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8 Things You Need to Know About ADHD After a Diagnosis

Editor's note: This article has been reviewed and verified for accuracy by There...

4 Life Skills For Teens That Help Them Do Anything

We’ll start this essential topic with a little pop quiz. How would you complete ...

What Should You Treat First: ADHD or Mental Health Challenges?

Over the last few years, you may have noticed that there are more conversations ...

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8 Things You Need to Know About ADHD After a Diagnosis

Editor's note: This article has been reviewed and verified for accuracy by Theresa Cerulli, MD., a nationally certified neuropsychiatrist with over 20 years of expertise in diagnosing and treating ADHD in children and adults. It can be overwhelming when you learn that you or a loved one has ADHD, whether they're an adult or a child. There’s so much information available - but how do you begin to s...

4 Life Skills For Teens That Help Them Do Anything

We’ll start this essential topic with a little pop quiz. How would you complete this statement? When my kid starts living on their own, I worry that they won’t be able to ____________. Chances are, your answers were pretty similar to what we hear from the thousands of parents we talk to every year. Perhaps you listed numerous concerns like making their own medical appointments, remembering to do t...

What Should You Treat First: ADHD or Mental Health Challenges?

Over the last few years, you may have noticed that there are more conversations happening around mental health, and for good reason. Whether it's primarily due to pandemic shifts, the prevalence of technology, or a combination of factors, more people than ever are feeling anxious and depressed. Although the suffering caused by these challenges is difficult to adequately capture (especially for tho...

3 Strategies to Cope with Failure on the Path to Self-Improvement

As Executive Function coaches, we find that many of the people we work with feel disheartened or stressed when they fail to reach their self-improvement goals. After all, when you work to change your habits, you're putting yourself in a vulnerable position where you're trusting that you are capable of making a change. This is why it's often so upsetting, particularly for those with Executive Funct...

A Day in the Life of a College Student with Executive Dysfunction

Picture this: You go from a 6:30am wake-ups 5 days a week to 10:00am ones. You go from six intense hours of learning to a 50-minute class followed by a three hour break. You go from abiding by a curfew to being able to stay up as late as you want. These are the kinds of transitions that college freshman eagerly look forward to (and make all of us wish we were still in college!) But the awesomeness...

Overwhelmed by College? Here's How to Regain Control

The college environment presents greater demands for self-management than most young adults have ever experienced. Add in the fallout from pandemic disruptions and we really do have a perfect storm of circumstances that have left many college students anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed. Why are college students struggling? Consider a few of these scenarios to give you a sense of how different cha...

A Day in the Life of a High Schooler with Executive Dysfunction

Living with executive dysfunction makes life infinitely more difficult - especially for high schoolers. For the first time in their lives, struggling to manage time, stay organized, resist procrastination, and study effectively all begin to have meaningful consequences. Even so, it's also the perfect time to build these skills before their demands ramp up in college and the working world. Today, w...

A Day in the Life of an Elementary Schooler with Executive Function Challenges

Editor's Note: We are bringing back and updating our popular “Day in the Life” series that has been shared and read by thousands since they were published in 2017. We start with a glimpse into the challenges of a late elementary student and see how empathy is a useful starting point to help support them. As an adult, you may think that being a fourth-grader is the easiest life around — no bills to...

When Getting Started is Impossible: 5 Procrastination Hacks that Work

Of all the Executive Function-related challenges we experience, procrastination is most pervasive. Even the most successful students and adults can struggle to initiate a difficult or less-than-exciting task. So what can they do about it?  Plenty, it turns out. This week, we’ll be sharing the 5 best strategies to conquer procrastination, all of which have been tested by our coaches and proven effe...

What College Students Struggle with Most (and what you can do to help)

When you’re struggling with self-management, every day can feel like an uphill battle. Not knowing how to manage time, effort, or emotions - or to organize and plan in order to meet demands, is an exhausting way to live. And although it can feel isolating for those who are struggling, these problems are far more common than most of us might think. 

A Survival Kit for the New Year: Our 21 Best Tips from 2021

Somehow, we’ve reached the final chapter of 2021. It's safe to say that this year was one giant learning experience as we all have tried to adapt to a world that was unrecognizable just two years ago. We've been lucky to have so many brilliant individuals share their wisdom with our community and contribute to this year of learning. Between the dozens of teachers, therapists, professors, coaches, ...

