Category Archives: Boarding School Articles

Ten Ways to Enhance Your Child’s Learning Experience when Home from Boarding School

With spring break upon us and summer just around the corner, parents and boarding school students may be thinking about how to make the home environment condusive to learning and open communication in the time to come. For most children, education generally starts in the home. While parents may opt to send their children to boarding school for a period of time, the real teachers remain those closest to the students. Teachers can do a great deal to help children reach their fullest academic potential, but without the help of those who support the children at home, their learning experiences will only go so far. More and more, you hear of educators reaching out to parents and caretakers of students with the hopes of getting them to be more involved in the process of educating students when they return home from boarding school for a vacation, a season, or to continue their education outside of boarding school.

Parent/Caretaker Involvement

What some parents and guardians are unaware of is that getting involved in their child’s education and learning experiences requires a lot more than just helping them with their school projects while home on break or leave. As stated previously, parents are the first and most significant role models in helping to develop the child’s ability to learn in school. It is the parents that help children develop the character they need to self motivate and be confident in themselves and their abilities to live and learn away from home.

Reading is Fundamental

One of the most significant ways that you can enhance your child’s learning experiences is to have them continue to read and delve into knowledge while away from campus. Depending upon the age of the child, reading should go well beyond just reading fiction novels. It should encompass comprehension skills that might include asking them questions about the book and discussing the information that have read. Reading should also vary in categories including fiction and nonfiction stories.

Explore Learning through Everyday Experiences

Every day is a new opportunity for children to learn something new. Teachers encourage parents to enhance their child’s learning experiences by applying what they learn in school to everyday life. For instance, when cooking having your child help you or take over when age appropriate. Show them how to incorporate real life with math or reading skills. Your child’s teacher may have other ideas of how you can take everyday experiences and turn them into a lesson while away from boarding school.

Any institution becomes a community – whether it’s a high school or a boarding school or a publishing company or a small town where everybody knows certain things about people.

Alice Hoffman

Ask Your Children about Their Studies

 

Parents don’t have to wait until they receive a bad report card or notice from a teacher to find out how their child is doing in boarding school. It is imperative that parents are involved in what their children are learning in school. Ask your child about what they are learned every time you speak with them. Ask open ended questions that give you insight as to what they are having trouble comprehending, and even what their favorite subjects and activities are. When they see that their parents are interested in what they’re learning, this will open up a new door for you to help further their understanding and praise them for their hard work and effort while away from home. This will also help the learning and open lines of communication continue when they return home.

Stay in Constant Contact with Your Child’s Teachers

Another important tip for enhancing your child’s learning experience is to remain in contact with the teachers. Parents often wait for teachers to reach out to them before they show concern. If you work hours that prevent you from taking a visit to the school and campus or you live too far away, you can always send an email to the teacher to find out updates about your children. The teacher is able to give you information on how your child is learning, and what areas they need help in. They can also provide you with resources and tools to help further their education when away from campus.

Celebrate the Uniqueness of Your Child

All too often, parents put a high level of expectations on their children. While students should aim to be their best, parents who strongly stress the importance of getting an A in every subject all the time can put a lot of stress on a child’s ability to learn to their fullest potential. It is important that parents learn to realize that not every child will receive an A in every subject, and that each child has something that they are uniquely good at in school. Learn to accept your child’s best and praise their uniqueness as much as possible. When they realize the pressures to “succeed” are not at such as high level they tend to do much better in learning.

Allow Your Child to make “Mistakes” on Their Own

It would be nice if your child got every question right on a test; however, that is far from reality. Some parents take a “hand holding” approach to assisting their children in learning. However, this isn’t nearly as possible when they are away at boarding school. What must be understood is that in order to learn there has to be some trial and error along the way. Some of the most successful students are those that are able to be responsible and organized on their own. These skills are learned through experience and mistakes. Parents who provide answers to questions or do the work for their children are only hindering their abilities to learn not only in school, but in life as well.

Set Household Rules

Many public and private school teachers agree that part of the reason students are not able to learn as they should in the classroom is because either they have not learned about respect and discipline or other students within the class who have not learned these values distract them. Schools are not supposed to handle disciplinary actions as often as they do. In order to enhance your child’s learning experiences there should be rules and consequences within the home so that children learn to respect authority and make the right decisions. While away at boarding school, there are many rules that must be followed to maintain a safe learning and living environment. It is important to enforce similar rules when your child is away from campus.
Give Them Praise and Encouragement

You should be your child’s number one fan. Whether they get an A on a math test they’ve been studying for or they’ve learned a new skill, it is imperative that you give them praise whenever you can. One of the biggest learning enhancers for children is high self esteem. A child who feels good about themselves is more likely to try more things and learn more than one who feels bad that they didn’t make the grade.

