Tag Archives: Reminders

Do You Remember This?

Memory is a fickle thing.

You might remember the phone number of your girlfriend from high school, but not be able to remember the phone number you just looked up on the computer and have forgotten it by the time you get your cellphone out of your pocket.

You might remember that horrifying time you accidentally ordered sheep’s brains in a French restaurant three decades ago, but not remember what you had for breakfast this morning.

Students, of course, have the most contact with the fickle side of memory. I’m sure every single kid has studied their butts off the night before a test and gone to sleep confident they know everything there is to know about the subject. However, when they sit down in class to actually take the test, the answers remain frustratingly out of reach.

I wish I’d remembered to take that sort of thing into account when my young dudes were, in fact, young. I would have saved a lot of money I spent at Walt Disney World, I’ll tell you that.

Latest research talks about childhood amnesia or infantile amnesia, which means we remember nothing before we’re about 2 years old. The more sporadic holdover takes us up until about age 10 and, from those years, we retain fewer memories than we should, based merely on the passage of time.

And, yet, still we took the young dudes to Walt Disney World because we wanted them to have great memories of the place from when they were younger. We knew about childhood amnesia, but thought we’d be different.

Which explains why I was in Walt Disney World last December, accompanied by Hyper Lad and his mom, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Hankering For More Mickey. See, we talked with Hyper Lad and he said he had never been to Disney World before. We begged to differ. He stood firm and we realized he just didn’t remember it.

Which led to me asking his older brothers and I found they didn’t really remember any of their trips with a great deal of clarity, only bits and bursts. Hyper Lad, though? Nothing.

At least, that’s what we thought until we got there.

We were walking through one of Disney’s resorts on our way to a dinner when Hyper Lad had a flash of memory. He stopped still and pointed to the window sill on a room we were walking by.

“That,” he said. “I remember that. We stayed here.”

No, actually, we hadn’t. We had, however, stayed at a hotel where our room was right next to the pool and there had been a windowsill like that outside of our room. He remembered something, but it required some visual and tactile reminders to trigger it.

You might want to keep that in mind the next time you’re considering an expensive vacation with a young dude or dudette. Or even a massively expensive birthday party for one of your spawn.

Which reminds me. . .  Let’s talk more about this on Wednesday, yeah?

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Three-Step System For Getting Organized

by Richard

Getting organized should be something that’s relatively easy to do. Then we’d all do it and we’d all be organized and the world would be a far less chaotic place in which to live.

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, getting organized can be tough. Especially when we’ve got getting organized on the same to-do list that so desperately needs to be organized in the first place.

While I’ve mostly been thinking about how getting organized can be applied to young dudes (hello, Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy) with ADD, I found a nice little system that I think can be useful to just about anyone. And it’s relatively easy to do, so that’s a big plus.

The system is from Judith Kolberg, who’s co-author of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life and other books on organization. She lives in Atlanta.

Rather than a series of discrete moments following one another in predictable fashion, ADDers sense time as one long NOW. That’s great when it comes to solving problems and handling crises — and it certainly makes the day go faster. But the ADD way of experiencing and managing time complicates things if you’re trying to complete the items on your to-do list.

Speaking of which: her first step is to create your master to-do list.

A master to-do list should capture everything that’s currently on your plate. I’m talking about big things, like planning a wedding or moving, all the way down to simple tasks, like hanging a picture.

To create the master list, gather all the reminders you’ve written yourself in recent days — the scraps of paper, sticky notes, napkins, envelopes, and so on—and compile them into a single list. Transcribe the list into a single word-processing document; a computerized master list is much easier to update than a master list on paper.

Once you’ve got them down, then it’s time to get prioritized. Kolberg recommends and I agree that it’s best to prioritize your to-dos with three options. You can number or letter them, or whatever, just as long as you keep them consistent. They should be in one of three groups: Must be done now; need to be done soon; and need to be done when you get a chance.

One last thing about the to-do list: each thing on your list should be only one step. That is, if you’ve got to call someone to find out the information you need to order supplies, you should have that broken up into two different steps. One step is call your contact. The second step is order supplies.

Looks like I didn’t allocate enough time or space here to finish. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about exactly that.

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Making Friends

by Richard

Sometimes it’s hard for a young dude with ADD to make new friends. I’ve seen that first hand and experienced it somewhat in my own life.

Along those lines, there’s a great article in the newest issue of ADDitude magazine that talks about how we, as parents, can help our young dudes and dudettes with attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder to make new friends.

Here’s what parents who read the magazine suggested.

1. Play matchmaker

2. Make friends with other parents

3. Get the young dudes and dudettes involved in group activities

4. Organize playdates (for the younger set)

5. Good behavior makes good friendships

6. Give your young dudes and dudettes talking points and reminders

For the most part, I think these are some pretty good suggestions. The only one I really have a problem with is No. 2, which basically assumes that because we parents are friends the kids will be friends as well. They also suggest that we talk to the parents of kids in our  young dude’s class and tell the parents about any social problems. Assuming then that they would tell their kids to include ours in play activities. I don’t know. . . that sounds like pity play to me and I thought we were supposed to be encouraging friendships.

Of all these, I think the best idea is to get your young dude or dudette involved in group activities. And here I’m thinking specifically about sports teams. Not only will they get some good exercise out of the deal, but the shared experiences will really foster bonding and friendship between teammates.

The most important, though, probably are the final two. These are the ones I’ve most noticed impeding my own young dudes’ efforts at making friendship. All three of the young dudes have a tendency toward acting more than a little goofy. We tried to develop code words that would draw their attention to their behavior. That way, we didn’t actually have to reprimand them in front of guests/friends.

It’s the last one, though, that I think is what can really make a difference. For instance, Hyper Lad makes acquaintances really easy. Not friends, acquaintances. He’ll talk about his great friend, say, Rob. I’ll ask what his last name is. Hyper Lad has no idea. He also has no phone number or other way to contact the kid.

Our young dudes have a tendency to hyper-focus on what they’re doing in the moment and that leaves them forgetful about making sure they stay in contact with would-be friends. That’s where we can help out. A simple reminder might be all that’s needed to kick them into friend-making mode.

Not only a good idea, a good plan.

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