& Family Services
Kids, parenting, ideas, musings...ect.
Welcome to OCFS !
Feb 14, 2020
Valentine's day...V-day...have a happy one. Parents hold onto your children and love all over them..for tomorrow isn't promised,leave a legacy of love NOW.
Mar 26, 2020
WITH the advent of Covid-19 "Coronavirus" this is a time of uncertainty, and that can cause heavy anxiety in the most "centered" of people. Our children are especially at risk because it can add an extra layer of helplessness. This may present as extra fussiness, irritability, defiance and acting out. Its just your child's way of trying to gain some "control" in these uncertain times. I softly suggest that parents..use your words wisely and practice patience with your little ones...
Summertime! and moving forward..
June 8th, 2020
SO many changes have besieged us as a nation and community...its hard to know where to start--how to move forward. I recommend that you start right where you are at. Take a moment...be mindful...be grateful..hug your children, your mate, yourself! Give yourself permission to stumble and to fall...use your tools to get back up. Your little ones are still looking to you for guidance and fun! See some of this world, breathe in fresh air and feel the summertime sun on your face.
Parent(s) & kiddo(s)...family gardening!
July 20th, 2020
ONE of my favorite pastimes is organic gardening. Its an evidence-based stress reliever. In addition, reportedly the microbes within the soil also help boost your immunity....and who doesn't enjoy the taste of a vine ripened tomato? This is a great opportunity for parental/child bonding as well as great life lessons (learning to grow your own food). Although the Texas heat can be demanding at this time--with a little planning and some elbow grease you can still get a good late summer harvest!
A new year, A scary snowy storm, A "new normal"
Feb 22, 2021
At the time of this entry--Texas would have experienced a winter storm that hasn't been seen in over 100 years! Many families lost power and/or water while trying to survive in sub-zero temps! The only thing we can do collectively is continue to push forward, give ourselves and others grace...especially our children. Children look to their parents and caregivers to help them make sense of the world around us. Its OK if you don't have all the answers, your kids will understand. Just continue to reassure them that in LIFE there are many, many trials & tribulations...its not about being knocked down, its more about learning how to get up.
Frequency, Intensity and Duration
April 22, 2021
When you take your child to see a therapist, as a parent--you are obviously seeking a change from inappropriate behaviors. A good "rule of thumb" is to be aware of the aforementioned. Frequency: how many times a week/day/hour are the behaviors occurring?....Intensity: how "bad" are they?...Duration: how long are they happening? My personal mantra is "baby steps are still steps in the right direction". As you and your child work with his/her therapist--keep that in mind when you find yourself getting frustrated and the pacing of the "change". Remember, your child didn't have these issues overnight--nor will they disappear as fast.
Dysregulation....it's a state of being.
May 25, 2021
"I wonder what triggered him/her"?,...."I have no idea why he/she reacted so bad to something so small!?"--These are a couple of questions I hear so frequently from parents that I work with. When a child suffers from dysregulation, ANYthing can "trigger" them. We humans face various sensations throughout our day (sight, touch, smell sound, taste) and when our "sensory meter" is normal--we unconsciously process them and move about our daily lives. Now.. take a child who has suffered a trauma (for example) who is hypervigilant--he/she's "sensory meter" is off and when faced throughout their day with the aforementioned, it can be an overwhelming experience that can result in a "meltdown" . To combat this, a "preventative" mindset needs to occur with parents/teachers/caregivers. Compare the child to the glass of water pictured. The glass is the child, the water is the constant dysregulation within them. Without daily interventions, the "water" will overflow= meltdown. The parent must have a preventative plan in place to avoid this.
It's not laziness...it's not being spacy...it's not just a bad mood....it's ADHD.
August 1, 2022
ADHD (attention deficient-hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental condition which comes with a multitude of challenges for the individual who has it. It's UNDER-diagnosed in females due to girls "masking" a whole host of symptoms in order to fit in socially. Girls will internalize the sometimes crippling feelings vs externalize like males--this can make it very tricky to spot in girls.
It's a executive DYSfunctioning problem, The executive functions are responsible for behaviors such as time management (always late?), ability to organize (messy room?), mood regulation (meltdowns?) and working memory (you child forgets what you JUST told them? They always losing stuff?). It's also a brain chemistry issue (lack of to be exact)---dopamine and norepinephrine are two neurochemicals that are responsible for frustration tolerance, focus, decision making and many other brain functions. So are you beginning to see that it's not about being "lazy or spacy or moody" or any other negative words used on your child? ( which affects their self esteem greatly BTW--we can be VERY sensitive...it's that pesky rejection sensitivity ). ADHD also has a genetic component (generally one or both parents have it) It's also not a lack of focus, it's more a issue with how we focus and on what (yes, I too have ADHD)
I generally recommend that when a parent starts to see the aforementioned behaviors consistently seek help via a NEUROLOGIST for an accurate diagnosis, then reach out to a mental health practitioner who either has strong working knowledge or has ADHD as one of their specialties. (like me!)
Remember, it's not something that your child will "grow out of"--but like any other condition, it CAN be managed and your child can grow up to be a healthy, happy and functional adult.