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lauraw4321

Letting your kid fail

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2 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I do think that because of our family dynamic, I have a deep friendship with both my boys. Yes, I'm the parent, but at this point I am definitely more mentor. He trusts us more than anyone else in the world, of course he would ask for advice. At some point, however, his loyalty will switch to his spouse which is expected and appropriate. But until that time, we are there for him with whatever questions he throws at us. 

Just yesterday he asked what he should write about for his humanities scholarship application.  I was thinking in my mind "how would I know?" but I asked "what are the prompts?" When he said, one is " if you could recommend one novel for all MIT students to read before coming, what would it be and why?" I told him that I had the list of all the novels he had ever read.  Oh boy was that helpful. So I read them out, he chose one, found a thesis on his own, and wrote the most beautiful paper (He read it to me). All he needed was the list of books. I was happy to help. Easy for me, super important to him.

 

Just sitting here nodding my head! Yes to all!!

Honestly, in my daughter's college experience, she hasn't been able to find any peers who sit and have thoughtful / deep / meaningful / productive conversations. I mean, they'll have long, deep conversations where everyone is complaining about something/someone, or about some reality TV show or YouTuber. She needs a "Sounding Board" in her life for her ideas to come full-circle - talking it out increases her productivity a thousandfold. I love being that person for her for this phase of her life.

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1 minute ago, easypeasy said:

I love being that person for her for this phase of her life.

I totally agree! What a privilege and a joy.  I love watching him grow, and he calls because he knows there is no critique, only support. 

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like one day he will help me out when I am in need.  

I loved your whole post, but this really sums it up for me. We love each other, so of course we help each other out. Why would I put age limits or other artificial constraints on that?

I also find some of the distinctions between what's "acceptable" and not very strange. Like some people apparently think it's weird that a parent would arrange a haircut or make a doctor's appointment for anyone over 18, or send them food or whatever. But I wouldn't even put those things in the category of "EF supports" — to me those are just things family members do for each other because it's nice to make life a little easier for someone who is really busy. Like don't spouses do those things for each other? Do people not ever call a friend who's really swamped and ask if they can drop off a meal or run an errand or something? 

I think it's an interesting thought experiment to flip the scenario and ask what the "age limit" is for older people needing help. Like is it OK for an adult child to ask a 70 yr old parent if they're eating well, and maybe send over some healthy meals if it seems they aren't eating enough, but not appropriate at age 60? Is it OK for a 22 year old to pick up a prescription for a 55 year old parent, but not the other way around? I just totally don't get the age limit thing.

 

38 minutes ago, lewelma said:

I do think that because of our family dynamic, I have a deep friendship with both my boys. Yes, I'm the parent, but at this point I am definitely more mentor. He trusts us more than anyone else in the world, of course he would ask for advice. At some point, however, his loyalty will switch to his spouse which is expected and appropriate. But until that time, we are there for him with whatever questions he throws at us. 

Ditto to all of this. The idea that it's OK to ask for advice and help from some random stranger sitting in an office, who knows nothing about you and whose knowledge and judgment you have no clue about, but unacceptable to ask the same thing from the person you know and trust most in the world, is just so bizarre to me. DS and I are super close and have been having long intense discussions about everything under the sun for two decades — why would that stop just because he's in college? Like you, I think a lot of what some people might consider "support" is just normal conversation for us. I know the frequency and intensity will lessen over time, but I sure hope those conversations continue for another couple of decades.

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3 hours ago, Corraleno said:

I loved your whole post, but this really sums it up for me. We love each other, so of course we help each other out. Why would I put age limits or other artificial constraints on that?

I also find some of the distinctions between what's "acceptable" and not very strange. Like some people apparently think it's weird that a parent would arrange a haircut or make a doctor's appointment for anyone over 18, or send them food or whatever. But I wouldn't even put those things in the category of "EF supports" — to me those are just things family members do for each other because it's nice to make life a little easier for someone who is really busy. Like don't spouses do those things for each other? Do people not ever call a friend who's really swamped and ask if they can drop off a meal or run an errand or something? 

I think it's an interesting thought experiment to flip the scenario and ask what the "age limit" is for older people needing help. Like is it OK for an adult child to ask a 70 yr old parent if they're eating well, and maybe send over some healthy meals if it seems they aren't eating enough, but not appropriate at age 60? Is it OK for a 22 year old to pick up a prescription for a 55 year old parent, but not the other way around? I just totally don't get the age limit thing.

 

 

 

I agree with you and do not think about those things as scaffolding necessarily.  Heck, I just made a doctor's appointment for dh.  He helps me out.  The difference is that it is mutual.  That includes my kids doing things for me.  The problem is when you have a parent (I'm thinking of one of my child's friends) who is hypervigilent about all things being taken care of, especially the right way.  Her child is valedictorian, (yes, she does the work herself).  But her mom is SO micromanaging.  She is going to a big state university next year and I really worry. She has been trying to take over all of our class of 2020 activities as well.  My daughter and some of the other students really want her to back off.  She is very, very nice.  Our kids are more than capable of planning doing things whether or not it is the "right way."     So yes, we help each other out.  I have long conversations with my kids even now at 17,  22, 24.   The difference is that I do not view their life as my responsibility.  I get and allow that it is different for EF kids.  Just saying that on some of this stuff I think we are talking past each other. 

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5 hours ago, lewelma said:

 

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like one day he will help me out when I am in need.  

Ruth in NZ

 

I like your motto, I may borrow it. 

I don't have any objections to the assistance you give your son, I'm frankly impressed that he asks; learning to ask for help is something that took decades for me to figure out.

As an American kid who moved back to the US for college after many years overseas during an era when communication was still difficult and expensive--I was very much on my own. I survived and made it through but I think we are all better off when we have family and community support. 

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9 hours ago, lewelma said:

 

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like one day he will help me out when I am in need.  

Ruth in NZ

 

Thank you, Ruth for your detailed post. As I said, this thread has been fuel for thought for me to understand where and why I draw certain boundaries. The reason your #8 crossed a line for me is that in my imagination it would require a level of entanglement and detailed involvement that I don’t anticipate having with my kids in college. I don’t want to know that they are going to have a really tough 9 day period without them telling me that, because that means I would have reviewed and internalized their syllabi and deadlines. Now, maybe that’s not how it happened. Maybe your DS said “mom, I have a rough 9 days coming up. Could you help me prioritize and plan?”  If it we’re option B, I think I’d be ok with that. If it were option A, I’m not, because I cannot continue to be the keeper of the calendars and schedules and lists for 5 people forever. 

We all draw on our own experiences and this thread reminds me (again) of why I need therapy to work through some of this. I could not wait to leave home and vowed to never live at home again (I didn’t). I never once asked my parents for the kind of advice you’ve listed above. Best example I can think of - my parents found out I graduated first from law school when they got to the ceremony. It didn’t occur to me to discuss my life in that level of detail with them. 

So some of my boundaries are driven by pure mental exhaustion. And some are driven by my own relationship with my parents. The first probably won’t change. But the second deserves a closer look. I don’t want to have a kid who needs me so much that they text me multiple times a day to remind them what’s due on Thursday. But I would love a relationship where I’m one of the first people they tell about their successes and dreams. Or who they turn to for advice. That’s not the parent child relationship I have, so it’s hard for me to create it.

When I find myself unsure what to do as a parent, I use my MIL as my example. However, she can’t me my example in this area (dealing with ADHD in a child) because she likely has it herself and didn’t do any modeling / scaffolding / supporting in that area. So I’m flailing in a vacuum a bit. Which is why this board is very very helpful. 

As a fun comparison, our family motto is “never give up!” 

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10 hours ago, lewelma said:

I wish I could have been more involved in this thread, but I am just swamped with tutoring and National exams next week.

