.

My son’s recent projects include: Various robots made with Makeblock; An Arduino powered laser pointer mechanism designed to entertain our cats; a Lego EV3 cobra

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A Mom’s Guide to Fighting the Effects of Decision Fatigue

Do you suffer from decision fatigue?
Do you suffer from decision fatigue? Adults make thousands of decisions each day. These range from the mundane (cereal or oatmeal?) to important life and business decisions.  As we go through the day, our brain’s ability to make good decisions, compromises, and to resist temptations falters. Scientists call this decision fatigue. As a mom, you may have experienced this phenomenon as decision paralysis – when you’ve spent the day working, caring for your children and all the sudden you can’t figure out what to make for dinner?

As we make hundreds of big and small decisions and exert willpower over temptations, each act of resistance erodes our willpower at the end of the day. Like when our children ask us the same thing twenty times, and in the late afternoon we suddenly give in?
Scientists have even found that as decision fatigue sets in food becomes more appealing, making

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The Case for Handwritten Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes are an Important Tradition

The holidays are about traditions. Some holiday traditions are generic and some are unique to the family, some are old and some new. At some point, the job of passing on these traditions shifts from the grandparents, to parents of young children. It’s not discussed, it just happens that way. Family traditions need repetition in order to carry on, much like good habits need repetition to stick. In our half Jewish family, we do a great job with the traditions surrounding Christmas, but we are lousy about lighting the menorah at Hanukkah. This year we only remembered the first day, shame on us. Actually, shame on my husband and me, because we need to be the ones to carry out these traditions so that they become ingrained in our children’s experience of the holidays. It’s that whole lead by example thing. Something else the kids won’t continue, if we don’t,

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Do You Know Your Mommy Bandwidth?

Can you tell when you have exceeded your bandwidth? We moms do have limits too.

Bandwidth – “The energy or mental capacity required to deal with a situation.” Oxford Living Dictionaries

I don’t need to write about all the different demands on a mom’s time and energy. You already know all about that. You are deep in it every-single-day-of-your-life, just like all of us. After all, you are the person keeping the family going. Sometimes things go along relatively smoothly. Other times, well, things can get a little crazy.
For example, I left the house today to go to an appointment and two blocks from my house I realized that I had automatically started driving to the kids’ school. A few minutes later I made another wrong turn, my inner autopilot taking over once more. This hasn’t happened before. Sure, I’ve

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Applying to Private Schools for the 2017-2018 school year

Applying to private schools for the 2017-2018 school year

You may be thinking about holidays, but it is already the season to visit potential private schools and see which may be the best fit for your child. Whether you are considering applying for Kindergarten or Middle School the application process can seem daunting. Following are highlights of the application process:

FALL

  1. What schools will you be applying to?
    a. Research local independent schools. Knowing your child, where would he/she thrive?
    b. Talk to friends about their experiences with different institutions.
    c. Talk to children and parents of children who attend the school you may be interested in.
    d. Attend independent school fairs and Open House days. Organizations such as Puget Sound Independent Schools list upcoming fairs and Open House events.
  2. Narrow down the list of schools you will apply to and become familiar with their deadlines. If your child is applying as a sibling, you may have earlier application deadlines. Find out if your school has rolling admissions.
  3. Reach out to former educators and ask if they would be willing to write your student a recommendation.
  4. Register for the entrance test. Most primary and secondary independent schools require either the SSAT or the ISEE test for admittance.
  5. Become familiar with the entrance test format and content.
    a. Purchase study guides and prepare for the entrance test.
    b. Enroll in prep classes or seek out a tutor to assist your child with preparation.
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Parent’s guide to getting your ADHD student to school on-time

Get your ADHD child out the door on time
The key to getting out of the house on time starts the night before. Since kids with ADHD may have sleep issues, a solid sleep routine can help your child be successful with their morning routine.
Start the sleep ritual early. Turn off any electronic devices well ahead of bedtime. This can be challenging if your student is up late studying, but aim for an early bedtime as much as you can. A sleep app like SleepyTime: Bedtime Calculator can help your child determine what time you they need to get to bed based on when they need to wake up. Taking a hot shower before bed can help the body get into sleep mode. Some kids with ADHD like to settle down with a book on tape or on Audible, but if that is too stimulating a white noise machine or app can help your child tune out noise and settle into sleep easier. If possible, try to avoid evening sports or lessons as these may overstimulate your child, making it more difficult for them to fall asleep. Try different strategies until you come up with a sleep routine that works well for your child.
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How a School Lunch Packing Station Will Simplify Your Morning

lunch packing station

Would you like your children to make their own school lunches? A school lunch packing station makes it super easy for your child to take on this responsibility. Start with designating space in your pantry and fridge. A pantry shelf that is eye level for your children is the best choice. Store your child’s lunch box and water bottle near the lunch packing station. In a small labeled bin store your child’s favorite school snacks. Next to that store a labeled bin with napkins, forks/spoons, plastic storage containers and baggies. In your refrigerator, designate a shelf or a drawer for school lunch food. For example, in a labeled drawer keep everything needed to make sandwiches.  On the label write the contents of the drawer: (bread, cheese, turkey meat, mayo, etc.) and keep it stocked with those ingredients. On a designated labeled refrigerator shelf keep juice boxes, veggie packs,

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Clean Out Those Backpacks in 5 Easy Steps!

The school year is over! Your child is thrilled about the start of summer vacation. Before it’s forgotten about, follow these 5 easy steps to clean out the backpack and organize all the art and school projects that have come home. The end of the school year is one of the best times to clean out the school year detritus and organize your child’s keepsakes.

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