Resources

Top 5 Resolutions for Troubled Teens in 2014

Many younger people take resolutions to better their lives extremely seriously. Of those teens, many of them have struggled in the past and realize how difficult it can be to come back after hitting bottom. One such group that may be taking positive changes seriously are troubled teens who are attending boarding school. These may be great resolutions for teens to consider to make their 2014 a great year!

  1. Make a Positive Contribution – Many boarding schools require that the teens in attendance positively contribute to the community and the campus in different ways. However, it is possible for teens to go beyond the requirements for volunteering by doing something they are passionate about. Some ideas might include holding a fundraiser or drive to raise money for people in need, or being a positive role model for a younger child in need.
  2. Get Healthy – Many teens take their health and well-being for granted, especially if they have succumbed to peer pressure and have gotten involved with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or other types of addictions. Learning to care for yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually is a great journey to begin undertaking in 2014. Consider starting with one small change and adding a new one every week or every month until you have attained many of your goals.
  3. Commit to Education – In today’s competitive academic and career marketplace, it is never to soon to start planning for the future. Considering that grades, extra-curricular activities, and community involvement make a huge difference in your post-secondary education years, now is the perfect time to buckle down and start putting forth maximum effort regarding your studies and grades.
  4. Re-connect with Family - Many students who are attending boarding school for prior issues have some bridges to mend with family. Although it is likely that some of the troubles you were involved with came from the friends you associated with at home, chances are that your family wants to love and support you and will do anything to help you. Now is the perfect time to reach out them and mend those broken relationships. This will make it much easier for you to return home over spring break and during summer break, which will be here before we know it.
  5. Save for the Future – Part of bridging into adulthood is learning how to manage money and develop a good work ethic. If your boarding school allows it, consider getting a local part-time job to contribute to the community, serve others, and save for your future. It is a good time to learn how to manage money and save for college, living on your own, or even a rainy day.

Helping Teens with Attention Deficit Disorder

Living with a teen that has ADD/ADHD can be somewhat aggravating and overwhelming to deal with. However, as a parent, there are plenty of things that you can do to help keep the symptoms at bay or at least to a minimum. There are tools, resources, and methods that can help parents assist their teens in getting through life’s challenges, refocusing on positivity, and hopefully bringing a clam to your family. The sooner you address and learn to help your teen, the better chances they have for lifelong success.

What You Should Know

A teen with ADD/ADHD typically has a deficit that hinders their ability to think, plan, control impulse, and follow through on tasks. As a result, you will need to step up and take over the responsibility of providing your teen with the guidance that they need until they are able to successfully execute things on their own.

While it can be downright hectic to deal with the symptoms of a teen with ADD/ADHD, it does help to keep in mind that they are not acting out intentionally. They want to do things right, but are unable to execute them properly. Therefore, keep in mind that your teen is likely just as frustrated, if not more than you are.

 

 

ADD/ADHD and the Family

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

Part of effectively parenting a teen with ADD/ADHD is knowing how their symptoms will affect their environment, which is especially important if your teen is at boarding school. Some of the common issues within family life are:

  • Hearing instructions but not following them
  • Easily distracted and disorganized
  • Rarely cleaning up after themselves
  • Interrupting conversations and demanding attention
  • Outbursts of embarrassing comments
  • Ripping and running around the home

There is also an impact that siblings go through as well. Because parents are dealing with the teen with ADD/ADHD, siblings are often left feeling as if their needs aren’t being met.

  • Siblings feel that their errors are extremely punished and their successes are overlooked
  • Siblings are often left with the responsibility of helping to care for the teen with ADD/ADHD
  • Siblings often become very resentful or jealous at the attention the other teen receives

Impact of ADD/ADHD on Parents

I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. – Winston Churchill

  • The teen’s demands become exhausting
  • The constant need to watch the teen can become psychologically damaging
  • The teen’s inability to listen becomes aggravating
  • Frustration turns to guilt

 

Staying Positive and Healthy

It is going to be important that you set a good example for your teen as it pertains to emotional and physical health. The best tool for helping your teen deal with the challenges of ADD/ADHD is a positive attitude. The calmer you are when dealing with your teen, the better chance you have of connecting with your teen and getting them to stay focused with you. Some ideas on how to stay positive are: remember that your teen’s actions are the result of a disorder, don’t harp on small things, be willing to make compromises, and believe in your teen.

Another important factor as a parent is that you maintain a healthy life. When you’re health is not the best, things can easily get to you, which can cause you to lose patience and structure. You can take care of yourself by eating right, finding ways to decrease stress, exercising, get support from others, and take breaks from time to time.

Establishing and Following Through with Structure

When a teen has ADHD, it is best that tasks are presented to them in a structured and patterned way. Therefore, your responsibility is to create and maintain structure within your household so that your teen is easily able to understand what to expect and how things are supposed to go. In order to set structure and get your teen organized, you should consider things such as creating a routine to follow, use clocks and timers as reminders, simplify your teen’s schedule, create down time, and set your home up in an organized way.