I was thinking last night about how the OP responded to my Older boy's experience at university, saying some things were parentish and other things were a no go for her.  She was very kind to me, so hopefully she will come back and comment on this post, as I am very curious. 

I provide a *lot* of support for my 19 year old. I would say probably 5-20 minutes every day.  I have learned over they years on this board that he is so incredibly unusual that most of my experience is not very useful for others, but I'm still going to describe it because I would be interested, truly interested, in how different people sort 1) OK-to-be-involved tasks and  2) NOT-OK-to-be involved tasks. My ds is in the very unusual circumstance to be close to an unschooler attending an Elite university in a foreign country.

So these are the categories in my mind of how I provide support.  Not in any particular order:

1) Career advice - help with writing his resume and linked in page, options for jobs, timelines for applying, appropriate wording of emails. Just yesterday ds told me that for the lead on his J-term research position in String Theory (haha can't believe I am saying that) that he needed to meet a postdoc in person. He wanted to know what he should ask as there are 6 different project opportunities.  So I suggested that he ask where he could add the most value given his high end math skill, and which project would help him develop his machine-learning knowledge without assuming he had 2-3 years of background.  He simply had no idea what to ask. 

2) Mental and Physical health - I regularly check that he is eating, sleeping, and exercising.  I also ordered a pile of healthy nuts when I found out that he was eating junk food late at night when studying. I have also made sure in conversations about his day, that he has put in 30 minutes for food. So I do keep an eye on his timetable, timing, and taking care of himself.

3) Transport. Although many MIT students apparently organize their own flights (as stated on the parents' facebook page by many parents), we do all the booking of these flights as they cost 1000s of dollars.  We have to get him to give us dates for exams and work out plans to get reasonable prices and timelines. We orchestrate this piece in its entirety. 

4) University Payment. Although ds is working a part time job actually tutoring someone on this board, we fund his education, room, and board. Because of this, we regulate his meal plan and figure out his housing situation based on our budget.

5) Purchasing. We purchase lots of different things on Amazon that he needs. He just found out for his violin that he needed a humidifier, so my dh researched this, and shipped one to him. He now needs batteries for his metronome. DH will be ordering that next.  This is one of the support pieces that we think he could pick up, but ds just doesn't have the time to get it done. He is swamped with school work, so if he had to order these things, he just wouldn't.

6) Written admin. We do written admin for his passport, his bank account, FAFSA, CSS etc. This is crazy time consuming, but I'm not sure how much of this he could actually do. But dh has also had to do all the leg work to set ds up a paypal account and a venmo account. 

7) Etiquette. America is not NZ. And we have provided advice on appropriate behavior/emails/formality/ dress/ etc.

8.) Homework/study scheduling. DS in the first semester asked for advice most days, now he just wants me to say 'yes, that sounds great.' He is doing all the scheduling now in his 3rd semester, but likes to be reassured. As a close to unschooler, he has quite a lot of catch up in this area compared to kids that went to the Governer's School who took 6 APs in one year. He just doesn't have the experience, but he is learning quickly. 

9) Financial advice. He has yet to figure out the American banking system. NZ has no cheques, so when he got the first one from Grandma, he needed to be told what to do. Also, when he had to pay in a lump sum for his violin lessons, we told him to go get a bank check.  Live and learn! He got a bank check made out to MIT (not the full name), and it did not have the music department or his name written anywhere on it, and he handed it to someone at the music front desk.  We were like, 'well, that $1200 is gone.' Surprisingly, it wasn't. But he just has no idea how the American money system works. In NZ, you would just use the EFTPOS machine at the music desk and just move the money at point of sale. When we dropped him off at age 17, he had to flip all the coins over to see how much they were worth. He was like "what is a dime?" I had never really realized that a dime is not a word that has any meaning to anyone outside America. And when we told him, he wanted to know why the 10 cent coin was smaller than the 5 cent coin. He found that very confusing. That was his starting point with the American financial system!

10) Communication. He asks for help with some emails.  This is kind of subsumed by the above 9 items. But in general, if he is uncertain of an email and what he should say, he will call and ask. He is definitely getting more independent on this one over time, but at first he was just frozen, not knowing what was the appropriate tone, formality, length etc. 

11) Computer advice. DH has put Linux on ds's computer, so sometimes ds needs advice on how to load software on a non-standard operating system. 

Well, that is about all the categories I can think of.  I think the OP was only against #8. And if so, I would be curious as to why that one is the most important for adult independence. I'm not being critical at all, I am just deeply curious as where the boundaries are drawn.  When we have a conversation with ds on the phone, it is pretty free flow, so from my point of view it would be really odd to say let me help you with this, this, this, Oh NOT that, but this and this. Obviously, this is a parenting perspective, but I am curious. 

Our family motto is "we are a family and we help each other out." So ever since the kids were little, if one of us needed help, we would ask, and the others would help. If someone started getting lazy (this was me once when I kept asking my dh to do stuff for me once I was in bed), then the other was allowed to say, 'um no, you really need to be doing this on your own.'  But in general, we are a family and we help each other out. That is our go to motto. This is why I help my ds who is in a foreign land buried in work. I will help him out, just like one day he will help me out when I am in need.  

Ruth in NZ

 

 

I think this is wonderful and I want to copy it for reference for just in case my son were to go away for college. Though I doubt my son would accept much of that or ask for it, even if it would help a great deal. 

I went to college in a different era so much on the list would not have been applicable, but similar for my era would have helped hugely I think.

I was a west coast of USA person going to an east coast university— nowhere near as far, and I certainly did know what a dime was.  But I was very aware that many kids who had family more or less in the area and even more so if they were second (or more) generation at that school had a huge advantage.  Getting needed things, moving in, knowing the ropes... 

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I was talking with dh about this and I do feel that so much of this could be attributed to family culture as much as anything else.

Dh's family growing up was so different from my own and we came up with something in the middle. Dh's thinks his parents were too hands off and I feel my mom was too involved at times. But we are super close with both of our kids, including college boy, and that hasn't changed just because he now has his own apartment. We're actually driving up to see him tomorrow since he's only an hour away. I asked if he had time this weekend and he said he would like to see us Sunday. He's always up for a free meal. 🙂 

Also, I did get a bit defensive when a poster said that me looking at concert/speaking events for my college kiddo was weird. I actually find it weird that anything would think so and I realized I do the same thing for my mom. Especially during the holidays, I always look for things I know she would like to see with us and buy an extra ticket for her. I don't think it's any different doing the same for ds. He's always been super appreciative and he's seen those types of things all on his own as well. It's not like he's never gone to a concert/speaking engagement that I didn't find and facilitate. He just is able to do more of those things because I keep an eye out.

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2 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

I don’t want to know that they are going to have a really tough 9 day period without them telling me that, because that means I would have reviewed and internalized their syllabi and deadlines.

Fwiw, I agree with you about that for my relationship with my own dc. I do not know my dd's class schedule (even though sometimes I wish I did, just so I could time my calls better or whatever), and if she's having a hard time I say I'm sorry, use your tools, and I love you, move on, suck it up. You'll probably be there too.

I want to back up to this point though that people are going to talk past each other because you're looking at the MOST DIFFICULT cases (grad classes at MIT at 18 for someone from another country with a 2E mix of disabilities and strengths). There's no way those hardest cases are reflective of how the majority of people and kids roll. 

So yes, it will probably work out the way you're hoping, with something more middle of the road, something that reflects the dc beginning to use independently the skills you've taught.

2 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

why I need therapy to work through some of this.

That seems like a reasonable thing! And you might like two kinds of professionals, one to deal with your parenting/trauma/counseling needs for you (whatever was going on there), and that other an EF coach/psych/CBT therapist/ed therapist for your dc to help teach them skills so you don't have to be the one or the only one.

