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What are YOU waiting on?

I am a known Nickelback fan. The song, What Are You Waiting For? spoke to me. A good friend sent it to me during a trying time in my life. I find I refer this song to many of my clients and friends. Here are the powerful lyrics:

What are you waiting for?
What are you Waiting for?

Are you waiting on a lightning strike?
Are you waiting for the perfect night?
Are you waiting ’til the time is right?
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you wanna learn to deal with fear?
Don’t you wanna take the wheel and steer?
Don’t you wait another minute here.
What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

You gotta go and reach for the top
Believe in every dream that you got
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?
You know you gotta give it your all
And don’t you be afraid if you fall
You’re only living once so tell me
What are you, what are you waiting for?

Are you waiting for the right excuse?
Are you waiting for a sign to choose?
While you’re waiting it’s the time you lose.
What are you waiting for?
Don’t you really wanna live your life?
Don’t you wanna love before you die?
What are you waiting for?

….

Everybody’s gonna make mistakes
But everybody’s got a chance to make
Everybody needs a leap of faith
When are you taking yours?

What are you waiting for?

For the complete lyrics, please check various favorite sites and download a copy of this inspiring song. I listen to each morning to inspire me to not drag my feet to get stuff done.  I am in the business of creating and living dreams. Once I found myself in a very dark place unable to believe dreams could come true. Life likes to toss you in dungeons or oubliettesfacebook_july-7 with the false notion we can never find our way out. We find ourselves waiting with thousands of excuses. But why? False realities and excuses leave us in a dark place. Life can change if you ask yourself, what am I waiting on? What am I waiting for? The answer… you are waiting on you to decide to move forward on the path to your dreams. Make them happen, only YOU can. 

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The Star, the Star, shining in the night

starfish story picDecember is Emotional Abuse Awareness Month. Make a difference in 2016. Every life matters. You matter. Get help or seek help for another. Stop the cycle. Make a difference to that ONE!

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Rethinking Change and Compassion

The world is changing. We are changing. Recent events have caused a stir in our thinking and judgement patterns. It has stirred fear, anger, and restlessness in many. Adult emotions and reactions do influence children. Be mindful of your words around growing minds. Hate is learned. Judgement is influenced by parental reactions.

For a moment, let us think about the refugee children and what might be going through their minds. Life was pleasant. Homes, be they small or large, were safe havens. Life had order and routine at all social and economic levels, pretty much. Then, the terror starts. Gun fire, bombs, death, destruction, and loss of everything which symbolized safety, trust, and security in human lives is gone. In a child’s mind these are game changers, nightmares becoming reality which will forever haunt their daily lives and dreams. Mass hysteria sets in. No one is safe. No place to call home just chaos. Parents and family members are stressed because there are no answers. Life is centered around running for their lives in places they have never been to before. The sounds, sights, and smells of destruction fill their minds, they cannot be avoided. The memories are stored for a life time never erased.

Now, they hear their parents say no one wants them. No one wants to take on the burden to save them or help. There is nowhere to go. No place is safe, not even the woods or random buildings they hide in. Hate and resentment sets in the emotions of their care givers. Anger manifests. Children become second level victims of the rage and fear manifesting in those trying to care for them. No food, water, or shelter, the basic needs which we all seek are not available. Can you see how these terrors will affect the young adult mind as this child grows up?

I wonder if those causing the terror were child victims of war. Where does the hate start? Why would someone feel the need to harm others? Were their parents victims and pass down the hate via bias and judgement? We need to look at what happens to a young mind to cause such acts as adults.

What can we do? How can we help? I do not have the answers. What I ask is that we rethink what is happening and our reactions. How can we empower a nation to fight back instead of fleeing? How can we influence the next generation so they do not hate or lash out with weapons of mass destruction? How do we create change in our own homes so if this happens in our towns and cities? How can we prepare our children to be positive empowered survivors instead of angry hate revengeful adults?