Set Expectations and Rules

A teen that has ADD/ADHD requires consistent rules that are simply to follow and comprehend. When creating your rules, be sure that they are simple and clear to understand. Place the rules in an area where your teen can easily review them if necessary. The best type of method to try is the reward and consequence system which works well for teens.

Keep in mind that teens with ADD/ADHD are often reprimanded, corrected, or put on punishment as a result of their actions. Therefore when setting your rules, you want to look out for the positive behavior and praise it as much as you can. When teens receive positive reinforcements, they are more likely to behave in the long run.

Encourage Movement and Sleep

It is quite obvious that your teen has a lot of energy to burn off. Instead of trying to always prevent them from moving around, getting them involved in activities such as organized sports can help to get rid of that energy and focus their attention on positive things. Physical activity does wonders for teens with ADD: decreases depression and anxiety, promotes brain growth, and improves concentration.

Lack of sleep can make the average teen less attentive to what you’re saying. However, it is extremely difficult for teens with ADD who have not had adequate sleep. Your teen needs to get a good amount of sleep each night. By implementing a consistent bedtime they are able to get the sleep they need and better handle their symptoms. If you’re having difficulties getting your teen to sleep early, you might try things such as:

  • Reduce television time
  • Remove caffeine from their diet
  • Create a downtime
  • Cuddle with your teen 10 minutes before bed
  • Use relaxation tapes for soothing the teen at night

Help Your Teen Eat Right

While what your teen eats is not a direct effect on ADD, food can easily affect their mental state which ultimately affects their behavior. By modifying and monitoring what your teen is eating you can help them to decrease the feelings. Start incorporating more fruits and veggies into their meals. Also, making sure that they eat small meals throughout the day is ideal. You can prevent the unhealthy eating by removing junk food from the home, refrain from eating fatty and sugary foods while dining out, and provide your teen with a vitamin daily.

Teach Your Teen to Make Friends

Believe it or not teens with ADD have a hard time making friends. They are often not reading social signals; they can over talk their friends, or interrupt a conversation and become aggressive which is offensive to the average teen. By showing your teen how to develop positive friendships they will feel less depressed about their disorder and also not be the target of bullying and isolation. You can help your teen improve their social skills by teaching them to become a better listener, pay attention to body language, and how to best interact in a group of peers.

Parenting a teen with ADD/ADHD can be trying, but with the right tools in place you will soon see that your teen can overcome this disorder and learn to navigate through life just fine.

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Teens and Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction by Darry DToday the internet is used for just about everything from checking an email to running a business. It may seem as if internet usage on the daily basis is productive, however, it if becomes too much it can be a problem. There are some who use the internet so much that it has interfered with their personal and professional lives. When a person prefers to be at home on the internet gambling, surfing the web, or engaging in other online activities over doing something with friends and family this could be a problem. However, when a person is not willing to stop the excessive internet usage despite the trouble its causing, this is more serious and needs to be changed.

What Does it Mean to be Addicted to the Internet?
Internet addiction covers several different problems. Cyber-sex is an addiction to pornography chat rooms, or adult role play sites. Cyber relationship addictions are when a person is addicted to social networking, instant messaging, and chat rooms. Net compulsions are a person who has a serious problem with online gambling and stock trading. Information overload is for those who are addicted to surfing the web vs. getting real work done. Computer addiction is when a person is addicted to playing computer games off line.

What is the Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Usage?

Internet:  absolute communication, absolute isolation.  ~Paul Carvel

The internet is necessary to accomplish many things in today’s technological age. It is used on phones, tablets, laptops, and computers around the world. Determining what regular usage vs. excessive usage is will depend upon the individual. There are some people that need the internet to operate their businesses, and some that rely on social media networks to talk to friends and family members. Unhealthy internet usage only occurs when the person is online so much that it hinders their ability to be productive in school, work, and elsewhere.

Risk Factors of Computer Addiction

There are some risk factors that make it more likely for you to become addicted to computers and internet usage. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, other addictions, no social support, stress, or the inability to move around as you once did.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.  ~Andrew Brown

Symptoms and Signs of Internet and Computer Addiction

The symptoms you feel for internet and computer addiction will vary from person to person. Below are some warning signs that you could be on your way to a problem:

  • Often lose track of time while using the internet
  • Difficulty completing work or home tasks as a result of internet usage
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Defensive when asked about internet use
  • Sense of euphoria when using the internet

Cyber-sex and Porn

Both pornography and cyber-sex are sexual addiction issues; however, because they can be easily accessed online, they can also become an internet addiction. It is very easy for abusers to get stuck on the internet for hours on in engaged in sexual fantasies that could not happen in real life. As a result of the constant internet stimulation it begins to eat away at real life relationships.

Online Gambling

Gambling has been an ongoing problem for many years, however, in recent times the availability of gambling games online has surged the addiction to new levels. Virtual casinos are open 24 hours per day 7 days per week and anyone with the internet is able to access it. It becomes easy for addicts who believe they will hit big to lose thousands of dollars while sitting in front of a computer screen.