2 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

But I would love a relationship where I’m one of the first people they tell about their successes and dreams. Or who they turn to for advice. That’s not the parent child relationship I have, so it’s hard for me to create it.

So, fwiw, that's probably what people were picking up on when you replied and they took you to task. It's interesting that you're reflecting and seeing it. I'll just throw you out a tidbit, that when we took my dd in for counseling (not actually sure why, the years get blurry) in her teen years, the counselor was like ok now *you* come in. So I'm like ok why, what do you want to know, and he's like no, you had trauma (didn't say this in so many words) and that's why you're so disconnected from your kid. 

So I don't know what happened in your world, not asking to say, but just saying I did it. He had me do trauma exercises, I went through them, and like overnight I made 20 friends and started developing those connected relationships you're talking about. It was crazy. It's a rabbit trail to look into. And it wasn't like oh I was abused kind of stuff. It was more violence I was exposed to, some near death experiences, just run of the mill stuff I guess. But it was enough that for me it had caused some problems and the trauma exercises helped.

                                            The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma                                     

                                            Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body                                     

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3 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

We all draw on our own experiences and this thread reminds me (again) of why I need therapy to work through some of this.

 

I think parenting brings out areas where we re-visit our own “issues” and it can help to have a way to work through those.

3 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

As a fun comparison, our family motto is “never give up!” 

 

We don’t have a family motto.  Now that I have learned yours and Lewelma’s, I want one! 

 

 

42 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

So I don't know what happened in your world, not asking to say, but just saying I did it. He had me do trauma exercises, I went through them, and like overnight I made 20 friends and started developing those connected relationships you're talking about. It was crazy. It's a rabbit trail to look into. And it wasn't like oh I was abused kind of stuff. It was more violence I was exposed to, some near death experiences, just run of the mill stuff I guess. But it was enough that for me it had caused some problems and the trauma exercises helped.

                                            The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma                                     

                                            Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body                                     

 

I would like to know more!  How long were you doing the exercises when you experienced “overnight “ change? 

I think the Van der Kolk Body Keeps the Score book is one of the best books I have ever read.

I tried a different Peter Levine book which I did not find as helpful, but on your recommendation am going to try the one you linked and to DO the exercises not just passively read it!!!

Do you (or others reading this) have any familiarity with:

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents' Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience https://www.amazon.com/dp/1556436998/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3Re0DbVSC22TX

also by or partly by Levine? 

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10 minutes ago, Pen said:

I would like to know more!  How long were you doing the exercises when you experienced “overnight “ change? 

I think the Van der Kolk Body Keeps the Score book is one of the best books I have ever read.

I tried a different Peter Levine book which I did not find as helpful, but on your recommendation am going to try the one you linked and to DO the exercises not just passively read it!!!

Do you (or others reading this) have any familiarity with:

Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents' Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience https://www.amazon.com/dp/1556436998/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_3Re0DbVSC22TX

also by or partly by Levine? 

I was doing TRE. I did it about 40 times over the course of maybe 2-3 months, I forget. I made data and was pretty aggressive about it. It only took a few sessions for me to start feeling different. I felt sort of naked, like people could see through me, and it was really strange. So it didn't take months to get noticeable change.

I haven't actually read the Van der Kolk book, blush. I bought the previous book (Body Bears the Burden), but this book is newer and more comprehensive.

Levine's HT book has a couple good exercises. If you can borrow it or get it on the cheap it will be worth the effort for those couple. But it's not earth shattering, no.

Yes, I have the Trauma Proofing book. Not sure I did much with it, just kinda threw it in the cart.

This is the video I used to learn to do TRE. 

 

Edited by PeterPan
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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I want to back up to this point though that people are going to talk past each other because you're looking at the MOST DIFFICULT cases (grad classes at MIT at 18 for someone from another country with a 2E mix of disabilities and strengths). There's no way those hardest cases are reflective of how the majority of people and kids roll. 

But if you look at Ruth's lists, none of those things are unique to a kid at MIT, and only two relate to being a foreign student. Being swamped with a ton of assignments in a 9 day period at the beginning of freshman year can happen at any university where the student is involved in a lot of activities or projects. A lot of the things on the list aren't even specifically related to EF, they're things a lot of parents would do even for NT kids just because they have a close relationship and that's their family culture. The difference is that when kids have significant EF issues, we tend to do lots of those things at once instead of just a few here and there. That's the point LSB was making earlier when she listed the things she does for her son — he can do each of the functions independently, but he cannot do all of them at once without help.

I don't think it matters one bit which school someone attends, or whether they live an hour away or on the other side of the globe. What matters is what level of support this student needs (and wants) in this particular environment at this time in his or her life, in order to keep growing and moving forward. And that really applies to NT kids as well as those with more challenges. As long as you're seeing growth and forward movement, you're doing it right. 

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22 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I was doing TRE. I did it about 40 times over the course of maybe 2-3 months, I forget. I made data and was pretty aggressive about it. It only took a few sessions for me to start feeling different. I felt sort of naked, like people could see through me, and it was really strange. So it didn't take months to get noticeable change.

I haven't actually read the Van der Kolk book, blush. I bought the previous book (Body Bears the Burden), but this book is newer and more comprehensive.

Levine's HT book has a couple good exercises. If you can borrow it or get it on the cheap it will be worth the effort for those couple. But it's not earth shattering, no.

Yes, I have the Trauma Proofing book. Not sure I did much with it, just kinda threw it in the cart.

This is the video I used to learn to do TRE. 

 

Ok. I guess I don't get this.  These are just like exercises that I used to do with my personal trainer for strength training...  What does that have to do with trauma??  Wouldn't any kind of exercise work then? 

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@PeterPan glad I asked and got clearer that it was different exercises, not the book (s) that helped so much!

I think the “Body Keeping the Score” concept is extremely interesting/enlightening.

Somewhere or other I also read that, in this category,  “genetic” methylation problems are often epigenetic stress caused mutations.  

Where it would seem that it could be one of many areas where multigenerational stress can cause not only emotional relationship problems, and skill learning problems, but even genetic changes that can then lead to more problems... and on it goes...     

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This thread has been an interesting read. I am so thankful and said so many times before this thread that I come from a "How can I help" family. I don't have a kid in college yet, but I did note when I was in college that there were many students that needed additional help with "life" or "adulting" or EF function that had nothing to do with their "academics". I have many examples but the most extreme was a best friend that got sick and thought it was the flu. Parents told him go to Quack Shack (campus doctor). He did. You have the flu. Friend still very sick. His friends are taking care of him at this point. Dad won't pay for outside doctor. Dad won't offer any help other than go to Quack Shack. Sicker and sicker. Finally, I call MY mom and tell her what's up. She immediately tells us what to do. Seek outside doctor. She helps call clinics off campus to find who will see him self-pay etc etc. She finds one. We take him. He is hospitalized immediately for Diabetes Type 1. Almost dies (not hyperbole). Stabilizes and hospital tells us to send him home. Asks where's parents. Parents won't come. Dad says figure it out. I drive him 7 hours home (our home town). Thank god MY parents were not of the sink or swim variety. His were. They always had been.

I am a super duper, bad ass, high EF functioning, Mary Poppins with a healthy dose of fairy god mother and psychic thrown in, corporate project managing (paid $$$$$$), business owner x 3 woman. Yesterday, I just casually mentioned in conversation about something else that DH and I were booked 4x's (4 places at once) over today with kids and renovation trades. She asked if I needed help. I said, "Nah. I'll work it out. I always do."  She texted me at 8:15am this morning and asked how she could help.

Just like that. She will ALWAYS throw me a life preserver even when I'm doing fancy flips in the deep end. I'm 45.