First, let’s develop an understanding of different cultures and beliefs. Let’s learn about them not run from them. In schools in the US now, parents are refusing to allow their children to be exposed to the teaching of world religions. Please know, children do not decide to run to a religion based upon the 10 minute lecture in a middle school class. The attitude of exclusion brings on curiosity more so than the brief exposure. Secondly, let me refer to quotes from one of my favorite books, The Art of War.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from people, people who know the conditions of the enemy.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Educate yourself. Understand the nature of those you do not understand. Create a space of knowledge before you judge and attack. This not only true in war but in our daily lives. Our workplace, our homes, and in all relationships, know the other party before engaging in battle or, engaging in alliance. Create a hunger of knowledge in your children at a young age so they will be victors instead of victims.

A third thing, create an atmosphere of mindfulness and compassion. This does not mean to be weak but to listen and understand as not to create mass unnecessary chaos. Teach your children  self reliance. Create a means of self-regulation and comforting in various environments and situations.  Help your children as well as yourself to find positive in the least likely of places. We are never guaranteed a stable tomorrow. Life throws curve balls and monkey wrenches when we least expect it. Build a working tool box of life skills and supports when times turn into the unspeakable.

We create the future within ourselves and those around us. Let’s be game changers for our children so their future may become a more positive environment. No, we can never rid the world of all hatred and violence but we can reduce it. We can also prepare our children and ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically to be survivors not victims. It all lies in our actions and reaction. Children are influenced by those around them. Let’s be the positive change for the future of our children, and their world. It just takes a spark, make it positive to set the fire a blaze in their hearts to spread to others.

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Uh, You Really Do Not Understand ADHD

A teacher would not make a deaf student listen to Mozart with out their hearing aids or assign a blind student to read the daily newspaper without accommodations. So why is it that teachers, parents, and school administrators believe ADHD/ADD students should be super organized once diagnosis?  DUH, disorganization is the a HUGE problem for ADHD/ADD students and adults. Yes, you can give them agendas like you do all your students. Yes, you can write assignments on the board for them to copy like everyone else. Yes, you tell them twice like you do the rest of the class but you know what? They are not like the rest of the class.

Invisible disabilities cause more anxiety and depression issues because the visual clues are not there. ADHD/ADD and Dyslexia folks look just like everyone else. People with invisible challenges try harder than all the rest to hide their disabilities because folks just have a hard time believing they have such struggles. It might be easier if all such folks had a star on their right hand.

“Oh, okay. I see you have a star on your hand. Let me write these directions down for you so you can have a copy. I will also give you an outline of the chapter along with the assignments. Sue, who sits next to you, will be your study buddy to make sure you are writing down the facts you need. If you feel I rushed through a topic, please let me know so I can schedule a study review time for you.” That is what would happen if teachers saw a visual of ADHD/ADD or Dyslexia. But reality is, this will not happen in most schools or situations. If students heard this, the anxiety would reduce and I am willing to bet so would the teacher’s come time for assignments due and testing.

ADHD/ADD has the following characteristics:

  • Highly distracted
  • Disorganized
  • Excessive body movement
  • Talkative
  • Social interaction issues
  • Impulsive
  • Difficulty in settling down to focus

There are many classroom modifications which can reduce these often disruptive behaviors. First, everyone needs to understand these are not all horrible traits. Some of these traits can be gifts. Highly distracted people notice details others often miss. I do believe I would want a crime investigator with such skills. Disorganized students often make discoveries in the chaos OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) people do not. Many artist are inspired by what I call organized chaos. As a saying I love goes, a clean desk is often an unproductive desk. Allow students to find an app on their smart phone to remind them of assignments, track timelines and alert for events. Assistive technology works so much better for these students. Excessive movement can be reduced by using hand fidgets and sensory integration techniques. The brain needs outward movement to keep it focused. Yoga balls are great for such. Lots of research has been done of the use of yoga balls in school settings instead of chairs. By the way, yoga balls as seating help improve hand writing. Go research that. Talkative students can actually relay understanding and help other students who struggle. Be creative, put that kid’s motor mouth to good use. Social awkward students need social skill classes. With all the excessive technology and lack of face-to-face interaction, all students might need social skills training. It was actually a part of the kindergarten curriculum years ago. Also, recess was a huge classroom experience on social skill but that is not pretty much gone. Fight to get recess back in school. Impulsive behaviors can benefit from sensory integration and by making a student aware of the behavior in positive ways. It isn’t happening to bug you, it is part of the disability or challenge. You would not punish a blind child who accidentally grabs you trying to find his way around the classroom. You should not enforce excessive punishments for impulsive behavior of an ADHD child either.  Focusing is another difficult task for ADHD folks. Preferred classroom seating can make a difference. Use of aromas therapy or essential oils can help. Sensory integration tools such as hand fidgets can redirect the mind. Also soft lighting and low playing calming music.

