Compromise or Giving in?

Is the pandemic wearing the family down?  Do you find yourself giving in to the kids for everything just to avoid conflict?

Are there long-term effects of your short-term solutions of giving in?  Is it compromise or giving in?

Compromising means settling a dispute with a mutual agreement. By parents giving in to what the child wants, does that mean it’s necessarily what is best for your child? Oftentimes not.  When the child is young and you give in to their every whim, it sets the tone for how they deal with your decisions as they age.

When evaluating whether you are compromising or giving in let’s look at the 4 R’s.

  1. Rewards-Make decisions that are beneficial for you and your child. If both you and the child do not benefit, it may be giving in.
  1. Responsibilities-Members of the family should have their age and grade appropriate roles and responsibilities. Parents who use healthy modeling are helping their young children early on, learn what their responsibilities are as a contributor to the family.
  1. Risk-Decisions made should never put the child at risk. For example, riding their skateboard outside when there is lightning storm going on.  Even though a parent may have told the child to come inside and the child chose to stay out and skate, this decision is a “risk” behavior. If a “risk” behavior is not met with an immediate and impactful consequence, the child may continue behaving in risky behaviors. This is an at-risk situation for the child and perhaps those around them.

As the adult, you set the boundaries, not the child.  By giving in, the child learns how to not have limits, in turn, promoting reckless behavior. Additionally, consider yourself, your family and others to keep the child from interpersonal harm when evaluating risk.

  1. Relationships– In parent-child relationships there is always give and take. Compromise is not the same as giving in or manipulating behavior, compromise is mutually beneficial, healthy behaviors.

Compromise involves the first three r’s, rewards, responsibilities and risk. When we compromise it can actually improve relationships and promote healthy decisions for the family.  It’s a great way to enhance structure and communication in your home.

(Pickhardt, 2012)

Dear Parents and Colleagues– I want to share this letter I received from one of our parents who brings her elementary school aged son to us to help with his executive functioning, anxiety and behavior challenges, I think many of you can relate. Dr. Nach, Pres., Support for Students Growth Center

May 5, 2020

Growing up and into my adult life, I took the ability to plan, organize, and execute tasks for granted. This came naturally to me so I assumed that it also came naturally to everyone else. It wasn’t until my son was born that that I began to see things differently. My son is extremely bright, but he has his challenges. As he grew older and school became more difficult, he began to exhibit an increase in non-compliant behavior and have tantrums in school. His teachers and school administrators worked with us to try to determine what was triggering his behaviors and develop strategies to overcome them. The strategies developed helped to improve some of the behaviors but he was still struggling with controlling his outbursts in class. I knew he was able to do the work and began to suspect his behavior was manifesting as a result of anxiety.

The recent school closures due to COVID-19 and working with my son through eLearning was an eye opener. I began to see firsthand how he approached his school work, what triggered his non-compliant behavior, and what his coping mechanisms were. When given an assignment where he was asked to provide answers that required more than a single sentence or where he had to give examples and provide evidence from text he read or different sources, he would stare at the blank sheet of paper in front of him and not know where to begin. I witnessed him grow increasingly frustrated and agitated with himself and the assignment. This would inevitably result in a tantrum. When the tantrum passed and he was ready to return to work, I would sit with him and ask him questions to draw the information out and organize his thoughts. It was apparent that he understood the assignment, had the information needed, and knew what he wanted to say. What he couldn’t do, was get his thoughts out or get them organized. Then it clicked. He wasn’t lazy, bored in class, or a behavior problem. He was frustrated and did not know how to figure out a solution. What I took for granted and came so easily to me was a struggle for my son. I realized that not everyone has strong executive function skills. How could it be expected of him to be able to plan, organize, or structure his thoughts when he has never been taught how to do this? I am grateful for this realization as now I know how to help my son and find resources that will empower him.

A feeling empowered mom, Shirley A.
Boca Raton, Florida

Virtual – Nationwide – Proven Social Skills Groups

(since 2012)

Now is the time to help ensure your children will experience success, socially and emotionally, while practicing “physical distancing”.

By Learning and Practicing how to Communicate and Socialization they will feel Empowered now and when they are around their peers, in person, once again.