 

Just my $.02.

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5 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

Thank you, Ruth for your detailed post. As I said, this thread has been fuel for thought for me to understand where and why I draw certain boundaries. The reason your #8 crossed a line for me is that in my imagination it would require a level of entanglement and detailed involvement that I don’t anticipate having with my kids in college. I don’t want to know that they are going to have a really tough 9 day period without them telling me that, because that means I would have reviewed and internalized their syllabi and deadlines. Now, maybe that’s not how it happened. Maybe your DS said “mom, I have a rough 9 days coming up. Could you help me prioritize and plan?”  If it we’re option B, I think I’d be ok with that. If it were option A, I’m not, because I cannot continue to be the keeper of the calendars and schedules and lists for 5 people forever. 

We all draw on our own experiences and this thread reminds me (again) of why I need therapy to work through some of this. I could not wait to leave home and vowed to never live at home again (I didn’t). I never once asked my parents for the kind of advice you’ve listed above. Best example I can think of - my parents found out I graduated first from law school when they got to the ceremony. It didn’t occur to me to discuss my life in that level of detail with them. 

So some of my boundaries are driven by pure mental exhaustion. And some are driven by my own relationship with my parents. The first probably won’t change. But the second deserves a closer look. I don’t want to have a kid who needs me so much that they text me multiple times a day to remind them what’s due on Thursday. But I would love a relationship where I’m one of the first people they tell about their successes and dreams. Or who they turn to for advice. That’s not the parent child relationship I have, so it’s hard for me to create it.

When I find myself unsure what to do as a parent, I use my MIL as my example. However, she can’t me my example in this area (dealing with ADHD in a child) because she likely has it herself and didn’t do any modeling / scaffolding / supporting in that area. So I’m flailing in a vacuum a bit. Which is why this board is very very helpful. 

As a fun comparison, our family motto is “never give up!” 

 

Yeah, look, it's OK to be a person who is mentally exhausted and cannot, for her own sanity, do the amount of coaching some people are able to do.

You are a person, not a mom-function. 

I know this is not a level of coaching I could provide long-term because of mental and emotional exhaustion. I literally can't, without killing myself. 

Everyone's family is different, everyone's life experiences are different, and frankly, you sound like you are doing fine to me. And your dd is doing OK.

Don't buy yourself grief about what things might look like in 10 years time; you don't need to be anywhere but here, with dd in 6th grade, atm, and the two of you did just fine. That's all and that's enough. 

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4 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

Thank you, Ruth for your detailed post. As I said, this thread has been fuel for thought for me to understand where and why I draw certain boundaries. The reason your #8 crossed a line for me is that in my imagination it would require a level of entanglement and detailed involvement that I don’t anticipate having with my kids in college. I don’t want to know that they are going to have a really tough 9 day period without them telling me that, because that means I would have reviewed and internalized their syllabi and deadlines. Now, maybe that’s not how it happened. Maybe your DS said “mom, I have a rough 9 days coming up. Could you help me prioritize and plan?”  If it we’re option B, I think I’d be ok with that. If it were option A, I’m not, because I cannot continue to be the keeper of the calendars and schedules and lists for 5 people forever. 

We all draw on our own experiences and this thread reminds me (again) of why I need therapy to work through some of this. I could not wait to leave home and vowed to never live at home again (I didn’t). I never once asked my parents for the kind of advice you’ve listed above. Best example I can think of - my parents found out I graduated first from law school when they got to the ceremony. It didn’t occur to me to discuss my life in that level of detail with them. 

So some of my boundaries are driven by pure mental exhaustion. And some are driven by my own relationship with my parents. The first probably won’t change. But the second deserves a closer look. I don’t want to have a kid who needs me so much that they text me multiple times a day to remind them what’s due on Thursday. But I would love a relationship where I’m one of the first people they tell about their successes and dreams. Or who they turn to for advice. That’s not the parent child relationship I have, so it’s hard for me to create it.

When I find myself unsure what to do as a parent, I use my MIL as my example. However, she can’t me my example in this area (dealing with ADHD in a child) because she likely has it herself and didn’t do any modeling / scaffolding / supporting in that area. So I’m flailing in a vacuum a bit. Which is why this board is very very helpful. 

As a fun comparison, our family motto is “never give up!” 

I just want to say that I am deeply impressed that you are able to continue to engage in and learn from this thread given what seems to be some very different points of view.  And I *love* your family motto!

As for #8, thank you for taking the time to help me see different points of view. Part of the reason I am writing up all these things that I do for my ds, is that there is national obsession with helicopter parenting that I want to have a nuanced discussion about. How much is too much? How can you tell?  How does this depend on your child?  I think these are tricky questions, and it is very very hard to know if you are getting it "right."

I have not even begun to discuss my younger boy, who is the 2E child. The older boy is not 2E, just asynchronous. The difference being asynchronous means he 5 years advanced in math and average in EF.  My younger boy is the 2E child. He was 4 years advanced in composition while at the same time be 5 years behind in encoding language -- so *composing* at an advanced 11th grade level at age 11 while concurrently *encoding* like a 1st grader.  For the younger it has been very hard to improve his average EF skills when we needed to spend all our time trying to sort out the dysgraphia, so I think EF skills are now below-average for his age. For the older, being able to take courses to meet his crazy high math skills, meant these same courses expected equally advanced for his age EF skills, which he didn't have. Not sure this distinction is useful to all, but it might be to some. 

So back to #8 - helping kids with time management/study skills/scheduling of schoolwork. I really liked your distinction between knowing a kid's schedule/reminding/organizing vs just offering advice when asked. So parent ownership vs student ownership. I do think, however, it is a sliding scale rather than an either or.   So for the past 3 semesters what I have done is sit with him (on the phone) while he gets all his syllabi out (often online) and puts all the deadlines, homework dates, tests, papers, etc into his calendar. He then also gets me a list of the books that we go hunt down (not like the old days when you just went to the book store, it is all a mush of online, e-book purchase, free, pay, print copy, used on Amazon, etc.  Really a huge pain IMHO). At that first discussion each term, I have gotten him to identify his hell weeks so he knew they were coming up. Basically, he had never taken a full load of external courses with external deadlines as a homeschooler, so had ZERO practice in how to do this or even knowledge that it would be a good thing to do.  I just told him, "everyone does this, and so must you." Then throughout the term, when the hell week was coming up, *he* would ask me questions on how best to deal with it, and I would advise. The only time *I* took charge and made sure something happened was when he had a 15-page term paper due at the end of term. He had never written a paper like this, and I figured he had no idea how long it would take. So I initiated the conversation on scheduling the paper into the last 6 weeks of the term, and he realized that he had to get it done super early (as in a month early) because of the end of term exams in his other subjects.  But that was really the only time I had to initiate the scheduling.

One of the things this thread is helping me with is thinking about my younger and all the work I need to get done with him.  So much. But as long as he is keen to try, I can help him to master the skills he will need.  Success breeds success. Family motto number 2!

Ruth in NZ

 

 

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Late to the party to add to the military thing.  My DH is highly intelligent  and ADD he enlisted in the navy. He had no trouble in boot camp because their is a lot of structure and support.  You don’t really have to decide and plan you just do what you’ve taught when you’re told to do it.  He got through his 6 years.  He learned to do things in a routine way.  The military did not fix him and he still has EF issues he lost cable because he forgot to pay, he’s had a license expire etc.  