Cyber Relationships
Many people take to the internet as a way to find social relationships and even romantic ones. This ever popular method of meeting people is okay if done modestly. However, there are some who would prefer their “virtual” relationships to real life relationships, which is when it becomes an addiction. Because they can use their imaginations and be who they want to be to a person online, it seems much more stimulating than dealing with real life.

Self Help Tips for Internet Addiction

There are plenty of ways you can try to get your internet usage under control. While you can conquer this addiction alone, it is always best to have some support on board to guide you. This way you don’t run the risk of slipping back into your old ways. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you identify the underlying causes of your internet addiction, figure out whether or not you’re dealing with loneliness, depression or anxiety, or simply longing for a personal connection. From there you want to develop new ways to cope with the real issue, and finally build a strong support system to help you get past it.

Modifying your internet usage is also very important. To do that you want to begin by first keeping a log of how much time you use the internet for non productive reasons. Then set new limits on when you can and cannot use the internet. Lastly, you want to find healthier things to do with your time to replace internet usage so that you don’t become bored and relapse.

Treatment and Counseling for Internet Addiction

Therapy when dealing with any form of addiction is advised. It can provide you with the tools you need to control your internet usage. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used for this. The process involves step by step methods for stopping compulsive behaviors that cause you to use the internet. It will help change the way you think about computer usage and help you find better ways to cope with unexpressed feelings.

Group Support

It might be difficult for you to find some support groups for internet addiction as the idea is still very new. However, if there are simultaneous programs that can help you, it would be great to join them. For instance, if you’re using the internet to find relationships because your addicted to sex, sex addicts anonymous might be ideal. If you’re dealing with marriage problems, couples counseling would be best.

Helping a Child with Internet Addiction
When you’re dealing with children who are addicted to the internet, it is your job as the parent to set the rules and assure that they abide by them. You want to monitor how much they use the computer, encourage other healthy social activities, talk to your child if they appear to be abusing the use, and get help the moment you notice something is wrong.

Help for Overcoming Internet Addiction

 

Help for Social Phobia Sufferers

It is common for a person to get nervous right before giving a speech in front of a large crowd, or going on a job interview. However, there are some people who suffer from social phobia or social anxiety that goes well beyond the normal feelings of shyness. The difference between having butterflies in your stomach and perhaps suffering from social anxiety disorder is quite obvious. If someone is so nervous to be embarrassed that they refrain from participating in certain activities, they are likely suffering from a social phobia. This can hinder a person from accomplishing a lot in life, which is why it is important to learn to push past the nerves.

What Does it Mean to Have Social Anxiety or a Social Phobia?
When a person has an overwhelming amount of fear about being in social settings because they feel judged by others, they are likely dealing with a social phobia. For many who suffer from this problem, being in social situations can be so scary that they become extremely anxious. This in turn causes some to avoid social settings at all costs. People who have social phobias essentially have a fear of how others perceive them and feel embarrassed an anxious in front of crowds. Some who have social fears are in most cases aware that they have this problem, but lack the know how to get past it.

Things That Trigger Social Phobias

You might be surprised to learn that social anxiety disorders and phobias are very common. There are lots of people who struggle with the fears of being rejected or embarrassed. The difference is that each person has different triggers for those fears. There are some who suffer from generalized social anxiety disorder, which means that they are fearful of social situations such as eating out, talking to new people, or attending events with lots of participants. However, the most common form of social phobia is the fear of speaking in public.

Signs You Could be Experiencing Social Anxiety
Now if you’re the type to get a bit nervous in social settings, this does not mean that you have a social phobia. It is also widely common for a person to be nervous and a bit anxious about certain atmospheres. However, if your fears are keeping you from carrying on with your daily routine, this is when it may be a problem.

Emotional Signs of Social Phobias

•    Overly self-conscious and anxious when involved in social settings
•    Worrying intensely for months before a social event is to take place
•    Afraid of being viewed and judged by others
•    Fears of embarrassment

Physical Signs of Social Phobias
•    Difficulty breathing
•    Extreme butterflies
•    Shaking and trembling
•    Increased heart rate
•    Dizziness
•    Sweating

Behavioral Signs of Social Phobias

•    Avoidance of social events
•    Always needing someone around when you go new places
•    Hiding or silence to avoid being noticed
•    Use of substances or alcohol to ease nerves

“The moment of crisis had come, and I must face it. My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside. If I failed now I should fail forever.”
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Treating Your Social Anxiety Disorder: Change Your Thought Process

When you suffer from social anxiety it does not just come out of thin air. You generally have negative thoughts which trigger the anxiety. Often, those who suffer from social phobias think:

•    They’re going to look crazy
•    They’re going to embarrass themselves
•    They won’t impress the crowd
•    No one will like them or what they have to say

There are ways that you can challenge these thoughts on your own. The first thing you should do is identify your negative thoughts. When you identify them, you then want to question their validity. For instance, if you think someone is not going to like what you have to say, can you prove that without a reasonable doubt? By breaking the negative thought down and thinking logically, you can debunk the negative vibes which could help give a more positive outlook.

