The Great Thaw (or Oh Yeah, Love is a Choice)

It’s twelve days into the new year, and my resolution to love people better so far has been a big fat flop.

From the outside, I am almost certain my relationships still look like giant, frozen popsicle-trees on the landscape of my life.

Bizarre and unmoving.

And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know how my insides get so taut, how I turn into a rubber band drawn all the way out until I run out of stretch.

I know.

There are several nuances, but generally, it’s always a combination of poor self-care and unmet expectations. Lack of sleep is also a factor. Always.

I know what causes it, how to prevent it and even how to fix it, and yet, here I am again. All wound up, locked down, and iced over.

But on the inside, I am feeling the thaw.

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Resources: Understand Your Worthiness

Whether you are a single mom or just having a hard day, sometimes you need someone else to remind you of your self worth.

Here a handful of books and videos that will do just that! There is so much good stuff out there, so limited this to five.

Books to Read

  1. Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance
  2. Uninvited
  3. The Purpose Driven Life
  4. The Gift of Imperfection
  5. The Road Less Traveled

Videos to Watch

  1. The Art of Being Yourself by Caroline McHugh
  2. Knowing Your Worth by Fardousa Jama
  3. Claiming Your Identity by Understanding Your Self Worth by Judge Helen Whitener
  4. The Power of Believing You Can Improve by Carol Dwek
  5. A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success by Alain De Botton

People to Follow on Social

  1. Brene Brown
  2. Michelle Obama
  3. Zig Ziglar
  4. Rachel Hollis
  5. Francis Chan

What do you read or watch when you need a lift? Who do you turn to? Share your resources in the comments below.

The Gift of Imperfection for Tweens: Part One Lesson One

Brene Brown Discusses Courage, Compassion and Connection

This portion of the Brene Brown The Gift of Imperfection course was easier for my tween. She was excited to start crafting with her mom, loved the idea of looking through pictures of herself, and wasn’t too challenged by the topics yet.

Observations and Adaptations

1. Permission Slips – At first, my tween claimed she didn’t really “get” why she needed a permission slip to participate in the course. But after we watched the video clip and dug just one layer deeper into the conversation, she came up with a profound response. 

Like profound.

I won’t share it here, because it’s hers to share, but I encourage you not to give up if your tween doesn’t take a flying leap out of the gate when you start the course! Give it a moment. Be vulnerable first. Then try again. I was so impressed…

2. Perfection Pledge – I may have actually gotten more out of this one in the moment than my daughter. She doesn’t realize she is a “pleaser” just like her momma, so my hope is some day she will look back at this entry and experience the healing it intended. 

So what did I learn from this exercise? Your tween is still growing in not only WHO they are, but also in their awareness of who they are. It was both interesting and informative to observe that my daughter didn’t recognize the perfectionist in herself yet.

We also had a lot of fun this night – she loves seeing pictures of herself, and hello, permission to Sharpie on your hand? She was into that.


3. Courage is a Heart Word – Things got a little squirrely here. My daughter became insecure about her crafting ability, and I noticed her comparing her work to mine. 

We had a healthy discussion about not comparing ourselves to others – especially in exercises like these in which we were supposed to embracing our real selves. And I was able to share stories about how I compared myself to one of my parents quite a bit growing up and what that did to me and my self-image.

We agreed to work at the same table together but not look at each other’s work. (Note: This lasted for exactly ONE night, and then she was over it.)

On a topic related to the exercise, we had a great conversation about who the important people in our lives really were. We discussed what good, true, forever friends were, and she was able to name one. We talked about the kinds of things we might share about ourselves with those individuals. And then we talked about who just “regular friends” were, what to share, and how to protect our hearts.

This conversation, while important for us adults to keep in perspective, I felt, was infinitely relevant to her life stage! 

I hope this was helpful to you! To see how my tween and I adapted and experienced other lessons, go back to the main post here: The Gift of Imperfection Adapted for a Tweenager.