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40 minutes ago, aggie96 said:

This thread has been an interesting read. I am so thankful and said so many times before this thread that I come from a "How can I help" family. I don't have a kid in college yet, but I did note when I was in college that there were many students that needed additional help with "life" or "adulting" or EF function that had nothing to do with their "academics". I have many examples but the most extreme was a best friend that got sick and thought it was the flu. Parents told him go to Quack Shack (campus doctor). He did. You have the flu. Friend still very sick. His friends are taking care of him at this point. Dad won't pay for outside doctor. Dad won't offer any help other than go to Quack Shack. Sicker and sicker. Finally, I call MY mom and tell her what's up. She immediately tells us what to do. Seek outside doctor. She helps call clinics off campus to find who will see him self-pay etc etc. She finds one. We take him. He is hospitalized immediately for Diabetes Type 1. Almost dies (not hyperbole). Stabilizes and hospital tells us to send him home. Asks where's parents. Parents won't come. Dad says figure it out. I drive him 7 hours home (our home town). Thank god MY parents were not of the sink or swim variety. His were. They always had been.

I am a super duper, bad ass, high EF functioning, Mary Poppins with a healthy dose of fairy god mother and psychic thrown in, corporate project managing (paid $$$$$$), business owner x 3 woman. Yesterday, I just casually mentioned in conversation about something else that DH and I were booked 4x's (4 places at once) over today with kids and renovation trades. She asked if I needed help. I said, "Nah. I'll work it out. I always do."  She texted me at 8:15am this morning and asked how she could help.

Just like that. She will ALWAYS throw me a life preserver even when I'm doing fancy flips in the deep end. I'm 45.

 

Just my $.02.

IT really is important for adultish kids to know that they can bounce medical advice off of parents.

They just dont have the life experience, in general, to know what's what. Like figuring out what's serious and what is no big deal. When to press medical personnel and when to go with what they say.

My dd was dealing with UTI symptoms. Except  it didn't hurt when she peed. She (without me) went to nurse practitioner at our doctors office. NP saw symptoms, but said, well, since it's not burning, it's probably not a UTI. But didn't even take a urine sample.DD came home. I said. "Hey, when that happens it's ok to say, Well, while I'm here can I at least leave a sample for you, just in case."

(My dd never burns with a UTI) 

And a week later, my dd was back at the dr with a UTI. (still no burning, but the other symptoms were much worse.) 

But you really have to teach someone to self-advocate. As someone who's been to the dr a lot, I've got a pretty good sense of when something doesn't sound right. I didn't have this at 17, 18, or 19. Now my 22 yo dd goes to all of her appointments alone, but it took time for her to get there.

 

 

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14 hours ago, lewelma said:

Just yesterday he asked what he should write about for his humanities scholarship application.  I was thinking in my mind "how would I know?" but I asked "what are the prompts?" When he said, one is " if you could recommend one novel for all MIT students to read before coming, what would it be and why?" I told him that I had the list of all the novels he had ever read.  Oh boy was that helpful. So I read them out, he chose one, found a thesis on his own, and wrote the most beautiful paper (He read it to me). All he needed was the list of books. I was happy to help. Easy for me, super important to him.


I think those of us who homeschooled with a lot of involvement and connection and discussion see the continuation of that in college as a perfectly natural and normal thing. Why would we suddenly cut that off? But from the other end I can see how, to a parent whose kid went to B&M school or took online courses where someone else did the teaching and grading and course management, the idea of a parent being involved in those things for a college kid would seem bizarre — surely there's someone in an office somewhere whose job that is. But if you, the parent, are the one who taught them to write, and you were the one reading the books and watching the lectures and having the discussions with them for all the years of homeschooling, then it makes perfect sense that you'd also be the one they call when they want advice about an essay or they want to hash out something they've been thinking about and need someone to bounce ideas off of. 

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Homeschool mum 16 yrs

I actively do NOT want to be the person who my college aged kid with dyscalculia calls. I don't want her to hash out her essays with me. I don't want to have her relying on me to help her through her stats assignments. I don't want it, because I'm burned out, and because it isn't some sort of natural progression for us. Of course I provided some hand-holding in the first semester, and she knows that if she's really tight on time, I'll run an eye over an assignment, but I am happy that this is minimal. I expect it to be even more minimal in third year than it was in second year. By the time she's in honours year, I expect it to be nothing or as close to as to make no difference. 

My kids were intensively, seriously, and fully parented and educated by me for a huge chunk of my adult life. It's OK to reach a point of being done. 

*obligatory disclaimer - it's also OK to not be done, and to help in ways that benefit you and your kids for as long as that both works for you. But it's not some homeschooler vs brick and mortar schooler thing! Even dedicated and loving homeschooling parents with kids with learning challenges can reach a point of being finished. 

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Obviously parents can only do as much as they can do. I think all kids deserve to have the level of support they need, whatever that is, and all parents should provide the level of support they're capable of, whatever that is. And if there is a gap between those two things, then the parent should help the child find outside resources to bridge that gap, not just withdraw support and throw them in the deep end to sink or swim.

There's a significant difference between a parent saying "I will only provide X amount of support, because that's all that I am capable of," and saying "parents should not provide more than X amount of support, because Y-aged kids should not need more than that." The first recognizes that the limit is set by the parent's capabilities not the student's needs, while the second implies that the limit is set by some arbitrary standard of what needs are still "acceptable" at a given age.

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3 hours ago, Corraleno said:

<snip>

I don't think it matters one bit which school someone attends, or whether they live an hour away or on the other side of the globe. What matters is what level of support this student needs (and wants) in this particular environment at this time in his or her life, in order to keep growing and moving forward. And that really applies to NT kids as well as those with more challenges. As long as you're seeing growth and forward movement, you're doing it right. 

Right.  No one here is doing this (that I've seen), but it can be easy to say "oh, yeah, this kid at this tough school taking these tough courses may need help, but your kid taking "regular" courses at a state school shouldn't need help."

(Did everyone see that I said no one here is doing that? But it is easy to do.)

 

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5 minutes ago, StellaM said:

Even dedicated and loving homeschooling parents with kids with learning challenges can reach a point of being finished. 

Yes. I agree. I'm looking forward to being done in 2 years!! The 5 minutes I spend on my older boy each day is easy compared to the struggles I deal with every day with my younger.  I've talked many times about having to put my big girl panties on each morning and get the job done with my younger. Homeschooling is exhausting and sometimes frustrating and demoralizing, and I'm not trying to shame anyone into working harder! Sometimes college kids just need more help than expected. Obviously, it depends on the kid! By not outsourcing in highschool, my older ds was able to focus on his passions, develop independent learning skills, and have lots of down time to read and think deeply.  HOWEVER, he did not have the opportunity to learn and master EF skills because he never took multiple outsources courses at once. The side effect of these choices is that he is a top student at university in three areas (math/physics, humanities, and the arts) BUT he has needed extra help to shore up this deficit in EF. All choices we make have pros and cons. I just think we need to walk in with our eyes open. 

But in just 2 years, I can focus on other people's kids!! How exciting! I am a tutor and have 11 additional students that see me 2 hours each week. I tutor in Math, Science and English, but more importantly for many of my kids, I tutor in EF skills and mentor them into career choices. 

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1 minute ago, lewelma said:

Yes. I agree. I'm looking forward to being done in 2 years!! The 5 minutes I spend on my older boy each day is easy compared to the struggles I deal with every day with my younger.  I've talked many times about having to put my big girl panties on each morning and get the job done with my younger. Homeschooling is exhausting and sometimes frustrating and demoralizing, and I'm not trying to shame anyone into working harder! Sometimes college kids just need more help than expected. Obviously, it depends on the kid! By not outsourcing in highschool, my older ds was able to focus on his passions, develop independent learning skills, and have lots of down time to read and think deeply.  HOWEVER, he did not have the opportunity to learn and master EF skills because he never took multiple outsources courses at once. The side effect of these choices is that he is a top student at university in three areas (math/physics, humanities, and the arts) BUT he has needed extra help to shore up this deficit in EF. All choices we make have pros and cons. I just think we need to walk in with our eyes open. 