Treating Your Social Anxiety Disorder: Controlled Breathing

Whatever your social fears are, your body begins to go through changes as those thoughts enter your mind or the time nears for you to attend a social event. One of the most common things to change in the body is the way you breathe. The faster you’re breathing the more off balance your level of oxygen is in the body. This in turn results in more complications such as dizziness, increased heart rate, and tension in your muscles. By learning to breathe at a slower pace, you can stop some of the physical signs from occurring. Here is a great exercise to try:

•    Sitting in a proper position you should place on hand over your chest and the other over your stomach.
•    Slowly begin inhaling through your nose for about four seconds. Your stomach should be rising while your chest should barely be moving.
•    Hold your breath for another two seconds.
•    Then for the next six seconds you should exhale through your mouth slowly making sure to release most of the air.

Continuing this pattern before you participate in a social situation can make all the difference.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Facing Your Fear
The best way to overcome something that you’re afraid of is to face it head on. The more you try to avoid it, the more you’re holding onto the phobia. It is also true that when you avoid social situations, you could be preventing yourself from experiencing a lot that life has to offer. Instead you should challenge yourself and your fears. This does not mean that you should go to the Yankee Stadium and sing the National Anthem, but it means start slow and work your way up. Start off going to a small social gathering of a few people and as you feel comfortable work your way up to larger crowds.e.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Creating Positive Relationships

Another way that you can get over your social phobias is to participate in supportive social groups. Here is a list of ways you could begin turning negative interactions into positive ones:

•    Take a class for social skills or public speaking. This will help you learn the skills to speak with others and feel comfortable.
•    Work on connecting better with others. For some people communicating effectively is complex. By working at fixing your communication with those you do interact with, you can essentially learn to communicate better all around.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Minor Lifestyle Changes

No lifestyle changes alone are going to heal your social phobias, but there are some changes that are necessary as you work on treating yourself. These changes listed below should improve your overall level of anxiety:

•    Stop drinking caffeine – Caffeine products have stimulants which can increase your anxiety
•    Drink alcohol in moderation – If you’re a social drinker as a way to keep your cool, you should know that alcohol increases the chances for an anxiety attack.
•    Stop smoking – Nicotine is a very strong stimulant which also increases your anxiety levels.
•    Get enough sleep – It is important that you get a good night’s rest. When you’re not sleeping well, you are prone to become more anxious.

What to Do When Self Treatment is Not Working?

Whether or not you’ll be able to help yourself through your social phobias and anxieties will depend upon the person. There are some people who may need more techniques or treatment options from a professional. If you’re still struggling with your social anxiety, it is a good idea to seek reputable professional help.

For a list of reputable therapists near you visit: www.therapistunlimited.com

Treatment Options for Treating Social Phobias

Many mental health professionals prefer to use the cognitive behavioral therapy method for treating those with social anxiety. The therapy option is based on the idea that your thoughts can affect how you feel and your feelings will determine how you act. Therefore, if they can get you to change your method of thinking, they can also cure the behavioral problem.

Other therapy options would include group therapy. Such therapies utilize hands on activities such as role playing, observation, and participant exercises that can help you prepare for the outside world. The objective is the more practice there is, the better you should be once you face your fear in reality.

Last but not least are medications. In some cases in order to relieve the anxiety symptoms, you will need to take medication. Medications are usually offered in combination with group or individual therapy.

Whatever you social fears are, if they’ve stopped you from doing things that are necessary, fun, or a part of life, it is time to get help. Start changing your mindset, controlling your breathing, and making small lifestyle changes to face your fears. If all else fails, seek help from a mental health professional so that you can learn to love the spotlight at all costs.

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Dealing with ADD/ADHD in Teens

It is quite common for a child to periodically forget to do their homework, become dazed in class, antsy while eating meals, and to act impulsively. However, when all of these things happen more frequently these could all be signs that your child is suffering from attention deficit disorder. This effects the way in which your child learns and copes with others. If you are a parent who is concerned about your child, the initial step is to learn what the signs and symptoms are.

What is ADD/ADHD?

Often children who have not been properly diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are labeled as troublemakers. There are lots of us who have heard of children that will not sit still, do not pay attention in class, and act on impulse. However, the problem is many of them are not troublemakers and are simply suffering from ADD/ADHD. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder usually occurs early on in childhood. This disorder makes it complicated for individuals to control their spontaneous responses.

Normal Childhood Behavior or ADHD

Children who suffer from ADD/ADHD will generally show signs and symptoms before they reach seven years of age. However, for many parents and educators determining the difference between normal behavior and a disorder can be tough. If you notice only a few signs or symptoms on occasion, chances are it is not ADD. However, if your child is experiencing many symptoms in various situations including home and school, you may need to have a deeper look. Once you are able to pinpoint what your child is going through you are better able to help them find solutions.

