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Dear Mom and Dad (A Letter from Your ADHD Kid)

Hey, mom and dad. It’s your kid here, and I have something important to say. I know I’m only eleven, and you always say I shouldn’t tell other people what to do, but, mom and dad, pleeaaaaase listen up, just for a couple minutes. The first day of school is coming up in a few weeks. We’ve already been doing things to make it a good year. You’ve adjusted my IEP at the end of last year and requested that I get the teacher who also has a son with…

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That Time I Stripped (and Saved the Day)

“So what was your favorite part of vacation?” I asked my six-year-old near the end of our July road trip. My son started giggling. “The time when you randomly took off your dress in front of all of us and even in front of nana and papa and the tour guide lady. That was weird.” (I bet he’ll say the roller-coaster simulator or the fireworks or the ropes course or the pools or seeing his brother lay on a bed of nails or seeing his new baby cousin or the…

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My Babysitter Keeps Me Sane Every Winter

“I just…I mean…Its just so hard!” I said, choking back tears. “This is the fourth time in two months that one of them has had strep, and now Charlie’s got a rash and the doc said Benny needs tubes ASAP. Between the filthy doctors’ waiting rooms and three different classrooms, these kids are constantly sick!” Tears  formed in my eyes, “If I take off work, I don’t get paid and I lose professional credibility, and, even if he is in the country at the time, my husband can never take off!…

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20 Life Lessons I Want my Kids to Learn

As a psychologist, I often reflect on the things that make people happy (or rather, “content.” No one is actually “happy” all the time). Through my work I get glimpses into the things that matter—the behaviors and ways of thinking that lead to satisfaction, and those that lead to misery.  And I have come up with several life lessons that I hope my children learn: If everyone likes you, you’re doing something wrong. If you are being true to yourself, you will not please everyone all the  time. Embrace your failures…

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Why I Let My Kids Talk Back To Me

“Mom! I don’t want to clean my room now! I only have four more minutes left of this YouTube video!” “Practice my times tables AGAIN!? Noooo! I just did homework before martial arts and I’m EXHAUSTED.” “Mom! Stop yelling at me! Ugh! I HEARD you the first time!” To some parents, an eight-year-old saying these things to his mother is disrespectful, or maybe even worthy of punishment. As a psychologist, not only do I believe that this kind of “back-talk” is not disrespectful, but I actually welcome even the sometimes-whiny-and-annoying…

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