But in just 2 years, I can focus on other people's kids!! How exciting! I am a tutor and have 11 additional students that see me 2 hours each week. I tutor in Math, Science and English, but more importantly for many of my kids, I tutor in EF skills and mentor them into career choices. 

 

I have considerably more tolerance at this point in time for the educating/child caring I get paid to do, than that which I don't.

And ya know, I don't even care if that makes me a bad mum. I'm too tired to care, lol. 

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1 minute ago, lewelma said:

Yes. I agree. I'm looking forward to being done in 2 years!! The 5 minutes I spend on my older boy each day is easy compared to the struggles I deal with every day with my younger.  I've talked many times about having to put my big girl panties on each morning and get the job done with my younger. Homeschooling is exhausting and sometimes frustrating and demoralizing, and I'm not trying to shame anyone into working harder! Sometimes college kids just need more help than expected. Obviously, it depends on the kid! By not outsourcing in highschool, my older ds was able to focus on his passions, develop independent learning skills, and have lots of down time to read and think deeply.  HOWEVER, he did not have the opportunity to learn and master EF skills because he never took multiple outsources courses at once. The side effect of these choices is that he is a top student at university in three areas (math/physics, humanities, and the arts) BUT he has needed extra help to shore up this deficit in EF. All choices we make have pros and cons. I just think we need to walk in with our eyes open. 

But in just 2 years, I can focus on other people's kids!! How exciting! I am a tutor and have 11 additional students that see me 2 hours each week. I tutor in Math, Science and English, but more importantly for many of my kids, I tutor in EF skills and mentor them into career choices. 

 

When reading about your eldest, I’m not sure he has deficits in EF relative to the “average” EF development for a young man of his age.  He seems more to have a deficit relative to his academic level.

 His willingness to ask for help in planning, and then to follow the suggestions given, and then to be able to do it on his own after only a year or so university experience seem to me like he may actually be very strong in EF.    Understanding what one needs help with and seeking out that help, even if from a parent, in itself seems to me to be a fairly high level of EF functionality. 

 

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With adult children (or children at college), I would reframe 'every child deserves' - it's a recipe for guilt in some of us. It's unreachable for many, even if it's true. 

I think I'd go with something like 'As I am able, I would like to be able to support my child into stable adulthood'. or 'My child deserves a happy mom, and if that can encompass as much coaching as they need, great, but if not, things will likely be OK, because I am not the only person in this world who will give my child a helping hand.'

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1 minute ago, StellaM said:

I have considerably more tolerance at this point in time for the educating/child caring I get paid to do, than that which I don't.

And ya know, I don't even care if that makes me a bad mum. I'm too tired to care, lol. 

Yup. On many days I enjoy my tutor kids more than my own kids. My tutor kids are so positive, do what I ask, and are really grateful. I need this external gratification for a job well done which is actually why I started tutoring. I would love to say my own kids are all these things, but you know what it is like - they don't know anything else, so they don't know how sweet they have it.  🙂 (although my older ds is starting to see it now he is hearing about other kids' educational experiences)

If in some way I have made others feel bad or unworthy or some such, I am deeply sorry.  I am a high energy person with a very balanced emotional state with a very supportive husband with a very good job.  Plus, all my family has good health. Over many years being on this board, I have learned to be very grateful for what I have as I see so many other people suffer with much much less. We all do what we can with the energy we have.

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4 minutes ago, Pen said:

When reading about your eldest, I’m not sure he has deficits in EF relative to the “average” EF development for a young man of his age.  He seems more to have a deficit relative to his academic level.

Yes, exactly.  You may not have seen my post above, but this is exactly what I said.  He is asynchronous, he is not 2E (that is my younger). At 18 he had average EF skills, but very advanced academic skills. So his EF skills were not at the level required to meet his academic needs.  But in 3 terms, he has learned a ton, and is not needing nearly so much support. 

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59 minutes ago, Pen said:

When reading about your eldest, I’m not sure he has deficits in EF relative to the “average” EF development for a young man of his age.  He seems more to have a deficit relative to his academic level.

 His willingness to ask for help in planning, and then to follow the suggestions given, and then to be able to do it on his own after only a year or so university experience seem to me like he may actually be very strong in EF.  Understanding what one needs help with and seeking out that help, even if from a parent, in itself seems to me to be a fairly high level of EF functionality. 

That's true of Ruth's son (that his issue is asynchrony not 2e), but it's also possible for someone who does have ADHD and significant EF deficits to still understand what their limitations are, know when/how/who to ask for help, and then follow directions and make good use of the support they're given. I don't think that's a component of EF as much as it's a function of personality, self-awareness, and probably a certain amount of meta-cognitive explanation and instruction.

Having known a lot of adults with ADHD and serious EF deficits (including being married to one for 22 years), my #1 priority with DS from the time he was very young was teaching him that (1) he should never be ashamed of the way his brain works (there are both advantages and disadvantages to his type of wiring) and (2) he should never be afraid to ask for help. I thought that learning how (and when and who) to ask for help, how to articulate exactly what you need, and how to build on the help you're given, was the most fundamental skill set I could give him — far more important than learning how to use a planner or put reminders in a phone or whatever. The "memory aid" stuff is helpful but superficial and relatively easy to pick up. Understanding that your brain is just different, not "wrong," and it's ok to ask for help with the things you're not good at, because there are lots of other things you are amazing at (and you can help other people with those), is a much harder lesson, because it needs to be really accepted and internalized to the extent that it changes how you see yourself and others. 

 

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On 11/13/2019 at 6:54 PM, Corraleno said:

Like many other highly intelligent people who happen to have EF deficits, DS has zero problem with learning, analyzing, and higher order thinking. He doesn't need "middle school level" guidance to produce a research paper — he's been writing college-level papers for years. He is more than well prepared for the level of academic work in college. But he has a brain-based disability that makes executive function tasks like estimating, organizing, prioritizing, scheduling, and remembering a large number of assignments in a short period of time, within a very complicated scheduled that includes intermittent out of state travel, difficult. It's patronizing to state that work "still has to happen within a certain time frame because semesters are limited" as if that's somehow news to someone with EF issues. Of course they know that — fitting it all into that time frame is exactly what they need help with. 

 

I'm not sure what your point is here. DS is clearly producing "college-level work regardless of his disability" — that is not the problem. He has also done everything he could to advocate for himself in order to "get the necessary accommodations because his parent [me] lives 2400 miles away." The problem is that his university doesn't offer the accommodations he needs. And I suspect that the primary reason for that is that many people at the university — like many people in this thread — don't understand that real brain-based EF issues do not get "fixed" in high school and don't magically disappear at age 18. I'm glad that we, as a society, no longer treat dyslexics like they're stupid, or people with ADHD like they're just lazy or sloppy or not trying hard enough to pay attention. Hopefully someday the stigma attached to EF deficits will also go away. 

 

 

I find that without higher doses of steroids now, my EF issues are absolutely awful.  I am in my mid 50's.  I did have some issues in earlier years due to ADHD/EF stuff but learned how to basically manage it.  That has come undone as my Autoimmune issues have affected my brain.  My higher level thinking has not been an issue. 

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7 hours ago, seekinghim45 said:

Ok. I guess I don't get this.  These are just like exercises that I used to do with my personal trainer for strength training...  What does that have to do with trauma??  Wouldn't any kind of exercise work then? 

no. it's not just any exercise.   it is designed to trigger a specific response. involving the psoas muscles are a must.  there is typically a great deal of shaking as the trauma is being released.  the exercises building up - it designed to fatigue the muscles.  maybe 30 years ago, I learned some Asian medicine theorizes trauma memory is stored in muscles.  as they are fatigued, the 'memory of the trauma' can be released through shaking.

this technique is used for those suffering from PTSD - to good effect.