Primary Characteristics of ADD/ADHD

When most think about ADD, they envision a child that is out of control, always in motion, and disrupting everyone around them. However, that is not the only scenario. There are some children with ADD that are hyperactive, while others are quieter and distant as their attention is somewhere else. There are some that place so much focus on one task that they have difficulties moving on to the next, and there are other children who are only a bit inattentive and seriously impulsive.

“Those of us with ADHD need your support! We are not ‘lazy,’ ‘stubborn,’ ‘willful,’ ‘disruptive,’ ‘impossible,’ ‘tyrannical,’ ‘a space shot,’ ‘brain damaged,’ or ‘stupid.’”

- Dr. Hallowell

There are three primary characteristics of ADD/ADHD: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The signs and symptoms a child will have will depend upon which characteristics stand out the most. For instance, a child can be inattentive but not hyperactive or impulsive. They can be hyperactive and impulsive, but pay attention. Also, children can exhibit all three of the characteristics at the same time.

Those children that are inattentive, but not hyperactive or impulsive are often overlooked as they are not openly disrupting anything. However, there are serious consequences for a child that does not pay attention well, such as getting in trouble for not paying attention to instructions, under-performing, and clashing with other children.

Spotting ADD/ADHD

It might be difficult in preschool ages to decipher whether or not your child has ADD/ADHD, because many of the characteristics are common at a young age. However, when a child reaches about four years of age, they should have some control over sitting still, being quiet, and paying attention. So once they have reached about school age, the three characteristics should be watched more closely.

http://youtu.be/1GIx-JYdLZs

Inattentive Signs of ADD/ADHD

It is important to understand that children with ADD/ADHD lack the ability to pay attention. Reason being because things that are interesting they can pay attention to, it is when things are repetitive and boring that they become displaced. It is very hard for children with ADD/ADHD to stay on track. They generally go from one task to the other without finishing either one. They also have difficulties concentrating when other things are going on around them. Other symptoms of inattentiveness are:

  • Failure to pay attention to detail
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Easily distracted
  • Appears to not listen
  • Complications remembering and following instructions
  • Difficulties staying organized and finishing projects
  • Becomes easily bored
  • Frequently loses or misplaces items

Hyperactivity Signs of ADD/ADHD

One of the most obvious signs that your child could be dealing with a disorder is hyperactivity. While children by nature are active, children who suffer from hyperactivity are always trying to move around. Even when told to sit still by an adult, they still struggle to listen. Symptoms of hyperactivity include:

  • Constant movement
  • Leaving the seat when supposed to sit still
  • Runs and climbs on things inappropriately
  • Talks constantly
  • Trouble playing quietly
  • Quick temper

Impulsive Signs of ADD/ADHD

Impulsivity in children with ADD are likely to develop problems with self control. They are known to interrupt conversations, invade others privacy, shout out in the middle of class, and even ask inappropriate questions because they simply do not have the self control that other children would have. Children who have impulsivity issues are more likely to act out on emotion. Symptoms of impulsivity include:

  • Acting without thought
  • Disruptive in class
  • Lacks patience
  • Says inappropriate things
  • Interrupts others
  • Unable to keep emotions in order

So Does My Child Really Have ADD/ADHD?

A child that has symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity does not necessarily have to have ADD/ADHD. There are other medical conditions and psychological disorders that could be the result of their behavior. If you want to have your child properly diagnosed, you will need to meet with a mental health professional. They can rule out other issues such as learning disabilities, traumatic life experiences, psychological disorders, medical conditions, and behavioral disorders.

“For children with sensory disorders, over-stimulation can cause symptoms that mimic those of ADD/ADHD. This can lead to a misdiagnosis.” Source: Twitter – ADHD Answered

Benefits or Positive Effects of ADD/ADHD

While there are a lot of challenges that come with children who have ADD/ADHD, there are some positive traits that can come from this disorder.

  • Children who have ADD are more creative and imaginative. They are able to daydream about many different things and come up with great and new ideas.
  • Children who have ADD are also known to be more flexible. Since they do not focus in on one thing, their “open mindedness” allows them to consider other options.
  • Children who have ADD are enthusiastic and spontaneous. There is never a dull moment in their lives.
  • Children who have ADD are also more energetic and driven towards accomplishing goals. This is especially true when the task is something that they enjoy doing.

Assisting a Child with ADD/ADHD

Whether your child has been diagnosed with ADD or simply shows the characteristics, getting treatment is important. Children who are unable to focus and control their actions will ultimately have a very difficult time in school and in life as they get older. These complications lead to lower self esteem and depression. That is why you should not delay in getting your child the treatment they need. The first things to try are talking with a therapist, maintaining a good eating diet and exercise plan, and modifying your home to cut back on the distractions.