What You Don't Know About 504 Plans

If you’ve worked hard to get your child approved for a 504 plan for their ADHD, there can be a “phew!” moment after all those documents are signed. And while it’s a good move forward in leveling the playing field for your child, it’s really just the first step in a more comprehensive process of supporting your child’s academic performance.  Wait - what? (In case you’re new to the world of 504 plan...

Student Stress: Untangling the Anxiety & Executive Function Connection

Have you noticed that almost everyone seems to be talking about anxiety lately? It may be because mental health, in general, is becoming less stigmatized, but it’s also clear that anxiety is simply becoming more prevalent in our world. This is especially true for students. According to the National Institute of Health, nearly 1 in 3 adolescents aged 13-18 will experience an anxiety disorder - and ...

Why Your Executive Function Challenges May Be Rooted in Perfectionism

Editor's Note: In this week's blog, we invited clinical psychologist, Dr. Eva Benmeleh, to share her unique perspective & expertise on perfectionism - an area that her practice focuses on treating.  --- As a psychologist who specializes in perfectionism, parents often ask me whether or not their children could have ADHD. It may be because their room is a total disaster, or they seem to routine...

Exhausted by the School Year (already)? How to Get Back on Track

The school year that seemed brand new just one month ago is now entering the “routine” phase that tends to make the weeks and months fly by. But before we’re transported to the June finish line, our kids have a lot of school to get through - and now that we’re past the cautious optimism of the first few weeks, you may have noticed that your student’s bright-eyed optimism about the year ahead has a...

The Best Strategy for Building Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

When I had to move when I was in college, I did what most people do: I asked my friends for help. And, despite the busy lives they lead, they did. (Or, at least, many of them did. That’s right, I’m calling you out, Genevieve...) Now, I didn’t offer to pay my friends, but they helped me anyway. (I mean, I did bribe them with plenty of pizza, but no one volunteers to help you to move just for a few ...

Freshman Social Jitters? 5 Tips to Making Friends in College

As August nears its end and a new school year waits around the corner, a certain segment of students who recently graduated high school are coming to the same realization that I did three years ago: starting college is scary!  Moving to a new place without parents for the first time where you know few people (if any) is understandably intimidating. Add on a host of new responsibilities, like stayi...

Back to Campus: Insights for Parents' Top 5 College Transition Worries

Transitioning to college is always difficult, but for the semester ahead, students and parents alike are more anxious than ever about the upcoming fall. During a year filled with upheaval and uncertainty, college life shifted dramatically, eliminating the traditional college experience many students had anticipated. But this fall, students are likely looking at a more “normal” semester of in-perso...

Helping Your Child Find Fun in Summer Reading

Though summer hopefully has been a time for rest, relaxation, and reset, it’s also perhaps had some required summer reading for your student (whether they’ve started it yet or not...) This type of homework can feel like the antithesis of fun, especially during summer vacation, and your student may feel like putting it off until the last minute. This is often the moment at which summer reading sudd...

Build Your Student’s Self-Worth: 3 Tips to Conquer Imposter Syndrome

If we were to eavesdrop on the inner thoughts of some students, we might hear something like this: "There is no way I belong in this honors-level class with all these geniuses!" "I got into jazz band on a lucky break. Once they hear me play, they'll know I don’t deserve to be here." "Why did I take AP Art? This class is for real artists, not me." Whether it’s in a specific subject area or with one...

Awkward Adolescence: 4 Tips to Help Your Student Master Self-Care

For most of us, simply thinking about our early teen years can quickly produce cringe-worthy memories of awkward social interactions, questionable fashion choices, and hormonal chaos  - all of which feel best left in the corners of our middle school locker. But what can often be equally uncomfortable is the tough landscape of actually parenting adolescent kids. According to our team of Client Serv...

Transitioning to College: What I Wish I Knew in High School

Editor's note: This week, we invited Sara Sullivan, a rising senior at Brown University, to share her experience transitioning to college, and the advice that she wished she had known in high school. 

When Perfectionism Paralyzes: 4 Steps to (Actually) Get Writing Done

Put yourself in your student's shoes: You’ve got an essay due in a week, and perhaps you’re not particularly looking forward to it. You set up your study space, turn on your computer, open a blank document, curl your fingers over your keyboard, and…nothing. You’ve got nothing. 

