Monday, October 3, 2016

The First College Midterm Exam - How to Support Your Son/Daughter

When your son/daughter calls home informing you that they have a midterm exam coming up, how do you react?

1) Do you feel confident that your son/daughter will prepare adequately?
2) Do you hold it together until you get off the telephone and start to cry, afraid for your child?
3) Do you rush to New London and book a hotel room to help your son/daughter study every night?

Hopefully you picked choice number 1. If choices 2 and 3 sound familiar, you might want to read the article, 10 Suggestions For College Parents to Help Students Through the Stress of Midterm Exams. Thames Academy students have 1 midterm exam in the fall semester and it does not carry significant weight in their overall course grade. However, we think it is important to expose students to what a "typical college exam" looks like. We discuss test preparation strategies, how to obtain and review class notes, and strategies for test preparation based on a student's individual learning style.

Your son/daughter's first midterm exam experience will be a positive one with your support from home!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Healthy Lifestyle: Improving Your Body Image

Maintaining a positive self-image is something that young children, teenagers and adults struggle with alike. Students with learning disabilities, particularly, may have difficulty maintaining a positive self-image due to a lack of confidence, poor social skills or fear of failure in academic and social settings.

First year college students may have trouble forming friendships and may appear to be quiet, withdrawn and socially anxious. Other students may have an overinflated view of  themselves and have trouble accurately assessing their academic strengths and weaknesses. Body image is a tricky concept that can be even trickier to discuss with your son/daughter.

The link below provides a brief slideshow of language about body image that parents may find helpful. The next time your teenager is home for a visit, parents may want to discuss the idea of body image - knowing that this topic may lead to other important conversations about friendships, interpersonal relationships and self-esteem. If you haven't already asked how your college student views him/herself, I encourage you to do it. You just may be surprised by the answer you hear!

CLICK HERE to view an informative presentation developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about body image.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Video: Self-advocacy tips for students with LD

Watch best-selling author, Andrea Davis Pinkney, describe why it is so important for young adults to develop self-advocacy skills. She also speaks poignantly to parents about her experience with her own children's learning disabilities and the how she was able to cope and hind support for herself. See the video here...

Article: Slow Processing in a Fast Paced World

Ellen Braaten and SonA recent blog post by child psychologist, Ellen Braaten, highlights the importance of a parent's own self-awareness of their tempo, pace and parenting style - particularly for parents of teenagers with slow processing speed. The author (who is also the mother of a son with slow processing speed and ADHD) asks many important questions such as:

What is your (the parent's) processing speed like?

Are you a fast thinker/talker/doer?

Is it possible your child's difficulties aren't as bad for him as you think, but she is simply out of sync with your rhythm?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Important Topic To Discuss With Your Teen: Binge Drinking

You may have talked to your teenager about the dangers of underage drinking, but have you discussed the dangers of binge drinking? An unsettling statistic reveals that of reported drinkers ages 18 to 20, 72% have have 5 or more drinks in one sitting (called heavy drinking or binge drinking). CLICK HERE to read this important article from The New York Times.

Advice from the article.........
"Many parents find it hard to believe there is a chance their children are drinking so much at one time...Parents may not think they have much influence with their children any more, but studies show that talking to them about alcohol can really make a big difference...."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Article: Pressure To Be Available 24/7 On Social Media Causes Teens Anxiety

"The need to be constantly available and respond 24/7 on social media accounts can cause depression, anxiety and reduce sleep quality for teenagers says a study being presented September 11, 2015, at a British Psychological Society conference in Manchester."

Parents of teenagers who are constantly on their iPhones already knew their teenagers' habits can cause anxiety......Feel free to think to yourself "I told you so!!"

Frontline Video: "Inside the Teenage Brain..."

If you read the title to this blog post, weren't scared away, and decided to keep reading.....then you are a brave parent! Frontline, an informative television show for over 30 seasons on PBS, has a host of wonderful resources for parents based on their new film, "Inside the Teenage Brain: What's going on in there? How science may help to explain the mysteries of the teen years."

You can view the full film online by clicking on the top caption and browse around the other topics which include:

-From Zzzs to Aaas, Does a good night's sleep lead to better memory and grades?
-Do Your Teens Seem Like Aliens? Advice, online suggestions and resources for parents
-The Teen Brain is a Work in Progress, An interactive illustration of the brain helps explain recent research

Monday, September 26, 2016

Helping Teens Cope With Frustration

The below blog post is found on The Yellin Center for Mind Brain and Education website. The topic of this post is relevant for young adults of all ages and speaks to the importance of teaching more than just academic strategies to our teenagers - we should help encourage the underlying and perhaps more important skills of grit, persistence and reilience.

An excerpt from the blog article:

One of the most helpful things adults can do is to offer lessons on perseverance rather than tips for succeeding at a specific task. No kid of any age likes to be preached at, but children are interested in, and will be comforted by, stories of their parents’ own struggles. Share an anecdote about a time you failed at something you can now do with ease. Or reassure kids that no one is born an expert.