Organizing the Disorganized & Forgetful
Spectrum Care - Kimmer Collison-Ris, MSN, FNP-BC, WOCN, MS CAM
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Organizing the Disorganized & Forgetful

Do you get frustrated with your kids because they "don't listen" or "remember to do important things"?

Have you told them over and over to do something but they are forgetful?
Have you set up routines at your home?

Is there a homework area and daily homework times?
Is there a place to place important things?
Are the electronics, gadgets, and Facebook access set aside so they can focus?
Do they have routine chores?
Are they eating healthy food throughout the day, or left to their own fast food desires?
Do they live on energy drinks, coffee, or pop?
Do they exercise daily?
Do they go to bed and wake up at generally scheduled times?
Is the internet, video games, TV, or texting taking up the majority of their attention?

If you feel frustrated and worn out, you are not alone.

Most parents are so overwhelmed with the busyness of life that by the time they get to the early evening, the last thing they feel like doing is struggling with their kids. Modern society has virtually created unfocused/disorganized kids and teens.

You can see it everywhere.
Are you the parent who takes their kids out to dinner in the car only to note that instead of having conversations about your day, its monopolized by their Ipod or cell phone?

Do you think its normal to give your young child an electronic gadget to distract them  while you shop, drive in the car, or eat a meal? When you go out to dinner with your kids do they spend the majority of their time wrapped up on the cell phone with a game, texting, or checking Facebook?

Perhaps you don't fair much better. Do constantly check your cell phone for messages, emails, or facebook updates?  Do you and your partner or spouse spend less time in conversation and more time checking messages?

Focusing is an art and staying "on track" is very difficult because so much information and entertainment is readily available at our fingertips. Even if we have kids who get good grades most often you will find that their creativity is limited as they are constantly being interrupted by texts, IM's, Snapchats, and FB posts.

Besides electronics, diet has everything to do with how much focus and energy your kids have. Whether they are still growing physically, their brain will continue to grow until they are 21 years of age. It requires the proper amount of hydration (chemically free, filtered water), real food nutrients (fresh fruits/veggies), protein, as well as regular daily physical exercise. Exercise helps detoxify the system, increases circulation, helps with digestion, fights fatigue, provides mental clarity, and has been proven helpful in minimizing depression and anxiety.

Make it easier on yourself and your kids by improving their diets, giving them routines, and making sure they are getting plenty of rest (8-10 hours), physical exercise, and fresh water. A healthy diet is free from additives and colors, doesn't come prepackaged and processed. Feeding them whole foods and curbing their distractions can help improve their moods, your communication, and improve their focus.

Try these few tips:
-putting them on a schedule
-making sure they are drinking LOTS of fresh water
-setting aside a place to get homework done w/o distraction
-limiting their electronic, texting, and internet distractions
-Avoid turning on the TV or electronic device to distract your child
-Hang a chalkboard up to remind them of "to do's" that they can look at and check off
-having healthy food choices available (veggies & dip, fruit, yogurt, protein/pasta, smoothies)
-limiting junk food, processed foods, and fast foods in their diet
-making sure they get enough rest/sleep

Studies show that there are 54 things that decrease a child/teen/adult's focus that are linked to diet, interruption, subclinical dehydration, and lack of sleep

Help your kid's focus by helping them eat right, be scheduled, and avoid distractions. Also, be involved in their lives. Be engaged. Schedule time to hang out and process events in their lives. Is it gonna be easy? No!
Will it happen overnight? NO.
Is it needed? YES!
To help your kids and you have a better relationship and be focused, you MUST give your full attention. Seriously. Your full attention.

You can help be supportive of these changes by walking them through the process. Modeling this kind of behavior. And being fully present with them when they talk to you.

Try it. It will help their focus. It will help their relationships. You'll both get more done. And you'll know more about each other when you say no to "regular distractions".

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