Why You Should Stop Rescuing Your Partner (and what to do instead)

“If I don’t wash the towels, then make up the lunches, then go get ice for the cooler, and pack the car up tonight, we’ll never get out the door and to the beach tomorrow.” This is just the sort of thing my friend Dylan would say as he prepares for Cape Cod traffic in the summer. Usually, I reply with something like: “Could Geoff help you with some of that?” Dylan laughs and rolls his eyes as he r...

Your Child’s School is Reopening: a RoadMAP for Student Readiness

We can feel the buzz in the air and vibrance in everyone’s step. I’m not talking about spring fever, I’m referring to our hope and excitement as we begin to imagine living in a post-pandemic world. As vaccinations become more widespread, so does everyone’s anticipation for a life resembling what we once had prior to COVID-19.  But will your child be ready?  We will never forget the fear as the pan...

Treating Student Anxiety: 7 Expert Support Tips for Parents

This month, we gathered an expert panel of behavioral science and education professionals to discuss the complex process of treating anxiety in students. Although many of the insights they shared were directed toward practitioners who work with students, we couldn’t help but notice how relevant some of their advice was for parents, too. In this week’s article, we’ll be exploring a few of the best ...

Answers to Parents' 5 Biggest Questions (From Student Success Experts)

One benefit of having over 400 coaches at Beyond BookSmart is the ability to gather insights from such a wide field of Executive Function experts. And given how chaotic this past academic year has been, our coaches have become accustomed to answering some of the most pressing concerns that parents have about their kids’ learning. In this week’s article, two of our coaches, Diana Horan and Sarah Va...

How to Keep Your Kids On Track (Without Being a Helicopter Parent)

Picture this - you just finished your second Zoom meeting of the day. Your daughter is in the kitchen attending school remotely. She is a bright kid, but tends to be get distracted and off track during her remote classes. You walk into the kitchen to refill your coffee, but really your objective is to check in on her. As you walk in, she frantically closes a couple tabs on her computer.

Inside a Master's Mind: How Chess Builds Executive Function Skills

The ongoing pandemic has provided infinite opportunities for discovering (or rediscovering) new activities to keep us occupied in a COVID world: the joy of baking banana bread, learning a new instrument, decluttering long-neglected areas of our homes - and, more recently, the mental workout of playing chess. Thanks to the popular Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess has enjoyed a resurgence ...

Why You Should Stop Rescuing Your Teen (and what to do instead)

It’s 7:45 on a Thursday night and your son finally gives his eyes a break from the TV just long enough to remember that he has a major essay due for English tomorrow. He might not admit it, but the frantic pacing and backpack digging already reveal everything you need to know - it’s not the first time he’s had a last-minute cramming crisis. Without asking details, you sigh and abandon your own pla...

What High School Juniors Can Do Now to Make Senior Year Less Stressful

Editor’s note: This week, we feature guest blogger Emily Toffelmire, Senior Manager of Educational Counseling for Bright Horizons College Coach. Please read more about Emily below. Senior year of high school can be one of the most memorable and fun times in a young person’s life. But for students who put off all things college-app related until then, that first semester can be a stressful and slee...

6 Simple Motivation Hacks for a More Productive Life

“Not another meal to prepare!” “I wish I was motivated to work-out.”  “I just didn’t have the time to do that today." Sound familiar? You're certainly not alone - getting motivated isn't always easy. We all have those days where the routines get stale and even getting out of bed becomes an arduous task. In this article, I'm going to share my six simple motivating hacks that I use every day to live...

Executive Functioning Isn’t Just Kid Stuff: A New Resource for Adults

Mia, a curious 6th grader who was into dinosaurs and art class more than anything else, had been working with me for about two months when she finally settled on her organizational system: Triceratops stickers on her math folder, Ankylosaurus stickers on the English folder, and Velociraptor stickers for the social studies folder. Science and art -- her favorite subjects -- were already well-decora...

2 Executive Function Skills to Help Parents Beat Back to School Stress

There are many things people never tell you about parenting. For instance, how many fingernails you’ll clip, or that you may have to tell your son to stop chasing his sister with moldy bread (okay that second one may be a “me” thing)...  However, the one quirk that we all were definitely not told about is that we’d have to parent through a pandemic. As many of us have discovered, there’s no handbo...

How Establishing Routines Helps Students Cope with the Pandemic

Predictability. Just the word itself provokes a sense of calm. Unfortunately, the world we live in at the moment is probably going to be the most unpredictable we have and will ever experience and none of it is in our control. We have a choice to allow this fact to overwhelm us or we can focus on what we can control. What can we do to make our personal worlds more calm, stable, and enjoyable?  