Each group meeting includes a “Parent Component” to empower parents with “TOOLS” to help empower their children.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation we will continue offering virtual-groups in the safety and convenience of your own home, now and throughout the summer. Over a dozen unique groups, for children, teens and young adults, who may have:

ADHD,
High-Functioning Autism
“Asperger’s”,
“Giftedness”
and/or
Social Anxiety

You can count on our programs continuing to run “virtually” throughout the summer and year-round.

To sign-up or if you have questions simply contact Paula at 561-990-7305 or text 954-290-9612.


Summer Special

11 consecutive group sessions for the price of 10 for $700. (Reg. $770)

With the added hardship many families are experiencing due to COVID-19, we would like to offer new participants a cost-free initial consultation*.  Please phone, text or email to schedule a ZOOM or phone consultation with Dr. Eric Nach.

*New participants must schedule a virtual placement interview to ensure proper group placement.

What Can Parents Do to Build Resiliency in Children?

The Components of Resilience:
1. COMPETENCE-the ability as parents to know and recognize what young people are doing right and give them opportunities to develop important skills so they feel competent. It is helpful to understand it is necessary to allow young people to recover themselves after a fall.
Reflect on your child’s competence and ask yourself the below questions:

  • Do I help my child focus on his strengths and build on them?
  • Do I communicate in a way that empowers my child to make his own decisions or do I lecture or guide her to my solution?
  • Do I let him make safe mistakes, so he has the opportunity to right himself, or do I try to protect her from every fall?

2. CONFIDENCE– Children need confidence to be able to navigate and survive in the world. Inspire them to think out of the box to jump over obstacles and recover from challenges.
In thinking about your child’s degree of confidence, consider the following questions:

  • Do I praise him/her enough? Is it honest praise? Don’t say, “Your so smart. “ Say instead, “your hard work is paying off.
  • Do I encourage her to try a little harder because I believe in her or do I push her to beyond realistically high expectations?

3. CONNECTION– Connection with others, at school and within the community. This offers young people the security that allows them independence and to be creative in forming solutions in real life. Children with close linkage to family, friends, school and community develop solid sense of security, producing strong values and prevents them from seeking “destructive alternatives”.
Mull this over when considering your child’s connection:

  • Do we build a sense of physical safety and emotional security in our home?
  • Do I allow my child to express all types of emotions, or do I squelch his unpleasant feelings? Is he learning that going to other people for emotional support during difficult times is productive or shameful?
  • Do I understand the challenges my child will put me through is part of her path towards independence and normal for her development, or will I take them personally and let my feelings harm the relationship?

4. CHARACTER– Children need a clear sense of right and wrong to ensure they are prepared to make wise life choices.
Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • Do I help my child understand how her behaviors affect others; the good and the bad ways.
  • Do I notice and respect when my child sticks to something?

5. CONTRIBUTION– Young people who contribute to the well-being of others will receive gratitude, they will learn contributing feels good. As a result, they may turn to others when they need help without shame. Children need to realize that the world is a better place because they are in it.
Consider the following questions below while evaluating sense of contribution:

  • Do I create opportunities for my child to contribute to others in the world who may be less fortunate with freedom, money, human contact and security as they need?
  • Have I empowered my child the belief that she can improve the world by contributing in some specific way?

6. COPING– Young people learn to cope effectively with stress they are more prepared to overcome life’s barriers and challenges. Instill positive, adaptive coping strategies to effectively teach stress-reduction skills.
Some questions to ask ourselves include:

  • Have I taught my child the difference between a real emergency and something that just feels like a crisis?
  • Do I model positive coping strategies, such as mediation, exercise, good nutrition and adequate sleep?

7. CONTROL– Young people who have learned privileges and respect are earned by demonstrated responsibility are able to make wise decisions and feel a sense of control. Once young people realize they can control the outcomes of their decisions and actions they learn the consequences of their decisions. On the other hand, if parents make all the decisions, they are denied opportunities to learn control.
Consider these questions regarding control:

  • Do I help my child understand that life’s events are not purely random, and most things happen as a direct result of someone’s actions and choices?
  • Do I reward demonstrated responsibility with increased privileges?

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014). Building the 7 Cs of Resilience in Your Child. American Academy of Pediatrics, 1-3.