 

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7 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

no. it's not just any exercise.   it is designed to trigger a specific response. involving the psoas muscles are a must.  there is typically a great deal of shaking as the trauma is being released.  the exercises building up - it designed to fatigue the muscles.  maybe 30 years ago, I learned some Asian medicine theorizes trauma memory is stored in muscles.  as they are fatigued, the 'memory of the trauma' can be released through shaking.

this technique is used for those suffering from PTSD - to good effect.

 

 

So it is the shaking???  But I do a lot of those exact exercises with my coach and yes, my muscles shake. So I guess a side benefit for me is releasing trauma? Or do you have to think something while you do it. This video was much better.  The lady on the other one did WAY too much talking.  I couldn't take it, so I fast forwarded or did things at fast speed.  I do the wall thing all the time, but I guess you just sit there and shake???  Still don't get how it works but I'll take their/your word for it. 

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6 minutes ago, Serebrinna said:

Children should live their own lives. We can be there and tell us. No more. Mistakes are experience

 

Interesting 3rd post.  Have you read through the thread?  What experiences have you had with your own children on this topic?

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18 minutes ago, DawnM said:

 

Interesting 3rd post.  Have you read through the thread?  What experiences have you had with your own children on this topic?

i think there might be something in the dungeon, if you get my Harry Potter movie reference...

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2 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

i think there might be something in the dungeon, if you get my Harry Potter movie reference...

 

There is definitely something there.

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21 hours ago, lauraw4321 said:

Thank you, Ruth for your detailed post. As I said, this thread has been fuel for thought for me to understand where and why I draw certain boundaries. The reason your #8 crossed a line for me is that in my imagination it would require a level of entanglement and detailed involvement that I don’t anticipate having with my kids in college. I don’t want to know that they are going to have a really tough 9 day period without them telling me that, because that means I would have reviewed and internalized their syllabi and deadlines. Now, maybe that’s not how it happened. Maybe your DS said “mom, I have a rough 9 days coming up. Could you help me prioritize and plan?”  If it we’re option B, I think I’d be ok with that. If it were option A, I’m not, because I cannot continue to be the keeper of the calendars and schedules and lists for 5 people forever. 

We all draw on our own experiences and this thread reminds me (again) of why I need therapy to work through some of this. I could not wait to leave home and vowed to never live at home again (I didn’t). I never once asked my parents for the kind of advice you’ve listed above. Best example I can think of - my parents found out I graduated first from law school when they got to the ceremony. It didn’t occur to me to discuss my life in that level of detail with them. 

So some of my boundaries are driven by pure mental exhaustion. And some are driven by my own relationship with my parents. The first probably won’t change. But the second deserves a closer look. I don’t want to have a kid who needs me so much that they text me multiple times a day to remind them what’s due on Thursday. But I would love a relationship where I’m one of the first people they tell about their successes and dreams. Or who they turn to for advice. That’s not the parent child relationship I have, so it’s hard for me to create it.

When I find myself unsure what to do as a parent, I use my MIL as my example. However, she can’t me my example in this area (dealing with ADHD in a child) because she likely has it herself and didn’t do any modeling / scaffolding / supporting in that area. So I’m flailing in a vacuum a bit. Which is why this board is very very helpful. 

As a fun comparison, our family motto is “never give up!” 

I connect with much in this post. I am one who felt my own parents virtually ignored me once I was in my teens. I felt they provided zero guidance and very little practical help. They are also extremely devout Christians, so there were many taboo subjects that could never be discussed because XYZ was just categorically “wrong,” so what was there to discuss? 

I very much wanted my kids, as young adults, to be able to talk to me, bounce ideas off me, ask for advice, mull certain things over philosophically without judgement, yet not be unable to move on something without my orchestration. This is the relationship I believe I have with my big kids. 

I also used my MIL as a model for many things, especially when I was in my 20s. IMO, she provided the right mix of advice and support, while yet being not at all enmeshed or helicopter-y to her own young adult kids. So, for example, she was very smart with money and she accurately predicted that certain land lots for sale in the area would surely increase in value. She advised my dh (before I met him; his early 20s) that, rather than move to an apartment as many of his friends were doing, he should stick around at the farm and buy a lot for the future. Honestly, this was probably the pivotal decision that changed his financial future for the better (by a lot). (Lol, a pun - buy a lot.) So, to me, a lot of the things my MIL did provided a template for how I wanted to be with my kids and, so far, it seems to be panning out. My dd was just Facetiming me from France, where she is teaching as part of a government program). She is considering her next steps; she wants to go to grad school and there are scholarships associated with the program she is currently in. She is talking to me about different ideas and what options she could choose. I cannot and will not be providing financial support anymore, nor am I doing any of the legwork to find out what programs she could pursue or what pros or cons would be there. But I will definitely note something I know, such as as, “Well, don’t forget if you move to that area, the cost of living is sky-high.” (I will say though, this is not my child with EF deficits.) 

 

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4 hours ago, seekinghim45 said:

 

So it is the shaking???  But I do a lot of those exact exercises with my coach and yes, my muscles shake. So I guess a side benefit for me is releasing trauma? Or do you have to think something while you do it. This video was much better.  The lady on the other one did WAY too much talking.  I couldn't take it, so I fast forwarded or did things at fast speed.  I do the wall thing all the time, but I guess you just sit there and shake???  Still don't get how it works but I'll take their/your word for it. 

the shaking - and allowing it to continue as they do in the video, is what helps release trauma from the muscles, safest while you are laying down. and you want it to continue for a good five minutes - or more.  the intensity can be controlled by the angle you hold your knees.  the shaking can get pretty intense.  if you are just standing up.

but it's not watching the videos - you need to listen to what is being said so you can hear the explanations.  

 

eta: "the wall thing" is just one exercise to fatigue the muscles building up to the shaking.  you dont' have to do "the wall" thing.

Edited by gardenmom5

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

the shaking - and allowing it to continue as they do in the video, is what helps release trauma from the muscles, safest while you are laying down. and you want it to continue for a good five minutes - or more.  the intensity can be controlled by the angle you hold your knees.  the shaking can get pretty intense.  if you are just standing up.

but it's not watching the videos - you need to listen to what is being said so you can hear the explanations.  

 

eta: "the wall thing" is just one exercise to fatigue the muscles building up to the shaking.  you dont' have to do "the wall" thing.

 

I wonder if it could help ADHD directly.  If perhaps some of the hyper activity is similar to trying to move out of trauma distress, but not working well to heal.  ????

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9 hours ago, seekinghim45 said:

 

So it is the shaking???  But I do a lot of those exact exercises with my coach and yes, my muscles shake. So I guess a side benefit for me is releasing trauma? Or do you have to think something while you do it. This video was much better.  The lady on the other one did WAY too much talking.  I couldn't take it, so I fast forwarded or did things at fast speed.  I do the wall thing all the time, but I guess you just sit there and shake???  Still don't get how it works but I'll take their/your word for it. 

 

The shakings are called neurogenic tremors and they are evoked by doing certain exercises. The exercises are just a way to get the tremors to begin. Once they begin, they can become very strong and last very long. It’s not muscle fatigue. There is something about the specific vibrations, the frequencies, and how they affect the central nervous system and physiology. It’s kind of complicated to understand exactly what the tremors are doing but they appear to have a profound effect on some people.

https://www.embodiedphilosophy.com/history-and-misunderstanding-of-body-tremors/

The shaking is something mammals naturally do to survive after a traumatic event but humans can suppress it especially in cases where they might appear vulnerable. So suppressing the tremors could be a survival mechanism. It’s not healthy to suppress them because that can lead to physiological changes which can make a person more or less vigilant than they should be in situations where they are actually safe.