Three Ways To Promote Intrinsic Motivation In a Child Before School

Whether or not you know it yet, the child you want to develop through your parenting efforts is a self-motivated one. Why? Because intrinsically motivated kids are empowered to take care of themselves when you’re not looking. Or micro-managing. Or fretting.

Here are three ways to develop intrinsic motivation in your child before they head out the door for school.
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Resources: ADHD

A Quick Reference About Parenting Kids with ADHD

Recently, a mom approached me about Love & Logic parenting techniques that would help her address her child’s ADHD symptoms.

Her primary concern was over-medication, but she confessed that she was overwhelmed by her son’s behavior in general. To address her concerns in depth, I compiled this list of current, comprehensive and credible articles about parenting and ADHD.

First, a Definition & Perspective

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological, developmental disorder affecting as much as seven percent of children, according Psychology Today.

The disorder is characterized by a combination of distractibility, hyperactivity, restlessness, and impulsivity. Some children just struggle to stay focused. Others become disruptive, defiant and have trouble getting along with others.

ADHD, it’s cause and treatment, is hotly debated today. Many feel the disorder is over-diagnosed and some argue children with ADHD are over-medicated. Some make the case that people with ADHD are more likely to have eating disorders or face the risk of an earlier death.

The Resource List

This list of the top ADHD parenting resources on the web today was complied by reviewing an initial list of more than sixty articles.

Because research performed, released, evaluated and debated all the time in the medical community, as a parent looking for knowledge to use in advocating for your child with ADHD, it is important to consider the timeliness and the source of the reference you are reading.

Love & Logic: Calming the Chaos – Instructional 3 CD Set This CD contains practical behavior improvement strategies for the children with ADD/ADHD. It’s goal is to help parents and teachers build positive and healthy relationships with ADD/ADHD. Presented by Jim Fay and Charles Fay, Ph.D.

Your Child’s Diet: A Cause and a Cure of ADHD?