Learning new parenting skills and ways to help your child cope with ADD/ADHD is the best thing you can do for them. Providing them with structure, clear communication, consequences and rewards for their behavior is one way to help them through their problems. The sooner you begin adapting and learning how to help your child adapt, the better of they will be.  For more information on ADD/ADHD you can visit these resources below:

For more literature on helping your child with ADD/ADHD, consider these books:

The Facts About Media and Violence

There is an ongoing debate about media violence and how it affects aggressive behavior in children and teens. The Television Violence Monitoring Project did some studies on the amount of violence present in American Television over the course of three years. Below are some of the findings:

  • More than half of the shows on television contain violence. Of that percentage, only 4% of them have a theme for antiviolence.
  • More than 40 percent of the characters who act out violently on television have qualities and features that would make children want to emulate them.
  • More than 40 percent of the violence on television involves humor.
  • Of the violence displayed on television, about 75% of the attackers do not receive immediate punishment for their actions.

The research shows that when violence is displayed, there are no real consequences for the actions. Not many of the shows display pain, and show unrealistic reactions.

Connecting the Dots from Violence on TV and Movies to Aggressive Behavior

There are now studies that will support that there is a connection between children being exposed to violent television and movies and aggressive behavior. In fact, research has shown that when children are allowed to watch violent acts play out on TV or the big screen, they will immediately respond in a more physical and verbal aggressive manner. While further research is needed, there are studies that show that those who are exposed to violence early on through television or movies are more likely to become aggressive or violent teenagers.

Aggressive Behavior and Violent Music Videos

Music can be a mood changer for adults. When you put on a song, the words then have meaning that can be acted out without even noticing it. Studies have shown that overly violent music videos can have an adverse affect on a young mind. Much like television, music videos do not do much to show violence as being a negative thing or that there are consequences for negative actions. As a result, children try to emulate their favorite musician and act out aggressively.

Video Games and Violence

While violent video games have not been studied as thoroughly as television, there are still some that support the idea that games can have an adverse affect on how children behave. Studies have shown that exposure to violent video games can have an affect on aggressive behavior and thinking.

There is so much that your child could be exposed to that could essentially cause them to act more aggressively than children who are not exposed. It is important to monitor what your children watch and play to ensure they understand the dangers of violence, consequences that come from it, and the difference between reality and fiction.

Conflict Resolution for Teens

All too often you hear about teen violence in schools and in communities. For most acts of violence, it starts off as a disagreement or misunderstanding on a small scale and later escalates into something much larger. Research has shown time and time again that more than 25% of teenagers have been in a physical fight in the course of a school year. While conflict and disagreements are a part of life, reacting violently is certainly not the way to resolve it. Below you will find important information on how to help teens work through disagreements without having to cause harm to themselves or others.

It is first important to understand what conflict resolution is. This is the method of learning constructive ways to get through disputes that don’t require violence or abuse. If your teen has trouble in school often, it might be worth finding a conflict resolution program for them to join.

What Methods are Taught for Resolving Conflict?

There are programs available to help teens who have trouble resolving conflict in a constructive manner. Some of the skills that are taught are as follows:

  • Getting participants to come up with ground rules that will help them work together
  • Listening skills are taught to help students both express how they are feeling and to learn to listen to other’s opinions without interruption
  • Finding things that participants all like and agree on
  • Brainstorming and problem solving techniques for finding the best solution to problems that may arise.
  • Negotiation skills to help students find common ground when they cannot agree
  • Coming to an agreement in which both parties can live with.

What Can You do to Better Resolve Conflict?

It can be rough sometimes to make the best decisions when you’re a teen. There are many ways that you can effectively resolve conflict. Below are some ideas:

  • Find out which conflict resolution methods work best from those listed above
  • If you are overly passionate about the conflict, speak with an adult about your feelings
  • Don’t carry dangerous weapons around as this could lead to violence
  • Avoid common areas for conflict
  • Walk away when provoked to act out irrationally
  • Don’t try to get even as this is never the right answer.

Conflict is a natural thing that will happen in school, at home, and even in the workplace as you get older. Learning the necessary tools to getting through conflicts effectively will help you navigate more effectively through life. If you feel that you can’t control your emotions and resolve conflict in a positive way, consult with someone you trust such as a guidance counselor or parent for help.

Helping Your Child Choose Extra-Curricular Activities at Non-Profit Boarding School

Many people have misconceptions about boarding schools, especially those that are non-profit. These boarding schools are often thought to be a holding cell for teens with various types of mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. While non-profit boarding schools are therapeutic in nature and do, in fact, provide treatment for these issues, they are very different from what most people expect. Parents quickly recognize this when they visit a non-profit boarding school for the first time.

Boarding schools offer a wealth of services and opportunities to students. In addition to receiving a quality education at boarding school, students have the ability to receive the treatments and therapies that they need in order to be a success. These therapies are integrated into their school day, and much of the focus of therapeutic boarding school is on these therapies and treatments. However, life at boarding school is not all work and therapy. Students have a lot of time for fun, as well.