Seek creative solutions or a person such as a life coach who specializes in working with people with ADHD. Not all school personnel understanding the options or know how to implement them. It all looks good on the IEP but is it being done effectively in the classroom? Some solutions might sound weird but the ADHD/ADD and dyslexic brain functions weird. Do not balk it until you have tried it. Have a sensory diet plan, have many options to chose from because not everything works all the time.

Please check out ADHD/ADD blogs on Creative Tidal Wave about Shark Like Focus and other neat tips for helping reduce the frustrations.

 

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Let’s PLAY!!

Promoting Lively Adventure for Yourself!! Isn’t that what kids do? Play is active. It is adventuresome in nature because the results are often a surprise and challenging. Negative life experiences have often caused us as adults to lose the wild abandonment of wonder and curiosity to escape us. Best of all, play is all about you!

Okay, I am hearing some humbugs out there. No, you are never too old to play. No, it doesn’t require fancy toys or a playground. No, you won’t break bones or have an ER visit if you remember safety rules. No… well, yeah, you might look silly, so what? Is being silly bad? Is laughing until your sides ache harmful? Oh, there are health benefits for play such as cardio and core strengthening, if you laugh long and hard enough.

Why play? let me count the ways…

  • It reduces stress. As adults, excessive stress is deadly. Why not find a fun way to kill stress not you?
  • Brain stimulation is the result of play. Ever get stuck on a problem at work? Try playing to kick-start it up again. Nothing wrong with pulling out the old yo-yo or the hidden stash of Lego’s for a few minutes of fun.
  • Boosting creativity leads to success in business and life. If you keep doing the same thing you will get the same results. Get your play on and discover new ways to tackle old boring habits. Scoring baskets with all the old memos in the corner trash can could lead to a serious break though you have struggled with. Oh, it s important not to hit the boss in the head while doing so. That could be counter productive if he doesn’t have a sense of humor.
  • Improves relationships. Group play can bring a team together on work projects. Playing with friends or family can open blocked communication pathways.  This will date me a bit but taking all the video cases from various classrooms and the.. library (no, you really did not read that) creating a domino trail takes team work. Watching the fruits of our labor travel round the classroom and down the hallway was inspiring as well as bonding. Just like when I was a kid, we had to have a lookout. During my early days of teaching, school administrators were not so versed in the act of play among teaching staff as a good thing.
  • Promotes youthful feelings and energy. It is true, one is only as old as they feel. Well, at 51 years old, I have days I am feeling 100+. The old wives tale about joints aching on rainy days is no longer a wives tale but a fact for me. On those cold rainy days it is helpful to explore the crayons and color pages to escape reality. I revisited playing jacks the other day. I really suck at it but was once quite good. After a few moments chasing the ball and grabbing air, I managed to get my grab and go reflex back into the swing. I forgot the aches and pains because I was laughing so much.
  • Heals emotional wounds. As adults, we carry lots of emotional baggage with us. Playing helps unpack those emotions with laughter and fun in some cases. Jumping in rain puddles is one of my healing childlike past times. Got those yellow rain shoes splashing in some of the biggest puddles I can find. Do I get messy and wet?  Yes, I do. Sometimes messy and wet is fun. I loved it as a child, why can’t I love it as an adult? I can jump in bigger and deeper puddles now that I am taller.