The therapy is not cognitive, just physiological, so no need to ponder anything.

Stephen Porges’s Polyvagal Theory illustrates how trauma affects an individual psychologically, neurologically and then physiologically. Here’s a YouTube video he did with David Berceli, who developed TRE initially to treat his own PTSD decades ago.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n2ef6-jgzWU

This is my spotty understanding of how this all works.

Edited by BeachGal
My husband interrupting me every 5”.
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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I wonder if it could help ADHD directly.  If perhaps some of the hyper activity is similar to trying to move out of trauma distress, but not working well to heal.  ????

Well that's a creative suggestion. I'm trying to think with you. One, it's not like you always always have a ton of shaking to do. For me, sometimes I have a backlog and just need to get it done. Sometimes it's like nope, done, I'm fine, doesn't need to do much. 

The thing that *does* somewhat come with it is just more mindful awareness, because you're really noticing your body in the moment. So in that sense, yes you get some bump. But as a treatment strategy for ADHD, probably not your substitute for meds, lol. 

But if you want to teach it to the dc, sure, knock yourself out. Some people really like it. It's WAY to intense for someone like my dd. And fwiw, I find it actually *fatiguing* sometimes. Like I probably wouldn't do it and then go do a long workout. And I don't usually do it after a workout. I used to, but not now. Now I'll usually stagger days or stick to just a walk. 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I wonder if it could help ADHD directly.  If perhaps some of the hyper activity is similar to trying to move out of trauma distress, but not working well to heal.  ????

ADHD is physiological structure of the brain.

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9 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Well that's a creative suggestion. I'm trying to think with you. One, it's not like you always always have a ton of shaking to do. For me, sometimes I have a backlog and just need to get it done. Sometimes it's like nope, done, I'm fine, doesn't need to do much. 

The thing that *does* somewhat come with it is just more mindful awareness, because you're really noticing your body in the moment. So in that sense, yes you get some bump. But as a treatment strategy for ADHD, probably not your substitute for meds, lol. 

But if you want to teach it to the dc, sure, knock yourself out. Some people really like it. It's WAY to intense for someone like my dd. And fwiw, I find it actually *fatiguing* sometimes. Like I probably wouldn't do it and then go do a long workout. And I don't usually do it after a workout. I used to, but not now. Now I'll usually stagger days or stick to just a walk. 

that's one of the things I've really liked about yoga - becoming very aware of my body, including its inner workings.   you just become much more "in tune".

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

ADHD is physiological structure of the brain.

Yeah, Pen's idea was kind of creative. And I don't know that I can say oh trauma would never manifest that way for ANYBODY. I mean, there is all kinds of work being done connecting trauma and challenging behaviors in school. But no, I personally wouldn't say the body motion of ADHD is connected to some attempt to get out trauma via the trembling. Some people just naturally do some of the trembling. Like maybe not the full blown gig, but they naturally do it. I remember after my FIL passed I did some shaking, just because that was a really intense experience. That was before I ever did TRE btw, and it was maybe the same idea but not to the same degree.

When you do TRE and you have stored memories, you connect them as they come out. And it's weird, like it started in the lower part of my body and over sessions worked up. So like the time I nearly drowned, my arms had been very fatigued, and that stored memory in my arms came out. I went into the counseling session and was like dude I can't figure out why my ARMS were hurting so much, lol. I mean, it's funny now, but it wasn't funny then. It's a really intense thing to do. 

But I say that, and a friend of mine who had had zero trauma ever (like yes, such people exist), did it and she's like nope, nothing interesting happened at all. I'm guessing she got it to tremble, but it was just nonrevelatory, like why bother. And me, I was realizing all these things and unpacking all these experiences and stored memories and it was astonishing. And afterwards all kinds of problems stopped with my bowels, headaches, persistent memories of things (bad instead of good), etc. 

Whatever, that's a rabbit trail. I'm a pretty boring person, so you wouldn't have thought I would have so many near death and extreme experiences to need trauma interventions. It was kind of an unexpected answer for me that made sense in hindsight.

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1 hour ago, gardenmom5 said:

ADHD is physiological structure of the brain.

 

Imaging studies have shown a variety of physiological “differences”.   Yes.  

But musicians have differences from non-musicians.  And artists from non-artists.  Etc. Maybe they are already that way in utero. But almost certainly the use results in bigger areas with more neural connections in areas used.  And unused parts tend to be smaller.  Unused connections tend to be pruned. 

I don’t think it is clear whether the differences in brains can’t be affected by the continued behavior that is engaged in irl.  So inability to use EF well, results in smaller less developed prefrontal cortex, for example, resulting in less EF, perhaps in part from disuse, in addition to however it started. Another Downward spiral problem. 

or like where when dyslexia gets remediated, brains often look more like non dyslexic brains when scanned

I dunno.

 I was just musing in writing.

 

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I don’t know if I already linked this book or not.  I think it’s excellent, and might have listed it in best books I think everyone should read (though people with out any psychological issues in their families wouldn’t particularly benefit...unless maybe to avoid taking the wellness for granted and messing themselves up I suppose.) 

 

Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain https://www.amazon.com/dp/1626361282/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PXB0Db8XQV9DD

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

like where when dyslexia gets remediated, brains often look more like non dyslexic brains when scanned

 

You are SO correct on this, and it's why a cognitive strategy/instruction based approach, where people are intentionally engaging the frontal lobe and working on EF, can make a difference! And it's why suck it up buttercup doesn't quite get you there, because you actually need help to make that happen.

They're doing MRIs on kids getting PROMPT (my ds' apraxia treatment), and same gig they see good activation in the affected parts. So yeah, it's cool stuff being able to see MRIs and genes and have some data to drive interventions.

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2 hours ago, Pen said:

 

Imaging studies have shown a variety of physiological “differences”.   Yes.  

But musicians have differences from non-musicians.  And artists from non-artists.  Etc. Maybe they are already that way in utero. But almost certainly the use results in bigger areas with more neural connections in areas used.  And unused parts tend to be smaller.  Unused connections tend to be pruned. 

I don’t think it is clear whether the differences in brains can’t be affected by the continued behavior that is engaged in irl.  So inability to use EF well, results in smaller less developed prefrontal cortex, for example, resulting in less EF, perhaps in part from disuse, in addition to however it started. Another Downward spiral problem. 

or like where when dyslexia gets remediated, brains often look more like non dyslexic brains when scanned

I dunno.

 I was just musing in writing.

 

 

It is an interesting connection. Trauma in children is often misdiagnosed as ADHD because they can look so similar on the outside. 

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On 11/16/2019 at 4:36 PM, fairfarmhand said:

IT really is important for adultish kids to know that they can bounce medical advice off of parents.

They just dont have the life experience, in general, to know what's what. Like figuring out what's serious and what is no big deal. When to press medical personnel and when to go with what they say.

My dd was dealing with UTI symptoms. Except  it didn't hurt when she peed. She (without me) went to nurse practitioner at our doctors office. NP saw symptoms, but said, well, since it's not burning, it's probably not a UTI. But didn't even take a urine sample.DD came home. I said. "Hey, when that happens it's ok to say, Well, while I'm here can I at least leave a sample for you, just in case."

(My dd never burns with a UTI) 

And a week later, my dd was back at the dr with a UTI. (still no burning, but the other symptoms were much worse.) 

But you really have to teach someone to self-advocate. As someone who's been to the dr a lot, I've got a pretty good sense of when something doesn't sound right. I didn't have this at 17, 18, or 19. Now my 22 yo dd goes to all of her appointments alone, but it took time for her to get there.

 

 

Yes, and let them know they can & should ask questions about family medical history. It can be really important if there are significant, possibly hereditary illnesses in the family.

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