Learning about Sports at Boarding School

As a parent, when you visit a potential therapeutic boarding school for your child, be sure to inquire about the extracurricular activities that are available to students. Nearly all non-profit boarding schools offer various sports teams that students can join. The sports offerings run the gamut from soccer to football and everything in between. Students can join track, softball, baseball, or basketball, and participate in games and practices with other students. In addition, most boarding schools offer less competitive recreational activities. These activities are arranged by students and include things such as ultimate Frisbee, flag football, or even badminton.

Fun Off the Field

If your child is not interested in athletics, don’t worry. Non-profit boarding schools offer many different extracurricular activities off the field, as well. Children can participate in both vocal and instrumental music lessons in classes. Many schools offer annual or semi-annual performances which parents and families can attend. Art is also a big focus at boarding school. Students can study art and participate in art classes once the school day has ended. Other non-physical extracurricular activities may include chess clubs, video game clubs, and even debate clubs. Check with your child’s specific school to see what is available.

Rules for Participation

Boarding schools, particularly therapeutic boarding schools, have very clear rules that must be followed in order for students to be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. These rules are in place in order to encourage safe participation and good behavior for the students at the school. In general, students must be passing all of their classes and attending their therapies without any behavioral problems in order to be an active participant in their activity of choice. Ensure that your child understands these rules and follows them throughout their time at school.

Helping Your Child Choose

With all of the choices available, the biggest challenge of becoming involved in activities at boarding school may very well be deciding which activities to join. Consider your child’s interests. Providing continuity between life at home and life at boarding school through extracurricular activities is a great way to ease an otherwise difficult transition. Additionally, ask your child what he or she wants to learn. Extracurricular activities are a great way to have fun and learn a new skill. For the first term, limit extracurricular activities to just one or two activities so as not to overwhelm your child and help them develop a routine at school.

For more information on non-profit boarding school options, contact:

Youth Foundation, Inc., Non-Profit Boarding School
La Verkin, Utah  84745
http://youthfoundationinc.org

Top 5 Best Non-Profit Boarding Schools in the US for Troubled Teens

Non-profit boarding schools are an ideal environment for troubled teenagers. They not only provide stellar educational opportunities, but they also provide the supervision, discipline, and therapy that troubled youth need in order to be a success. Deciding which non-profit boarding school is the best fit for your child can be difficult. In the United States, there are many top-ranking schools from which to choose.

5. Copper Canyon Academy, Rimrock, Arizona

Copper Canyon Academy is a therapeutic boarding school that caters exclusively to girls and young women ages 13 through 17. Copper Canyon provides a stable, structured, and therapeutic environment for girls who are dealing with emotional and behavioral issues. Copper Canyon hires only qualified staff members, who are trained in working with adolescent girls in a hands-on environment. The school works hard to provide a loving and nurturing environment to help students learn, grow, and reach their full potential.

4. Aspen Ranch, Loa, Utah

Aspen Ranch is a unique non-profit boarding school, located on the plains of Loa, Utah. This residential treatment center is designed to treat teens ages 13 through 17. Aspen Ranch maintains a focus on academic success, and works to cultivate responsibility, respect, and discipline among its students. The most unique aspect of this particular school is its renowned equine therapy program. Equine therapy is provided to students as a means to improve their emotional and mental health issues and improve their symptoms and behavior.

3. Academy at Swift River, Massachusetts

The Academy at Swift River is a therapeutic, non-profit boarding school that works with students in grades 9 through 12. Adolescents aged 13 through 18 who are experiencing family problems, academic problems, and social problems have benefited greatly from their time at the Academy. In addition to its focus on education, the Academy works hard to utilize both cognitive and emotive approaches in order to help students grow and overcome the mental and emotional troubles that they are experiencing.

2. Stone Mountain School, Black Mountain, North Carolina

Stone Mountain School is a non-profit, therapeutic boarding school that serves boys ages 11 through 17. The school primarily focuses on students who have been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, and various other learning disorders. In addition to specialized academics, this school, located on a 100 acre campus in the mountains of North Carolina, provides both therapeutic and recreational outdoor activities. Additionally, group and individual therapy sessions are available to students in order to teach responsible behavior.

1. Youth Foundation, Inc., La Verkin, Utah

The Youth Foundation, Inc., is a leading non-profit boarding school located in the heart of Utah. The Youth Foundation prides itself as being a leading treatment center and school for struggling teens. At the Youth Foundation, the staff focuses on education, structure, and therapy that help to make a positive difference in the lives of the students that pass through their doors. Students can focus on their education at their own pace, while making time for the therapies that they need in order to overcome their mental and emotional struggles.

For more information on non-profit boarding school options, contact:
Youth Foundation, Inc., Non-Profit Boarding School
La Verkin, Utah  84745
http://youthfoundationinc.org