Time to get my play on! Where are those bubbles? Yes, I think it is a bubble blowing kind of day today.

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PTSD : Parent /Teacher/Student Disorder, let the school bells ring terror

Ok, so I know that PTSD  official stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Actually. many students, including myself before I even knew what PTSD was might say that the first day of school brought on many symptoms of PTSD. Some of those might include: flashbacks from trauma of being bullied in the hallways, test  and performance phobias, the day you fell in the lunch room sending your food everywhere and all laughing at you, on the bus, the mind goes wild anticipating what could happen this year. Or, during home room when asked a simple question, the fear overcomes you, you become speechless frozen in that deer-in-headlights position or worse, triggers an anxiety attack.  Yes, I do believe some students, especially those with labels do develop PTSD.

Working with challenged students over the years, and being one myself, I realized there was another PTSD issue: The Parent Teacher Student Disorder.  When parents place too much pressure on their child along with teachers who do not believe in ADHD, LD, or other invisible challenges, and other students who constantly joke about the stupid things we, unique sorts, do, creates its own disorder of such. It is hard being a “double coded” kid. You are intelligent yet you do some of the stupidest things which brings negative attention. Folks forget about those brilliant moments but remind you daily of your oops ones. Teachers say you are lazy when it is really a mass of action in your brain going through the files looking for the connections and facts you know are there but have gotten shuffled in the vast files. And, the dreaded test time when everyone has finished but you. The whole class is glaring at you because you are holding them up from the fun.

The Parent Teacher Student Disorder creates a false reality which over time creates a learned helplessness in some and a rebellion in others. The message is “I am not good enough.” Some figuratively  crawl under a rock or become wallflowers. Others feel they must fight the system earning worst labels to add to their collection. Too much negative causes mass destruction to the ego and soul of a child who cannot help but be a bit different. Not the child’s fault processing works on DSL speed and everyone else is on  Wi-Fi.  And, we all know too well that sometimes brilliant dyslexic have autocorrect issues in regard to word choice, spelling, and pronunciation. I refer to it as the “Archie Bunker Disorder” because the words just come out are not what you intended though close but enough to cause massive hysterics and embarrassing moments. I think autocorrect oops are to give others a moment in my life at times. Though I think Siri and the other text gremlins are far worse than some of my moments.

Solutions to the Parent Teacher Student Disorder issues:

  1. Empower your child. Build confidence in him/her by remembering and reminding him/her of the brilliant moments more so than the negative ones. Discuss positive traits. Doing their best is good enough. Never stop trying.
  2. Enroll your child in a great theater program. This might take some investigating because some programs can have witchy directors. Theater can teach your child how to rebound via Improv. Your child will develop confidence via  role play. Theater can help build reading, speaking, and social skills.
  3. Make teachers aware of your child’s unique abilities, not so much his/her disabilities. Dyslexics are blessed with gifts to be discovered. Help your child’s teacher to develop an understanding of the unique qualities. Give the teacher a list of gifted challenged famous individuals. Google it, the list is ever growing. He or she maybe teaching the next Tom Cruise or  Walt Disney, both gifted and challenged
  4. For those who do not have “double coded ” kids, teach your children and those around you not to bully. Just because someone is different doesn’t mean they are stupid or less of a person.
  5. Encouragement, a listening ear, a pat on the shoulder, and a hug can mean more than you know. Be mindful, present in the moment, and find the positive amongst the negative. Help be that person who makes someone’s day not tear it down.

Share your oops moments from school or even at work. Let your kids know we all have such moments. Teaching to recover and move on. As a parent, intervene at school if you suspect teacher or student bullying.  Yes, even administrators and other staff bully students as well so be alert to negative folks in your child’s life. Help your child learn who is a good  friend and those who are not. Let’s turn PTSD into Positive Time Spent Discovering instead of a negative disorder.

Let the bells ring and bring on smiles instead of terror.

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