Isolation is a Darkroom for Expanding Negative Thoughts

During this time of extreme physical and social isolation, most of us have increased moments of negative thinking. Fear-based thinking  expands and uncertainty and unpredictability can lead us to heightened anxiety, depression and a host of physiological and psychological  problems. PLEASE, if you or someone you love or even like a little bit are becoming increasingly negative and isolating, don’t wait, get professional help. There are many professional willing and able to help, NO-ONE HAS TO DO THIS ALONE!

Since 2012, The Support For Students Growth Center has been providing Social, Behavioral, Emotional and Academic counseling, groups and therapies for Children, Teens, Young Adults and their Families. We specialize in ADHD, High Functioning Autism/“Asperger’s”, “Giftedness”, Social Anxiety and more (ALL SERVICES are VIRTUAL and NATION-WIDE). PLEASE, GET HELP IF NEEDED, NOW MAYBE THE TIME TO ACT.

FYI- I was inspired to write this after hearing a local community leader discussing the suicide death of a local 13 year old boy, who apparently became increasingly negative and feeling hopeless and was not able to let anyone know.

https://www.supportforstudentsgrowthcenter.com/behavior-and-emotionality-therapy-counseling-and-training/

DOES YOUR TEEN ACT LIKE THEY HATE YOU?

Does your teen look at you like you have six heads when you talk to them?

Do you come home from work and find them locked behind their bedroom door?

If the answer is YES, you are not alone.  Somewhere during the transition into being teenagers, kids start locking their doors.

Is this a typical scenario in your house?

Parent: “Hi, I’m home where have you been all day. I called you a few times….”  As she tries to open teens door.

Teen: “I was busy”

Parent: “Why is your door locked? Can I come in?”

Teen: “Is there something you need? I’m busy.”

Parent:” Did you at least do your homework?”

Teen: Lies to parent “I did it already, leave me alone!”

Parent: Bangs on door and angerly walks away

In this scenario, you likely will walk away hurt and concerned or even angry over the situation. Or you may lose your cool. On the other hand, if you are brave enough to push your way into the room, through the abyss, you are likely to find some troubling things. Laundry piled knee high, half-filled drinking cups, empty bags of chips and an occasional pizza box hiding in the closet.  YES, this is typical teenage behavior! What matters here is your reaction to what you find in the cave your teenager is hunkering down in.

Sometimes this behavior can make parents feel like their teen hates them.  Do you see a drastic change in their behavior when you are around or signs of resentment? Let’s look at some actions that may suggest your teen may be struggling with being teenagers:

  • Little to no communication
  • Locking themselves in their room
  • Spending most of their time in their room or in a different room then you
  • Responds in a reactive way
  • Anger or rage toward you
  • Hiding what they are doing with their technology and “screens” from you

Your Solution 

This is where parenting survival skills need to be exercised. Communication and listening! How you approach the situation is very important. You want to be very calm and open when going to talk with your teen. All a teen ever wants is to feel like they can trust their parents, be valued by their peers and not be judged. If you come into the conversation asking how they are feeling and what is bothering them and what you can do to help, they will most likely respond open hearted (when they are ready) and more willing to share, if you come in demanding answers for why their behavior has changed they will likely respond in a negative way.

Parents want their teen to feel like they are willing to listen to their struggles. The take away are, relax and let go of the things that aren’t as important as everything else like the dirty cups and laundry. Try to focus on what really matters communication and active listening, we all just want to be heard without judgement. Most importantly, balancing privacy and protection, there needs to be a healthy balance between trusting our teens judgment and knowing what’s going on in their lives.

“The suggestions above are not, of course, to be followed rigidly. Each child is an individual with unique needs and abilities and must be treated as such. Therefore, the information provided should be adapted and modified depending on the needs and abilities of each child, with professional assistance if warranted”. Dr. Nach

Works Cited

Frank, C. (2011, August 22). 5 Teen Behavior Problems: A Troubleshooting Guide.Retrieved from Grow by WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/behavior-problems#1

Metro Parent Editorial. (2020, March 6). Teen Privacy: The Closed-Door Policy .Retrieved from metroparent.comhttps://www.metroparent.com/daily/parenting/tweens-teens/closed-door-policy/

(Metro Parent Editorial, 2020)

(Frank, 2011)

Do You Have an Angry Child?

Try these Strategies to Help Empower Them.