Activating Teens with a Summer Project to Build Executive Functioning

This turbulent school year has finally reached its end! But now that summer is here, many of you may be shifting into this new season with some concerns: What will my teen do if they’re not returning to camp? Will my teen be screen-bound for hours on end? Will my teen sleep all day and stay up all night, messing with their circadian rhythm? All of this upcoming downtime provides a host of new chal...

Adulting in 2020: 5 Key Tips for Resilience from a Recent College Grad

We’ve finally reached the halfway point of 2020, and I think I speak for just about everyone in saying that these past 6 months have felt more like 6 years. A global pandemic, widespread economic uncertainty, mass unemployment, and now, historic protests against police brutality and racial injustice in every major US city - all of which have already cemented 2020 as an infamous year in the history...

Managing Loneliness While Working From Home

By now, some folks might be going back to work on site -- whether in full force or in a hybrid model. Many of us, though, are cruising past the two-month mark of working from home. If that’s you, you’ve probably gotten into somewhat of a groove. You’ve got the right mindset for working remotely and you’ve got your distractions managed so you  can stay productive. But just when you think you’ve hit...

Distracted & Unproductive: New Survey Shows Work From Home Challenges

Working from home (WFH) inherently has its challenges. Although I imagine many of us are now finding that out (thanks, COVID-19), each of our experiences during this transition likely differs considerably depending on the unique situations we’re finding ourselves in. For some of you, that could mean suddenly having kids at home while you work, while for others it may just be as simple as swapping ...

5 Survival Tips for Working From Home With Kids

Being a working parent is a difficult job - especially when you have a 4th grade son with ADHD and a 4-year old daughter with more stamina than the Energizer Bunny. Now with COVID-19 forcing many parents to work from home, the fragile balance between our career responsibilities and duties as parents has been destabilized, transforming one difficult job into two seemingly impossible ones.

Why Smart Kids Can Struggle in School

The first part of the school year is almost in the record books, and already you see the writing on the wall. Your bright, funny, curious child brought home a backpack crammed with crumpled worksheets, last week’s hummus snack, and teacher comments that were less than stellar. You know she can do better. Her teachers know she can do better. Your child wants to do well - but is at a loss as to how....

How Executive Function Skills Help Us Achieve (Really Big) Goals

In just under six months, I will be running my first marathon. And it’s a big one: the Boston Marathon. Training for this is going to be a huge endeavor that will require some serious goal-directed persistence and integration of just about all the rest of my executive function skills. As an executive function coach, I am fortunate to have many tools and strategies to approach all that goes into th...

7 Self-Regulation Tips to Reduce Homework Battles With Your Child

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Hanna Bogen, a Speech-Language Pathologist and Social-Cognitive Specialist based in Los Angeles, CA. Please read her full bio below. Few tasks test self-regulation skills like homework time. Self-regulation is critical to one’s ability to manage challenging or complex situations, and homework time is no exception. Strong self-regulation is multifa...

The Relationship Between Executive Function and ADHD in Children

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Dr. Elizabeth Hayward. Please read her full bio below. Parents of a child who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often learn that their child also struggles with executive functioning. Executive function skills are those self-management skills that help us to set and achieve goals, including prioritizing, plann...

From Homework Battles to Self-Management: 4 Tips for Parents

Editor's note: This week, our guest blogger is Dr. Timothy Davis, a psychologist and a child and family psychotherapist in Newton, Massachusetts. Here, he provides a therapist's perspective on how to address power struggles over homework.   School doors are open again and, for many families, it means the resumption of homework battles. You might have noticed that schools are giving more homework t...

Self-Advocacy + Executive Function Skills = Academic Success

Teachers often have outsized egos (I know, I was one). When you’re consistently the “smartest person in the room”—and by definition, we’re all hoping that’s the teacher, at least in terms of knowledge base—you can become subject to thinking errors. You might assume that because you said something, other people (the kids) understood it. 

Using Household Chores as Teachable Moments

"There are three ways to win the young. You can preach at them; that is the hook without the worm; you can say, ‘You must volunteer,’ and that is the work of the devil; and you can tell them, ‘You are needed,’ and that appeal hardly ever fails." - Kurt Hahn, Founder of Outward Bound.

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