What about diet and ADHD? Have you heard that a paleo diet will improve ADHD symptoms? “To date no convincing evidence has shown that a poor diet causes ADHD, or that dietary supplements can be used to successfully treat the condition.” Source: ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know.
12 Parenting Strategies That Work for ADHD Kids “Don’t believe all the ‘bad news’ about your child.” Written by Deborah Carpenter, a freelance writer and mother of two and daughter of an ADD mother.
Mindful Parenting for ADHD – Mindful “Because ADHD increases family stress, it makes it harder to manage your child’s ADHD…Incorporating mindfulness can break this draining cycle.” Written by Mark Bertin, M.D., a developmental pediatrician, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at New York Medical College and author of The Family ADHD Solution and Mindful Parenting for ADHD.
Parenting Tips: Helping Children and Teens with ADD/ADHD Practical advice for parents about managing your child’s behavior and dealing with common challenges related to ADD/ADHD. Written by Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. and updated regularly.
How To Stop Arguing and Start Talking with Your ADHD Child Tackling one of the most challenging struggles parents of ADHD children have – talking! Written by Dr. Robert “Bob” Myers, a child psychologist,creator of the Total Focus Program. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine.
Are Millions of Kids Being Unnecessarily Medicated? This article addresses another major parenting concern – medication. ADHD in children is on the rise. Do all these kids need drugs? What behavior is normal kid behavior? By Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. Visit Parenting Science for more information.
4 Tips to Parenting Children with ADHD Parenting children with ADHD can be very difficult and frustrating at times, but with some skills and effort parents can help their children and families to have a productive and happy life. Written by Justin Olsen, MA, ACMHC who specializes in assisting individuals and couples to overcome life’s challenges.
Parenting a Child With ADHD: Helping Your Child “Be honest with your child.” If your child has ADHD, the tips here will help you discover how to help your child learn, enforce rules, and encourage good behavior. Katherine Kam is a journalist in California who has written for WebMD, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Time Inc. publications and reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD of WebMD.
The ADHD Rollercoaster: Stressed Parents Need Help, Too “‘There are these really important links between children’s behavior and mom’s mood and levels of stress,’ Odgers said. ‘We know from a lot of other research that mom’s mental health is a very, very strong predictor of her parenting style.'” Written by LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas.
A Mom’s View of ADHD  A one-stop resource blog full of stories by mommas, practical parenting tips and medical info by docs for parents with children of ADHD.
8 Secret Tips for Parents of Children with ADHD For the parents of a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder everyday tasks turn into battles from getting the child out the door in the morning. This is another gem by Dr. Robert “Bob” Myers, a child psychologist.
Advice for Parenting Girls With ADHD Girls with ADHD often have quieter, less obvious symptoms than boys. If that’s so, how can you help your daughter. By Marilyn Elias and reviewed by
Parenting Tips for ADHD: Do’s and Don’ts Raising a child with ADHD isn’t like traditional childrearing. Though important, normal rule-making and household routines can become almost impossible, so you’ll need to adopt different approaches. Written by Eloise Porter and Brian Krans and reviewed by The Healthline Medical Review Team.
11 Tips for Parenting Kids With ADHD Few parents find raising children effortless, but children with ADHD pose even more challenges for mom and dad. “Create an age-appropriate discipline plan — and then consistently carry it through.” Written by Madeline Vann, MPH and medically reviewed by Pat Bass III, MD, MPH.
10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach – Book  Kids with ADHD need to be loved and shown how to become successful adults. Unfortunately, their lack of attention and restlessness often get in the way. Parents of these kids try so hard to stay connected and remain patient in the face of daily frustration.
Parenting Kids with ADHD: 16 Tips to Tackle Common Challenges | Psych Central “…Parents ‘accept that some children will protest and talk back, and parents must set a limit that on the one hand realizes that children need at least some way to express their frustration, while still enforcing reasonable standards and rules.'” Written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. is an Associate Editor at Psych Central.
10 ADD/ADHD Blogs and Forums You Should Follow Part three of an eight part series about ADD/ADHD resources. This is where it is at! Comprehensive. Credible. Written by special needs advocate Lauren Lewis.
Effective Parenting of Teenagers with ADHD “Research suggests, in fact, that the presence of one fully supportive adult in the life of a child with ADHD is one of the key factors in determining that child’s future success.” This article is from ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know by the American Academy of Pediatrics
Parenting skills improve in ADHD Parents with Medication Parents can have ADHD, too! At least 25 percent of clinic-referred children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder have a parent with ADHD, according to researchers from the College of Medicine at Penn State. By Matthew Solovey.
Does Bad Parenting Cause ADHD?  Parents will be glad to hear this news! Does “bad parenting” cause ADHD? Correlation does not imply causation! Written by Carolyn Mallon, RN, who has ADHD and is also parenting at least one ADHD child.
Parenting a Child With ADHD: Learn Effective Strategies Get tips on how to handle the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD. Read about the impact of medication, therapy, dietary changes, exercise, and alternative therapy on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Dr. Hallowell ADHD and Mental and Cognitive Health “What’s hard in raising a child who has ADD? If you have a child with ADD, we probably don’t have to tell you. Small and large issues give us trouble.” General information for parents of children with ADD ADHD and AD/HD with a great list of resources at the end of the article.
How to Discipline an ADHD Child – YouTube The typical approach to working with children with ADHD involves medication and behavior management strategies. Discover the difference in treating symptoms, as opposed to the cause of ADHD, with help from a licensed clinical psychologist in this free video on children and discipline. Video featuring psychologist Dr. Craig Childress.
‘Ritalin Gone Wrong’: Is ADHD Caused By Bad Parenting? What is the root of ADHD? It’s a hot debate. Dr. L Alan Sroufe suggests parents “…excessively stimulate and also compromise the child’s developing capacity for self-regulation…” Written by Jessica Samakow is the Senior Editor for the Huffington Post, formerly the Associate Editor for HuffPost Parents.

Do you have an ADHD reference material you would recommend? Support your community of fellow parents of ADHD kids! I’ll leave the comments open below, so you can share with the {TFB} Community.

(Updated October 2015)

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to be personal medical advice. Please ask your physician about any health guidelines seen in this blog, as everyone is different in his or her medical needs.