Key Points Parents Need to Know About “Anger”

  1. Anger is a normal human emotion, how all of us handle this emotion can be problematic.
  2. If a child does not learn how to manage their anger, frustration, and fears in an acceptable and appropriate manner, it can fester and damage their emotional well-being, self-concept, self-image and social and personal communication skills.
  3. Most of our children can be taught how to self-monitor and self-regulate their emotions, including anger, anxiety and frustration.
  4. For our children to learn how to put a “moment” between their thoughts and actions is an essential life-long skill they can not go without.

Try These Strategies.

  • Parents and others can help teach acceptable ways to de-stress and calm down by modeling what they themselves find useful.
  • Parents and others can teaching children, by modeling and role playing how to use “visualization strategies” to self-sooth by practicing with the child how to use their imagination to visualize a relaxing and/or enjoyable experience from either their memory or their imagination.
  • Parents and others can teaching children, by modeling and role playing, to slowly repeat a calm word or phrase (“relax”, “breath-in, breath-out”, or “take it easy”, a pet’s name, etc.). Repeat several times in a safe environment to themselves. This can even teach and practice this with siblings and incorporate into a regular family activity.
  • Famiies can practice together regularly, breathe deeply in from the nose, hold 3 seconds, breath all the way out through the lips,  count to 3 and repeat 5-10 times. Make this a daily or nightly activity, build up to for 2-3 minutes at a time).
  • Any and all self-monitoring and regulation behaviors must be taught during times of peace and quiet, not during times of turmoil.

“The suggestions above are not, of course, to be followed rigidly. Each child is an individual with unique needs and abilities and must be treated as such. Therefore, the information provided should be adapted and modified depending on the needs and abilities of each child, with professional assistance if warranted”. Dr. Nach

New young adult social skills group!

Join us for our newest
Therapeutic Social Skills Group
for young adults
ages 16 – mid 20’s.
Our newest group will be meeting on Tuesday nights from 6:45-7:45 PM, beginning on February 25th.

We have 13 (11+2 New) different groups that meet ona weekly basis.

  • All groups are based on age, ability and needs.(ages 4-mid 20’s)
  • All groups meet on a specific day and time each week throughout the school year.
  • All groups are staffed on a 3:1 basis (only licensed and Master or Doctoral level counselors)
  • All groups include a “Weekly Topic Update” for parents.
  • All groups are selected from a bank of over 90 different topics Dr. Nach has created and re-created over the past 2 decades.
  • All new participants are required to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Nach, to ensure proper placement in our groups.
  • Parents support provided with each group.

Through BRAINSTORMING, modeling, role-playing, video-modeling and cooperative activities, participants IMPROVE:

  • Making and Nurturing Friendships
  • Flexibility and Frustration Tolerance
  • Attention and Focus
  • Self-Esteem and Confidence
  • Impulse Control
  • Problem-solving Skills
  • Decision-making Skills
  • Conflict Resolution Skills and Relaxation Skills
  • Conversation and Assertiveness Skills

A human ability to recover quickly from disruptive change, or misfortune without

being overwhelmed or acting in dysfunctional or harmful ways.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resiliency is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to adversity or change.

Arguably the most important life skill is resiliency. It allows our children to use past errors as learning experiences. Teaching our children how to adjust their strategies, and try again, much like countless revolutionary of the past. Here, are a few words about how to build resilience and confidence in kids with ADHD and other life challenges.

We want our children to be empowered, resulting in their abilities to be “powerful”, responsible and in control of their actions. When kids are over-stressed they can’t build on their skills. We must challenge them and allow them to build their skills set, slowly and steadily. Remember the old adage, “slow and steady wins the race”. Keep this approach in mind when building resiliency. Empower our children to build on their skill set, not to feel overwhelmed.

Applying just the right amount of “pressure” will build strength and flexibility, applying to much pressure will lead to a breakdown, just like when trying a shoelace. A child who is not being successful and is being pushed to hard will become resistant, argumentative, confrontational, reactive, avoiding and may even shut down.

Numerous times I have been told by parents that homework leads to battles in their home. If the student does not know how to do the homework, they may tell the parent they don’t have any homework, or they conveniently forget it at school or “lose” it in the black hole called their backpacks.

The answer is simple, but not easy: Expose students to activities that are slightly below what you know they can do. This is that place that feels good, that place of competence and empowerment that is “doable” and comfortable learning and growing takes place.